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Tommy East has been in healthcare for over 31 years and has a true passion for providing care to America's aging population. Tommy started at the ground floor and learned his craft inside and out, working in everything from laundry to bookkeeping, while he furthered his education through night classes. He worked his way up the ladder and in his career he has administered everything from assisted living complexes and massive 300+ bed nursing homes, to home health and hospice operations. It adds up to over 31 years in the eldercare field. “It’s just turned out to be my calling,” Tommy explains.
Tommy joined American HealthCare (AHC) as the Regional Vice President of Operations in 2007 and was promoted to Chief Operating Officer (COO) in August of 2010. During his time as COO Tommy was responsible for the day-to-day oversight of all 16 facilities and played an integral role in helping AHC to enjoy some of their most successful years. During Tommy's time as COO, AHC has seen increased revenue growth and every facility has been awarded an AHCA National Quality Award. Due to his success and hard work, Tommy was promoted to his current position as President and CEO in November of 2012 and is extremely excited for what the future holds.
Tommy says he has watched companies lose their values, and it is AHC’s commitment to living its principles that drives him. He further clarifies, "You can just feel it when a company truly cares. At this company, we really are different, we really are a family, and you'll recognize it the first day you step into one of our facilities."
With his personable manner and affable charm, it's no surprise Tommy is a favorite at AHC’s Resource Center. Tommy is a native of Salem, Virginia, and a graduate of Roanoke College with a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration. He serves on the Board of Directors and the Executive Board for the Virginia Health Care Association. He is married to his wife Lori and a proud father of two daughters and a son: Karlyn, Anna, and Eliza.
Chief Financial Officer
In August 2011, Robbie was promoted to Chief Financial Officer and has taken a key role in the strategic planning and growth of American HealthCare, LLC. He oversees all financials, working with budgets and financing, banking, loans, billing, A/R and A/P.
Robbie is a great believer in using a personal touch and knows that AHC’s superior standards of service is what separates them from other nursing and rehabilitation facilities. Robbie began his career as an office manager working with people instead of numbers, and he says that experience gave him great insight: “I have an appreciation for what everyone around me is doing and the understanding that the numbers come together if you’ve got the right team of people making it happen.”
Working his way through the ranks in corporate finance before joining AHC, Robbie gained a decade of experience in positions ranging from commercial mortgage lending to health care consulting. He started with AHC as Vice President of Business Office Services in 2006 and was responsible for AHC’s accounts receivable, as well as overseeing and analyzing each facility’s compliance with company goals and policies, and state and federal billing requirements. In 2008, Robbie became AHC’s treasurer and VP of Finance, leading the accounting department and managing AHC’s cash flow, projections and budgets--as well as continuing his oversight of business office operations.
In August, 2011, Robbie was promoted to Chief Financial Officer and has taken a key role in the strategic planning and growth of American HealthCare, LLC. He oversees all financials, working with budgets and financing, banking, loans, billing, A/R and A/P. Robbie received a bachelor’s degree in finance from Virginia Tech but his education in areas like long term care procedure, CFO strategies and valuation continue. Robbie is very active in the Virginia Healthcare Association, serving on the Board of Directors, has been appointed the Payment for Services and Education committees, and works on VHCA’s dual integration project. “We have a culture here that marries creative freedom and personal excellence, and that adds up to a better product.”.
Chief Operating Officer
In August 2011, Greg Dowdy joined the American HealthCare team. He was promoted to Chief Operating Officer in November of 2012. Greg has over 30 years of health care experience, previously serving as chief operating officer and administrator at a 373-bed facility. He has been a licensed Nursing Home Administrator since 1985 and a Nursing Home Preceptor since 1988.
Greg Dowdy’s passions are quality service and team building. He has served as a Senior Examiner for the American Health Care Association's National Quality Award Program for twelve years (multiple times as team leader). He has recently been named as an inaugural member of the AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program Baldridge Faculty, only one of two in the country to serve as faculty for leadership.
Greg attended the first ever Disney Institute training designed specifically for health care in Orlando, Florida. Greg also designed a CNA career ladder that has received national attention. A born teacher and motivator, Greg’s goal with this project was to bring career opportunities to the people who provide the backbone of care in our industry—our CNAs. Greg firmly believes that a smile, a positive spirit, and a determination to discover each team member’s passion are the key ingredients for quality care.
A native Roanoker, Greg is an honors graduate of Roanoke College. He has been married to his wife and best friend Terry for 33 years. They have a 29-year-old son, Johnathan and two pugs. Both Greg and Terry spend their spare time as hospice volunteers and life coaching for young people. Greg, a former newspaper writer, is currently writing his first book.
