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Hospice of the Valley’s Leadership Transition

Frontdoors News
July 6, 2016

Susan Levine retired as Hospice of the Valley’s executive director July 1 after 23 years leading one of the nation’s largest and most highly regarded not-for-profit hospices. Debbie Shumway, senior vice president, assumes the top leadership position.

“Susan’s contributions are immense,” said Lanny Lahr, chairman of Hospice of the Valley’s board of directors. “Her passion, expertise and determination have created a community treasure that has brought comfort to tens of thousands of people at the end of life and supported their families. The fact that Arizona has one of the highest hospice utilization rates in the country is largely because of her efforts.”

Debbie Shumway has served at Levine’s side throughout the 23 years. A certified public accountant, Shumway has overseen the agency’s financial operations, expanding her areas of responsibility over the years to include fund development, volunteers, information services and clinical offices.

“Debbie brings two decades of experience with the agency to the top job,” Lahr said. “Her qualifications are impeccable and her spirit is perfectly suited to the agency’s mission.”

In 1994, Hospice of the Valley served 140 patients a day with 120 staff members and a $5 million budget. Today, the agency cares for 2,900 patients a day with 1,300 staff, 2,300 volunteers and a $130 million budget. About $10.3 million provides charity care for people without insurance or financial means.

“It has been an honor for me to lead an agency entrusted by the community with making one of the most important times in life the best that it can be,” said Levine. “What a privilege and a gift.”

Levine, 75, feels confident in her successor’s ability to sustain and adapt HOV to the current dynamic healthcare marketplace.

“Deb possesses the heart of a servant leader and the brain and guts to go with it,” she said. “We are extremely lucky to have her ready, willing and way more than able to assume the leadership role.”