Holding considerable expertise in financial reporting and performance standards; project, records, facilities and risk management; policy and procedures; process improvement and staffing support; strategic consulting and revenue cycles; and transportation services, Tonja Smith, MBA, was inspired to pursue a career in health care by her cousin, who has autism and intermittent explosive disorder. Earning a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Morris Brown College and a Master of Business Administration from the Keller Graduate School of Management at DeVry University, she embarked on her career as a business office manager with Emory Healthcare in 2004. She then became the business manager for DeKalb Surgical Associates and the DeKalb Medical Center from 2006 to 2007 and the senior financial analyst for the Allegheny Health Network from 2008 to 2010.
In 2011, Ms. Smith attained the role of director of operations for the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and also served as the network manager for the UPMC Health Plan from 2011 to 2013. During this time, her cousin entered a care home, as her mother became unable to continue to care for her. Unfortunately, the neglect of the care home’s staff led to Ms. Smith’s cousin sustaining a serious injury that resulted in the loss of all her fingers on one hand. While her cousin is thankfully alive and well, her injury brought to Ms. Smith a new determination to ensure that tragedies like this did not happen to anyone else. In 2015, she left the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and opened Allegheny Community Home Care, LLC, a residential living community that provides in-home care and support.
Acting as the chief executive officer and president, Ms. Smith oversees the administration for all of their residential homes as well as directing all of the company’s planning and development strategies and driving new business developments in order to promote quality care for her residents. In addition to providing care for individuals with developmental disabilities, Allegheny Community Home Care also serves the aging population and provides around the clock support and care to ensure resident safety. Alongside this work, Ms. Smith spent time as the president of the Pittsburgh chapter of the National Association of Health Services Executives from 2014 to 2019.
Ms. Smith considers the highlight of her career to be the celebrating of Allegheny Community Home Care’s five-year anniversary. The success of her company has meant a great deal to her, not only due to the inspiration of her cousin, but also because she came from a very low-income family and grew up in poverty. Building up her business from almost nothing has been an incredible accomplishment for her and something she could not be more proud of. In celebration of their five-year anniversary, Ms. Smith treated her management staff to a trip to Las Vegas for an intimate conference in order to show her appreciation for all their hard work.
For her excellence, and the success of Allegheny Community Home Care, Ms. Smith was presented with the Fast 50 Award by the Pittsburgh Business Times in 2021. Recently, she was profiled by Pittsburgh Magazine, and is being featured in the October 2021 edition as well as invited to speak at their Women & Business event on October 20th. Furthermore, she attributes much of her success to her faith, noting that her religion and beliefs helped her to get through a number of struggles that she faced as a child. Now happily married, she is the proud mother of two children. When she isn’t engrossed in her work, Ms. Smith enjoys spending time with her family, which often includes trips to the beach.