Release Date: 
Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Ph.D. executive enrolls in HFC nursing program to expand his leadership

Headshot of Dr. Cleamon Moorer, Jr.
Cleamon Moorer, Jr., Ph.D.

One of HFC’s newest Nursing students took a highly unusual path to the program. He already has three college degrees, including a Ph.D., and an Ivy League certificate. He has been an instructor, dean, entrepreneur, and CEO.

Because he yearns for more, he enrolled at HFC. And he's loving it.

This student, Dr. Cleamon Moorer, Jr., is the president and CEO of American Advantage Home Care in Dearborn and the founding executive director of Eye Care for Detroit, Inc.

“The demand for nurses far exceeds the supply, and I have great teams in place now at my companies that will enable me to pursue this degree,” said Moorer, a Detroit native.

He expects to earn his associate degree from HFC in nursing in 2024.

“HFC's nursing program was the first associate degree nursing program in the state of Michigan,” said Moorer. “It has a very great reputation in the industry, and I have had the honor of hiring several graduates from the program and have witnessed firsthand how well-prepared they are. I want to directly go out and see patients and provide care for them in the comfort of their own homes to decrease their chances of functional decline or unnecessary hospital readmissions.”

Holder of many credentials

A graduate of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. High School in Detroit, Moorer began his college education at Kettering University in Flint, where he earned his bachelor's degree in management with a concentration in information systems. He faced some academic challenges and did not graduate. He enrolled at Oakland Community College, where he completed some coursework that he transferred back to Kettering so he could earn his bachelor's degree. He chronicled this journey in a memoir called From Failure to Promise: 360 Degrees.

Moorer went on to earn his MBA with concentrations in management consulting and organizational leadership from Benedictine University in Lisle, IL. He also earned his master’s degree in management and organizational behavior from Benedictine. Later, Moore earned his doctoral degree in business administration and management from Argosy University in Schaumburg, IL. He also earned a certificate in business excellence for health professionals from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY.

Moorer, the youngest of six, has been married to Nicole Willis-Moorer for 22 years. They have four sons: Cleamon III, 21; Cleshaun, 16; Christian, 13; and Colomon, 12.

Giving back to multiple professions through teaching

Moorer has worked in telecommunications, higher education, business, and healthcare. In higher education, he has served as a professor and administrator. He has been a visiting and assistant professor at Kettering, Saginaw Valley State University, the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Roosevelt University in Chicago, Trinity Christian College in Chicago, and Dominican University in River Forest, IL.

Moorer served as the dean of the School of Business at Madonna University in Livonia. He also served as the founding dean of the College of Business at Baker College in Flint from 2016-19. In fact, Black Enterprise Magazine honored Moorer for his achievements at Baker.

“I like to give back to the professions that I am a part of by teaching adults,” said Moorer. “I desired to master material at the highest level and prepare students to become better employees, citizens, and even entrepreneurs. I loved being a business school dean. I helped lead business schools to accreditation or reaffirmation of accreditation, while working with faculty to redesign curriculum to meet the growing needs of employers.”

Entrepreneurship is in his blood

Both of Moorer’s parents were entrepreneurs, so he learned firsthand the importance of business growing up. He also learned that there is a business aspect to everything.

“Even if business is not the core of healthcare, public administration, or higher education, it is necessary to facilitate the delivery and effectiveness of those domains,” he explained. “I realized that business would give me transferable knowledge that would be applicable in a variety of settings.”

Moorer continued: “In 2018, I had yet to realize the joy, fulfillment, and freedom of entrepreneurship and the ability to decompartmentalize institutional leadership and turn the world into my classroom. Stepping outside of higher education administration afforded me this privilege. I have had the opportunity to acquire and to start companies that deliver immediate positive impacts on families in Southeast Michigan.”

He spoke about going into the healthcare profession.

“I deemed it the most important but missing piece to my puzzle of work and contributions to community vitality, economic development, civic life, and higher education,” said Moorer. “I truly wanted to dive in to find ways to help Detroiters and at-risk populations. Healthcare was the only space where I didn't have a direct impact. As a dean, I worked with healthcare and health service administration faculty, employers, and students, but I felt my roles were too peripheral.”

A legally blind man works to make eye care affordable for Detroiters

Earlier this year, he founded ECFD. Moorer was born with congenital cataracts in both eyes. By age 21, he was legally blind. His family didn’t have the financial wherewithal to pay for the surgery that would fix his eyesight, so his mother, Dorris, wrote a letter to the Grace Guild of what is now DMC Sinai-Grace Hospital on her son's behalf. In the end, the Grace Guild covered the entire cost of the surgery that restored his vision.

