01-22 leadership

The new hospice and palliative care team at Pemi-Baker Home Health includes, from left, Sandra Gamble, nurse practitioner; Chandra Engelbert, CEO; Danielle Paquette-Horne, director; and Lisa Fortson, program supervisor. (Courtesy Photo)

PLYMOUTH — For the past six years, Mary Francis Drake, director of hospice and palliative care, has been an instrumental force in creating several of Pemi-Baker Community Health’s valuable programs, including the palliative care program, the Healing Matters program, Pet Peace of Mind, Hospice Help fund, and advance directive initiatives, and she collaborated with the Bridge House to make a hospice room available for those in need.

Her departure in December had been planned for two years, allowing her to help with the hiring and organizing of the new Hospice and Palliative Care leadership team, setting the programs up for continued success.

As the new supervisor, Lisa Fortson brings years of social work experience to Pemi-Baker’s team and she will be helping hospice families find and use community resources while providing communication between the families and nurses day-to-day.

Sandra Gamble has a new role as hospice and palliative care nurse practitioner, which will enhance health care for chronically and terminally ill patients by offering in-hospital and in-home consultations. Gamble is credentialed with both Medicare and Speare Memorial Hospital, offering patients the option of a visiting primary care provider. It will give Gamble the time to address needs, help with advance-care planning and transition people to hospice for end-of-life care when needed. Her skills in nursing and teaching, along with her compassion and concern for patients, fit well into the health care agency's philosophy of supporting patients with their healthcare needs across the continuum of care.

Registered Nurse Danielle Paquette-Horne will oversee the visiting nurses as well as the palliative and hospice teams. Her years of experience as a visiting nurse, including being a founding member of the Sanctuary Home Health Nursing agency, has given her organizational and interpersonal skills that will be in high demand while overseeing more than 40 employees out in the field.

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