Miami based VITAS Healthcare is bidding a heartfelt farewell to one of its most esteemed and dedicated professionals, Peggy Pettit, RN, who retired at the end of December 2023. Pettit’s four decades of unwavering commitment to VITAS and the hospice community have left an indelible mark, impacting countless lives and embodying the true spirit of compassionate care.

Pettit’s journey with VITAS began in 1983 when she joined the organization as a registered nurse. Her passion for hospice care was evident from the start, as she embraced the company’s mission to provide comfort, dignity and peace to patients facing life-limiting illnesses. Pettit’s growth within the organization is a testament to her dedication and the nurturing environment that VITAS provides for its employees.

Throughout her illustrious career, Pettit has taken on various roles and responsibilities within VITAS. From her early days as a compassionate bedside nurse to assuming leadership positions—patient care administrator, general manager, and vice president, chief operations and executive vice president roles—Pettit’s journey has been marked by a tireless pursuit of excellence in delivering hospice care.

Pettit has been a driving force behind several important initiatives within VITAS, setting many standards for the nation’s leading hospice care provider, including:

Ensuring quality end-of-life care for patients with HIV and AIDS in the 1980s, at a time when VITAS was South Florida’s sole provider for those with the disease.
• Advocating for the company’s earliest technological advancements, including electronic medical records, throughout the 1990s-2000s.
• Drawing up the four VITAS Values in 1993 that guide every employee every day.
• Becoming the first vice president of patient and family services in 1998 and carrying on the tradition of female leadership as the protégé of VITAS co-founder Esther Colliflower.
• Introducing an outreach program for underserved communities, which includes educational initiatives and establishing enduring relationships such as the 20-plus year partnership with the National Black Nurses Association since 2003.

Additionally, Pettit has supported the hospice and healthcare community through leadership across several boards and organizations. She actively chairs both the California Hospice and Palliative Care Association and the Florida Hospice and Palliative Care Association.

Reflecting on her remarkable journey, Pettit stated, “Working in hospice care has been a calling for me, and I am grateful for the opportunities VITAS has provided to make a difference in the lives of patients and their families. It has been a privilege to be part of an organization that values compassion and dignity at its core. I could not have asked for a more fulfilling experience.”

VITAS President and CEO Nick Westfall expressed his deep appreciation for Pettit’s exceptional contributions, stating, “In an industry guided by empathy and service, Peggy’s impact extends beyond the office and into the hearts of those she has served. Her story is a testament to the meaningful careers that dedicated individuals can build within the hospice community. We wish Peggy a retirement filled with joy, relaxation and fulfillment from a career well-lived.”

As Pettit takes this well-deserved step into retirement, the entire VITAS family, its national partners and the hospice community at large join hands in thanking her for four decades of selfless service and wishing her the utmost happiness in the next chapter of her life. Pettit’s impact will continue to resonate, inspiring future generations of healthcare professionals dedicated to making a difference in the lives of those most vulnerable.

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About VITAS® Healthcare
Established in 1978, VITAS Healthcare is a pioneer and leader in the American hospice movement. Headquartered in Miami, Florida, VITAS (pronounced VEE-tahs) operates 50 hospice programs in 14 states (California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin) and the District of Columbia. VITAS employs 10,443 professionals who care for patients with advanced illness, primarily in the patients’ homes, and also in the company’s 25 inpatient hospice units as well as in hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living communities/residential care facilities for the elderly. At the conclusion of the third quarter of 2023, VITAS reported an average daily census of 19,047. Visit www.vitas.com.