Joel Wherley is chief operating officer of VITAS Healthcare, the nation’s leading provider of end-of-life care. Joel oversees operations of the company’s 44 hospice programs in 14 states and the District of Columbia.
Joel joined VITAS in 2016 as senior vice president of hospice operations. He was promoted to chief operating officer in June 2017.
Joel began his healthcare career as a registered respiratory therapist, working in every part of high-tech high acuity care in a progressive teaching hospital in Illinois—from the emergency room and helicopter transports to the ICU and CCU.
He brings over 30 years in healthcare sales and operations management to his role at VITAS, including eight years in hospice.
Prior to his appointment at VITAS, Joel served in executive-level positions at several healthcare companies, including as division vice president at Hospice Advantage and as regional vice president at Gentiva Health Services, where he was named regional vice president of the year two years in a row.
As division vice president of Hospice Advantage, Joel led day-to-day operations in conjunction with the CEO and CFO, with responsibility to the board for operations, clinical services and sales. A change leader, Joel introduced a new sales management structure and realigned regions for greater efficiency. His extensive experience and dedication to accountability, growth, efficiency and motivational leadership has earned him accolades and awards.
Joel earned a bachelor’s degree in business management and organizational design from the University of Illinois at Springfield.