My name is Michael Hammond, and a couple weeks ago, I began my tenure as President and COO of Americare. Assuming this position is an incredible honor and a career highlight that I could only have imagined in my most satisfying professional dreams. I will work tirelessly to fill the shoes of my predecessor Clay Crosson in serving Americare employees and residents. From this position of leadership, Clay said it best, “if we are not directly caring for our residents, we need to be serving those who are.” Those are words that I take to heart.
I joined Americare 17 years ago. It was refreshing to be part of a culture that placed resources and decision making closer to the residents, valued and recognized hospitality, and championed person-centered care, all in a family setting. That culture is even stronger today and I will work hard to nurture it. The coming years in senior living will be exciting. More and more folks will be seeking out innovative quality senior living options. Yes, there will be challenges. But we at Americare are well-positioned to meet them.
During my tenure with Americare I have been involved in the daily operations of our skilled nursing and assisted living divisions. I have worked alongside the leadership teams of our ancillary businesses, Pegasus, TMC and Inspire Home Health to help them integrate into our field operations and add value. Throughout this journey I have been influenced and coached by the best leaders in our industry. Their lessons and legacy have been deeply rooted and serve as an invisible guide in my decision making.
I did not grow up thinking I would work in the senior care profession, but I am happy, honored and humbled that this is the professional live path I have taken. The culmination of my life experiences set me on this path. My mother passed away when I was six years old. This led to my grandparents taking an active role to support my Dad in my upbringing. While my friends went to Disneyland, I went to estate sales and auctions. It was no surprise that I developed a comfort level around older adults. In high school I attended a C.N.A. program at a local vo-tech school. During my practicum, I caught the “bug.” I worked in a skilled nursing community throughout college. It was there that my administrator asked me to join the company’s Administrator in Training program. After completing the program, I became a licensed nursing home administrator and took on my first community at the age of 22. And that’s when my real education started. In 2005, I joined the Americare family as an administrator at Quaker Hill Manor in Baxter Springs, KS. And as they say - the rest is history.
In my 24-year long term care career, I have always felt a deep sense of responsibility to better the lives of the elders we serve. From C.N.A. to President, this will remain the same. We have an amazing company full of hard working and caring employees. Together with our leadership team, I will work equally hard to fulfill our mission by staying true to our philosophy that places residents and the employees who serve them first.