Mary Schumacher, CEO of Hospice NZ shares her thoughts about demonstrating leadership through values based services at Hospice.

Demonstrating leadership through values based services

Hospices grew from the community, in many areas of New Zealand a group of volunteers were instrumental in the establishment of a hospice service. Volunteers play a huge role in all areas of hospice – providing leadership at a Governance level, providing services to patients and families and raising funds and awareness. Every year over 1 million hours of time are given by more than 14,000 people. We are hugely grateful for the generosity of such an important group that ensure our connection with community continues.

I believe our shared values are what drive people to give so much – respect, choice, empowerment, holistic care and compassion are the bedrock of hospice. The way services are provided has changed considerably over the years in response to becoming integrated in the mainstream health system, however the values remain the same.

To me leadership means the values are reflected through all areas of a hospice service and are understood and demonstrated by any person, paid or a volunteer and at all levels of the organisation. When this happens, people using hospice services receive better care as they experience those values through their interactions with staff and volunteers. No matter how medically focused the service becomes a patient and their family and whanau should always feel respected, that they have choice, empowered and that they have received compassion in their care.  That is when real and effective leadership has occurred.


Hospice – demonstrating leadership through values based servicesMary Schumacher
CEO, Hospice NZ






More about Hospice NZ

Hospice is not a building; it is a philosophy of care. Our goal is to help people make the most of their lives.”

We care for the whole person, not just their physical needs but also their emotional, spiritual, and social needs too. We care for families and friends as well, both before and after a death. Irrespective of where they are, this philosophy of care does not change and everything we provide is free of charge.

We believe that hospice care should be available to anyone who needs it, helping people make the most of every moment, in whatever way works for them.”