Board president emeritus retires following 15 years of service
Lawrence, Mass. (September 10, 2020) – Like many volunteers at Home Health Foundation, David W. Nesbitt of Andover began donating his time and talent in an effort to give back. He joined its board in 2005, grateful for the compassionate care provided to his wife, Jane, by Merrimack Valley Hospice – one of the organization’s member agencies – as well as the support he and his family received after she succumbed to her battle with cancer on November 20, 2004.
Since he announced his retirement effective September 9, 2020, Home Health Foundation President and CEO Karen Gomes said the entire leadership team has paid tribute to Nesbitt for his numerous professional accomplishments while serving the board in a variety of capacities.
“Throughout his tenure, Dave has been highly regarded and admired for his leadership, honesty and willingness to teach, share and learn,” Gomes said. “Countless patients and families, as well as the nonprofit agencies of Home Health Foundation, have immensely benefited from his expertise and tireless dedication. While we wish him the very best on his well-deserved retirement, his invaluable advice and contributions will be sorely missed.”
Nesbitt, a 2011 Visiting Nurse Association of America Volunteer of the Year, was chair of the three-year, $5 million Campaign for the Merrimack Valley Hospice House to build the first hospice and palliative care residence in the Merrimack Valley. The ambitious financial goal was met due in large part to Nesbitt’s marketing insight, impassioned appearance in an inspirational campaign video and personal efforts to secure donations, despite fundraising during one of the deepest recessions in more than 25 years. High Pointe House in Haverhill, a home-like alternative to hospitalization for patients in need of specialized end-of-life care, opened in 2009.
Nesbitt also became immersed in major national issues of complex federal payment and administrative changes facing Home Health Foundation, and strengthened legislative action with local and federal officials while serving on the Board of Trustees.
In one of numerous examples, Nesbitt lobbied for delaying the implementation of a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Final Rule mandating that a patient’s eligibility for the Medicare Home Health benefit relies upon a documented face-to-face encounter between a patient and physician for the clinical reason that home health services have been ordered. When this Final Rule was announced in 2011, Nesbitt helped to coordinate a public relations campaign to educate local and national officials on the burden it would have on physicians, patients and the entire home health care industry while soliciting the help of physicians, hospital administrators and others who would be impacted.
Nesbitt was also relied upon for mentoring and team-building during major leadership transitions, including the retirement of former Home Health Foundation President and CEO Joan Stygles Hull in November 2009 after 13 years with the organization. Nesbitt, who was treasurer of the Board of Trustees at the time, was then selected to assume the role of chair. He led by example, acting as a role model to new board members while guiding the search committee to guarantee a smooth leadership transition for incoming President and CEO John Albert.
According to Gomes, Nesbitt has earned the respect and trust of staff, colleagues, health care administrators, legislative officials, patients and their families with his “special mix of straightforward values, sound judgment and sense of duty to Home Health Foundation.”
“We are fortunate to have benefited all these years from Dave’s innovative know-how,” Gomes added, “not to mention his commitment to putting in the hard work required to get the job done.”
To learn more about Home Health Foundation services, or to arrange for care, contact the referral team at 800-333-4799 or visit homehealthfoundation.org.
About Home Health Foundation
Home Health Foundation, which includes providers Circle Home, Commonwealth Nursing Services, Hallmark Health VNA, Home Health VNA, Home Health VNA of NH, Merrimack Valley Hospice and York Hospital Hospice as part of the Wellforce Health System, provides essential home health and hospice care in all the places patients call home. Together, these agencies are leading the development of a new era of innovation, with a relentless focus on transforming home-based care. For more information, visit HomeHealthFoundation.org.