Hospice of Santa Barbara announced Wednesday that its executive director, Steve Jacobsen, will be stepping down from his position on Jan. 24.
Jacobsen became executive director in 2008, following the retirement of Executive Director Gail Rink.
During Jacobsen’s tenure, the agency has seen the number it serves monthly increase from 280 to 700. The number of children and teenagers served increased from 55 to 170 each month, and the organization now offers professional grief support to students in eight local schools.
Among the many other accomplishments the organization achieved during his tenure, Jacobsen implemented a new “Community Spiritual Care” program that has integrated spiritual care into all of the organization’s services, including offering professional counseling services at six nursing homes.
“We are extremely grateful to Steve for his remarkable commitment to the mission of Hospice of Santa Barbara these past five and a half years,” board president Jackie Marston said. “While we are deeply saddened by Steve’s departure, we also celebrate the tremendous and significant contributions he has made to the organization during his tenure."
“It has been a privilege to serve as executive director these last 5½ years,” Jacobsen said. “The organization’s services have expanded in ways I could never have foreseen, and the quality of work done by the staff and volunteers is extraordinary. Several years ago a trusted colleague said to me, ‘I don’t think HSB will be your last stop. I think you have at least one more chapter to write.’ I’m now ready to begin writing the next chapter in my professional life.”
Hospice of Santa Barbara will immediately begin a national search for a new executive director, and longtime Hospice of Santa Barbara supporter Tina Fanucchi-Frontado has been appointed as interim executive director to lead the organization until a new executive director is hired.
Hospice of Santa Barbara “volunteers” its free professional counseling and care management services to more than 700 children and adults every month who are experiencing the impact of a life-threatening illness, or grieving the death of a loved one. Hospice of Santa Barbara is also present on 11 local middle and high school campuses to work with children and teens who are grieving the loss of a loved one.
For more information about Hospice of Santa Barbara, including volunteer opportunities, click here or call 805.563.8820.
— Kelly Kapaun is a publicist representing Hospice of Santa Barbara.