Lance came to American Health Care almost 14 years ago as a regional corporate nursing consultant. His integrity, eye for detail, personable manner and strong leadership skills earned him notice and he was quickly promoted to his current VP position. His expertise is also recognized across the state and Lance has been appointed to the Virginia Health Care Association’s committee for Quality of Care, as well as its Regulatory Committee.
Lance may head up all of American Health Care’s clinical operations, but he often maintains a behind-the-scenes approach to leadership: “It’s all about patient care with me. I keep the focus on the patient, and the key to excellence in patient care is teamwork. We have great people in this company and low turnover in nursing management positions. My theory is you hire the best people, get them working as a team, keep them long-term, and the patient wins. In my job, I fly under the radar making sure all the pieces that make up good patient care come together like they are supposed to.”
Lance received his nursing degree from New Mexico State University and had years of experience directing nursing programs in Virginia, New Mexico and in the U.S. Air Force before he came to American Health Care as a regional corporate nursing consultant. His integrity, eye for detail, personable manner, and strong leadership skills earned him notice and he was quickly promoted to his current VP position. His expertise is recognized across the state and Lance has been appointed to the Virginia Health Care Association’s committee for Quality of Care, as well as its Regulatory Committee. He is a family man, with a wife and two grown sons. He coached team sports for years, is active in his church and enjoys saltwater fishing.
Lance’s passion for nursing began in high school when he first became certified as a nursing assistant and he has since successfully worked his way through every level of nursing before reaching a top management position with AHC.
“In today’s market, skilled nursing and rehab facilities like AHC have to be able to do it all. Essentially, they have to operate as mini-hospitals and our staff has to have the expertise to deal with everything from IV therapy to tube feeding. Taking care of that patient--however that patient needs to be cared for--is job one, and I take a very hands-on approach, making sure that job gets done.”
James P. Garrett
Vice President of Information Systems and Chief Security Officer
Jim’s comprehension of the information technology specific to a company like AHC came from over 29 years of professional experience, including 19 years in long-term care. In the past, Jim took on the task of upgrading all server operating systems and maintains the operations of the company computer hardware and operating software. He upholds security applications and policies to ensure HIPAA compliance, and he works closely with application support staff to ensure AHC’s billing and clinical applications meet required government regulations.
Jim Garrett is not your typical IT guy. His background is in healthcare, and his specialty is where information technology intersects with healthcare. “My job is to be the interpreter between the programmers who create and the people who use information technology. American Health Care is on the leading edge of technology as far as clinical applications are concerned. AHC was one of the first companies in the state to roll out a fully integrated electronic clinical system--from MDSs to daily living charting. We’re very close to having a true and complete electronic health record.”
AHC facilities were among the first to make electronic records available to state surveyors, and he believes opening up access electronically to health records is a quality control measure. “Electronic efficiency like this,” Jim says, “frees up staff time to devote to resident care.”
Jim earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Radford University. He is also a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer and a Cisco Certified Network Associate. He is also married with four children. He is an avid golfer and enjoys time spent in the air as he works toward his private pilot’s license, but says his focus is very much on family. “I love the whole family aspect of American Health Care.” He is active in his church and believes that values and strong faith are a theme at the company that explains its success.
Roy W. LeNeave, Sr.
Vice President of Engineering and Plant Services
With 27 years of professional experience, Roy has a great passion for quality, innovation and good stewardship. Roy has been with American Health Care since 1999. Regularly traveling across the state from facility to facility, he oversees capital needs, development, and renovations, as well as Maintenance, Environmental, and Dietary compliance for all of the facilities.
Roy started his career in 1982 doing maintenance work for a multinational corporation and worked his way into the real estate division where he worked in apartment complexes, high rises, and eventually special project management. Roy has owned a consulting company, written policies and procedures for the industry, and has particular expertise in assessing buildings. After 11 years of beltway travel, Roy was recruited by AHC and has never regretted the switch.
His expertise in the field led to an appointment to the American Health Care Association’s Life Safety Committee. This prestigious national committee represents the healthcare industry and specializes in drafting legislation. He also serves alongside the state fire marshal on the NFPA. Roy can be credited with drafting new legislation for locking procedures in Virginia nursing homes. The legislation was adopted into law on July 1, 2005, and is now part of the international building code. He is certified by the Commonwealth of Virginia as a Class “A” Contractor and holds numerous trade cards and certifications. Roy is also proud of the fact that there are only 42 facilities in the state whose inspections have been deficiency-free, and 10 of them were AHC facilities.
