Hollie Trogdon, senior vice president of PruittHealth Home, has been named a 2022 Future Leader by Hospice News.
In her current role, Trogdon leads the company’s sales and business development operations.
Future Leaders are individuals nominated by their peers. Candidates must be high-performing employees who are 40-years-old or younger, passionate workers who know how to put vision into action, and advocates for seniors and the committed professionals who ensure their well-being.
The Future Leaders Awards program is brought to you in partnership with PointClickCare. The program is designed to recognize up-and-coming industry members who are shaping the next decade of senior housing, skilled nursing, home health, and hospice care.
Trogdon recently shared her thoughts with Hospice News about her career in hospice and palliative care, and the biggest forces of change at play in serious illness and end-of-life care.
What drew you to this industry?
Early on I knew I wanted to work in health care and needed a career in which I could find meaning and purpose. It wasn’t long after I started working in hospice care that I knew this was my calling.
The beginning of my career was recruiting volunteers for our patients and providing bereavement services to their loved ones. I was able to spend time with our patients and families daily. During this time, I realized I wanted to make a bigger impact, and thankfully I had an incredible mentor who taught me what it takes to lead a great hospice team.
I developed a passion for hospice outreach and advocacy after seeing the incredible care our team delivered and experiencing the hesitancy and fear of hospice in the community.
When someone is touched by hospice within their own family you will hear them say what a difference it made and how supported they felt. When I experienced that impact myself, I wanted to do everything I could to bring awareness to it and ensure access to those who need it.
I know the end of life is always a sad and heartbreaking time, but it can also be very beautiful. We know that a person can pass without hospice, but it’s so much more beautiful when the hospice team is there to hold their hand and take care of their loved ones as well. People always say hospice workers are angels — and I’ll be the first to tell you — the hospice direct care workers really are.
What’s your biggest lesson learned since starting to work in this industry?
While hospice and palliative care may be my specialty, I’ve learned how important it is to understand all of the different aspects of health care to really be effective in meeting the needs of patients and their families.
When you work with a company like this for 15 years you learn a lot about all of the different service lines. It’s important to understand the [skilled nursing facility] world and the home health world to really be able to work together and make a difference. When you have a great relationship and coordination of care between difference service providers, that is when you see great outcomes and quality care. That should always be the focus and priority.
If you could change one thing with an eye toward the future of [vertical industry], what would it be?
A new reimbursement structure for palliative care. I would love to see a palliative care Medicare benefit. Call us to the carpet on quality and cost savings, but give us a reimbursement structure that supports true interdisciplinary palliative care.
What do you foresee as being different about the industry looking ahead to 2022?
I see the demand for palliative care increasing significantly. It’s the buzzword out there right now. Hospice still has a stigma, and I feel like that is getting better with time and increased awareness, but people are much more open to talking about palliative care.
I think the health care industry is really starting to see the value that quality palliative care brings and when that service is paired with a robust continuum of care, it can bridge so many gaps and improve outcomes.
In a word, how would you describe the future of hospice?
I see the hospice and palliative care industry growing and evolving dramatically. We anticipate big change — value-based change.
I just hope it’s a good change that keeps the focus on the patient and family. The special thing about what we do is caring for the patient and family based on their individualized patient-driven care plan. I hope any changes coming our way continue to support that mission.
If you could give any advice to yourself looking back to your first day in the industry, what would it be and why?
This isn’t going to be easy, and it most definitely isn’t a 9-5 job, but it is so worth it if you find a home with the right company — the right ‘work family.’ That is what I have here.
I grew up on a small farm, hard work and long hours were normal, everyday things. I saw my dad work all day at his job and come home to work until after dark on the farm. And my mom, I’m not sure she ever got any rest and still doesn’t.
But they were always passionate about their work. I grew up accustomed to that, so when I started this career I didn’t think anything of working late and on weekends. That is not something that everyone would be accustomed to, and hospice is 24/7.
It’s important to set expectations upfront when people come into this industry. While it’s important we create a good work-life balance, it’s also important that anyone entering this line of work understands that our patients still need us at night and on weekends. We may have on-call nurses that handle that directly, but leadership has to be able to support those nurses.
This is an incredibly rewarding mission. I’m so thankful to be part of it and always striving to be a better person because of it.