Movers & Shakers: Compassus, Van Dyk Health Care

Compassus Hospice Adds Senior VP and Chief Medical Officer

Compassus, a nationwide network of community-based hospice, palliative and home health programs, appointed Kurt Merkelz, MD, to the organization’s executive team as senior vice president and chief medical officer.

In this new role, Merkelz will lead Compassus’ quality and clinical initiatives across the more than 150 communities that Compassus serves. Merkelz has been with Compassus since 2010 and served as medical director of the program in Houston, Texas. He is triple-board certified in hospice and palliative care medicine, family practice and geriatrics.


United Hebrew of New Rochelle Hires Home Health Care Administrator

United Hebrew of New Rochelle, based in New Rochelle, New York, named Jean La Padula, RN, as its new home health care administrator to oversee the United Hebrew Certified Home Health Agency. She will also manage AZOR Licensed Home Care, which serves elderly clients who need help with care planning, medication management and support for daily living.

La Padula brings 37 years of heath care experience, including expertise in staff development and training, to her new role. United Hebrew of New Rochelle is a not-for-profit, non-sectarian, multi-service comprehensive care campus situated on 7.5 acres.


Most recently, La Padula served as vice president of home care for Cabrini of Westchester. Prior to that, she was the executive director of the Amber Court at Home Certified Home Health Agency, and the program director at HHH Home Care in the Bronx.

VNA Treasure Coast Names New Chair of the Board

The Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) of Treasure Coast in Florida named Sue Tompkins as the new chair of the Treasure Coast board of directors. VNA is the only nonprofit home care provider in Indian River County and has been in the community for 40 years.

She currently serves as vice president and senior financial adviser for Merrill Lynch in Vero Beach, Florida, beginning her financial services career in 1985. Her background includes corporate and personal banking, trust and estate administration, investment management, charitable planning and financial strategies, including positions with Barnett Bank and Harris Private Bank.

VNA Treasure Coast offers private care, home health care and hospice.

Van Dyk Health Care Announces Two Appointments

Van Dyk Health Care, a senior care company that recently expanded to home care services, hired Laura van der Leeuw as marketing manager and promoted Nancy Soto to vice president of marketing & human resources.

Van der Leeuw previously served as a marketing strategist with Dow Jones & Company, where she held several position over 10 years with the company. In her new role, she will coordinate all integrated marketing campaigns for Van Dyk’s Health care entire continuum of care, including the company’s two nursing and post-acute care facilities in Ridgewood and Montclair, New Jersey, its assisted living facility in Hawthorne, New Jersey, and its home care company and soon-to-be launched memory day care center.

Soto has been with Van Dyk for 21 years, and she started as director of human resources before expanding her role to project development and strategic planning. In her new role, she will oversee the company’s marketing strategy, as well as manage a fully integrated marketing department across the company’s continuum of care.

Western Illinois Home Health Care Hires Senior Care Manager

Western Illinois Home Health Care welcomed Judy Lee as senior manager.

Lee’s background is in clinical and behavioral health, including two years serving as a behavioral health specialist at the Know Community Health Center. Prior to that, she worked in the older adult behavioral health unit at Galesburg Cottage Hospital.

In her new role, she will provide care plan oversight and develop strategies to strengthen the agency’s Restoring Wholeness at Home behavioral health program through added staff support and connecting with other community-based programs to help improve and maintain the independence of seniors, Daily Review Atlas reported.

SSM Health Selects New CEO and President

The SSM Health board of directors selected Laura Kaiser as the health system’s new president and CEO. SSM Health is a Catholic, not-for-profit health system in the Midwest with an integrated care delivery system encompassing 20 hospitals, more than 60 outpatient care sites, a pharmacy benefit company, an insurance company, two nursing homes, comprehensive home care and hospice services, a technology company and two accountable care organizations (ACOs).

Kaiser will begin her role on May 1, replacing William P. Thompson, who will retire at the end of April after 37 years of service with the organization.

Kaiser has more than 30 years of experience and comes to SSM Health from Intermountain Healthcare, here she served as executive vice president and chief operating officer for the past five years. Prior to that, Kaiser spent 15 years at Ascension Health, serving in a number of leadership roles, including Ministry Market Leader of the Gulf Coast/Florida region for Ascension and president and CEO at Sacred Heart Health System.

In her new role, she will be responsible for leading all aspects of the health care system and instrumental in guiding SSM Health’s transition to a value-based model of care.

SCAN Group Appoints New Members to Board of Directors

SCAN Group, a California-based not-for-profit organization that is one of the nation’s largest Medicare Advantage plans in the nation and an Independence at Home community service, has named two new board members: Christobel Select and Dr. Linda Rosenstock.

Selecky will serve on the board’s finance and compensation committees, and Rosenstock will serve on the board’s audit and and compliance committee and quality and customer experience committee.

Selecky is an executive and entrepreneur with more than 30 years of experience in the health care industry. Through her independent consultancy, Population Health Strategies, Selecky helps management teams, companies and health care investors improve patient engagement, population health outcomes and health care cost management. She serves on the board of directors for corporate and not-for-profit organization, including Teleperformance, Satellite Healthcare and Verity Health Systems.

Rosenstock is a former dean of the UCLA Fielding School of public health and a current professor at the university. She previously served as the director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, advisor to the World Health Organization, chair of the United Auto Workers/General Motors Occupational Health Advisory Board and chair of the Association of Schools of Public health. She is a recipient of the Presidential Distinguished Executive Rank Award and was appointed by President Barack Obama to the Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion and Integrative Public Health. She is an honorary fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and a member of the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine.

Written by Amy Baxter

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