After nearly four years at the helm, Alive Hospice President and CEO Kimberly Goessele has decided to step down. Her departure closely follows an announcement that a rumored sale of the hospice would not take place.
Goessele has led the Nashville-based nonprofit hospice since October 2019. During her tenure, the organization faced not only a global pandemic, but a range of financial pressures.
Alive Hospice did not comment on the reasons for her leaving and gave no indication that the alleged acquisition was a factor.
Like many hospice providers, Alive has navigated labor shortages, rising care delivery costs, lingering pandemic headwinds and a shifting reimbursement environment. After weighing the decision for several months, the hospice’s board ultimately decided it will not be sold.
Goessele has been instrumental in the organization’s ability to weather these challenges, according to Alive’s board of directors.
“Alive is grateful to Kimberly for her service to the organization and to the people and community we serve,” they told Hospice News in an email. “During the past four years, Kimberly has shepherded the organization through steady growth and significant change, most notably an unprecedented global pandemic that deeply impacted the lives of employees, patients and their families. We wish her the best in her future endeavors and appreciate her continuous support of Alive and its mission.”
Founded in 1975, Alive Hospice provides care to nearly 5,000 patients annually across 12 counties in central Tennessee. The nonprofit’s services include home- and facility-based hospice and palliative care, as well as grief support.
Prior to joining Alive Hospice, Goessele was COO at 180 Health Partners. She has also held various executive and leadership roles at health organizations such as Premise Health, Healthways, CHD Meridian Healthcare and Turnkey Business Solutions, among others.
As whispers of a potential sale swirled, outcries erupted from the community. Reportedly, the prospective buyer was a publicly traded company.
Nearly 4,000 community members signed a petition for Alive to remain a nonprofit organization. The petition cites concerns that a change in ownership could adversely affect quality and access to care among underserved communities.
Alive board members recently dispelled public speculation when announcing that the hospice was not for sale. Financial pressures in the industry during recent years have posed a “difficult chapter” for the organization, with “significant investment” of time, expertise and community resources being part of Alive’s future long-term sustainability, they previously told Hospice News.
Goessele will continue to support the organization for several weeks to “ensure a smooth transition,” according to Alive’s board of directors.
The organization is in the midst of conducting a nationwide search to fill the position, they told Hospice News.
Joseph Hampe, COO at Alive Hospice, will serve as its interim president and CEO. Hampe was previously the organization’s CFO, serving in the role since 2012. Prior to that, he was associate director of health care public finance at Raymond James Financial, and also held CFO and controller roles at Siloam Springs Memorial Hospital in Arkansas.
“Joe is an accomplished health care professional with [more than] 30 years of health care financial and operational experience,” the organization stated in a news release. “In addition to overseeing Alive’s financial management, he was also instrumental in the development and groundbreaking of our second residential hospice facility, located in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.”