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Institute Executive Director to Retire

Last month, I wrote about the exciting direction that the CSU Shiley Haynes Institute for Palliative Care will be taking over the next year. I want to share with you now news of a new direction I will be taking as well – as of the end of this month, I will retire from the Institute and take up a new role as CEO of the Coalition for Compassionate Care of California, in Sacramento. Judy Thomas, after 24 years of inspired and diligent leadership of CCCC, is retiring for real, and I have been honored with an appointment to her position. A process is underway to name an Interim Executive Director for the Institute; in the meantime, the Institute is in the very good hands of Dr. Sharon Hamill, our Director of University Relations and Research, Dr. Patricia Prado-Olmos, Chief Community Engagement Office for the CSU San Marcos, and Dr. Godfrey Gibbison, Dean of CSUSM Extended Learning.

As I reflect on the past five years – two of them through the greatest public health crisis in a century – I am incredibly proud of what our Institute team and Campus Partners were able to achieve:

  • Increased outreach to the general public/community by 34%
  • Increased the number of preprofessional students learning about palliative care by 89%
  • Increased enrollments of healthcare professionals in palliative care and care management courses by 322% (from 5,981 to 25,242) from 50 states and 48 countries
  • Increased the number of course offerings from 83 to 213, including 4 certificate-level programs and 3 instructor-led cohorts
  • Increased revenues by as much as 40% in one year pre-pandemic, and kept them strong during two very challenging years
  • Fostered Campus Partner programs with CSUSM, CSU Monterey Bay, and Fresno State
  • Built out a robust set of grab-and-go resources for CSU faculty to access in order to increase awareness of palliative care across disciplines
  • Executed four National Symposia for Academic Palliative Care Education and Research, attracting almost 700 attendees from across the country
  • Most importantly, profoundly impacted the lives of thousands of clinicians striving to advance palliative care and the millions of patients and families for whom they care.

To adapt the phrase, success has many mothers, and our success was well mothered by philanthropist Darlene Marcos Shiley, numerous charitable foundations, CSU San Marcos leadership especially President Neufeldt and Chief Community Engagement Office Patricia Prado-Olmos, President Emerita Karen Haynes, the CSU Chancellor’s office, and our National Advisory Board. My gratitude goes to all of them for their unflagging support of the Institute, and our vision of a world where every health professional has the knowledge and skills to provide exceptional whole person care, and care is at the heart of healthcare.

A process is underway to identify an interim Executive Director for the Institute, and I hope to announce their appointment prior to my departure at the end of the month. It has been my honor and pleasure to lead the Institute during these past five years, and I feel blessed to have shared the journey with such a remarkable group of individuals and such a supportive home. Blessings on the work!

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