By Andrew Donlan | January 14, 2022
Two major home-based care companies announced key leadership hires this week that will set the stage for their near- and long-term initiatives.
On Monday, Help at Home – one of the largest providers of personal care services in the country – announced that it hired Rich Tinsley as the company’s new chief development officer. It also hired Darren Lehrich as its new senior vice president of investor relations and finance.
“I’ve been in this industry over 20 years, and, you know, it’s a small world when it comes down to it,” Tinsley told Home Health Care News. “I’ve been watching Help at Home and have known about them for years. … It was a super exciting opportunity for me as a next career move, to be a part of such a purpose-driven organization at a time when the need for home care is the greatest it’s ever been in our society.”
Based in Chicago, Help at Home delivers in-home and community-based care to 67,000 patients through its locations, which span across 11 states.
Then, Humana (NYSE: HUM) announced on Friday the hiring of Dr. Andrew Agwunobi as the company’s next Home Solutions business president. Currently, Agwunobi is the interim president at the University of Connecticut and the CEO of the UConn Health System.
His role with Humana takes effect on Feb. 21.
Each move puts the two companies on track for further home-based care growth moving forward. Humana has had a longstanding commitment to the home as a setting of care, with its acquisition of Kindred at Home last year being a primary example.
On Help at Home’s end, the Chicago-based and private-equity backed provider has been rumored to be exploring a public offering as it continues expanding its network. Its hires, in particular, could be a sign of things to come.
Tinsley was previously the president of Stoneridge Partners, a significant M&A firm in the home health and home care spaces. Lehrich, on the other hand, previously worked in investor relations for both Magellan Health and American Renal Associates.
The hiring of a head investor relations officer throws fuel on the fire that is the Help at Home-IPO rumors. At American Renal Associates, Lehrich “established the investor relations program in advance of [the] 2016 IPO and played a significant role in pre-IPO preparation,” according to his LinkedIn.
Help at Home offered no comment on any plans to go public.
“Darren brings another 20-plus years of experience into our organization,” Help at Home President Tim O’Rourke told HHCN. “He’ll help us with, not only the growth orientation that we have, but also on working with the capital markets and really being an important part of supporting our CFO on long-term growth objectives with sufficient capital structure. We’re really lucky to have both him and Rich. It adds about 48 years of health care experience to the team.”
With the Lehrich and Tinsley hires, Help at Home now has a leadership team that has almost entirely been built over the last 12 to 18 months. The exception is Joel Davis – the chief caregiver officer – who has been with the company for 20 years.
“[Tinsley and Lehrich], they’re both experts in our field,” O’Rourke said. “They’ve got depth, expertise and knowledge. I think it’ll really help continue to drive Help at Home’s organic growth engine, but also help with the effective and efficient deployment of capital to continue to acquire in a consolidating market. I think they’ll both add to that growth trajectory.”
Humana’s new at-home leader
Dr. Andrew Agwunobi will take the place of Susan Diamond, who is now serving as Humana’s CFO.
In addition to other home-based initiatives within the company’s umbrella, the Kindred acquisition gives the Louisville, Kentucky-based company a home health network that spans 40 states and cares for 550,000 patients annually.
“Andy is just the person we need for this critical Humana role leading our Home Solutions business,” Humana CEO Bruce Broussard said in a statement. “He has a real passion for care in the home. He has been responsible for a home health care organization as part of an integrated system. He has extensive operational experience with for-profit and nonprofit organizations, and he’s a doctor – he understands the value of care in the home, why seniors want more of it, and our vision at Humana for making it much easier for people to get the care they need at home.”
Agwunobi previously was the COO at St. Joseph Health System and also led the Providence Health Care System.
Additionally, he served as secretary for the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration.
“I’m excited about Humana’s focus on its Home Solutions business, and especially interested in ways we can transform the home health industry together,” Agwunobi said in a statement. “As the ongoing COVID pandemic has accelerated interest in and shifts to in-home care and home health models, I’m highly confident that we will be able to help the people we serve achieve better health outcomes.”