David White is a self-proclaimed healthcare brat.
White, 49, has been studying or working in healthcare his entire adult life and he's spent the last 10 years climbing the corporate ladder at behavioral health provider Horizon Health Corp., Lewisville, Texas. Late last month, the company announced that he had reached another rung and had been promoted to president and COO from senior vice president.
Ken Newman, who was serving as president, will remain as CEO and chairman. The restructuring of the leadership will help Newman focus on acquisitions, and the COO job is a newly created position, the company says.
Horizon, which reported net income of $3.1 million, or 53 cents per share, on revenue of $54.4 million for the most recent fiscal quarter ended Feb. 28, owns or operates three free-standing behavioral health hospitals. It has signed letters of intent to purchase two more and plans to add up to four hospitals per year, according to government filings.
White, who had been overseeing Horizon's 108 behavioral health contracts, will continue in that role and will also oversee the company's 33 physical rehabilitation program-management contracts. He says he's in a unique leadership position because he ran his own psychiatric practice for about five years in the 1980s. "I have the background to understand the resources (providers) need."
By the time White decided to attend Vanderbilt University, Nashville, where he earned master's and doctorate degrees, he already had what some might consider a full healthcare career. At 18, he was washing dishes in a nursing home where his grandfather worked. By 19 he was the assistant administrator at the nursing home and by 20 he was a licensed administrator.
Despite the early taste of working in administration, White chose to study psychiatry. "My early background made me gravitate toward the clinical side," White says. "But I was always intrigued by the business side."