Hospice Muskoka Executive Director To Retire From Role On April 30

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Sandra Winspear, executive director of Hospice Muskoka
Sandra Winspear. Photo courtesy of Sandra Winspear

Sandra Winspear of Hospice Muskoka has announced that she will be retiring from her position as Executive Director on April 30. Winspear will still be at Hospice Muskoka part-time until the end of September helping to coordinate fund development and marketing efforts. The following is her public notice of retirement:

To the Wonderful People I Have Come to Know and Admire;

It is with very mixed emotions that I share with you that I will be retiring from my position as Executive Director of Hospice Muskoka on April 30, 2021.

Since the loss of my grandmother in 1995, who died in a 4-bed surgical ward in a Toronto hospital with the privacy curtain drawn around her and no one present as she took her last breath, I have been inspired to advocate for deeper understanding and acceptance of end of life and my passion to celebrate lives that have been well lived with joy and connection. My dream has always been that my grandmother’s story would one day be a mere acknowledgement of ignorance versus a deep regret that it is still happening to far too many, especially during this last year with COVID-19.

It has truly been a gift to be a part of such a forward thinking and responsive organization as Hospice Muskoka. I feel humbled and blessed to think of the individuals I have met in service, our hospice supporters, the many board members, staff, volunteers, like-minded service providers and community partners that I have had the privilege to work with over my tenure. It has been an exhilarating, rewarding, sometimes successful, other times frustrating journey, but well worth the effort when I think of what we have accomplished.

The Right-Honourable Beverley McLachlin, 17th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada remarked in a recent presentation I attended, that good leaders do not need to prove themselves, they just quietly do it, because they have the Confidence to be Courageous enough to carry out their Convictions with Compassion and Caring. Curiosity is the private gym that has no membership restrictions, where leaders go to exercise their greatest muscle, their brain, without fear of Censure. I can truly admit that I “C” and understand her words! Every person that I have met in my work has quietly exhibited these traits and I will really miss the amazing synergy that Hospice Muskoka has come to stand for. However, retirement beckons and I look forward to the “next act” with new faces, new ideas, new milestones and as always, the same commitment and passion to fire the next generation of doers. It is time for a new storyteller.

I am really pleased that the board has hired Nurse Practitioner and Director of Care of Andy’s House, Donna Kearney, to assume the role of Executive Director. Donna is a true inspiration and innovator in health care. I know that the home fires of Hospice Muskoka and Andy’s House will continue to burn hearty and flourish under her leadership. I will continue part time until the end of September 2021 to assist in the transition and try to pass on 25 years of ‘learning from’ and ‘listening to’. I will focus my attention on fundraising and building our team of supporters in these last months.

Thank you all for making this one of the most memorable experiences in my life.

With heart-felt gratitude,
Sandra Winspear
Executive Director
Hospice Muskoka

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