DANVERS, MA. --- Diane Stringer, president and CEO of Care Dimensions, announced today she will retire later this year, pending the board of directors’ successful search for her replacement. Stringer has been the president and CEO of the Danvers, Mass.-based not-for-profit hospice organization for the past 27 years, leading its transformation from a small volunteer program to its present position as the largest hospice in Massachusetts.
“My decision to leave Care Dimensions is a personal one, made carefully and with mixed emotions,” said Stringer. “When I first joined what was then Hospice of the North Shore almost three decades ago, there were three part-time employees and about 40 volunteers. Today, Care Dimensions employs 430 people, has over 400 volunteers and cares for nearly 700 patients a day throughout eastern Massachusetts.
“Care Dimensions is in a very strong position as I embark on the next chapter of my personal journey. There is an experienced leadership team in place, a dedicated board of directors and committed and caring employees. We have a well-defined strategic plan that will guide the organization’s continued growth in the coming years. This is the right time to begin a transition in leadership, so that a new CEO can participate in shaping the plan and see it through to fruition,” she concluded.
During Stringer’s tenure, the organization built Massachusetts’ first licensed inpatient hospice facility, the 20-bed Kaplan Family Hospice House which opened in 2005. It is currently in the process of obtaining state and local approvals to construct a similar facility on Winter Street on the Waltham/Lincoln line, expected to open in 2017. Stringer also oversaw the 2014 rebranding of the organization from Hospice of the North Shore to Care Dimensions. The new name was chosen to reflect the organization’s broader geographic reach which extends beyond the North Shore to encompass 90 communities in eastern Massachusetts, as well as expanded services including palliative care and community education in addition to hospice services.
Under Stringer’s leadership, Care Dimensions received the prestigious 2015 national Circle of Life Award from the American Hospital Association and other leading health care organizations, in recognition of its innovative programs and services. It was chosen as one of 140 hospices nationally to participate in the Medicare Care Choices Model demonstration project beginning in 2016, which will provide supportive services to patients who can continue to seek aggressive treatments for their terminal illness.
“We accept Diane’s decision to retire with sadness and a tremendous amount of respect for her exceptional leadership and vision,” said Board Chair Pamela Lawrence. “Her passion for helping people and for organizational excellence drove her to transform what was a grass-roots volunteer effort into a national leader in providing comprehensive, compassionate end-of-life care.”
The board of directors has engaged a healthcare executive search firm specializing in hospice leadership to conduct the search for Stringer’s successor. The Furst Group, headquartered in Rockford, IL, will begin the nationwide search in February 2016 and Lawrence expects the search to take approximately six to nine months. Stringer will continue in her position as president and CEO until her replacement has been selected and through the transition period.
“We want to assure our patients and families, our healthcare partners and the community that this transition in leadership will have no impact on Care Dimensions’ level of service or growth plans,” Lawrence said.
Care Dimensions, founded in 1978 as Hospice of the North Shore, was one of the nation’s first hospice providers. As a community-based, not-for-profit leader in advanced illness care, it has become the largest, most comprehensive hospice provider in Massachusetts. With the mission of providing exceptional care, support, education and consultation to those affected by life-limiting illness, death and loss, Care Dimensions provides care for patients in more than 90 communities in eastern Massachusetts.
Since 1978, Care Dimensions has provided comprehensive and compassionate care for individuals and families dealing with life-threatening illnesses. As the non-profit leader in advanced illness care, we offer services in over 100 communities in Massachusetts.