After recently undergoing corporate management team changes, Pennant Group (Nasdaq: PNTG) CEO Brent Guerisoli sees developing leaders at the local level across its portfolio as the company’s “number one priority” for 2023.
“Our model thrives when local leaders use their freedom within a framework of accountability to operate as owners and drive exceptional performance clinically, financially and culturally,” Guerisoli said during the company’s fourth-quarter 2023 earnings conference call on Friday. “When leaders achieve these results over an extended period, they are awarded C-level designations such as Chief Executive Officer, Chief Clinical Officer and Chief Operating Officer.”
He added: “We’re committed to tripling the number of CEOs in our organization over the next three years.”
To accomplish the buildout of Pennant’s local leadership pipeline, Guerisoli said the company was “redoubling our efforts” to recruit, train and develop the next generation of Pennant leaders, while driving operational improvements through technology investment.
“Achieving success in this priority is paramount to our future success,” Guerisoli said, noting that the company would rely on its model of “empowered local leadership” and accountability to succeed.
By promoting leadership and personnel development, Guerisoli said the effort would help drive improvements in four key areas: clinical outcomes, improving operating margins, future growth and creating an elevated employee experience.
“We are a leadership company deeply committed to creating opportunities for entrepreneurial individuals to use their unique talents and strengths to create value,” Guerisoli said.
In 2022, the company bought its first senior living asset in May and reorganized its C-suite following the exit of the company’s chief investment officer and as it was searching for a new chief financial officer.
Guerisoli was named CEO in August of last year, and has been laser-focused on leadership development, he told Senior Housing News last October— saying he viewed the company as a “world-class leadership organization.”
Eagle, Idaho-based Pennant has 49 senior living communities in 14 states, the majority of which are in the western U.S.
The expanding leadership initiative also comes as the company looks to improve its senior living portfolio that has seen consistent improvement from last year and the depths of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Senior Living Services (SLS) segment revenue in 2022 was $131 million, an increase of 0.7% from 2021 and revenue for the fourth quarter of 2022 was $34 million, an increase of 0.3% over 4Q21 and 4.4% higher than the third quarter of last year.
“We will create stronger operating results in the senior living space and look forward to it joining our home health and hospice segment as a growth engine,” said COO John Gochnour.
Occupancy across Pennant’s senior living portfolio was 78.6% in the fourth quarter, which resulted in an average monthly revenue per occupied room in the fourth quarter of $3,670, an increase of 3.2% from the third quarter and 8.3% from 4Q21.
In August, Guerisoli said Pennant was gearing up for a “brisk pace of strategic acquisition” over the next several years, and ahead of Friday’s call said the company saw attractive targets “within our footprint” for new growth via acquisition. No senior living acquisitions were mentioned on Friday’s call.