Rick Griffin, JD
Rick Griffin, JD, is the President and Chief Executive Officer of US CareNet. He is responsible for overall management for the organization including all its divisions, partnerships and joint ventures.
Rick became President and CEO of the company, then known as CareSouth Health System, Inc., in 2000. Under his leadership, the company grew to hold the position of 12th largest privately owned home health company in the country. It was also under Rick’s careful navigation that CareSouth’s traditional agency assets were divested in 2015 and US CareNet was formed to further its broader post acute care and chronic care management strategy.
He has been instrumental in leading the charge to diversify the company’s service lines to include robust chronic care management and transitional care management services, and adding care navigation as a critical component to all of its services.
In addition, Rick oversees growth and development of Health at Home, a joint venture with LCS in which US CareNet is the major partner.
Rick received his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Georgia in 1977. He earned his Juris Doctorate from the Walter F. George School of Law, Mercer University, with honors, in 1980. He is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives and of the Vistage International CEO Organization.
Meet Rick's Leadership Team:
Diana Porter is Vice President, Client Experience & Brand for US CareNet. She is responsible for all aspects of the Company brand, as well as the leadership of the Integrated Marketing and Communications department.
Diana joined the Company in December of 2008 as Director of Integrated Marketing & Communications and was hired to develop the Company brand. Working with the team of sales and ops leaders, the “more trust, more results, more time” campaign was developed in 2009. She developed and implemented the first collateral center and brought the patient education guidebooks and training manuals in-house. Her team designs and maintains all Company advertising, marketing collateral, clinical books, forms, and most outward facing communication.
Diana has a bachelor’s degree in communications from Augusta State University and is pursuing her MS in Integrated Marketing Communications from the University of West Virginia.
Jim Barlar is Vice President of Business Development for NavCare and is responsible for overall sales and development activity for the company. Jim’s extensive background in healthcare sales management, mergers and acquisitions began in the 1990s and included a term from 1998 to 2005 with CareSouth as Vice President of Sales. During that time, Jim grew the sales team from just a few reps to more than 50, acquired several large managed services agreements, and launched the company’s direct sales department. In late 2005, Jim started his own mergers and acquisitions company. He joined the NavCare team in 2017.
Patricia Palpini, RN, BSN
Patricia Palpini, RN, BSN joined US CareNet as the Chief Operations Officer in October 2018. She is responsible for the clinical and operational direction of US CareNet’s Senior Living Services. Patricia has over 25 years of management experience in Medicare-certified home health care, private duty and hospice with an emphasis on strategic planning, quality improvement, clinical and operational direction, and administration of successful home care and hospice agencies.
Prior to joining US CareNet, Patricia worked as a consultant for The Corridor Group where she provided transitional senior management services to home care agencies. In that capacity, she worked with management teams and staff to stabilize the agencies’ culture while improving census, quality indicators, clinical operations, use of electronic health records, and financial growth.
Patricia shares US CareNet’s core values of Honest Communication through collaboration with employees and clients, a Passion to Serve our clients through the delivery of quality care, and Doing the Right Thing by acting in the best interest of people.
Debbie Fisher, RN, MHA
Debbie Fisher, RN, MHA, joined US CareNet as Chief Operating Officer for NavCare in November 2017. She has more than 25 years of experience in the healthcare field and more than 15 years serving in senior level management positions in home health and chronic care management roles.
Her experience includes management and oversight in home health and chronic care management, as well as in all aspects of home care and hospice including operational, financial, sales, and quality.
Prior to joining US CareNet, Debbie was the Director of Care Management for the Center for Primary Care in Augusta, GA. Previously, Debbie has served as the Vice President of Clinical Services for CareSouth and Vice President of Operations for a home health and hospice agency in Northern Virginia.
Ms. Fisher received her Bachelor’s degree in nursing from Michigan State University and her Master’s degree in Health Planning/Administration from the University of Cincinnati.
John Southern, CPA, MACC
John Southern, CPA, MACC, is the Chief Financial Officer of US CareNet and is responsible for the financial well-being of the company. John oversees the delivery of all financial services, both internal and external.
John joined the company, then known as CareSouth, in 1999. Prior to joining the company, he was vice president of finance for two health care start-up companies that specialized in physician practice management and health care, corporate compliance programs, and risk assessment. Previous positions include vice president and controller of operations for HouseCall Medical Resources, Inc., a public home health company, as well as various management positions at Charter Medical Corporation.
