Carroll Hospice
Q&A with Executive Director Reggie Bodnar

Carroll Hospice welcomed Regina (Reggie) Shannon Bodnar as its new executive director in October 2015. A certified hospice and palliative care administrator, Bodnar comes to the organization with more than 30 years of experience working in hospice and palliative care, as well as oncology nursing and nursing administration.

How did you become interested in hospice and hospice care?
Early in my nursing career, I specialized in cancer nursing. This was a time when the effectiveness of cancer treatments was very different than it is today. This was also soon after the birth of hospice in this country, and a natural link between the two evolved. In the early years of hospice, greater than 90 percent of patients had a cancer diagnosis; now it is less than 40 percent.

I was enticed by the commitment to patient- and family-centered care of hospice, the clarity of communication that was at the very foundation of the work, the ability to provide care specially tailored to the patient/family’s preferences and the opportunity to collaborate with a team of professionals to provide the type of care I would want for myself or a loved one. Once I made the move, I never looked back.

Why is hospice’s mission of providing quality end-of-life care important to you?
The journey through end of life is our opportunity to accompany patients and families through what can be a very tender time. We need to appreciate it for the incredibly personal experience that it is and not so much a medical event. I have been known to say that there are no ‘do-overs’ in hospice care; we have to get it right the first time. We are helping patients finish their stories, bring relationships to a close and, most importantly, make lasting memories. Only care based on an unwavering commitment to quality can facilitate this being done well.

What is your vision for the future of Carroll Hospice?
I would like to see Carroll Hospice become the provider of choice in each of the jurisdictions we serve. We presently provide close to 80 percent of the end-of-life care provided in Carroll County. This is unprecedented elsewhere in the state. We, however, also serve Frederick and Baltimore counties.

I would like to see us expand services in Carroll County and grow our presence in the other jurisdictions—and for good reason. Our quality metrics exceed both the regional and national benchmarks. Carroll Hospice provides great care that is respectful of patient and family wishes, and we would like patients and families in our neighboring counties to receive this exceptional care.

What do you hope to bring to the patients and families of Carroll Hospice?

We will continue to bring care that is provided by exceptional team members—skilled professionals and volunteers with their hearts in the right place—to the patients and families we are privileged to serve. I hope to be able to expand our relationships with community partners to ensure seamless comprehensive care and to eliminate the gaps in care that may presently exist.

The number one complaint that we receive is that patients and families wished that they had known about us earlier. Many people don’t realize that hospice is a benefit through Medicare that can extend for 6 months. I am hopeful that through the relationships and partnerships we build that we will be able to ensure families know about the end-of-life care we have to offer.

I also hope to be able to feature some innovative and creative initiatives through our volunteer program. This will allow us to tailor care even more than we are capable of today.

To learn more about Carroll Hospice, call 410-871-8000.