The Pennant Group expands leadership team

Brent Guerisoli headshot
Brent Guerisoli

Brent Guerisoli will become president of Eagle, ID-based The Pennant Group effective Jan. 1. He currently is president of Cornerstone Healthcare, Pennant’s home health and hospice portfolio company.

Daniel Walker, who has been serving as Pennant’s CEO and president since the organization’s spin-off from The Ensign Group, will continue as CEO.

Guerisoli earned his MBA from the Walter A. Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, after which he completed the executive training program and later served as a business manager at AT&T. He joined Cornerstone in 2012 and has been president since 2018, Guerisoli has served as president of Cornerstone Healthcare, helping lead the segment as it went from 54 to 73 agencies and improved clinically and financially.

Brian Wayment, president of Pennant’s Midwest home health and hospice operations, will succeed Guerisoli as president of Cornerstone Healthcare, supported by Pennant Chief Operating Officer John Gochnour to ensure a smooth transition. Wayment joined the organization in 2013. 

Pennant said that as Gochnour lends additional support to Cornerstore, Chief Financial Officer Jenn Freeman and other Pennant executives will assume greater responsibility for driving the Pennant Service Center resource teams as they continue to support operational and clinical partners in the field.

Frasier welcomes Tomas Mendez as vice president of operations

Tomas Mendez hedshot
Tomas Mendez

Tomas Mendez has been named vice president of operations for Frasier, a not-for-profit life plan community in Boulder, CO. He will oversee all resident services and programs throughout the 20-acre community and will work to support and enhance Frasier’s recently completed $100 million expansion.

Mendez comes to Frasier from Franke at Seaside in Mount Pleasant, SC, where he held multiple positions over the past 14 years, most recently that of senior director of independently living.

In addition to his senior living tenure, Mendez served as an adjunct professor and visiting faculty member with the College of Charleston for 15 years. He has written or co-authored numerous publications on wellness and aging.

Mendez earned his undergraduate degree from the College of Charleston and his master’s degree from the University of Maryland.

Cadence Living names Jonathan Ellis vice president of marketing, strategic planning

Jonathan Ellis has joined Cadence Living as vice president of operations for the mid-Atlantic region. He will be responsible for the operations of Cadence’s five communities in Maryland and Virginia.

Ellis has more than 19 years of experience in senior living operations. Before joining Cadence, he held regional operational roles with HHHunt/Spring Arbor Senior Living, Meridian Senior Living and Five Star Senior Living. He also held multiple executive director roles with Sunrise Senior Living.

Leigh Atherton headshot
Leigh Atherton

Life Care names two vice presidents

Leigh Atherton has been appointed senior vice president for corporate and community relations, and Rob Pauza is assuming the role of vice president of the media center, at Life Care Centers of America’s Cleveland, TN, headquarters.

Rob Pauza
Rob Pauza

Atherton will oversee both the media center and public relations, She joined Life Care’s public relations department in 2008 and was named director in 2012. She is a graduate of Lee University with an undergraduate degree in communication.

Pauza came to Life Care in 1997 as an intern in the graphic services department. He was hired as a full-time graphic designer in 1999 after graduating from the University of Tennessee of Chattanooga with an undergraduate degree in graphic design. He was promoted to director of graphic services in 2005.

Integral Senior Living names new regional director of sales, marketing

Shelley Speer headshot
Shelley Speer

Shelley Speer has been named regional director of sales and marketing at Carlsbad, CA-based Integral Senior Living

Speer comes to ISL with more than 20 years of experience in the senior living industry, with many of those years in management or marketing positions. In her most recent position as a regional manager for the Northwest and North California region at A Place for Mom, she was responsible for talent development, coaching and managing a sales team of 19 advisers.

In her new position, Speer will oversee the sales and marketing efforts for several of ISL’s communities, which include independent and assisted living and memory care. 

Speer has an associate’s degree in nursing and a bachelor’s degree in political science. She first entered the senior living industry in 1992.

Spring Hills names Pierantonio Russo, M.D., chief medical officer

Pierantonio Russo, M.D., has been named chief medical officer and chief clinical transformation officer of the Population Health Management Program at Spring Hills, Edison, NJ. Spring Hills operates assisted living and memory care communities as well as post-acute care facilities, and it offers home care services for seniors and those with chronic health needs.

Russo will oversee the integration of population health into Spring Hills’ clinical programs and offer guidance to providers, payers and policymakers on IT and AI-enabled comprehensive population management, including complex care for high-risk, high-cost and high-needs patients.

Russo spent two decades practicing cardiac and heart transplant surgery. He formerly held academic, clinical and administrative leadership positions in cardiac surgery, pediatric cardiac surgery and heart transplantation at Temple Medical School and Thomas Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, the Allegheny University in Pennsylvania, and the University of Missouri in Columbia. He taught a postgraduate course on health organizations performance at Indian School of Business on behalf of the Wharton School of Business, and he was a lecturer in population medicine on the faculty of Harvard Medical School in Boston.

