Home health provider Gentiva Health Services said Tony Strange will succeed Ron Malone as chief executive officer of the company and join its board of directors on Jan. 1, 2009. Strange, 46, joined Melville, N.Y.-based Gentiva in February 2006 when the company acquired home- and hospice-care provider the Healthfield Group; he has served as president and chief operating officer since November 2007, and he will remain president. Malone, 54, will continue to serve as chairman of the company.
The announcement comes as no surprise given the recent strategic changes that Gentiva has undertaken over the past 12 months, including the recent sale of CareCentrix, to sharpen its focus on accelerating growth in it core home-care and hospice provider businesses (both organically and through acquisitions), wrote John Ransom and Nicholas Jansen in a research note from Raymond James. We believe the promotion of Tony Strange is another natural step toward achieving this goal given his previous background as president and COO of Healthfield, a regional provider of home health services. -- by Jessica Zigmond