AHCA names Yarwood new president and CEO

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The nation's largest nursing home association removed the "acting" label from Bruce Yarwood's title today, naming him its new president and CEO.

Yarwood succeeds former U.S. Congressman Hal Daub, who resigned the American Health Care Association's top post in August, just 13 months after taking it.

Yarwood is intimately familiar with the association's inner workings, having previously served as AHCA's top legislative counsel for many years. The announcement of his official appointment came after the first meeting of AHCA's newly established Board of Governors.

It was largely believed that Yarwood would get the nod, but the association first wanted to undertake a drastic restructuring of its governing bodies, slashing the number of voting members and naming new representatives in some instances. Changes were approved at the AHCA annual convention in October in Las Vegas. At the time, Yarwood stated he would continue as the acting CEO until a search process could be determined.

Yarwood has a vast array of long-term care-related experiences. In private industry, he was chief operating officer for Crestwood Hospitals Inc. and executive vice president to the California Association of Health Facilities; in the public sector, he served as manager of the largest state Medicaid program in the country, the MediCal program at the California Department of Health. He will lead more than 10,000 members as head of AHCA.

He says that his goal is to successfully represent the "collective" needs of members in a way that will maximize state and federal advocacy efforts. He already has been involved in what AHCA leaders call the association's biggest crisis in years: the announced withdrawal of some of the nation's largest nursing home chains – an event that led to Daub's resignation. The pullout has been muted since the initial announcement – thanks, in part, to the restructuring – it still could pack a financial wallop to the association, depending on how far it spreads.

"Bruce is eminently and uniquely qualified to lead the American Health Care Association at a time when our nation's long-term care system faces its greatest challenges," stated Angelo Rotella, AHCA's newly elected chairman.  "His leadership will advance not only the initiatives of our association, but the interests of the entire long-term care profession serving the frail, elderly and disabled."