Roy is also always looking for innovative ways to save money, because every penny he saves can be diverted to other projects and improve patient care. Bringing solar energy to the facilities is just one innovation Roy has spearheaded. The solar dividends are already paying off at the Blacksburg, Big Stone Gap, Wise, Leesburg and Blackstone facilities. Roy manages an in-house renovation team that he uses to cost-effectively rebuild shower rooms, build cabinetry, etc., and he has an impressive portfolio of pictures documenting every project from start to finish.
James Lee Haines
Chief Compliance Officer
Compassion for the welfare of others and legal expertise make Jim perfect for his role as the chief compliance officer, general counsel, and secretary of a company that specializes in caring for others. Haines has over 34 years of experience working in the legal field.
Prior to joining AHC, Haines worked at the Traveler’s Insurance Company for 14 years, where he provided support with Medicare and Medicaid reclamations and other special projects. He is a member of the American Bar Association, the Virginia Bar Association, the Connecticut Bar Association, the American Health Lawyers Association and the Health Care Compliance Association. Jim is certified in Healthcare Compliance (CHC), Healthcare Privacy Compliance (CHPC), and is a certified Compliance and Ethics Professional (CCEP).
Jim received his bachelor’s degree from prestigious Washington & Lee University in business administration then went on to earn his law degree from Western New England College School of Law. His record of community involvement is as impressive as his education and certifications. He sits on the board of directors for the University of Science and Philosophy, Roanoke Area Ministries and the FREE Foundation, and has a passion for helping low-income and homeless individuals.
“I really believe in what we do at American Health Care,” says Jim. “That’s why I’ve stayed with this company for so long. I think we are simply more compassionate than most of the companies out there, and I think we do things differently because of that. Compliance and quality of care aren’t just abstract concepts to us - they form our guiding principles.”
VP of Finance
Janice has always been involved in the accounting aspect of long-term care starting out as a staff accountant for a large nursing home chain straight out of college. She joined American HealthCare in 2005, bringing 15 years of experience in long-term care with her.
Prior to joining American Healthcare Janice worked in the corporate setting and also in a facility as a Business Office Manager, which gave her excellent experience and allowed her to relate to the day-to-day operations. “I feel like the experiences I had working in a nursing facility are invaluable to me now as I work with our business office staff in the field. I really understand what they are going through day-to-day.”
Janice started at AHC as an Accounting Manager but was quickly promoted to Controller as she began taking on additional responsibilities from her supervisor. Over time her responsibilities have continued to expand to include oversight of most of the accounting functions and the Payroll Department. Janice also works closely with Operations assisting with monthly operational reviews and special projects, and has taken the lead on many process improvements and project implementations. Now as Vice President of Finance she has taken on the lead role in preparing for conversion to electronic payroll & census submission to CMS. Two years ago she saw the need to help administrators in training to study for the accounting section of the administrator exam. She studied the exam questions and now helps candidates apply the book learning with the actual reporting and processes going on in AHC with a formal training program in place.
In 2014 Janice participated in a program AHC offers to all corporate office staff, called “The Big Picture Program,” which allows corporate team members to spend a week in a facility. Janice noted that, “Long term care is constantly changing and I felt like I needed to get back to the day-to-day operations at the facility level to give me a better understanding of the financial reporting and a better understanding of how I can assist the facility team members. Administrators have so many responsibilities I want to make sure they don’t have to spend a lot of time researching numbers, hunting down statistics, etc. If I can get them what they need faster that gives them more time to focus on the most important part of our jobs providing the best care for our residents.”
Janice is married to Jim Garrett and together they have two children that are heading into their college years. With her children becoming more independent she is now at a point in her life where she is able to focus more on developing her work skills. With this focus she helps to give back even more to AHC and make it an even greater company in the industry. When Janice isn’t working with numbers she enjoys scrapbooking and all types of crafts, which lets her use the creative side of her brain, which doesn’t always happen in accounting.
VP of Strategic Initiatives
As Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, Brad is responsible for supporting and leading the strategic agenda of AHC. He will help position AHC for the future by leading the Human Resources department, managing the population health strategy, and organizing collaborative projects important to overall business development.
Brad started with American HealthCare, LLC in March of 2008 as the Director of Communications, where he focused on improving AHC’s internal and external communications and marketing. He was soon promoted to Vice President of Communications, then became Vice President of Business Development in 2012, and was promoted to his current position in 2015.
Prior to joining AHC, Brad's experience in communications and marketing came primarily from the restaurant industry where he became a seasoned professional at creating positive consumer experiences. Since entering the health care arena, he’s discovered a passion for recognizing talent and cultivating leadership. Brad has been appointed to the American Health Care Association (AHCA) Public Education and Communication Committee (PECC), which is working on a program to help the nation understand what companies like American Health Care really do. He received his Bachelors Degree in Marketing from Radford University in 2001 and his Masters of Business Administration from Spring Arbor University in 2013.
