Ms. McGinnis, CEO of Hospice Cleveland County, Retires After 33 Years of Dedicated Service
Charlotte, N.C., Sept. 6, 2023 – VIA Health Partners – Cleveland County, founded as Hospice Cleveland County, announces the retirement of long-time leader Myra McGinnis. Ms. McGinnis began her career with Hospice Cleveland County in February of 1990 and was named CEO in 1994.
Over her 33-year tenure, Ms. McGinnis played a crucial role in the organization’s growth and the delivery of exceptional end-of-life care. Since 1994, Hospice Cleveland County has served over 16,000 hospice patients at home and in other settings.
When McGinnis joined Hospice Cleveland County in 1990, the organization had 12 employees and fewer than 25 patients. Today, it serves nearly 190 hospice patients daily and employs over 130 workers.
Says McGinnis, “My greatest sense of accomplishment comes from having created much greater access to hospice care for people in our community, and generating meaningful job opportunities that make a tangible difference in people’s lives.”
Under McGinnis’s leadership, the Wendover Hospice House, one of the first hospice houses in the state, opened in 1996 and underwent two expansions. In 2010, the Testa Family Hospice House in Kings Mountain was established. Together, these facilities have provided peace and comfort to more than 5,000 individuals in their final days.
In 2004, Hospice Cleveland County pioneered the provision of palliative care services for individuals with serious illnesses who are not yet eligible for hospice care. Currently, the organization serves over 400 palliative care patients daily.
“It has been my honor to lead Hospice Cleveland County, now VIA Health Partners, for the last three decades. Despite the increasing complexity of healthcare, the essence of hospice care remains the same. Immensely compassionate hospice professionals, with great expertise in end-of-life care, are fully present with hospice patients and their loved ones during their end-of-lie life journey. It is sacred work carried out by extraordinary people, and I have been privileged to work with them.”
Throughout her career, McGinnis received numerous prestigious awards, including the Peter Keese Award from the Carolinas Center for Hospice and End of Life Care, the Bridge Builder Award from the Cleveland County Chamber of Commerce, and the Cleveland County Athena Leadership Award, which recognizes women leaders. She is a Certified Hospice and Palliative Care Administrator and a Senior Fellow of the American Leadership Forum.
In 2018, McGinnis and the Hospice Cleveland County Board began a multi-year assessment of the future of hospice care, which led to a merger with Hospice & Palliative Care Charlotte Region, North Carolina’s first and largest non-profit hospice.
Says McGinnis, “It became apparent that Hospice Cleveland County would need a strong, reliable, and like-minded non-profit partner to navigate impending changes facing all hospices. Selecting Hospice & Palliative Care Charlotte Region as our partner was an easy choice. Further, I had known and respected their president and CEO, Peter Brunnick, for many years, and our organizations had successfully worked together on initiatives that allowed us to develop trust with each other.”
“Bigger is not always better,” notes McGinnis. “However, being part of a larger organization with the talent and resources to face an unexpected pandemic, navigate a national nursing shortage, compete against for profit hospices, adapt to a myriad of regulatory changes, and survive increased reimbursement scrutiny allows us to continue to grow, prosper, and serve people in our community who need our care.”
The organizations merged on November 18, 2020, and the combined entity, recently rebranded as VIA Health Partners, now serves approximately 1,400 hospice patients daily across 32 counties in North and South Carolina.
“The word via means to travel by way of. The name VIA Health Partners emphasizes the organization’s commitment to walking with patients and their loved ones as they travel through their final months. It also emphasizes our role as a partner to their healthcare providers, including their primary care physician. What it does not do is limit us to one geographical area, including just Cleveland County,” commented McGinnis.
“I feel fortunate to have known Myra prior to the merger and had great respect for her leadership and the disciplined way she operated Hospice of Cleveland County,” said Brunnick. “She was and remains a leader who put the wellbeing of the organization above herself and crafted a vision that will sustain our Cleveland County operations well into the future.”
Rachel Hill, a 13-year veteran of Hospice Cleveland County, has been appointed as the new local leader for VIA Health Partners – Cleveland County.
Concludes McGinnis, “I feel confident that I am leaving Hospice Cleveland County, now VIA Health Partners, in very good hands. I have complete trust that our tradition of providing exceptional care will continue.”
About VIA Health Partners
VIA Health Partners began as Hospice at Charlotte, the state’s first hospice, in 1978 and then operated under the name Hospice & Palliative Care Charlotte Region (HPCCR) for decades before its name change to VIA Health Partners in 2023. Today VIA Health Partners serves 3,500 patients each day for hospice and palliative care services. Our service area encompasses 14 counties in North Carolina--Burke, Catawba, Cabarrus, Caldwell, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, McDowell, Mecklenburg, Polk, Rutherford, Stanly, and Union. Its service area in South Carolina includes Abbeville, Anderson, Cherokee, Chester, Chesterfield, Fairfield, Greenville, Greenwood, Kershaw, Lancaster, Laurens, Newberry, Oconee, Pickens, Saluda, Spartanburg, Union, and York counties.
Contact: Peggy Brookhouse