Interim Hospice of the Foothills Executive Director Focuses on Sustainability and Employee Engagement

October 15, 2014

Carolynn Peterson, RN, MSN, AOCN, CHPCA, former Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer of Community Hospice, Modesto, CA, was named interim Executive Director of Hospice of the Foothills. She will be focusing attention on the organization’s fiscal sustainability and employee engagement.

Peterson, a registered nurse, has over two decades of being a hospice leader. She is the current president of the California Hospice and Palliative Care Association and has served on numerous advisory panels and medical boards.

Peterson had recently supported Hospice of the Foothills as temporary Chief Operating Officer. When former Executive Director, Vanessa Bengston announced her retirement, effective October 15th, the Board of Directors turned to Peterson, who agreed to take the helm until a new Executive Director is appointed following a nationwide recruitment process.

“We have a highly skilled staff including nurses, volunteers and technicians as well as a caring administrative team eager to provide high quality service to our patients,” Peterson said following her appointment. “I am very excited to be part of the Hospice of the Foothills’ community. I look forward to enhancing Hospice of the Foothills’ long legacy of caring and support in the community. So much has been achieved under Vanessa Bengston’s leadership such as the opening of the 12-bed Compassionate Care Home, an in-patient care facility. But there is still more that can be done to ensure Hospice of the Foothills’ long-term sustainability for many generations to come.”

Peterson said the organization’s focus is to meet a number of future objectives including employee engagement, growth, and sustainability. Hospice of the Foothill’s Board of Directors President, Frank Santos said, “Hospice of the Foothill’s programs and services are critical in meeting the end-of-life health needs of the area’s residents. We have a strong board and leadership team. Vanessa felt that the time was right for her to step down knowing that the organization would be left in capable hands.”

Hospice of the Foothills celebrates 35 years of service to the community this year as the area’s only independent hospice. Hospice of the Foothills provides patient care and support for families when and where they are needed to more than 600 patients and their families every year.

For more information about Hospice of the Foothills go to

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