published Friday, October 12th, 2012

Two senior facilities in Chattanooga change leadership

Matthew Fox

* Job: Divisional vice president of operations for Morning Pointe Associated Living and The Lantern Alzheimer's Memory Care communities

* Age: 37

* Education: Fox earned a bachelor's degree and MBA from Southern Louisiana University and is a licensed home administrator in Tennessee.

* Career: He has worked as general manager for the Williamsburg Senior Living Community in Baton Rouge, La.; executive director of Sunrise Senior Living and Brookdale Senior Living in Austin, Tex.; regional vice president of operations for Senior Living; and CEO of Alexian Village of Tennessee before joining Morning Pointe in August

* Personal: He and his wife, Melissa, have three children and reside on Signal Mountain.

The former head of Chattanooga's biggest senior housing complex has joined the region's fastest growing business focused upon housing seniors.

Matthew Fox, the former CEO of Alexian Village of Tennessee on Signal Mountain, said Thursday he joined the Collegedale-based Independent Healthcare Properties to help operate most of the company's 20 senior and assisted living centers. As divisional vice president of operations for Independent Healthcare, the 37-year-old manager will oversee 17 Morning Pointe Assisted Living and Lantern Alzheimer's Memory Care communities.

His predecessor, Suzanne Foster, is taking on a new role to help develop even more senior communities for Independent Healthcare Properties, including three new facilities being built in Powell, Tenn., and in Lexington, Ky.

"Morning Pointe's growth over the past 16 years and continued expansion through new development projects led to the creation of this new position," Greg A. Vital, president and CEO of Independent Healthcare, and Franklin Farrow, the company's chief operating officer, said in a joint statement.

At Alexian, Fox's old job was filled by Robin Baschnagel, who was previously chief operating officer at Alexian Village atop Signal Mountain.

"This is an exciting time for the Alexian Village of Tennessee community, and Robin is the right person to oversee its development," said John Turonigian, vice president of senior ministries for Alexian Brothers Senior Ministries, a division of Ascension Health in St. Louis.

Baschnagel is moving into Alexian's top job in Chattanooga as the Catholic ministry begins work on a $22.7 million replacement of its 30-year-old nursing home and prepares to spend another $10 million to renovate existing buildings on its 33-acre site on the brow of Signal Mountain.

During Fox's tenure at Alexian Village of Tennessee, he led a successful capital improvement planning process that included a $30 million campus plan. Prior to his work with Alexian, he served as regional vice president of operations for Brookdale Senior Living in Austin, Texas.

Fox, who left Alexian in July, will be part of an even faster growing enterprise at Independent Healthcare.

The company was started in 1996 by Tennessee Healthcare entrepreneurs, Greg A. Vital and Franklin Farrow, and the company continues to add both independent living senior housing and assisted living or Alzheimer's facilities.

Fox, a 15-year industry veteran, said his career has been shaped by his faith and desire to help seniors.

"I was going to go into full-time ministry after college, but after working in a senior housing facility I felt like this was my true calling in life," Fox said.

Fox recalls his own grandmother suffered from Alzheimer's disease while he was a child so he developed a passion for helping seniors with memorial losses at a young age.

"I think this is where God wants me," he said.

about Dave Flessner...

Dave Flessner is the business editor for the Times Free Press. A journalist for 35 years, Dave has been business editor and projects editor for the Chattanooga Times Free Press, city editor for The Chattanooga Times, business and county reporter for the Chattanooga Times, correspondent for the Lansing State Journal and Ingham County News in Michigan, staff writer for the Hastings Daily Tribune in Nebraska, and news director for WCBN-FM in Michigan. Dave, a native ...

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