A Search Begins

June 29, 2017

In March 2014, my 36-year nursing career led me to Nevada County and Hospice of the Foothills.  I was initially a consultant and then hired as a contract employee to fill the role of interim Director of Patient Care Services.  By September, I was asked to accept the role of interim Executive Director.  Then, in January of 2015, the Board of Directors offered me a three-year contract as Hospice of the Foothills’ Executive Director.  It’s been extremely satisfying and, at times, equally stressful.  When I assumed the Executive Director position, there were many known challenges to address, key leadership positions to fill and a re-organization of departments.  It also became obvious that the Compassionate Care Home, Hospice of the Foothills’ former inpatient care facility, had been operating at a significant loss for eight years.  After researching every possible option to keep the home open, it was my duty as a steward of our community’s only non-profit hospice to recommend to the Board of Directors that we close the Home.  It wasn’t really a choice.  The business model at that time was not sustainable.  Had the Board of Directors not voted to close the Compassionate Care Home, Hospice of the Foothills would have been forced out of business.  That was perhaps the saddest and most stressful time in my professional life.  But that feeling would not last because I have had the privilege of leading a team of extremely dedicated and compassionate employees who were willing to make extraordinary sacrifices to keep Hospice of the Foothills afloat during that tumultuous year. 

We’ve come a long way since that pivotal point in 2015.  Hospice of the Foothills, as an organization, is healthier and better than ever.   Not only are we financially sustainable, but we are also compliant with all federal and state regulations. With the help of everyone in the organization, we prevailed.  I could not be prouder! 

My contract as Executive Director expires on January 31, 2018.  Now, with an eye toward the future, I will follow another path.  I am not retiring quite yet, rather looking for something less demanding with more time to spend with family and loved ones.  My husband, Richard, and I will be staying in the community we have grown to love. We are excited that my son and his family recently moved from Sacramento to Grass Valley.  Moving forward, the Board of Directors has chosen a Search Committee that will be working on recruiting a new Executive Director for Hospice of the Foothills.  In the next six months, in addition to my regular duties, I will serve as a resource for that committee.  Our goal is to have a seamless transition, so that all the progress we have made as an agency will be maintained for the benefit of the staff, the agency, and most importantly, our patients and their families.

It has been my honor serve this community.  Thank you for supporting Hospice of the Foothills through 38 years of some challenges, but mostly great successes.  The future is indeed bright!

Most respectfully yours,

Carolynn Peterson RN, MSN, AOCN, CHPCA

Executive Director

Hospice of the Foothills

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