Home Healthcare Hospice and Community Services head to retire

Barbara Duckett

Barbara Duckett

The Board of Directors of Home Healthcare Hospice and Community Services has announced that Barbara Duckett, president/CEO, will retire effective Nov. 15. Duckett has served as CEO of HCS for the past 12 and a half years.

“It is a bittersweet moment to be retiring from the work and the people I love,” said Duckett in making the announcement.

Duckett has led the organization since 2000, and seen the agency through major transitions and growth. Both the number of clients treated and the budget have more than doubled in that time. HCS is one of the largest nonprofits in the region and one of the largest homecare agencies in the state. It is well-known in the community as preeminent provider of nonprofit visiting nurse and hospice services, as well as Meals on Wheels and the only public transportation system in the City of Keene. Over 700 patients a day receive home health or hospice services and another 700 receive services from Meals on Wheels, the Castle Center Life Enrichment program, transportation, Maternal and Child Health and Wellness programs. The organization employs over 450 individuals and operates from headquarters in Keene and branches in Peterborough and Charlestown, serving all of Cheshire County and many towns in Hillsborough and Sullivan counties.

In 2001 and 2002, the agency conducted a campaign to finance the purchase and renovation of a new headquarters. Successfully completing this project in 2003, the organization moved to a renovated historic building at 312 Marlboro Street. The building also houses the Castle Center, an adult day program.

In addition, Duckett led the agency through challenging financial times for home health care. The primary reimbursement provider, Medicare, changed its formula for paying agencies in 2000 and introduced complex documentation requirements.

She is a board member and officer in the two largest state organizations of home care services, The New Hampshire Homecare Association and The Visiting Nurse Association of Northern New England, and works with those groups to navigate new requirements and regulations so that agencies such as HCS can survive under ever-changing terms.

She has also worked closely with The Cheshire Medical Center in Keene, Monadnock Community Hospital and the area’s other health care providers, such as nursing homes and assisted living facilities to build partnerships and collaborations to improve patient care and outcomes for patients when they transitioned from hospital care or outpatient care into home care or hospice care. She served on the board of Rivermead Retirement Community and serves on the boards of the Monadnock Community Hospital and PC Connection.

During Duckett’s tenure at HCS, the agency was awarded Elite Home Care Agency status by the national home care data analysis group, OCS. This award is based on the analysis of patient outcomes and patient satisfaction. She and her team received the Annual Award for Non Profit Management Excellence from the N.H. Endowment for Health and most recently the agency received the Health Innovator Award from Harvard Pilgrim Health Care.

“Barbara brought to the agency a heightened sense of the need for community participation, stronger more dynamic outreach activities and a general sense of enthusiasm and energy which extended to patients, employees and the community,” said Katherine Snow, HCS Board chair.

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