In October of 2021, Transitions will begin servicing both hospice and palliative care patients in the Pittsburgh region. We are very proud to acquire Pilgrimage Hospice, and would like to extend a warm welcome from the Transitions family! We are honored and excited to make an impact by establishing the Transitions care model in Pennsylvania.
Transitions initial service area upon entry will include Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Washington, Lawrence, Armstrong, Westmoreland counties in Pennsylvania, with hopes to continue expanding our footprint in Pennsylvania as we move forward.
For this month’s Spotlight, we sat down with Glenn Thomas, who will oversee our operations as the administrator in Pennsylvania. Glenn has 31 years of experience in healthcare, including 21 years of management. We are thrilled to have this opportunity, and look forward to seeing what he and the rest of our Pennsylvania team will accomplish. Read below to learn more about his background, motivations, and goals as we progress.
Q: What is your background and past experiences with hospice? Tell us a little about yourself as well (background, interests, fun facts, etc.)
A: I have been a Master’s prepared RN for 31 years and have spent the last 21 years in a management role. I tell everyone that I have worked in most aspects of healthcare from an aide to a Chief Nursing Officer/Chief Operations Officer. However, the majority of my career I spent in critical care. About ten years ago, as I was working to resuscitate an elderly woman, I thought to myself that there has to be a better way to service our patients at the end of their life. That is when I decided to enter into hospice. I felt that hospice was a humane and compassionate way to work with others as they transition from earth into heaven. If hospice is done right the death experience can be a beautiful thing. I look at every hospice patient as an opportunity for us to assist them to experience a peaceful and beautiful death
Q: What brought you to Transitions?
A: Our company had an opportunity to expand in the Pittsburgh market by partnering with Transitions. We feel that Transitions gives us the ability to expand our service area so we have the opportunity to make a greater impact on the Pittsburgh Region.
Q: What are you most excited about in regards to the merge with Transitions? Why are Transitions and Pilgrimage such a good fit together?
A: It is exciting to meet someone like Jim Palazzo and Tim Scully that share the same passion and vision as you and your company. It is a rare find to have two companies to have these shared values and qualities. The most important of those qualities is the way we service our patients. I have always said throughout my career, “when you put the patient first everything else falls into place.” I know that Pilgrimage and Transitions share this same philosophy. By putting the patients and families first, this will help drive your quality initiatives which in turn will increase your marketing opportunities. Those increased marketing opportunities give us the chance to service more people in our service area which makes a greater impact on our community. Isn’t that why we all do what we do is to make a greater impact on our community or region that we serve?
Q: What do you see as the keys to success for Transitions in the Pittsburgh market? Why?
A: I always ask my staff, “what makes us different from all of the other hospices?” Our differences, which I am hoping will be integrated into the Transitions business model, are: We have an End of Life Doula; she holds vigil for every patient to assist them through the death process. My Doula is one of my best assets. Imagine taking a family that is scared as they go through the death process with someone that I consider an expert in her field and having her assist them to the end. Her knowledge and approach brings calmness, relief, and even joy as patients transition over to the other side. The other piece is having a strong clinical staff that has built relationships with the patients and families. I feel that this is an essential piece to our success. Patients and families are looking for a trusted soul and I believe when they have that sort of trust the end results will always be positive.
Q: What are your goals for the team in Pennsylvania in the first 6 months? First year?
A: The first goal is to get through the merger process with ease. Once we have completed that, the next goal is to increase our presence and footprint in the Pittsburgh Region. Finally, over the next year I would like to have an opportunity to grow the Pennsylvania territory. I know this state well and I believe there are boundless opportunities throughout the state to make an impact in every community like Transitions is capable of doing. These are exciting times not just for the Pittsburgh area but for the entire state. They just don’t know it yet, but they will sooner than later!