Prior to joining Spring Hills, he was the chief medical officer of HVH/Eversana, a provider of artificial intelligence and machine learning for healthcare applications and global commercial services to the life sciences industry.

Russo also formerly was vice president of health services at Boston-based Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and an insurance council chair and board member of the Massachusetts Health Care Quality Partners. He also was medical director at Independence Blue Cross in Philadelphia.

In addition to his training in medicine, Russo holds a certificate in healthcare innovation and healthcare administration/management from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

Friendship Health promotes Brandon Evans to executive director of healthcare services

Brandon Evans headshot
Brandon Evans

Brandon Evans has been promoted from administrator to executive director of healthcare services at Friendship Health, Roanoke, VA.

Evans joined Friendship in 2018 as administrator for Friendship Health and Rehab Center South.

In his new role, he will continue serving as administrator for FHRC South and also will oversee the operations of Salem Terrace at Harrogate, a retirement and memory care community in Salem, VA. Friendship is the managing partner for the senior living community.

LeadingAge Florida announces Lesley Martin as director of education, events

Lesley Martin has been named director of education and events at LeadingAge Florida

Martin joins the association from Meeting Expectations, where she was senior manager and managed the planning, logistics, timelines, reports and budget updates for client events, including large international conventions. 

In her new role, she will be responsible for developing comprehensive education plans and coordinating all association educational and other events, including the annual convention.

TeleHealth Solution announces new executive team

Dr. Waseem Ghannam headshot
Waseem Ghannam, M.D.

TeleHealth Solution, which provides telemedicine services in assisted living communities, skilled nursing facilities and hospitals, has announced the appointment of three new senior executives.

CEO Waseem Ghannam, M.D., is transitioning to the role of president and will remain on the board of directors.

Bob Crutchfield has been named CEO and will lead overall operations and management of the company’s resources as it grows to meet the demand for telehealth. Crutchfield has 30 year of leadership experience in healthcare services, IT and medical devices. He also is executive chairman of Hotspot Ventures and previously was executive chairman of TeleHealth Solution.

Bill Giles headshot
Bill Giles

Jen Crawford joins TeleHealth Solution as general counsel. In this role, she will provide legal advice to the management team and guidance on internal governance, as well as regulatory compliance. Crawford comes to TeleHealth Solution from Medici, a telemedicine company, and has more than 12 years of experience advising healthcare companies on regulatory compliance, commercial contracts, litigation and corporate government, as well as mergers and acquisitions.

Bill Giles joins TeleHealth Solution as chief financial officer. He will be responsible for managing the company’s finance team, optimizing cash flow and conducting financial planning, as well as reporting financial data to investors, the media and regulators. Giles comes to TeleHealth Solution from Teladoc, a national healthcare company.

SCAN Group announces changes to board, executive team

Linda Rosenstock hedshot
Linda Rosenstock, M.D., MPH

SCAN Group of Long Beach, CA, whose holdings include SCAN Health Plan, a not for-profit Medicare Advantage plan, has announced that Linda Rosenstock, M.D., MPH, has been elected its new board chair and Michael Plumb has been named chief financial officer.

Rosenstock, who joined the SCAN board of directors in 2017, is dean emeritus of the University of California, Los Angeles, Fielding School of Public Health. She holds appointments as professor in UCLA’s departments of medicine, health policy and management, and environmental health sciences. She previously was director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Michael Plumb hedshot
Michael Plumb

Rosenstock follows outgoing chair Francesca “Cesca” Ruiz de Luzuriaga, who served the full four years allowed under SCAN’s bylaws and will remain on the board as a member.

Plumb’s appointment as CFO is meant to help SCAN develop new lines of business and expand its offerings to new communities. He previously was CFO of CareMore Health and Aspire Health, divisions of Anthem, where he helped expand CareMore’s footprint from four to 12 states and, with the acquisition and integration of Aspire, to 32 states. Plumb also helped diversify CareMore from its original mission to care for high-risk Medicare patients, bringing its model of care to Medicaid and commercially insured patients.

LeadingResponse announces Chris Wood as executive vice president

Chris Woods has been appointed executive vice president of sales at LeadingResponse, a client acquisition solutions firm for the professional services industry. He will oversee national sales operations for the company’s senior living, financial, legal and elective medical verticals.

Woods joins LeadingResponse from Pixability, where he was the global chief revenue officer.  Before that, he held sales and business development leadership positions at various corporations, including advertising agency Allen & Gerritsen, Boston Bridge Partners, Google, Screenvision Media and Sony.

Woods has more than 23 years of experience in driving revenue growth for media and technology companies, including seven years at Google, where his last position was head of U.K. sales strategy and head of global industry relations

Woods has an undergraduate degree in finance from Boston College and a master’s in business administration, marketing and management from the New York University Stern School of Business.