Hospice of the Panhandle Taps New CEO; New Strategy Director Appointed at Unity Hospice

Hospice of the Panhandle Promotes New CEO from Within

West Virginia-based Hospice of the Panhandle has appointed Chief Clinical Officer Nikki Bigiarelli as its new CEO.

Bigiarelli will work alongside its current CEO Margaret Cogswell before she retires on June 1, 2023. Cogswell has led the organization for the past 36 years.

As Bigiarelli takes the helm, she will be focused on growth, she said in an announcement.


“The hospice world is constantly changing,” Bigiarelli said. “Palliative care will be expanded. The bottom line is to help more people. We are serving people longer, and people don’t know all that we have to offer. People so often are treated as their disease rather than as human beings. We treat them as human beings, and the work we do is so incredibly important.”

Hospice of the Panhandle has provided end-of-life services in West Virginia for more than 40 years, and also offers palliative care and pediatric hospice and palliative care.

Previously, Bigiarelli has served as Hospice of the Panhandle’s clinical director, assistant clinical director and as a nurse manager. She began as a nurse at the hospice in 2010, and started her career at Berkeley Medical Center in 2008 as a primary nurse and charge nurse in the progressive care unit.


Unity Hospices and Palliative Care Appoints New Strategic Director

Unity Hospice and Palliative Care has named a new director of strategy with the recent hiring of Scott Hensley.

Hensley was previously the national vice president of managed care at Encompass Health (NYSE: EHC), serving in the role since 2017. He held similar positions from 2013 to 2016 at Kindred at Home before it became CenterWell Home Health, Humana’s (NYSE: HUM) health care services business.

Throughout his career, Hensley has focused on growing and maintaining managed care partnerships and identifying new revenue opportunities. His responsibilities at various companies have also included integrating home health and hospice payer contracts gained from through acquisitions.

“We are thrilled to have Scott join the Unity Hospice team,” a Unity spokesperson said in a news release. “His expertise and passion for the medical field make him a great addition to our team, and we look forward to the positive impact he will have on our organization.”

Unity Hospice and Palliative Care has served more than 30,000 patients and families since its establishment in 1992. The hospice and palliative care provider operates in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri and Texas.

Hensley indicated in the release that two factors drew him to Unity — its organizational culture and its commitment to serve patients regardless of their ability to afford services,

He has roughly 35 years of experience in the industry. His prior work includes a stint as COO of Texas Health Partners, a hospice specialist for Odyssey Hospice, the CEO of Culberson Hospital District and partner and psychologist at Metroplex Healthcare Systems.

Legal Hospice Names Executive Director

Legal Hospice of Texas has announced that Michelle Moos will become the organization‘s new executive director.

The organization provides legal services to low-income hospice patients with terminal illnesses and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

“I began working here at Legal Hospice and found a place that was caring and compassionate,” Moos said in a recent announcement. “We see a problem. We find a solution — even if that solution is nothing more than waiting online on eternal hold for a client.”

Legal Hospice of Texas’ services include estate planning, debt counseling, and assistance with employment, housing, and social security and disability benefits. The law firm served roughly 550 individuals statewide in 2020. Its volunteer attorneys help hospice and HIV clients to navigate the complexity of end-of-life health care systems.

Louis Weber, Carolyn Gilbert and Thomas Mayo founded the nonprofit organization in 1989 as Dallas Legal Hospice before it rebranded under its current name.

New Executive Director Takes Helm at Hospice Services of Lake County

Hospice Services of Lake County and Lake Palliative Care has appointed Jonathan Blank as its new executive director.

Delivering person-centered care and reaching patients earlier in their illness trajectories are the Lakeport-California-based provider’s main priorities, according to Blank.

“Community members are encouraged to learn how our compassionate team can assist you and your loved ones. Sooner is better,” Blank told local news. “We have outstanding employees and volunteers with an unwavering patient-centered culture that effectively aligns with other health care providers throughout the county. I look forward to sustaining the high standard of care the agency is known for and growing services that will meet the ever-changing health care needs in our community.”

The nonprofit hospice has served patients in the area since 1979. Hospice Services of Lake County also operates three thrift stores. Proceeds from the stores fund its grief program, Wings of Hope Family Bereavement Camps, and also help support hospice patients and families with special needs.

Blank joined the organization earlier this year in February after serving in a similar role at an Arizona-based hospice.

“We welcome Jonathan to the hospice services and palliative care team,” David Flaig, chair of the organization’s board of directors, said. “His background in agency operations and strategic planning, along with his compassionate character, will play a pivotal role as we continue to extend our quality services to families in need. We are excited Jonathan Blank accepted this position and are thrilled how he has demonstrated commitment to mission-focused leadership and building a strong care team.”

Center for Hospice Care Taps Two New Directors

Indiana-based Center for Hospice Care (CHC) recently tapped two new directors to head its patient services.

Christine Madlem became CHC’s director of nursing, responsible for guiding clinical teams and ensuring quality care delivery.

The organization also named Janice Young, a registered nurse, as its new director of inpatient units.

CHC provides home health, adult and pediatric hospice and palliative care, and operates four locations and cares for patients and families across nine counties in northern Indiana.

The organization also provides community education and bereavement services, and offers a Pet Peace of Mind program, which provides financial resources and volunteer pet care assistance to hospice patients, as well as assistance rehoming companion animals as needed.

Madlem has been with the organization for nearly 17 years, moving up the ranks from case manager, patient care coordinator, director of inpatient services and clinical staff educator. She has more than 26 years of nursing experience, working in surgical and cardiac intensive care units in hospital settings for a decade before turning to hospice.

Madlem began pursuing a career in the field following the death of her father at 51-years-old due to leukemia, who was never offered the option of hospice.

“[I] wanted to give back peace of mind and services to families that [my] father was not able to have,” she said in a recent announcement.

Meanwhile, Young will oversee a team of 12 registered nurses and 12 CNAs at each of the hospice’s inpatient facilities, including Esther’s House and Ernestine M. Raclin House. She’ll also be responsible for ensuring compliance at both units.

Young relocated to work at the Indiana organization after serving as a hospice admissions counselor and clinical staff educator in Arizona.

Prior to that, she was an inpatient unit manager at a Colorado-based hospice provider, holding the same role for a hospice in Nashville. Young was also director of clinical services for a Utah-based home health company, and has worked with pediatric hospice patients in Texas, Colorado and Arizona.

“It is an honor to be a part of someone’s life when they have reached the end of their journey,” Young said in a statement. “Being able to provide comfort, compassion, and education to patients and their loved ones has had an amazing impact on [my] life.”

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