Eileen Bunning, chief executive officer of Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care, will retire from her position effective Dec. 31, said Steve Lew, chairman of the VNHC board.
Bunning joined VNHC in December 2000 as director of the Hospice Program, which at that time served 35 hospice patients at home each day in addition to six patients at Serenity House, a residential hospice facility. Today, VNHC serves 3,000 patients a year in hospice, home health and personal care programs. When she became chief executive officer in September 2001, VNHC had recently changed its name and was facing an annual operating deficit.
Lew said that under Bunning’s leadership for the past eight years, the organization achieved extraordinary accomplishments. Those include establishing a personal care program, Visiting Care & Companions, to expand beyond medical services, helping seniors remain safe and independent at home; opening a satellite office in Solvang to serve residents of the Santa Ynez and Lompoc valleys; guiding the board in the planning, purchase and construction of the new 18-bed Serenity House, scheduled to open in early 2011; increasing annual revenues from a little more than $6 million to more than $14 million; and building the organization’s total assets to more than $48 million.
“More importantly, our accomplishments were due to a commitment to integrity, delivery of quality health care and passion for those facing life threatening illness,” Bunning said. “These values allowed us to build the agency and attract and retain quality staff and board members.”
Bunning’s future plans include devoting more time to her personal life and continuing her relationship with VNHC as a consultant.
“While she will be stepping down as head of VNHC, we look forward to Eileen playing an important consultant role in the completion and opening of our new 18-bed Serenity House,” Lew said.
— Jennifer Goddard is a publicist.