After an 11-month search, RehabCare Group, St. Louis, named a new president and chief executive officer -- John Short, the company's interim CEO. Short has been pursuing an aggressive strategy of acquisitions and partnerships while trying to return the post-acute-care provider to its former profitability and growth. Along with announcing Short's appointment, RehabCare said it had acquired for $5 million in cash a healthcare management consulting firm, Phase 2 Consulting, in which Short was a managing partner and majority shareholder. RehabCare said terms of the transaction were negotiated by its independent board members with A.G. Edwards & Sons as financial adviser. Since the start of 2004, RehabCare has announced a $14 million deal to buy American VitalCare, a company that operates specialty recovery units; an agreement to buy the assets of the neurological rehabilitation and research unit of the University of California Los Angeles Medical Center; and the purchase for undisclosed terms of certain assets of a contract therapy provider. RehabCare lost $13.7 million on operating revenue of $539 million in 2003, including a $30.6 million loss on assets held for sale. Short, 59, has been interim president and CEO since Alan Henderson retired in June 2003. -- by Julie Piotrowski
RehabCare makes interim leadership permanent
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