Movers & Shakers: VNSNY Announces CEO Change After Contract Failure

VNSNY Announces CEO Change

The Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY) announced that Marki Flannery has agreed to return as president and CEO of the association after an agreement on terms for a renewal contract for Dr. Christopher Olivia fell through. Olivia, who served as CEO since 2017, resigned, effective April 9.

Flannery joined VNSNY in 1982 and was the founder and head of Partners in Care until 2016, when she became head of provider services for VNSNY. She left the organization last September to pursue other interests.


She has agreed to serve as president and CEO and lead VNSNY’s ongoing growth for at least one year, effective immediately.

Compassus Exec Joins AAHPM Quality Committee

Kurt Merkelz, M.D., senior vice president and chief medical officer of Compassus, has joined the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM) Quality Committee.


Compassus is a nationwide network of community-based post-acute care services, including hospice, home health care and palliative care. AAHPM is a professional organization dedicated to improving the care of patients with serious illness. The Quality Commmittee’s primary focus is to advance the quality of hospice and palliative care through education and public policy.

Merkelz will participate on the committee for a two-year term to help develop quality metrics for patients with serious illness and improve outcome measures.

Home Health Foundation Appoints New CMO

Bernice Burkarth, MD, HMDC, FAAHPM, has been appointed chief medical officer of the Home Health Foundation, which includes Home Health VNA, Merrimack Valley Hospice and HomeCare, Inc.

In this role, Burkarth will provide medical oversight and clinical direction to Merrimack Valley Hospice and the Palliative Care Program. Burkarth will also participate in the strategic development, implementation and growth of innovative clinical programs.

Dr. Burkarth has more than 25 years of hospice, palliative care and geriatric experience. Prior to joining Home Health Foundation, she was senior medical director of palliative service at Treasure Health Hospice in Florida.

Always Best Care Names New VP of Franchise Development

Always Best Care Senior Services, a national home care services franchise company, has appointed Jason Wiedder as vice president of franchise development. In his new role, Wiedder will lead the brand’s aggressive national growth strategy.

Wiedder brings more than 13 years of experience in leading franchise development efforts for several brands in the senior care space. Most recently, he served as vice president of franchise development for Brain Balance Achievement Centers. Prior to that, he was the chief operating officer/vice president of franchise sales for A Right Place for Seniors. He also spearheaded franchise sales efforts for Seniors Helpers for nearly 10 years of his career.

Written by Amy Baxter

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