Long-Time Great Lakes Caring CEO William Deary Steps Down

After more than two decades, Great Lakes Caring Home Health and Hospice will have a new CEO.

William Deary has stepped down from the role and exited the Jackson, Michigan-based company that he founded in 1994. Adam Nielsen, who was named president of Great Lakes in January 2016, has assumed the CEO position, effective immediately.

The company did not disclose the reason for Deary’s departure.

Great Lakes Caring is one of the largest home health and hospice providers nationally, with more than 2,600 employees and service areas in nine states: Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine.

“We are confident that together with the other members of the executive leadership team, Great Lakes Caring will maintain its high standards of excellence and strong culture, while enhancing its ability to be an exemplary health care system partner to the industry,” a company spokesperson said in a statement to Home Health Care News. “The company continues to focus on the value it brings to its payer sources, referral partners, employees, and most importantly, its patients.”

Prior to joining Great Lakes Caring in 2009, 42-year-old Nielsen worked for consultant firm Deloitte, and before that he was at Deutsche Bank. He was Great Lakes’ vice president of corporate strategy and business development until being promoted to president as part of executive leadership shift last year. As president, he has been overseeing the company’s day-to-day operations.

In November 2016, private equity firm Blue Wolf Capital Partners LLC acquired Great Lakes Caring from Wellspring Capital Management LLC for an undisclosed amount. The executive management team also maintained a “significant stake” in the company.

With Blue Wolf’s backing, Great Lakes Caring was poised to continue to grow through acquisitions, Deary told HHCN at the time. In 2016, Great Lakes Caring appeared on Inc. Magazine’s 5000 list, ranking the fastest-growing private companies in the nation.

In addition to gaining scale, Great Lakes Caring has focused on partnering with other types of providers across the health care continuum. Deary believed that being a data-driven agency would be key to achieving clinical excellence and solidifying its position in a more coordinated health care landscape. The leadership changes that ushered Nielsen into the president’s role were meant to help the company reach these goals in the “rocket science” age of home care, Deary told HHCN in February 2016.

“Five years ago, I would have made a statement that there’s really no rocket science to home health care,” he said. “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.”

Written by Tim Mullaney

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Tim Mullaney
If he’s not in the newsroom, Tim likes to be on the tennis court or traveling to a new destination. Recent highlights include Sri Lanka and Iceland.