Business Briefs: New Sentara CEO, Almost Family Completes Acquisition

Sentara Healthcare Announces CEO Stepping Down

Sentara Healthcare, a not-for-profit health care system in Virginia and North Carolina, announced CEO David L. Bernd will be stepping down to retire after 21 years of leading the company.

Howard P. Kern, who has served as president and chief operating officer, will assume the role of CEO in March 2016.


“Since Dave Bernd became CEO of Sentara Health System (now Sentara Healthcare) in March 1995, he has built a quality healthcare system focused on clinical best practices, advanced technology and exceptional patient care,” Bob Fort, chairman of the board, said in a prepared statement.

Under Bernd’s leadership, the company became the largest health system in Virginia. When Bernd began as CEO, the company had four hospitals with an estimated value of $600 million. As Kern takes over, the company is a $4.7 billion, multi-state, integrated system with 12 hospitals, four medical groups with over 900 providers of life care and home care services.

Almost Family Completes Acquisition of Willcare Health


Almost Family (Nasdaq: AFAM), a leading home health nursing services provider, announced the completion of its acquisition of the stock of Willcare Health Care, a home health services business serving New York, Connecticut and Ohio.

Almost Family closed the acquisition of Willcare’s Ohio subsidiary in March 2015.

The stock was acquired for the purchase price of $50.5 million, funded from borrowings on the company’s senior secured revolving credit facility. The acquisition brings Almost Family’s operations up to over 230 branches in 15 states. Its annual net revenue is expected to approach the $600 million mark.

“We are especially pleased to announce the long-awaited closing of this transaction,” William Yarmouth, chairman and CEO of Almost Family, said in a prepared statement. “We are very much looking forward to building on the strong Willcare foundation as we continue our development efforts in the State of New York and elsewhere.”

Kirk Adams to Leave SEIU, Join Healthcare Education Project

Health care chief for the Service Employees International Union, Kirk Adams, is leaving the organization to join the Healthcare Education Project, an advocacy outreach program with the Greater New York Hospital Association and the 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East. His new title with Healthcare Education Project has not been named.

The joint effort from the two groups represents more than 350,000 healthcare workers and more than 250 not-for-profit hospitals, nursing homes and home care providers. The organization aims to protect access to crucial health care services, better understand community-level health care issues, educate communities and advocate for universal health care.

Adams will help the project address national health care issues and protect federal healthcare funding for New York hospitals, nursing homes and home care providers.

During Adams’ time with SEIU, the union gained a less adversarial profile than other union groups like National Nurses United and the National Union of Healthcare Workers thanks to the organization’s ability to embrace partnerships, Modern Healthcare reported.

SEIU has not named who will take over the role.

BrightStar Care Hires Two New Executives

BrightStar Care, a national home care agency and medical staffing franchise, announced the hiring of two executives to its leadership team. The company has hired Steve Schildwachter as its chief marketing officer and Tom Lehr as chief financial officer.

The announcements come on the heels of a domestic and international expansion. BrightStar has more than 280 U.S. locations and has grown to a $300 million company. The company plans to enter markets in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan and Western Europe.

Schildwachter was previously serving as executive vice president and chief marketing officer at rVue, Inc., an Illinois-based advertising technology company. With rVue, Schildwachter worked with advertisers and agencies to plan, buy, traffic and analyze digital place-based media, according to a statement from BrightStar.

With BrightStar, Schildwachter will develop strategies that grow positive consumer experiences, build brand value and retention through BrightStar’s franchise network. He will also be involved in developing talent and leading the marketing organization that is aligned with franchisees, operations and other cross-functional departments.

Lehr served as CFO of Adventures in Advertising Corporation (AIA), a $175 million franchise company with 300 U.S. locations, where he was responsible for financial, legal vendor relations systems integration and operational management.

As BrightStar’s CFO, Lehr will be responsible for day-to-day planning and controlling all financial-related activities, including accounting, finance, forecasting, strategic planning, legal, deal analysis and private and/or institutional financing.

Wesley Homes Promotes Melinda Moore to Executive Director 

Melinda Moore has been promoted to executive director of home health services of Wesley Homes Retirement Communities, the company announced. Wesley Homes is a Pacific Northwest-based not-for-profit organization that offers home health services and retirement communities.

Moore will manage Wesley Homes At Home, a certified Medicare and Medicaid service provider, and Wesley Homes Community Health Services, a Washington state licensed home health and care agency.

“I have a deep understanding of the heart and soul of home care,” Moore said in a prepared statement. “I believe in really listening to our campus residents and community clients. My priority has always been to make home care services easily accessible. I know what it was like to have to seek home care for my own parents.”

Previously, Moore served as director of clinical services for Wesley Homes for three years, and has many years of experience in home health care, Wesley Homes said in a prepared statement. She has also worked as in-home services manager with Good Samaritan Community Healthcare, director of home health and hospice with MultiCare Health System, vice president of sales with HomeCare Homebase and director of strategy and planning with OCS, Inc.

Moore has already stated she plans to expand Wesley Homes into hospice care as part of continuum care. Wesley Homes recently received its hospice care license, and Moore will be responsible for launching the provider’s hospice program in King County, WA.

Written by Amy Baxter

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