Interim Taps Former Bayada Exec Sheets as CEO

A former Bayada executive is taking over the reins at home health franchise giant Interim HealthCare Inc.

On Monday, Sunrise, Florida-based Interim announced that it had named Jennifer Sheets as its new CEO and president, effective immediately. Sheets — who most recently served as a chief clinical officer and senior executive of clinical operations, innovation, education and quality at Bayada Home Health Care — also will assume the CEO and president positions for Caring Brands International.

“I am delighted to be back in an environment where I can leverage the unique combination of operations, clinical and quality components in my past roles, with the momentum, accountability and smart growth that Interim HealthCare and the Caring Brands family demands of its leader,” Sheets told Home Health Care News. “On a personal level, this new role aligns comprehensively with my passion for clinical and operational excellence and population health.”

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Caring Brands International is the global franchise organization in charge of the Interim, U.K.-based Bluebird Care and Australia-based Just Better Care brands. Overall, Caring Brands International has more than 530 unique locations in five countries, making it one of the largest home health franchises in the world.

Founded in 1966, Interim provides an array of home-based care services, including specialized programs for congestive heart failure, dementia, diabetes and other complex conditions.

Moving forward, Sheets plans on focusing on operational excellence and fostering customer-focused, innovative service to distinguish Interim in the highly fragmented home care industry.

“My priority right now is certainly to learn and draw from Interim’s rich history, as well as the talented and respected leaders of this organization,” she said. “This is a company whose assets are its people, and whose people have a great deal to teach me. Building a greater understanding of the business is the first step before any longer-term vision can be set.”

Levine Leichtman Capital Partners is the PE owner of Caring Brands International.

Leadership changes

Sheets replaces Interim’s former CEO, Lawrence Kraska, who left the company at the end of September, an Interim spokesperson said in a statement provided to HHCN. Kraska became CEO of Interim in 2016.

Although Kraska lacked an extensive background in home health care, he maintained a strong leadership footing, especially in regard to workforce recruitment and retention. While serving as CEO, Kraska made staffing issues a priority for Interim, including the launch of a “VIP” onboarding experience for new hires.

“[Kraska] made the decision to pursue an opportunity within the physician group practice management space after careful thought and consideration around his personal ambitions,” the Interim spokesperson said. “[He] played an important role in the company’s strategic growth plans, and the board would like to take this opportunity to thank him for his contributions.”

Kathleen Gilmartin — a current board member and one of Interim’s previous CEOs — had been serving as acting CEO while the company conducted a comprehensive search to find Kraska’s replacement.

Interim does not expect any setbacks as a result of the leadership transition.

“The Interim HealthCare Inc. and Caring Brands International management teams have the knowledge and capabilities to ensure our franchisees continue to receive the highest levels of support and continuity of our strategic goals remain our focus through this transition,” the spokesperson said.

Among those goals, Interim has pushed to expand its hospice offerings in recent months. Currently, a group of 10 Interim owners operates 38 U.S. offices offering dedicated hospice lines. Interim hopes to expand that total to 45 to 50 offices by year-end of 2019.

Systemwide sales for Interim checked in at nearly $1.1 billion in 2017, according to industry estimates.

A Bayada background

Sheets has nearly 20 years of health care management experience, both in home health and hospice settings.

At Bayada, Sheets helped launch its Center for Integrative Care, designed to provide a more progressive approach to health care management by bundling services, leveraging artificial intelligence tools and utilizing data-enabled risk stratification capabilities.

“Along with a strong clinical foundation and operational background, [Sheets] has the business and financial experience to successfully lead growth and transformation on a large scale,” Matthew Frankel, a board member at Caring Brands International and a partner at Levine Leichtman, said in a statement. “Her credentials, proven track record, multi-faceted background and experience with home health, hospice, personal care and managed care are the components we need in a CEO to lead this organization into the future.”

Prior to Bayada, Sheets served as the chief clinical officer for Cornerstone Healthcare Group, which was acquired by Highland Capital in 2007. Sheets helped lead M&A activities to expand the post-acute lines and broaden the scope of the company.

Sheets also previously held leadership positions with Gentiva Health Services and Kindred Healthcare.

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