Brad enjoys spending time with his wife and their two children, is active in his church, and enjoys participating in outdoor activities. “I am blessed with a church that inspires me, friends that make me laugh, a company I can believe in that believes in me, and a family that loves me. Everyday I get to wake up and go to work and do something that makes the world a better place for people. I couldn’t ask for anything more and I live every day with gratitude.”
Brad’s uplifting, motivating spirit is just one more facet of what makes AHC a good place to be.
Census Development Director
Natalie joined the leadership team for American Healthcare in July of 2015. Her responsibilities include visiting each facility to help with developing census through external and internal marketing. She helps to develop strategic and creative plans by analyzing trends in the market.
Natalie began with the company in 2011 working at Heritage Hall in Leesburg as the Admissions Director. In 2013 she became the Marketing Director and also the Administrator in Training at the facility. Following a two year AIT program Natalie received her nursing home administrator license. During this period Natalie was promoted to her current position which is where her passion for customer service, patient satisfaction, and community relationships shine.
After graduating from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in 2006 with a B.A. in Criminal Justice, Natalie began in social services, first working for the state and then becoming a social worker in a skilled nursing facility. This led her down the road to a great career with AHC. "I knew that my heart was in the right place when I began with Heritage Hall." Natalie says.
Natalie is involved with her local Veterans of Foreign Wars as an auxiliary member and volunteers in the community with food drives, roadside cleanup and helping with high school scholarship programs. She also enjoys coaching/playing for an adult co-ed softball league and relaxing with yoga. "It's important to take care of our residents, our staff and ourselves in order to thrive in the everchanging healthcare world."
Melisha S.Darnell, RN, LNHA, MBA
VP of Performance Improvement
Melisha Darnell has worked in the health care setting for the past 27 years, which include physician office,
hospital, home health and nursing & rehabilitation facilities. Melisha began her career with American HealthCare in December 1996 as the Nurse Supervisor overseeing the daily clinical needs for 180 patients.Melisha’s passion is working with the senior population and their healthcare and overall quality of life needs. Melisha enjoys both the clinical and the business side of health care operations.
Melisha possesses a transformational leadership style because of her
ability to work side by side with all team members to identify process needs, needed
change or innovation, the ability to create a vision to guide the change
through inspiration, and her ability to involve the entire team toward an
integrated movement of change to improve the quality of life for the
Melisha worked as a licensed
practical nurse while she was obtaining her Associates Degree in Applied
Science, (Nursing) and completed the Registered Nurse board exam in 1996.
Melisha continued to further her education with an Administrator in Training
program and became a Long Term Care Nursing Home Administrator in November,
2006 and became a Nursing Home Preceptor in 2014. Melisha completed her Masters
of Business Administration with a specialization in Health Care Administration
in December 2016 from King University in Bristol, Tennessee. King University is where she also completed
her Bachelors of Business Administration.
Melisha’s role of VP of
Performance Improvement includes direct supervision of Heritage Home Health, innovative
education needs to the nursing and rehabilitation facilities, development of the Certified Nursing Assistant Career Ladder
and empowerment, facilitating the monthly Quality Assurance Performance
Improvement process, Project Manager for the prevention of hospital readmissions,
assistance in the development and implement a customer service program, responsible
for measuring, tracking and trending data on quality measures and Nursing Home
5-Star, employee safety initiatives in conjunction with the Workers Safety
company, review of Medicaid patient assessments for accuracy, responsible for
managing the Administrator In Training programs and guiding the seventeen
facilities Activity Directors and Social Service Directors. Melisha is a member of AHCA (American Health
Care Association), a Senior Quality Award Examiner Team Leader for AHCA which
is based on the Malcolm Baldrige criteria, a member of VHCA (Virginia Health
Care Association), served as the Chair of the Virginia Western District
2010-2012, and served as Vice-Chair of the VHCA Western district from 2008 –
2010. Melisha is currently a committee
member of the Mountain Empire Community College Nursing Program and a committee
member of Jefferson College of Health Science.
Melisha belongs to the New River Cross Setting Council that has a
primary focus on infection control prevention in the New River Valley area of
Melisha says her free time is
spent with her family, including her husband, three children (two with
wonderful spouses) and her granddaughter. “I enjoy spending time with my family
and we do so much together. We attend
Blue Ridge Fellowship church in Woodlawn, Virginia. I like the outdoors and we spend time
together camping, boating, hiking and kayaking. My youngest daughter and I
adopt two or three senior citizens in the community every year to spend time
with during the Christmas holidays and play secret Santa. I am blessed with a
wonderful family and work family. My
work is meaningful to me and I believe I give back to society through the work
I do at American HealthCare and through the patients I serve.”