His mother asked him to give back to the Detroit community, paying it forward. During the pandemic, he learned many Detroiters couldn’t afford basic eye care. This was the impetus behind the formation of ECFD, a non-profit organization that works with physicians and other eye care professionals to help remove the barriers to eye care access.

“Detroit's population is at greater risk of avoidable and treatable eye diseases and blindness due to the lack of access to accessible services, awareness of eye health needs, costs, and transportation barriers,” explained Moorer. “ECFD’s mission is to provide access to high-quality and affordable eye care for Detroit's homebound community (approximately 40,000 residents) and underserved populations. We work with eye care professionals to provide in-home care, transportation, prescriptions, referral management, and a mobile eye care unit.”

Effective Sept. 1, ECFD is offering frames for $17 or a $17.01 discount, which was covered by Channel 4 news. This offer will be applied to more than 120 eyeglass frames.

“We are more than an organization. We are a MOVEMENT!” said Moorer. “This is one of my latest sources of pride and joy.”

Serving the underserved through AAHC

Moorer talked about the reasons he and his wife purchased AAHC in 2019. Founded in 2012, AAHC is a full-service home health care agency that provides skilled medical care for adults who are recovering from illness, surgery, injury, or are managing complex health conditions. Services include physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, skilled nursing, home health aide assistance, and social work.

“AAHC has earned an outstanding reputation of providing compassionate, quality care,” said Moorer. “My wife and I believed that the agency had great potential to serve more patients. It is headquartered in Dearborn and its home office is only four miles from my childhood home. We dreamed and hoped to work together someday to build a family business. We wanted to employ great professionals and to serve the underserved in a way that matters to them the most.”

Since they purchased AAHC, many of the entire original staff of 16 remained, and they’ve hired additional staff. Daily service to patients has increased 1,000 percent, according to Moorer. The Moorers have expanded the agency’s geographic service area to include 10 counties.

In March, AAHC was named to Michigan Celebrates Small Business’ annual “50 Companies to Watch” list. Michigan Celebrates Small Business is a renowned small business awards program in the state of Michigan. The mission of the program is to honor and recognize Michigan’s small business owners, as well as the advocates that support them.

In May, they were honored with the Comcast RISE Award. This award was created in 2020 to support minority-owned business during the pandemic.

How an HFC degree will help him become a better leader and advocate

Moorer believes earning a nursing degree from HFC will enhance his ability to lead as AAHC’s president and CEO.

“Clinical operations shouldn't be a gray box to administrators. I understand that many hospitals and healthcare organizations are led by non-medical professionals. These leaders are often very effective. But they must always defer and trust the knowledge, experience, and decision-making of others,” he explained. “How much more effective would healthcare leaders be if they are dual-focused or dual-prepared clinically and operationally? We all talk about patient-centric care and assessing situations from the patients' eyes. A nursing degree and license will equip me with the insights to grow, enhance, and re-envision how we deliver care at AAHC. But most importantly, I will be able to go into homes to help patients and assist our clinical leader and clinical team.”

For all the higher education institutions he’s attended as a student and worked as either an instructor or an administrator, Moorer is impressed with HFC. He spoke about what he likes so much about the College and its nursing program.

“I love HFC! It's for the community, and it enriches the local community's organizations and economies directly. The diversity of the faculty, staff, and student body is like no other school that I have experienced,” said Moorer. “The nursing program is well-organized, and the faculty and staff work as a team with one goal in mind: Student success. The expectations are clear, and the rigor is high. Nobody just checks the box in this program. The faculty are serious, committed, and extremely qualified.”

Striving to be amazing

Moorer – who was elected to the Board of Directors of the Michigan HomeCare and Hospice Association for a 2-year term in 2021 – spoke about how he prioritizes his duties as a student, president and CEO, author, and father.

“I get six hours of sleep, which leaves 75 percent of the day to strive to be amazing. My work and school days begin at 4:00 a.m. I have a great support system starting with Nicole and her leadership at home and at the office. We are fortunate to have a great office staff and a very committed clinical leader and clinical team. Last, I schedule time and tasks in blocks of 2-4 hours, including study sessions,” he said.

Moorer said the healthcare industry is changing so rapidly that he has to keep his feet in the present but his eyes and reach on the immediate future.

“The best part of my job is the variety of tasks that I undertake to help to move the organization forward,” said Moorer. “I enjoy seeing our organization grow and strive to make patients and families happy with our services. The ability to create new platforms and to explore new opportunities is really rewarding and inspiring.”

His motivation for sharing his story? “I hope that this story inspires students and potential students of all ages to go for their dreams, multi-task, and place no limits on themselves. As a 46-year-old man, I am often the oldest student in the classroom, but I am so excited to be learning from and with 18-year-olds and other young people. The future is in really good hands thanks to the bright student body and committed staff and talented faculty at HFC.”