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David Totaro

Chief Government Affairs Officer
BAYADA Home Health Care

Location: Moorestown, NJ
Founded: 1975
Industry: Home Healthcare

David Totaro’s path to becoming chief government affairs officer for BAYADA Home Health Care quite literally started in the line at the reception center at Fort Knox in 1970. Totaro was a recent Army enlistee waiting in line with others for uniforms, weapons, vaccinations, etc. He was No. 18 in line, and No. 19 was Mark Baiada, who later became founder and CEO of BAYADA Home Health Care.

The pair formed a friendship that started in that line and led to today, where they have achieved great professional success in the healthcare industry.

BAYADA Home Health Care provides nursing, rehabilitative, therapeutic, hospice and assistive care to children, adults and seniors. “Our goal at BAYADA is to provide the highest quality home health care services available,” the company said. “We believe our clients and their families deserve home health care delivered with compassion, excellence and reliability, our BAYADA core values.”

Totaro joined BAYADA as chief marketing officer in 2009 to help transform the organization’s reputation from one that specialized in in-home nurses to one with a suite of health services. Since then, the nonprofit has grown its footprint from Rhode Island to Florida and west to Missouri. Through its government advocacy efforts, under Totaro’s purview, the organization has generated more than $450 million via state and federal government reimbursement rate increases.

BAYADA has more than 1,500 volunteer advocates with plans to grow that number to 6,500 by the end of the year. In five years, the organization expects to have a volunteer force of 20,000 with a presence in every state in the country.

In his role at BAYADA, Totaro prioritizes three leadership lessons that help guide his work. “I find all three of equal importance: 1) Communicate regularly and be transparent; 2) You don’t need to be the smartest person in the room — you can learn from anyone at any time; and 3) Don’t ever be afraid to admit that ‘I was wrong,’” Totaro said.

Totaro serves on the boards of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization; the National Association for Home Care & Hospice; the Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare; and the Hospice Action Network, for which he is chairman.

Totaro has received numerous industry recognitions, including the Thomas Lamb Award from the Rhode Island Partnership in 2017; Breath of Life Award from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in 1998; and the Nassau/Suffolk County Autism Society Children’s Champion Award in 1998.

Totaro also has an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

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Honoree fun fact

In early 1970, I enlisted in the Army and was sent to Ft. Knox, KY for Basic and Advanced Infantry Training (AIT)—an experience that changed my life. While standing in line at the Reception Center, I was assigned number 18. Number 19 was Mark Baiada, the eventual founder and CEO of the company where, today, I am its Chief Government Affairs Officer. A lifelong friendship was formed standing in that line.

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