By the Bay Health Chief Executive Officer Kitty Whitaker has announced plans to retire in the spring of 2023. Whitaker, a Corte Madera resident, joined the nonprofit organization in 1996 (known then as Hospice of Marin) as a hospice nurse. Over her 27-year career she took on various roles in clinical leadership, was promoted to chief operating officer, and in 2014 was appointed chief executive officer.
“The board would like to thank Kitty for her many contributions to this organization and the
profound impact her work has had on our patients, families and communities,” said Bob Simon,
chair of the Board of Directors. “A national search for a new CEO is currently underway and we look forward to speaking with candidates who will build on the organization’s 47-year, long-standing legacy.”
Under Whitaker’s leadership, By the Bay Health saw a 234% increase in the number of
patients and an expansion of service into San Mateo, Napa and Solano counties. Whitaker also
worked to increase patient access to the service lines of hospice, pediatric hospice and palliative care, and adult palliative care. The organization opened a Skilled Home Health Care division in 2017. An affiliation with UCSF Health to promote hospice and palliative care within UCSF’s regional healthcare system was formed in 2015. In 2021, citing Hospice by the Bay’s dynamic growth, Whitaker led efforts to rebrand the organization from Hospice By the Bay to By the Bay Health.
Whitaker led the creation of care programs with several local agencies, including dedicated hospice care rooms at Sonoma Valley Hospital, The Redwoods retirement community and the general inpatient program at UCSF Health. Whitaker’s guidance was also critical to the agency’s response during the Sonoma wildfires and, most recently, during the COVID-19 pandemic, when By the Bay Health shifted quickly to provide comprehensive telehealth services in order to meet the needs of patients and families experiencing unprecedented isolation.
“It has truly been an honor to grow with this agency over the years. This is a special place to work, where everyone shares our mission of providing compassionate care for those facing serious medical challenges. Our board of directors is thoughtfully searching for the right person to take over as CEO and I have the utmost confidence in them,” Whittaker said. “As for myself, my years at hospice have taught me about the value and appreciation of time, and I look forward to spending it with family and friends, interests, and new pursuits.”
The nonprofit By the Bay Health, an affiliate of UCSF, provides home-based care for those facing life-limiting illnesses. Services include hospice, skilled home health care, palliative care and pediatric care in the counties of Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Sonoma and Alameda and the cities of American Canyon, Napa and Vallejo. Grief support and education on end-of-life care are offered to the community-at-large. For more information, call 415-927-2273 or visit bythebayhealth.org.