VistaCare Develops Executive Leadership Team

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., April 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- VistaCare , a leading national provider of hospice services, announced today the formation of its new Executive Leadership Team. This senior-level leadership team is charged with guiding the company's strategic development and day-to-day operations as it implements an aggressive and ambitious long- range plan.

The four-member Executive Leadership Team, which reports directly to Chairman and CEO Rick Slager, includes two new additions to VistaCare and two current senior leaders who have a history of delivering strong results and key contributions to the company.

"VistaCare has made tremendous strides over the past few years towards our objective of becoming one of the nation's premier health services organizations - as a provider, as an employer, and as an investment," Slager said. "The promotion of Carla Davis Hughes and additions of Ron Watson and Kris James reflect our desire to continue growing, improving, and innovating. This is a leadership team that has both the expertise and the conviction to take VistaCare to the next level."

Carla Davis Hughes, 32, who has been with VistaCare since 1996, has assumed the newly created role of Chief Operating Officer, in which she is charged with continuing to pursue VistaCare's position as a "provider of choice" through exceptional operating performance. Carla has emerged as a national industry leader with both operational expertise and strong relationships with colleagues, trade association leaders, government contacts, financial analysts, and shareholders alike. The new Chief Operating Officer function will support these efforts and further her ability to assume an even more active role in building our operational infrastructures.

In his role as Executive Vice President of Corporate Development, Ron Watson, 55, is responsible for the oversight and direction of the company's business development efforts and execution of the VistaCare strategic plan. Prior to joining VistaCare, Ron served as Executive Vice President for Evercare, a business unit of United Health Group in Minneapolis, dedicated to serving the needs of the frail, vulnerable, and chronically ill through innovative Medicaid and Medicare risk plans. In addition, Ron has held senior management positions with Catholic Health Initiatives, Sisters of Charity Health Care Systems, and Health Care and Retirement Corp. Ron holds his bachelor's degree in accounting from the University of Michigan and his MBA from Harvard Business School.

In his role as Executive Vice President of Education and Technology, Kris Jamsa, 43, will lead the company's strategic and day-to-day efforts related to education and information technology, including e-learning and the clinical mobile program. Before coming to VistaCare, Kris spent more than 20 years in teaching, research, and entrepreneurial activities. The author of nearly 100 computer books for various publishers, he founded computer-book publisher Jamsa Press and managed the company until 1997. Kris has taught graduate and undergraduate courses, and faculty training programs, for numerous colleges and universities. In addition, he has developed courses for traditional and online classes. Kris holds his bachelor's degree in computer science from the Air Force Academy, a master's degree in computer science from University of Nevada - Las Vegas, an MBA from San Diego State University, and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Arizona State University. This summer, he will receive a master's degree in Education from Aspen University and a Ph.D. in Education from Capella University.

The fourth member of the Executive Leadership Team is Chief Financial Officer Mark Liebner, 51, who has been with VistaCare since 2002. Mark will continue to provide guidance and stewardship in the management of VistaCare's financial resources and play an integral role in the pursuit of the organization's core value strategies, balancing margin and mission. Since joining the VistaCare team in 2002, Mark has been instrumental in leading the company's successful IPO and follow-up secondary offering, and he has worked to develop strong relationships throughout the investment community.

"Every business encounters opportunities and the chance to achieve great success," Slager said. "By making these strategic investments in high-level talent, we're taking the steps necessary to safeguard our ability to realize our full potential."

About VistaCare

VistaCare is a leading provider of hospice services in the United States, with 41 programs in 14 states. Through interdisciplinary teams of physicians, nurses, home healthcare aides, social workers, spiritual and other counselors and volunteers, VistaCare provides care primarily designed to reduce pain and enhance the quality of life of patients facing life-limiting illness, most commonly in the patient's home or other residence of choice. For more information or to learn more about VistaCare, call 1-866-VISTACARE or visit

Forward-Looking Statements:

Certain statements contained in this press release, including statements with respect to VistaCare's anticipated growth, innovation and long-range plan, are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The words "objective," "desire," "safeguard" and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date the statement was made. VistaCare does not undertake and specifically disclaims any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. These statements are based on current expectations and assumptions and involve various risks and uncertainties, which could cause VistaCare's actual results to differ from those expressed in such forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties arise from, among other things, challenges inherent in VistaCare's growth strategy and other factors detailed under the caption "Factors that May Affect Future Results" or "Risk Factors" in VistaCare's most recent report on form 10-Q or 10-K and its other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements and there are no assurances that the matters contained in such statements will be achieved.

Investor Contacts: Douglas Sherk/Jennifer Beugelmans (415) 896-6820


CONTACT: Douglas Sherk,, or Jennifer Beugelmans,+1-415-896-6820, both for VistaCare

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