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People in the News

Jan. 4 - Hospice Savannah Welcomes New President/CEO

Category: People in the News

Savannah Business Journal Staff Report

January 4, 2019 - Hospice Savannah, Inc.’s Board of Directors welcomes Kathleen D. Benton, Dr.PH, MA as the legacy hospice’s next President and CEO.

Dr. Benton is currently Director of Clinical Ethics and Palliative Care at St. Joseph’s/Candler and will assume her position on Jan. 22, 2019. Her appointment is the result of a national search conducted by a Board of Directors’ committee formed after current President and CEO, Debra Anthony Larson, announced her forthcoming retirement.

Maura Sovchen, Chair of the Board, says, “The Search Committee was impressed by Kathleen’s passion for our mission. Her prior experience within the local medical community and on our Boards, her personal experience with palliative care for her brother combined with her intellect and energy make her the perfect CEO to lead Hospice Savannah into our fifth decade of service to our community.”

Dr. Benton’s connection to Hospice Savannah dates back to 2010 when she became a member of the Board of Directors. She was subsequently appointed to the Steward Center for Palliative Care Board, serving as Chair from 2017 to 2018. She says, “I am deeply honored to become the head of such a beloved and highly esteemed organization that has been helping friends and neighbors for 40 years. My goal is for everyone to easily access the incredible resources available to them  – whether that be for grief support through Full Circle, family caregiver support through the Edel Caregiver Institute, or help with serious illness through the Steward Center for Palliative Care.”

A native of Savannah, Dr. Benton lives on Isle of Hope with husband Rex and children Julia Grace, Jack and Andrew. She holds a Masters in Bioethics from Case Western Reserve University and a Doctorate in Public Health Leadership. She has been with the St. Joseph’s/Candler Hospital System for over 12 years, most recently as Director of Clinical Ethics and Palliative Care. She oversees the inpatient palliative team, collaborates with the outpatient palliative team and chairs the Bioethics Committee.  Dr. Benton serves on the faculty of Mercer University Medical School and Augusta University (Medical College of Georgia).

An international speaker, Dr. Benton has authored many reviews and articles, and the book The Skill of End-of-Life Communication for Clinicians; Getting to the Root of the Ethical Dilemma, 2017, Springer Publishing. A second book The Dignity at End of Life in Medicine; A Spiritual Reflection on the Clinical Area of Palliative Care, jointly authored by Vatican appointee Msgr. Renzo Pegoraro, will be published by Routledge in 2019. One of Dr. Benton’s first duties as Hospice Savannah’s President and CEO will be to co-facilitate the hospice’s 11th Annual Lecture Series with Dr. Pegoraro.  Details can be found at www.HospiceSavannah.org/annual-lecture-series.

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