Greifzu picked as interim leader for home health and hospice agency
MIDDLEBURY — Addison County Home Health & Hospice (ACHHH) announced on Thursday that its clinical director, Sherry Greifzu, will now serve also as the agency’s interim executive director, taking over for longtime leader Larry Goetschius.
Goetschius announced on Dec. 4 that he was leaving to “explore other options in my life,” according to ACHHH board President Chuck Burdick.
It was this past May that Greifzu was named clinical director for ACHH&H, a New Haven-based nonprofit with 185 full- and part-time workers that provides a wide variety of health care services for Addison County patients in home settings. Those services include nursing care; physical, speech and occupational therapies; hospice care; prenatal and infant care; and support services promoting healing and independence at any age.
Greifzu has an extensive clinical, administrative and educational background, and is certified as an advanced practice oncology nurse. Her most recent work has been with Novocure Corporation as a clinical science liaison, providing education and research to physicians and staff at cancer centers in the Northeast. Prior to that, she served as nursing director of medicine and oncology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. Greifzu has also worked for Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center as director of practice and education, and is a faculty instructor in the graduate nursing program at Franklin Pierce University.
“I’m excited and privileged to accept the interim position of executive director,” Greifzu said through a statement. “Since joining the agency, I have enjoyed collaborating with our community partners and working with our exceptional staff. I look forward to supporting and leading the ACHHH team as we continue the strong legacy of patient care that our community has come to know and expect from this organization.”
Members of the ACHHH board gave a resounding vote of support to Greifzu.
“As a board, we are confident that Sherry is the right person to lead the agency both clinically and strategically during this time of transition,” said Burdick. “Our mission of providing high quality home health and hospice care remains steadfast. Sherry and the entire staff are deeply committed to that mission.”
Burdick said he could not yet offer details on how long Greifzu is expected to serve as interim leader, nor about the process for selecting a permanent leader.
Goetschius began his stint as executive director of the ACHHH back in December of 2000. He succeeded Charlene Wedwaldt, who had retired after more than 30 years with the agency.
Prior to joining the ACHHH, Goetschius had worked for 11 years as administrator for surgery at the University of Vermont Medical Center. Prior to that, he held administrative positions at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital, both in Boston.
Goetschius left his position on Dec. 4 after announcing his decision to his staff, according to Kim Nichols, the agency’s marketing and development manager.
“My time here at ACHHH has been the most rewarding of my career,” Goetschius told his colleagues upon his departure, according to a statement released by the organization. “What you’ve taught me about caring for patients and for each other has truly changed my life. Thank you for showing me what it means to be part of a team that makes a difference every day.”
The agency doubled its annual budget, from $5.4 million to just over $11 million, during Goetschius’s tenure, according to Burdick. During four of the past six years, the industry has recognized ACHHH as a “Home Care Elite” agency, ranking it in the top 25 percent of Medicare providers for patient outcomes, satisfaction and financial stability, according to Burdick.
Goetschius was a founding member of Addison County’s Community Health Action Team, a collaboration of local providers working toward greater integration of health services in Addison County to improve the delivery of care, increase patient satisfaction, and reduce costs.
“He was a champion and tireless advocate for home health and hospice care both in our county and at the state level as well,” Burdick said. “His passion was to find ways to provide the absolute best patient care and still find ways to be sustainable financially in these uncertain and turbulent times. On behalf of the board, I wish him every success in whatever endeavors he seeks.”
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].