Acadia Healthcare, Summit BHC Appoints New CIOs

Acadia Healthcare appoints Laura Groschen to C-suite

Laura Groschen is now chief information officer for the largest pure behavioral health operator in the United States: Acadia Healthcare Co. Inc. (NASDAQ: ACHC).

Groschen will report to CEO Chris Hunter. His role is to advance the company’s digital transformation, according to a press release.

He comes to the Franklin, Tennessee-based supplier from his role as business unit CIO at Medtronic PLC (NYSE: MDT), a global medical device company with a market capitalization of $104 billion. There, he oversaw IT for 20 business units with operations in 150 countries. He also previously worked at UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) and Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC).

Acadia Healthcare has set a goal of doubling revenue by 2025 under Hunter’s leadership.

Aliya Health Group appoints two COOs

Pittsburgh-based Aliya Health Group has named two new chief operating officers: Natalie Pflueger and Vaun Williams. As co-COO, they will oversee and support all operations. These include program development, admissions and clinical services.

Aliya Health Group operates four addiction treatment organizations in seven states, according to its website.

“I feel a sense of comfort and relief to be able to entrust something so dear to me to two people who are not only highly skilled but also caring, honest, reliable and driven,” Michael Milch, owner and CEO of Aliya Health Group, said in a press release. “At the end of the day, it’s about delivering a certain standard of service to our customers, and you can’t just hand that over to anyone.”

Upon entering the role, Pflueger and Williams will focus on strengthening staff cohesion across the organization and building support teams.

Pflueger has spent the past three years overseeing Aliya Health Group’s addiction treatment brand Footprints to Recovery in various leadership roles. Footprints operates in Colorado, Illinois and New Jersey. She has worked in behavioral health treatment for over 15 years.

Williams has worked in behavioral health for 20 years. For the past three years, she has been the executive director of Aliya’s Vogue Recovery Center, which operates in Arizona, California and Nevada.

Fast-growing ABA provider Acorn Health changes leadership

Janet Widmann assumed the role of interim CEO at Acorn Health on December 8. She succeeds founder and CEO Vicki Kroviak, who has stepped back from day-to-day operations. Kroviak will remain on the board of directors.

Kroviak is a former CEO of eating disorder treatment provider Monte Nido & Affiliates and a board member of Lightfully Behavioral Health.

Widmann was a board member of Acorn Health before temporarily succeeding Kroviak. The search for a permanent managing director is underway.

Jose Alvarez, chief operations officer of Acorn Health, also resigned, according to a press release.

Acorn Health announced in October that it acquired seven Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) practices.

Summit BHC appoints CIO of mammoth hospital system

Jeanne de Vries Sands announced on December 13 that she has assumed the role of chief information officer at large addiction and mental health care provider Summit BHC.

“I feel privileged to be a part of this amazing team that is making a difference,” de Vries Sands said in a LinkedIn post. “Our technology team is growing and we are looking for exceptional talent in the Nashville, Tennessee area.”

He immediately previously held the role of Vice President of Clinical Consulting IHT at SSM Health. His previous employer is a 20-hospital non-profit Catholic healthcare system operating in Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma and Wisconsin. It employs about 40,000 people.

In September, Summit BHC named Todd Wyatt its new CFO. Summit owns and operates 32 hospital facilities in 19 states.

Valera Health Chief Financial Officer Joins Resilience Lab

On Dec. 12, former Valera Health VP of Finance Alex Ferstenberg announced he would become the Chief Financial Officer of Resilience Lab.

Valera Health is a telehealth behavioral health provider that focuses on partnering with other health care providers. It cares for a full range of providers, including those with severe mental illness (SMI).

“What has [been] built at Resilience Lab in such a short period of time is truly amazing and I am thrilled to play a part in its story,” Ferstenberg said in a LinkedIn post.

Resilience Lab is a hybrid mental health provider operating in the northeastern United States. It was founded in 2019. It announced a $15 million Series A in November 2022.

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