New hospice CEO ready to get to work
According to the Hospice of Charles County, hospice facilities care for more than 1.65 million patients and their families nationwide every year. The main focus of a hospice is caring, not curing, and quality family care. In order to continue moving towards quality family care, Hospice of Charles County has hired a new CEO, Brandon L. Jones.
Del. Edith J. Patterson (D-Charles), a member on the hospice board of directors, said she liked Jones’ energy from the moment the board interviewed him.
“I liked the fact that he has a background in the sciences, so he under- stands the physiology of humans,” Patterson said. “He has worked in vari- ous states and venues so that diversity in terms of his employment portfolio was very impressive. He’s energetic and seems interested in meeting the challenges of hospice. He seems to have a lot of involvement in the community and I think it is really good to bring in people from other areas so that they can bring their ex- periences and knowledge and we can learn from them and, in return, they can learn from us.”
“I was so interested in this position because it aligns with what I’ve been doing: managing nonprof- it organizations,” Jones said. “This is a flip from what I’ve been doing — going from primary care and prevention to end-oflife and that perspective of health care, but I have always had a passion for community health and empowering un- der-served communities through improved health care awareness and ac- cess. I think I can grow in this position and I have a lot of great ideas that they haven’t tapped into here.”
Jones said becoming the CEO of a nonprofit organization was a natural progression for him. A native of Conway, S.C., he says he has experienced firsthand the needs and lack of health services in under-served rural and urban areas. He is a graduate of the University of South Carolina earning a bachelor of science in biology and a master of health administration. He was previously the chief operating officer of Hamilton Health Center in Harrisburg, Pa., as well as chief operating officer for Community Health Centers in South Caroli- na, New York and Penn- sylvania.
Jones describes him- self as well-grounded, outgoing, professional, interpersonal and the best friend who is the manager but also gets results. He loves music and has been playing piano since he was 9 years old. He enjoys spending time with family, especially his nephews, and participating in community service events with his fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraterni- ty Inc., in which he is very active.
When Jones began his duties as CEO on Oct. 10, he committed himself to working in the nonprofit healthcare sector with a mission to accomplish quality care for all. The hospice board of direc- tors agreed that Jones’ senior-level oversight for the functions and activi- ties relative to corporate administration and health center operations will make him a great individual to lead the mission of the Hospice of Charles County.
“So far my job has been a lot of fact-finding, at- tending meetings so the staff [can] meet me faceto-face because that’s important to me,” Jones said. “In the first year I plan on spending a lot of time re-establishing relationships since they’ve been out of a CEO for al- most a year. I would like to re-establish relationships with local hospitals and business leaders in the community.”
Jones said one of his first projects will be work- ing towards improving the county’s awareness of hospice and increasing education of hospice among African-American communities.
“In most families there is a stigma with hospice and they do not understand what hospice is,” Jones said. “I want to tap into those communities so that we can have a higher percentage of Af- rican-American families, Hispanics and other minorities utilizing hospice long term.”
He would also like to highlight other hospice services like bereavement, chaplain services and counseling. Jones believes that hospice is more than the patient’s care — it’s also about the families. He wants families to understand that hospice care is about keeping patients comfortable so they will be able to live their last days or months in comfort with their loved ones. He would also like to work and refine the organization’s process of receiving patients quickly.
Patterson said it was refreshing to hear his willingness and ambition to raise awareness in the community, especially in regard to hospice and bereavement. She knows firsthand that the bereavement process can be very long and difficult, having lost her husband while he was in hospice many years ago.
“In the last 10 years, the whole ideology of hospice has totally changed from what it used to be,” Jones said. “We see the importance of making sure people are engaged in the hospice activities and outreach so I do hope the stigma of hospice can continue to change.”
Patterson said she believes Jones will do well with the organization’s objectives and sees him as a valuable asset to Charles County and Southern Maryland.
Hospice of Charles County CEO Brandon L. Jones is ready to tackle his new position with the nonprofit organization.