Ensign Group Names Company Vet as CFO of Home Health Spinoff Pennant

The Ensign Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ENSG) announced Monday that it has named Jennifer L. Freeman to serve as chief financial officer of The Pennant Group Inc., the planned spinoff company launched from Ensign’s home health, hospice and senior living businesses.

Freeman is an Ensign veteran, having joined the company earlier this year as CFO of its Cornerstone Healthcare subsidiary. She brings more than 15 years of health care industry experience to the role.

In her role as CFO of Pennant, Freeman will lead the spinoff’s finance strategy while also overseeing accounting, treasury, tax, financial reporting and overall financial operations. The spinoff is expected to be finalized by the end of 2019.

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“[Freeman] made an immediate impact on the team when she joined us and continues to be an important voice in our accounting, financial planning and strategy efforts,” Ensign CFO and Executive Vice President Suzanne Snapper said in a statement. “We are pleased she has accepted the responsibility to lead Pennant as CFO through the remainder of the spinoff transaction and beyond.”

Prior to her various roles at Ensign, Freeman was CFO of Northpoint Recovery Holdings LLC, a Boise, Idaho-based provider of drug and alcohol addiction treatment services. Before that, she held similar roles at Molina Healthcare of Washington and Coordinated Care Corporation, a subsidiary of Centene Corporation; Freeman also formerly served in similar roles at Qualis Health and MCG Health LLC.

The Ensign Group did not respond to requests for comment from Home Health Care News.

Mission Viejo, California-based The Ensign Group Inc. first unveiled plans to spin off its home health, hospice and senior living businesses into The Pennant Group in May. The overarching strategy is to create a separate publicly-traded company to give investors more industry-specific investment options, according to Ensign leadership.

Overall, the new company will include roughly 60 home health and hospice agencies and 51 senior living operations, in addition to mobile diagnostics and lab operations in 13 states.

Additionally, Ensign will maintain a portfolio of transitional and skilled services, health care campuses, rehabilitative care services.

Ensign is currently the parent company of 258 health care facilities, 28 hospice agencies, 26 home health agencies and nine home care businesses nationally.

The spinoff will make Pennant one of the few publicly traded home-based care companies in the U.S, along with Amedisys Inc. (Nasdaq: AMED), LHC Group Inc. (Nasdaq: LHCG), Addus HomeCare Corporation (Nasdaq: ADUS) and Encompass Health Corporation (NYSE: EHC).

Following the spinoff, Ensign and Pennant will work together in the Ensign-Pennant Care Continuum, a preferred provider network.

“As we move forward, we’re very excited to retain the benefits from our affiliation with Ensign, while simultaneously gaining the benefits of creating a separate platform to drive growth,” Daniel Walker — who will assume the role of chairman, CEO and president of Pennant — told investors during a Q1 earnings call in May.

Ensign naming Freeman CFO of Pennant comes less than a week after the company also announced it had acquired the real estate and operations of Surprise Health and Rehabilitation Center, a skilled nursing facility with 100 skilled nursing beds located in Surprise, Arizona.

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