North Central News

Health leaders stepping down

Two longtime leaders in the Valley health care industry are retiring, leaving some big shoes to fill and two impressive legacies behind them.

Susan Levine will retire as Hospice of the Valley’s executive director July 1 after 23 years leading one of the nation’s largest and most highly regarded not-for-profit hospices.

Susan Levine, left, will retire as Hospice of the Valley’s executive director July 1, and Debbie Shumway, senior vice president, will assume the top leadership position (submitted photo).

Susan Levine, left, will retire as Hospice of the Valley’s executive director July 1, and Debbie Shumway, senior vice president, will assume the top leadership position (submitted photo).

“It has been an honor for me to lead an agency entrusted by the community with making one of the most important times in life the best that it can be,” said Levine. “What a privilege and a gift.”

“Susan’s contributions are immense,” said Lanny Lahr, chairman of Hospice of the Valley’s board of directors. “Her passion, expertise and determination have created a community treasure that has brought comfort to tens of thousands of people at the end of life and supported their families. The fact that Arizona has one of the highest hospice utilization rates in the country is largely because of her efforts.”

Debbie Shumway, senior vice president, assumes the top leadership position. Debbie has served at Levine’s side throughout the 23 years. A certified public accountant, Shumway has overseen the agency’s financial operations, expanding her areas of responsibility over the years to include fund development, volunteers, information services and clinical offices.

Levine, 75, feels confident in her successor’s ability to sustain and adapt HOV to the current dynamic healthcare marketplace.

“Deb possesses the heart of a servant leader and the brain and guts to go with it,” she said. “We are extremely lucky to have her ready, willing and way more than able to assume the leadership role.”

In 1994, Hospice of the Valley served 140 patients a day with 120 staff members and a $5 million budget. Today, the agency cares for 2,900 patients a day with 1,300 staff, 2,300 volunteers and a $130 million budget. About $10.3 million provides charity care for people without insurance or financial means. For more information, visit www.hov.org.

After dedicating 30 years to leadership in the healthcare industry, Rhonda Forsyth, president of HonorHealth, is retiring. Forsyth helped guide the successful merger of two long-time Valley healthcare organizations into HonorHealth—John C. Lincoln Health Network, and Scottsdale Healthcare.

Forsyth was honored in April at the Assistance League of Phoenix’s 45th Annual Celebration of Caring. “Rhonda has been a great supporter of ours for many, many years,” said Brenda Sperduti, CEO and executive director for ALP. “It was because of Rhonda and John C. Lincoln that we found the property where our Philanthropic Center is located.”

Rhonda Forsyth

Rhonda Forsyth

ALP partnered with Desert Mission, providing HUGS bears for the Dental Clinic and books for Desert Mission Food Bank recipients, demonstrating a true partnership, Sperduti said. “Rhonda has been involved in so many positive things that make our community better. When she sees a need, she gets involved and makes things happen.”

Forsyth will retire from HonorHealth on Dec. 31, and will continue to lead HonorHealth through her transition date.

“Nothing makes me prouder than to be connected with this great organization,” said Forsyth. “And nothing humbles me more than to think of the thousands of people whose lives we touch. Every single day of my work life has had meaning because of what we do to care for people.”

Forsyth started working at John C. Lincoln Health Network in 1987 and served in numerous roles overseeing managed care and revenue cycle operations. She served as CEO of what is known today as HonorHealth John C. Lincoln Medical Center and HonorHealth Deer Valley Medical Center, before being named president and CEO of the former John C. Lincoln Health Network in 2009. When John C. Lincoln Health Network combined with Scottsdale Healthcare, Forsyth assumed the role of president of HonorHealth.

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