John played a critical role in the strategic divestiture of CareSouth’s traditional agency assets to Healthsouths’ Encompass Home Health division in 2015. The sale allowed the Company to re-deploy monetary capital to reinvest in the growth of its senior living and chronic care strategies, thereby positioning it well for the future.
John has more than 30 years of health care experience with expertise in mergers and acquisitions, turn-around situations, start-ups, and rapid-growth companies. He has a master's degree of accounting from the University of Georgia and is a Certified Public Accountant. He is a member of The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Healthcare Financial Management Association.
Meet John's Leadership Team:
Suzanne McLeod is Vice President of Finance for US CareNet and is responsible for financial reporting and analysis, budgets and audit coordination. She has been with the Company since September, 1996 and served as Controller prior to her current position. In addition, Suzanne has served on implementation teams for budget and financial software.
Prior to joining the Company, Suzanne worked as a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Internal Auditor in banking and higher education. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Clemson University.
Walter Wright is the Vice President of Business Services for US CareNet. He has been with the Company since 1988 and has more than 30 years experience in the home health care field.
Walter is responsible for the overall management of accounts receivable for the certified, private duty and clinic lines of business for the Company and serves as the primary contact for US CareNet’s managed clients. He is responsible for insurance verification, billing and collections, payment posting functions, accounts receivable analysis, validation of revenue, and evaluation of back office processes.
Walter was instrumental in the development and implementation of the internal software system designed for PPS, as well as the implementation of electronic billing.
Mr. Wright has a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Winthrop University.
Gary A. Liuzzo
Gary A. Liuzzo is Chief Information Officer for US CareNet. He joined the Company in May, 2014 and is responsible for all aspects of Information Technology which includes the strategic planning, development and delivery of all applications and infrastructure, as well as system and technology operations.
Gary’s IT experience spans over more than 35 years in various industries to include Health Care IT driving strategic initiatives, applications development, infrastructure design and management, telecommunications, program office management, and mergers & acquisitions.
Before joining the Company, Gary served as Director/CIO of IT for Scotland Health Care System in Laurinburg NC, a managed facility of Carolinas Health Care Systems. Prior he was the Vice President of IT for HealthPort responsible for the design, development, and support of their Electronic Health Record (EHR) , Patient Management , and Revenue Cycle Management Solutions to include the EDI Clearinghouse supporting claims, eligibilities, and claim status inquiries.
Sally Roberts, MBA, SHRM-SCP, SPHR
Sally Roberts, MBA, SHRM-SCP, SPHR joined US CareNet as the Chief Human Resources Officer on June 3, 2019. Sally started her HR career over twenty-five years ago at Gwinnett Medical Center in Lawrenceville, GA. After moving to Augusta, she worked as the HR Director for Brandon Wilde in Evans, GA. She worked in publishing and communications for many years supporting newspapers, magazines, radio and outdoor advertising before joining US CareNet.
At US CareNet she is responsible for recruiting, employee relations, benefits and compensation, orientation and training and security and safety.
Sally has served on the board of the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) on a state and local level. Sally has made multiple trips to Washington D.C where she has met with legislators on employment issues. In 2015 she testified to a Congressional Subcommittee on her experiences with implementing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. She is passionate about making sure the right people are in the right job and have the support to contribute to the success of the organization.
Sally enjoys spending time with her husband, mountain biking with her daughter, and cheering on her son at football and baseball games.
Theresa Lantz is the Executive Vice President of Senior Living Services for US CareNet. She is responsible for oversight of the development and expansion of US CareNet’s continuum of care model in the senior living setting.
Theresa has enjoyed a career spanning more than 20 years in healthcare administration, with an emphasis on the geriatric population, in a homecare setting. Her roles have included operational oversight of both Medicare certified and private duty home health agencies.
Theresa lists among her most rewarding accomplishments the development of a program dedicated to caring for developmentally disabled adults in their homes.
Jeremy Cohen is the General Counsel for US CareNet. He is responsible for handling the company’s legal affairs.
Jeremy joined the company in 2017. Prior to that, he was a member of the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corp. In that capacity, Jeremy worked as a military and federal prosecutor, as well as an advisor to the U.S. Army’s Cyber Center of Excellence. He currently serves as an officer in the Georgia Army National Guard.
Jeremy has a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Florida and a Juris Doctor degree from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law.