KENNETT SQUARE, PA — Genesis HealthCare (NYSE: GEN), one of the largest post-acute care providers in the United States, announced that its founder, Michael R. Walker passed away over the weekend after a long-term illness and complications from COVID-19.
Mr. Walker founded Genesis in 1985 and was Chairman and Chief Executive from 1985 to 2002. He was instrumental in the development and growth of the skilled nursing industry, as we know it today.
In 1985, Mr. Walker founded the Company under the name Genesis Health Ventures, with nine Centers based in New England. He and his management team believed that nursing homes should be proactive centers of health care, rather than centers focused solely on custodial care for the elderly.
With this vision, Mr. Walker grew Genesis Health Ventures into a public company with more than 200 centers across 13 states. Through his leadership, Genesis Health Ventures served high-acuity Medicare patients who needed intensive nursing care, rehabilitation therapy, and other support services to recover from an acute illness or injury, in addition to long-term care.
“I am overcome with sadness as we lost a true leader and pioneer in the skilled nursing industry,” said George V. Hager, Jr., Chief Executive Officer of Genesis. “Mike was not only a friend, but a mentor and true visionary for our industry. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family during this difficult time.”
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