With more than 20 years of experience in health care and senior living leadership, Christian Tolentino has been appointed as the Chief Operating Officer of ALC Home Health Care Services in Oak Brook.
Christian, a resident of North Aurora, can precisely trace his dedication to his career. “I basically tell people I grew up around health care and am still doing it today,” he said. His parents immigrated from the Philippines, his father through the U.S. Navy and his mother through a nursing visa. “Where my mom found her passion, was in nursing homes where she eventually became an administrator. She would bring my sister and me along with her to make beds, pass lunch trays and play games with the residents. It was common for us to help. When it came time for me to start working, it made sense to pursue this path,” he said.
Christian did temporarily divert from his plans. “I was one of those kids who, when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, said ‘lawyer.’ I’m not sure where that came from, but it seemed like the expected answer was either ‘doctor’ or ‘lawyer,’ and so it was the right thing for me to do and say. It was a path I started carving out for myself,” he said. Christian studied political science at Marquette University and had an internship on Capitol Hill with Senator Dick Durbin. “I had a job lined up with a large law firm in Rosemont. I was clerking there and attending law school at night. But then I realized that I wasn’t passionate about this and did an about-face. I knew I didn’t want to be a lawyer. I wanted to pursue health care.”
Christian’s first professional foray was as an activity director for a severely and profoundly disabled population. He then became a case manager for a nursing facility and then a house manager for residents with special needs. During this time, he became a licensed nursing home administrator.
“I was recruited to be an executive director for a supported living site. They’d just started up in Illinois and it was an incredible opportunity for me. I jumped in and learned. It was a big responsibility and an invaluable experience, to say the least,” he said. “After about a year, I helped to hire my replacement and moved into a regional role with the organization. I had the opportunity to coach and mentor other directors as they opened their buildings.”
Christian then worked with a small but growing home health and private duty agency. “At the time, they had no real sales or marketing presence or team. I was brought on to direct development. We opened satellite offices in Illinois and then other states,” he said. During his ten years there, he worked in business development and then operations.
During his time with the home health organization, Christian’s paths crossed with those of Anthony (Tony) Siciliano, who founded ALC Home Health Care in 2006. “He and his team were often vying for the same business as we were. It’s a very challenging industry, and I’ve seen so many small, medium, and large agencies come and go. Tony’s perseverance and success in the industry are impressive. Longevity doesn’t happen by luck. I attribute his success to the fact that he’s passionate about this industry. Whatever he’s going to do, he’s going to go full steam ahead,” Christian said. “As he grew, Tony knew he needed to start letting go and trusting that other people were as dedicated to supporting his efforts. The combination of passion and trust has allowed him to sustain, grow, and be successful. Through the years, we talked as competitors as well as from the perspective of possibly working together.” This plan came to fruition late this summer.
In addition to ALC Home Health Care, the umbrella organization, Assistenza Health Care Management, operates ALC Hospice Care and ALC Primary Care@Home. Christian is excited about this concept of offering a complete continuum of care within the home. “Providers these days, especially in home health and any kind of in-home care, can all be disjointed. With different providers, there can be a prevalence of communication gaps. Those problems can be mitigated with an organization under one umbrella.”
The teams, comprising Assistenza, said Christian, are ‘collaborative. “That’s optimal within a healthcare system. My focus will be on home health care, but I still have an eye on the entire entity. We’re a brand, and I’ll represent the entire brand. It is all of us working in sync with each other.”
ALC Home Health Care
For more than 16 years, ALC Home Health has been a leader in the field of home health care. Our team of professionals work respectfully, holistically and collaboratively with clients and their families, caregivers and multidisciplinary teams in order to provide quality health care within the comfort, privacy and familiarity of one’s home. ALC Home Health is part of Assistenza Healthcare Management which offers a full continuum of care including home, hospice, and primary care at home. For additional information visit www.alovingcompany.com or call 630-368-1102.