Tracey Moorhead has resigned as president and CEO of the Visiting Nurse Associations of America (VNAA) and ElevatingHome. Danielle Pierotti, RN, PhD, CENP, vice president of quality and research, has stepped into the role of interim CEO.
VNAA is an industry association and advocacy group for home-based care with a membership base of not-for-profit providers. Its spin-off association, ElevatingHome, was launched in April 2017 and encompasses stakeholders across the home-based care space, including for-profit members.
Moorhead became president and CEO of VNAA in 2013 and served in the role for ElevatingHome when it was launched in April 2017. While the news was abrupt and announced in an email to members last week, the organizations remain focused on their missions and work, according to Pierotti.
“Tracey made her own decision to resign,” Pierotti told Home Health Care News. “ElevatingHome and VNAA is not deviating from its plan. We are committed.”
The associations have not announced a search process for a new permanent CEO, and Pierotti deferred to the board of directors for any upcoming decisions.
“Our goal is to make sure we fulfill the vision ElevatingHome was created on and that the legacy of VNAA continues,” Pierotti told HHCN. “VNAA has been around since 1983 as a leader for not-for-profit providers. It serves to strengthen the community, broadening the network and bringing people across the industry, and we will keeping working on those goals.”
For Pierotti, the CEO role comes when home care is in the middle of an “unprecedented time,” she said.
“The United States is changing, and the needs of the communities are changing,” she said. “Home-based care will play a critical role in all of that, and that’s what VNAA and ElevatingHome [are] focused on.”
Much of the associations’ recent work around research has specifically pointed to helping position in-home care in the evolving health care space, particularly as a partner to hospitals and health systems. Improving the ability to partner with other stakeholders and look at opportunities outside the scope of traditional Medicare reimbursement is “probably the single biggest opportunity” for the industry, Pierotti said.
This vision of partnership also played a major role in the creation of ElevatingHome, which welcomed members beyond the not-for-profit world and sought to bring together more outside voices.
However, ElevatingHome’s place among the industry associations has been somewhat hazy since its inception. Its membership rate also may not have gained enough ground, presenting financial challenges.
“The new members that everybody thought would join in large numbers didn’t materialize,” Gary Jacobs, a former VNAA board member and managing director of Circumference Consulting, told HHCN. “And at end of the day, that affects the financial wellbeing of the org. That kind of became problematic.”
The challenges of the associations may have only come with the launch of ElevatingHome, as well.
“Tracey was a great representative,” Jacobs said. “That was never an issue with anybody. Only, when we moved into this new area, we faced challenges we never necessarily contemplated, and from [that] perspective, they were difficult at best.”
At the same time, VNAA and ElevatingHome are charging forth with major projects, including new research efforts.
“Our research model stands out because ElevatingHome is about networking, making connections and collaborations,” Pierotti said. “That is the way our research is rolling out as well. We’re looking to create new networks that didn’t exist before, getting parties to come together to identify the core questions and finding answers.”
As far as taking on the CEO role full time, Pierotti said, “These organizations are actively evolving, and I am personally very committed to my relationship [with them], whichever role is most useful to them.”
Written by Amy Baxter