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Bristol Hospice L.L.C. Appoints Christie Franklin to Chair Position; Names Dr. Stephen A. Leedy as New President and CEO

SALT LAKE CITY, Sept. 22, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Bristol Hospice, L.L.C., a premier provider of family-centered hospice services, announces the appointment of industry veteran and visionary, Christie Franklin, RN, BA, as Chairman of the Board of Managers of Bristol Hospice, L.L.C. In conjunction with this appointment, proven hospice and palliative care physician executive, Stephen A. Leedy, MD, MA, FAAHPM, HMDC, has been named as President and Chief Executive Officer. The leadership change is effective immediately.

Ms. Franklin, a visionary leader, was integral in the establishment of Bristol Hospice, L.L.C., as its founder, growing the organization from startup to serving more than 900 patients daily through its community-based hospice agencies operating in seven states throughout the United States. As Chairman, she will continue as an employee of Bristol Hospice, L.L.C., and provide overall strategic vision to the Board of Managers for the advancement of Bristol Hospice, L.L.C.'s mission. Ms. Franklin will continue to represent the organization through active participation on accreditation, quality and industry-related committees, and national boards.

"Christie is well-respected for the impact she has made to the advancement of hospice, palliative care and homecare, and for her more than 25 years of executive leadership experience," stated Randy Kirton, Chief Executive Officer, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Avalon Health Care, Inc., Bristol Hospice, L.L.C.'s holding company and former Chairman of the Bristol Board of Managers. "As Chairman, Christie's vision will ensure Bristol Hospice, L.L.C.'s continued success as we navigate the challenges and opportunities associated with this new era of healthcare reform. I am pleased to 'pass the reins' to such an innovative leader."

Ms. Franklin has a Bachelor of Arts in Health Care Management, and has been a registered nurse for more than thirty years. Ms. Franklin was appointed to the National Quality Forum for Home Health Quality Measures 2004 and the National Quality Forum for Hospice and Palliative Care Framework Review Committee 2005. She was appointed in 2006 to the Brown University Perception of Care Panel. She is a current and past member of the NHPCO Quality and Standards Committee, having served from 2008 to the present, and will serve a two-year term as Chair of that committee through 2015. In March of 2015, Ms. Franklin was appointed to a three-year term on the CHAP Board of Review. Ms. Franklin was Treasurer of the 2013 NHPCO Hospice Action Network Board and remains a current member of the NHPCO Hospice Action Network Board. She is a past member of the NHPCO Governance Committee. Also, Ms. Franklin has served over the years in numerous national committee and boards supporting the hospice and homecare industry. She has also conducted numerous national hospice and homecare presentations and authored several publications. She was a member of the HCAP Advisory Board—2009 through 2014. Ms. Franklin served on the National Association for Home Care and Hospice Strategic Planning Congress Nominating Committee and the Proprietary Advisory Board, and is also a past member of the Hospice Association of America.

"Through this planned leadership succession, I am pleased to turn over the day-to-day operations and leadership to Dr. Leedy," Ms. Franklin said. "In addition to being a proven physician leader, Dr. Leedy is an approachable, sought-after speaker and hospice and palliative care advocate. I feel assured the rich Bristol culture that has been established will continue through his leadership and the Bristol leadership team, as they are the keepers of the culture."

Dr. Leedy earned his Doctor of Medicine degree at The Ohio State University College of Medicine, and completed his family medicine residency at Northwestern University in Chicago. He was recently awarded a Master's Degree in Palliative Care Leadership from Lancaster University in Lancaster, England. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM) and is the Immediate Past Chair of their national Public Policy Committee. He has previously served on the Board of Directors of the Florida Hospice and Palliative Care Association (FHPCA). Dr. Leedy is board certified in Family Medicine with subspecialty board certification in Hospice and Palliative Medicine, and is a certified Hospice Medical Director. He has had original research articles published in the Journal of Palliative Medicine. Dr. Leedy's recent appointments include Vice President of Post-Acute Care of BayCare Health System, a large integrated health system in west central Florida. He has also served as National Vice President of Operations for Seasons Hospice and Executive Vice President/Chief Medical Officer for Tidewell Hospice.

"It is an honor to work with the Bristol Hospice, L.L.C. leadership team to position the organization's ongoing expansion of services and quality initiatives," Dr. Leedy said. "I look forward to supporting the Bristol Hospice team and leading the development of collaborative relationships with hospitals, physicians, skilled nursing facilities, other service providers and payers across the post-acute care continuum."

About Bristol Hospice, L.L.C.

Bristol Hospice, L.L.C., established in 2006, is graciously committed to becoming the provider of choice, by building a bridge in the continuum that offers family-centered hospice, as well as a comprehensive suite of clinical specialties and supportive care. By Embracing the Reverence for Life®, Bristol Hospice, L.L.C. operates hospice and homecare programs within several communities in California, Georgia, Hawaii, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas and Utah. In 2014, Bristol Consulting and Management Services, L.L.C. was added to our suite of services. For more information, visit www.bristolhospice.com.

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Source:Bristol Hospice