Dove House Hospice is saying goodbye to Chief Executive Dr Anna Wolkowski who is set to retire at the end of November. Anna is well respected and highly regarded at the hospice based on Chamberlain Road, Hull, and within the local health care community, who will feel a great loss when she hands over the reins in the coming few weeks.
 
During her time as Chief Executive Anna built and cultivated a culture of compassion and innovation at the hospice which paved the way for a number of accolades including being voted 5th in Sunday Times Top 100 Best Not For Profit Organisations to work for in the UK and being placed 1st in the leadership category, all voted for by the staff she led. She also gained her PhD which looked at the importance of respite care and under Anna’ s leadership, the hospice has become a 24/7 fully accessible service. Most recently Anna has collaborated with the University of Hull on the MSc in Dementia to pass on her expertise in Dying Well with Dementia, something Anna feels very passionately about. 
 
Chair of the Dove House Board of Trustees Philip Daniel’s reflects on Anna’s departure:

“It will be an immense loss to Dove House when Anna retires at the end of November, the whole hospice will miss her greatly. We cannot thank her enough for everything she has done for the hospice over her time here.

“Anna has led our beloved hospice with compassion and strength, she is a well-respected leader and has built solid foundations on which local hospice care can be developed. Anna even moved into the hospice for the first three months of lockdown to ensure she was able to be hands on when the hospice needed it most. This in itself speaks volumes about Anna’s incredible commitment to the hospice over the years.

“She will be greatly missed by the staff and volunteers at Dove House, her colleagues from across the region and by the patients and families who she has worked with across the years.”

Anna, who joined Dove House as Head of Nursing back in 2003, said, “It has been a complete privilege to work at Dove House. By the time I retire, I will have been here for over 17 years, which is a mark of how much it has meant to me and how much I will miss it.
 
“What people often really don’t understand is what an incredibly complex organisation a hospice is. Not only do we provide a core part of health service provision, but we also must raise most of the money we need to provide it ourselves. We couldn’t do this without the support of our wonderful volunteers and the amazing generosity of the local community, and because we always keep patients and their families at the centre of everything we do, there is this huge sense of commitment, passion and dedication.
 
“I will miss the hospice and my colleagues dearly, but I know I am leaving it in great hands.”
 
Over a year in the planning, it will be the current Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Finance and Support Services, Chris Sadler, who will take over from Anna as the new Chief Executive on December 1st.  Anna commented, “Chris has been a huge support to me in my time as Chief Executive and I am delighted that he will be the next leader of Dove House. He is someone who knows the organisation inside out and his knowledge, breadth and understanding of the hospice and the wider hospice world is extensive.”
 
Philip Daniels added that, “As the Finance Director working closely with the Board of Trustees, Chris has been responsible for steering us safely through the incredibly choppy financial waters of the pandemic and I believe he is uniquely qualified to lead the hospice through the challenges that lay ahead.”
 
Director of Business and Income Development, Sarah Cash, will be his new deputy and former Head of Clinical Services Linda Johnson will take over as Director of Clinical Services. Dr Rachael Dixon remains the lead consultant in palliative medicine for the hospice.
 
Chris Sadler said, “There is no doubt that the next few years are going to be very challenging, not just in terms of our financial resilience and sustainability, but also our obligation to maximise our social value and the impact we can make in the community we serve. But this has also been a time to reflect and to recognise and appreciate the valuable contribution that Anna has made to the success of the organisation over the past few years. Her leadership, guidance and support has been invaluable throughout my time as Deputy Chief Executive. So, as we face the future, I am extremely proud to take on this role and do so with the confidence that we have an excellent team in place to help the organisation develop and prosper in the years ahead.”