Continuity and Change on the Hospice Board

One of the key measures of the health and success of a non-profit organization lies in its leadership. Hospice Yukon has been a dynamic, healthy organization for more than twenty five years thanks in large part to the time and dedication of its volunteer Board Members. Over the course of these two and a half decades we have seen both changes in Board membership as well as in the style of guidance and leadership that it offers.

John F Kennedy said “leadership and learning are indispensable to one another”, and the Hospice Yukon board of directors is working proof of this. The Board adheres to the ‘Policy Governance’ model of leadership: a set of principles that give the Board of Directors the ability to translate the wishes of the organization’s ‘owners’ (which in this case is all Yukoners) into the performance of the organization.  Our Board Members engage in ongoing continuing education to be proficient in this leadership method, as well as staying informed on current issues, and networking with other organizations.

This year, some major shifts have taken place – we have said goodbye to several Board Members, and in turn welcomed four new ones. We want to introduce our current Board of Directors; the five volunteers who devote their time and expertise towards shaping the goals and vision of Hospice Yukon.

Lori Eastmure
Long-standing board member Lori Eastmure

Lori Eastmure acts as Chair on the Board, and is our longest serving board member. An educator by profession, Lori was involved in the Yukon Native Teacher Education Program at Yukon College for many years. Lori was trained in Hospice Yukon’s first group of volunteers and facilitated some of our earliest grief groups, then became a Board Member more than ten years ago. Lori says “I have the privilege of working with a remarkable group of individuals who bring well-honed skills, unique perspectives, wisdom, and great ideas to the Board. Most importantly, they care deeply about representing our community in all of its complexity and diversity. It is inspiring company to be in.”

Debra Fendrick
Debra Fendrick

Debra Fendrick is one of our new Board Members. A born and raised Yukoner, Debra is also a lawyer and brings the valuable perspective of her legal background to her role on the Board. Debra says “I have always admired the work done by Hospice Yukon, and feel privileged to be associated with the organization, its staff and strong volunteer body.”

 

Chris Gray big smile
Christine Gray

Christine Gray works in YG Health and Social Services. She became involved with Hospice in 2009 as a volunteer with our Healing Touch and vigil programs before joining the Board.  She says “being a director allows me to support the growth of our organization and participate in the bigger picture of our Society’s progress in the Yukon.  It is an exciting time for us, and I am happy to be part of it.”

Nansi Cunningham
Nansi Cunningham

Nansi Cunningham brings a wealth of experience from her background in human resource development, leadership training, facilitation, and strategic planning.  She is also the owner and founder of the Vista Outdoor Learning Centre.  As a new Board Member, Nancy says “I am inspired to contribute to something that is ‘bigger than me’. Loss and grieving affects us all, and I believe in the power of support and compassion that Hospice work offers.”

Sally McDonald
Dr. Sally MacDonald

Dr. Sally MacDonald is a Yukon GP and oncologist who is well-known and loved for her patient-driven care approach.  She is involved with the Cancer Program at WGH and among other services provides extended care at Kwanlin Dun Health Centre. We are grateful to have her unique perspective and expertise in shaping the direction of Hospice Yukon.

 

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Board Members Christine Gray, Debra Fendrick, Lori Eastmure, Nansi Cunningham, and Executive Director Stacey Jones celebrate the purchase of Hospice House in August 2015. (Missing: Dr. Sally MacDonald)

Our Executive Director, Stacey Jones, works closely with the Board of Directors.  She shares “There have been many exciting beginnings in my work over the three years that I’ve been here. Working with the board under the Policy Governance model has been interesting and empowering. I am delighted to welcome our four new board members and to continue to work with the chair of our Board, Lori Eastmure, who has served on the Board of Directors for more than a decade.”

Our Board Members may be less visible in their work than other Hospice volunteers, but offer so much in the vision and leadership they provide. A heartfelt ‘thank you’ goes out to all of them.