AAHomecare strives for stability, continuity

Sunday, May 28, 2006

ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Rather than pass the torch during these turbulent times, AAHomecare's battle-tested chairman, Tom Ryan, will stay on in his role as the association's leader for another year.

"There is no substitute for experience right now for the industry," said Tim Pontius, past chairman. "Frankly, there are very few people who can make the time commitment, so this is the exception to the rule. It's great news for the association and the industry."

In addition to Ryan, AAHomecare's entire executive board, which usually rotates positions every year, will stay in place for a second year, providing stability and continuity as the association searches for someone to fill its vacant CEO position.

"I think it also sends a message that we are happy with the quality of the staff that we have, and that we want to stay on board to support their efforts," Pontius added.

If all goes as planned, AAHomecare's search committee plans to review resumes next month and interview CEO candidates in July. Search committee members hope to hire a new CEO by late July or early August.

"I think continuity and momentum is important now, especially since we are in a transition to a new CEO," Ryan said. "It is a critical time for home care and we need to make a stand."

Given all the reimbursement cuts the industry has absorbed recently and with competitive bidding on the horizon, the CEO position hardly seems like a desirable job. On the other hand, the country's aging demographics promise a greatly expanded roll for homecare providers in the healthcare continuum.

"Everyone in this industry is excited and concerned at the same time," said Mario LaCute, executive board treasurer. "For CEO, I'm looking for someone who has been in the belly of the beast in other circumstances where they had to energize an entire industry. That is what we are looking for."