New Home Health Leaders Rise in ‘Rocket Science’ Era

As data continues to be the name of the game in the home health industry, one of the largest home health and hospice providers is evolving its executive plan to meet this challenge.

Midwest-based Great Lakes Caring, which operates 24 locations with over 2,600 employees in Michigan, Indiana and Illinois, announced the promotion of three executive leaders as part of its newly established “Evolution of Excellence” plan. The plan is meant as a way to adapt to changing dynamics across health systems.

“Using data is going to be critically important in the future,” Great Lakes Caring CEO William Deary told Home Health Care News. “Five years ago, I would have made a statement that there’s really no rocket science to home health care. Provide great care, make good business decisions and you could be successful. Today, there’s a tremendous amount of rocket science to providing home care.”

Collecting, crunching and acting on data is the rocket science Deary is referring to; specifically, being able to assess patients who may be at a higher risk of readmission and reducing those rates are key metrics to becoming partners with other types of providers. These metrics have become increasingly important over the last five years, he says, and will be more essential in the future.  

The executive evolution includes the promotion of three leaders: Adam Nielson has been promoted to president; Marcy Miller, RN, has been named chief clinical officer; and Carry vandenMaagdenberg is the new chief information officer. This new team will lead the company in creating new partnerships with health care providers and converting data information into clinical successes. 

“Everything we do, we like to think of as an evolution so that we don’t have big changes that could negatively impact the momentum that we have,” Deary said. “In 2015, we had an incredible year, clinically, employee satisfaction, longevity and patient satisfaction and growth. But that didn’t just happen in 2015. Some of those seeds were planted going back 10 years ago. This next seed, preparing for the future Leadership 2025, is what will be our success in the next five, 10 and 15 years.”

The direction is a new one for Great Lakes Caring, which in the past has not put as much focus on expanding its outreach with other types of health care providers.  

“The changing dynamics of the global health care continuum in the United States are extraordinary,” Deary said. “Something we need to do today and in the future that’s never really been a requirement in the past is looking at how we partner with other member of other provider types in the health care continuum.”

Becoming a preferred partner with other health care providers is a priority that will lift the entire health system, he added. A big part of that responsibility falls on home health to figure out how to achieve better patient outcomes by contributing more to other health providers. 

“Over the next 10 years, we have to be very, very good at what we do,” Deary said. “But we also have some processes and systems and strategies to make this other pieces of the health care continuum very good at what they do by the way we complement the services they provide.”

Written by Amy Baxter