Regina Bodnar, the former executive director of Carroll Hospice, has been promoted to assistant vice president of hospice and palliative services for LifeBridge Health.
With more than 35 years of experience working in hospice and palliative care, oncology nursing and nursing administration, Bodnar joined Carroll Hospice in 2015. She has served as the president of the Hospice & Palliative Care Network of Maryland and is a member of the board of directors for the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.
“I am incredibly honored to be recognized by the [LifeBridge] system,” said Bodnar. “I am very honored that they trust me to lead the Hospice and Palliative Care Services –– it’s what I love and have spent the bulk of my career doing.”
According to Bodnar, Carroll’s Hospice and Palliative Care Services offers patients and families facing serious illness, death, and grief receive expert hospice and palliative care services.
LifeBridge Health, which is one of the largest health service providers in Maryland, has adopted palliative care services to Northwest and Sinai hospitals. LifeBridge Health includes Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, Northwest Hospital, Carroll Hospital, Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center and Hospital, Grace Medical Center and related affiliates.
“Reggie has done a tremendous job caring for the staff, our patients and families, as well as helping Carroll Hospice as an organization, as we begin to extend our services across the region,” said Ellen Finnerty Myers, vice president of corporate development from Carroll Hospital with executive oversight of Carroll Hospice.
With Carroll Hospital’s expansion of palliative care services, operations for a 14-bed inpatient hospice unit at Northwest Hospital and a 12-bed inpatient hospice unit at Sinai Hospital will begin in 2021.
Carroll Hospice has expanded its service areas to include Baltimore City and portions of Pennsylvania.
“The expansion of services across the LifeBridge Health system, including end-of-life care, palliative care and family bereavement support, has been a goal of Carroll Hospital since the merger — a goal we are excited to see coming to fruition,” said Leslie Simmons, executive vice president and chief operating officer of LifeBridge Health.
Under Bodnar’s direction, Carroll Hospice earned a level 5 We Honor Veterans status and received the Hospice Honors award by HEALTHCAREfirst, while simultaneously increasing Carroll Hospice’s average daily census total from 80 patients per day to more than 220 patients per day.
The We Honor Veterans program of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), invites hospices, state hospice organizations, Hospice-Veteran Partnerships and VA facilities to join a pioneering program focused on respectful inquiry, compassionate listening and grateful acknowledgment to enhance services received for veterans.
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And Carroll Hospice was named the 2018 Hospice Honors recipient by HEALTHCAREfirst, a program that recognizes hospices providing the highest level of quality as measured from the caregiver’s point of view.
“The end of life experience can be different from a non-service member, and to know that we understand how to care for end-of-life veterans, shows that we know how to best take of those that took care of us,” said Bodnar.
“The Hospice Honors is something that I may be even prouder of because of every family that has ever had a member on hospice takes a survey that basically scores the family-patient experience of care, and to receive Hospice Honors means that we are among the highest in the country.”
According to Carroll Hospice, a task force composed of hospice board members, community members and staff is in the process of brainstorming a new name for Carroll Hospice that will highlight the quality care it provides in the region without it being limited to geography. The new name for the organization will be announced in 2021.
Bodnar has a degree in nursing from the University of Rochester. She earned a master’s degree in anatomy from New York Medical College and a master’s in nursing from Yale University.
For the majority of her career, Bodnar has worked in hospice care and she said she feels privileged to offer care with like-minded individuals that enjoy doing the work just as much as she does.
“To my core, I believe it’s a privilege to work with people during the more challenging times of their lives, even more so this year with COVID-19,” she said. “But the work is so interdisciplinary that there’s no one-member of the team, and its fulfilling to know that we all come to the table believing that they can make this experience easier for patients and families.”