Community Hospice Continues To Deliver On Its Mission
Helping families cope with the last months, weeks or days of a loved one’s life takes a special type of person – and those that answer the call of Community Hospice work can be put into that category.
C. DeSha McLeod is one of those people. Here, in a question and answer session, we learn more about this CEO and what her chosen career means to her.
Q: First, how did you get involved with Community Hospice and how long have you been part of the organization?
A: A little over four years ago while residing in Mississippi, I was contacted by a recruiter and was asked to entertain the open President/ CEO position at Community Hospice. Living in Mississippi at the time and having high school children my immediate response was that it would not be a good fit. The recruiter continued to be persistent as they felt I would be a good fit for the position and persuaded me to make the trip out to California to learn more about the opportunity and organization. It was during that trip that I felt a calling to Community Hospice. I went back to Mississippi, spoke with my family and with their encouragement and support I accepted the position. I moved to Modesto and joined the Community Hospice family in 2013 and have very much enjoyed making the organization and community my home.
Can you provide a brief description of your position and the duties that go along with it?
As the President/CEO I am responsible to the Board of Directors for the management of all aspects of Community Hospice, CHI Management, Inc., and Community Hospice Foundation including the authority of selection, removal and supervision of all employees of the organizations. I am also responsible for the administration of agency policies consistent with the purpose, goals, and objectives established by the Board of Directors and the regulations of licensing agencies. I establish, implement, and evaluate our organization’s goals and objectives for our programs and
services that meet and promote the standards of quality and contribute to the total organization and philosophy. Is this a staff or volunteer position? The President/CEO position is a staff position. What is your educational/ work background?
BS in Business Administration from William Carey University, Hattiesburg MS (2001)
MBA in Business Administration from William Carey University, Hattiesburg MS (2003)
Certified Hospice and Palliative Care Administration, by the Hospice and Palliative Credentialing Center (2017)
Prior to joining the Community Hospice family I was the Chief Operations Officer for the Hospice Division of Camellia Healthcare based in Hattiesburg, MS.
Of the different community-based events that Hospice hosts, is there one that is your favorite?
Besides our hospice services that we offer the community, Camp Erin of the Central Valley is one of my favorite programs. Children can be misunderstood and often overlooked when it comes to the death loss of someone close to them. Camp Erin of the Central Valley offers children and teens a unique opportunity to bond with peers that are going through similar situations and provides resources and needed tools to help them along their grief journey. I am honored to be able to walk alongside many of them providing a listening ear and a hopeful heart. It is encouraging to know that our program can help change the lives of many children and teens in our community and
I am extremely proud of that.
Can you quantify the value that Community Hospice brings to the region?
As the oldest and largest nonprofit hospice provider in the Central Valley, Community Hospice has walked alongside and assisted thousands of friends and neighbors in our community for nearly 40 years. Founded by two volunteers who had a vision of providing comfort care to terminally ill patients when curative measures were exhausted, Community Hospice has evolved from where it began in 1979. Our mission is to provide compassionate and quality care, education and support to terminally ill patients and their families, regardless of ability to pay. Services go beyond hospice support offering grief support services to anyone in the community that has experienced a death loss. We believe no one has to walk their journey alone and are honored many community residents turn to us in their time of need.
If someone needs your services, how do they go about getting in touch with the organization?
For information regarding Community Hospice programs and services, community residents can call our main number at (209) 5786300 or visit hospiceheart.org. To make a referral for hospice support, residents and physicians may call the Community Hospice Care Services Department directly at (209)578-6340. What do you enjoy most about what you do?
Every day I have the privilege of working with incredible people in our community. Being a part of the Community Hospice family is a gift that I am thankful for daily. I have the rare honor of working alongside talented and kind hearted staff that are mission driven to make a difference for our community friends and neighbors. Community Hospice allows me the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others.
C. DESHA MCLEOD