Hospice of Michigan Undergoes Leadership Change

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DETROIT —  After 15 years at the helm of the largest nonprofit hospice in the state of Michigan, Dottie Deremo is retiring as president and CEO of Hospice of Michigan.

Deremo, far left, will move into the new role of executive emeritus at the end of this year, which will allow her to focus exclusively on public policy advocacy, fundraising and business development for @HOMe Support, the organization’s flagship advanced illness management program. She will also continue to represent the organization nationally and statewide through public speaking opportunities. Deremo has made a three-year commitment to serve HOM as executive emeritus.

Meantime, Robert Cahill, executive vice president and chief administrative officer, will succeed Deremo as president CEO. Cahill has been a member of the executive team at HOM for the past 15 years, joining the organization in May 1998 as vice president and chief financial officer before moving into his current role in 2009. He brings a well-rounded background of hands-on experience in finance, operations, sales and marketing to his new role, as well as a deep understanding of the organization and a strong commitment to its mission.

“I feel blessed to have been able to share this journey with HOM, which has allowed me to do meaningful work at the pinnacle of my career,” Deremo said.”But now is an appropriate time for me to take my foot off the pedal a bit.

During her tenure at HOM, Deremo led the integration of 10 small and independent hospice organizations into one statewide hospice with national influence.  Her successes include:

  • Introduction of technology into the patient-care process, improving both quality and efficiency. HOM utilizes electronic medical records, online pharmaceutical ordering and bedside tablets and computers for its nurses and other professionals who care for more than 1,300 patients it serves each day across the Michigan. Last year, the organization launched a mobile app that allows patient families and others to get real-time updates when HOM team members visit.
  • Development of @HOMe Support, a wholly owned subsidiary of the organization focused on advanced illness management. @HOMe Support has established numerous partnerships with leading healthcare organizations in Michigan and is working to extend the program to other states.
  • Establishment of partnerships with leading universities and health systems, including Oakwood Health System, the University of Michigan, Detroit Medical Center, Genesys Health System, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Blue Care Network, and others, earning it the national nickname  the “Harvard of Hospice.”
  • Creation of the HOM Institute, which houses the Maggie Allesee Center for Innovation and is an innovation, research and education center that has allowed the organization to develop innovative patient care models, conduct groundbreaking research in end-of-life care, train the trainers in its own and other hospice organizations, and enhance quality of life at the end of life.

Sanford Linden, chair of the HOM board of trustees, said that the organization was advised by transition consultants who concluded that HOM had the best candidate for CEO already on board, allowing the organization to preserve its executive team and continuity.  Studies have shown that the majority of organizations that bring in external candidates to their top leadership slots often lose those executives in less than two years.

“Today’s leadership transition is the result of three years of thoughtful planning and the synergy of a very talented group of upper-level management who work together extremely well,” Linden said. “We found ourselves in the enviable position of having the best candidate for CEO right at our fingertips, allowing a seamless transition that will keep a strong and effective team intact and moving forward. The potential is game changing.”

Prior to joining HOM, Cahill served as vice president of operations for the largest division of Value Health, a managed care operation responsible for more than 3.5 million patients. He has also served chief operating officer and CFO for Insight Recover Centers, the largest non-profit mental health and substance abuse organization in Michigan.  Additionally, he has served in leadership roles with American Way Life Insurance and Great Lakes Recreation Corp.

He holds a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Michigan University and a master’s in administration from Central Michigan University.  He has also completed Harvard University’s Executive Education Program.

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