Judy Smith, who has been interim executive director of Kaua’i Hospice for a few months, was recently named permanent executive director, board members said in a press release.
The announcement followed an extensive, nationwide search. Smith replaces former Executive Director Phil Clark, who left Kaua’i to further his career at San Francisco’s Episcopal Community Services, working with the homeless.
“We couldn’t be more happy with the work of the all-volunteer, executive-search committee,” said Janet Mayfield, Kaua’i Hospice board president.
“They found the best possible candidates to fill this important position at Kaua’i Hospice. Through their efforts, board members had an opportunity to interview the best in the field of death, dying and grief,” Mayfield continued.
“We are certain that we’ve made the right decision for the organization and the community.”
“I have been given so much in this world that my motivation in coming out of retirement to embark on this next journey is to truly give something back,” Smith said.
“My passion is hospice care, and being in the service of others. I feel blessed with this opportunity, and look forward to Kaua’i Hospice making greater progress in providing quality care for the dying community,” she said.
She and other hospice leaders are getting ready to move into a new, permanent facility, under construction on Pahe’e Street next to the Hana Kukui Building that houses Kaua’i Island Utility Cooperative, in Kukui Grove Village West.
Currently, Kaua’i Hospice offices are in a rented home in Isenberg Tract subdivision in Lihu’e.
Smith holds a master’s degree in healthcare administration and a bachelor’s degree in nursing, and holds registered nurse licenses in Hawai’i and California.
She began her career as a staff RN in the intensive-care unit and critical-care unit before moving to home health services.
She has over 30 years experience in nursing and healthcare administration, having held senior management positions with Kaiser Permanente before her retirement early last year.
Smith has been a healthcare volunteer serving as a board member of the American Heart Association and Kaua’i Hospice, and worked many years on the Mainland with officials and volunteers of the American Red Cross, focusing on water safety and first aid.
Both love to golf and travel, and are avid duplicate-bridge players. They are at home in Aliomanu Estates near Anahola, and have been island residents for over 10 years.
The mission of Kaua’i Hospice staff and volunteers is to ensure the highest quality of life possible for individuals and their families facing a life-threatening illness; to provide bereavement support to individuals; and to promote an understanding of hospice services.
For more information about Kaua’i Hospice and free programs, call 245-7277, or see the Web site, www.kauaihospice.org.