ALEXANDRIA, Va., Feb. 24, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and its affiliated organizations (National Hospice Foundation, Global Partners in Care, and Hospice Action Network) announced that President and Chief Executive Officer J. Donald Schumacher, PsyD, will retire at the end of 2016. Schumacher has been president and CEO of NHPCO since 2002.
Schumacher's decision to retire comes after more than four decades of service on behalf of hospice and palliative care at the community provider level as well as in national and international leadership roles.
"I look back on these years and what stands out so vividly in my mind has been the opportunity to work with so many individuals who have dedicated their professional lives to caring for others. I have visited hospice and palliative care programs of all kinds in every corner of this country and have had the opportunity to engage with professionals, volunteers and supporters who have taught me important lessons every single day. I have met with an untold number of legislators and administrators sharing the hospice and palliative care story. I have spent time at the bedside of the dying and their family members – and I have been privileged to learn from them all," said Schumacher.
A committee under the direction of NHPCO Board Chair Linda Rock will lead a national search for Schumacher's successor. The organization's current leadership team anticipates smooth operation during this period of transition.
Representative accomplishments during Schumacher's tenure as president and CEO include:
- Consistent membership retention levels averaging 96 percent every year.
- Development of Hospice Action Network, a grassroots advocacy network in excess of 60,000 hospice advocates and supporters.
- Successful efforts to increase more timely and appropriate levels of hospice oversight by federal regulators and protection of the Medicare hospice benefit.
- Launch and successful growth of the We Honor Veterans initiative created in partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs.
- The award winning national engagement campaign, Moments of Life: Made Possible by Hospice.
- Expansion of the work of Global Partners in Care to nations beyond sub-Saharan Africa.
- Creation of the National Center for Care at the End of Life as the permanent home of NHPCO and its affiliated organizations.
From 1989 until he joined NHPCO, Schumacher served as the president and CEO of The Center for Hospice and Palliative Care in Buffalo, where he led the development of integrated hospice and palliative care programs. Prior to that, he was the president and founder of the Hospice of Mission Hill in Boston, which was established as one of the first HIV/AIDS hospices in the U.S.
A globally recognized authority on hospice and palliative care, Schumacher has been active throughout his career as a member and officer of various industry organizations. He currently serves on the boards of the National Health Council and the World Hospice and Palliative Care Alliance. An active public speaker, he has presented domestically and internationally on topics such as strategic planning for hospices, quality and access to care, palliative care policy development, and clinical guidelines for HIV.
Schumacher is a licensed clinical psychologist in New York and Massachusetts and holds a doctorate degree in psychology from the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology, Boston. Among his professional awards, in 2005, he received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the State University of New York at Buffalo, where he earned his M.S. degree in counseling psychology.
"Don Schumacher has worked tirelessly for our members and those we serve. Through his strategic leadership, we have seen a strengthened, unified hospice and palliative care community that is working to increase access, promote quality, and expand the vision of care for people living with serious and life-limiting illness," said NHPCO Board Chair Linda Rock.
Schumacher will be honored at this year's annual National Hospice Foundation Gala on April 22, 2016.
Senior Vice President, Strategic Communications
NHPCO is the oldest and largest nonprofit leadership organization representing hospice and palliative care programs and professionals in the United States. NHPCO's mission is to lead and mobilize social change for improved care at the end of life, www.nhpco.org.
SOURCE National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization