Jan 2020: A wonderful start to the New Year and decade with the news our CEO Mary Schumacher has been given the award of Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to Palliative Care.
Mary has been the Chief Executive of Hospice New Zealand since 2006 and is well regarded nationally and internationally for her expertise and experience in the palliative care sector.
Under her leadership many high impact pieces of work have influenced the development of palliative care and end of life care for all New Zealanders, including the Hospice NZ Standards for Palliative Care, the Fundamentals of Palliative Care and the Foundations of Spiritual Care.
She regularly represents hospice and palliative care at a national level on collaborative groups such as CANGO and Government Sector representative groups such as the Palliative Care Advisory Group and Cancer Control Council. She has led negotiations with government to secure significant increases in funding for all services throughout New Zealand over the past 13 years to ensure hospice care remains free of charge. She was Chief Executive Officer at Mary Potter Hospice, Wellington for 10 years before moving to the national role.
Alongside her hospice work Mary is a voluntary Board Member of the Sisters of Compassion – Home of Compassion, a role she has held since 2011. During this time the organisation has grown and diversified their work including projects to extend their services to the provision of affordable, warm, dry housing for the elderly in Horowhenua and Upper Hutt. Mary also supports community groups such as The Aunties and Dementia Wellington.
We are just thrilled that Mary has been recognised in this way.