Kathryn Grigsby – a person of character

CONSIDERING, she is celebrating her 25th year as leader of Hospice of Baton Rouge—the only non-profit hospice organization in the city. She takes great pride in the fact that the group accepts all eligible patients, regardless of their ability to pay. “I know that no matter how difficult a day was at the office, we did something for someone that no one else was going to do.”

CONSIDERING, she is dedicated to providing end-of-life support in the most caring way possible. She gets to know the patients and families. She knows loss, and she is a compassionate soul. “I have the luxury of working with the most amazing staff. I know that they are going to do whatever they can to make that unbearable time more bearable.”

CONSIDERING, during her leadership, Hospice of Baton Rouge has grown from a staff of seven to include about 60 employees. “We service close to 800 patients a year.” Most patients are cared for at home, but eight years ago another option was devised. The Butterfly Wing at the Baton Rouge General—an acute care inpatient unit for those whose symptoms cannot be reasonably managed at home—is fully managed and staffed by Hospice employees.

CONSIDERING, she lives less than one mile from where she was born. She counts the days that she spends with her son, Robert, as some of her fondest. “He is a pure delight.”

CONSIDERING, she loves the outdoors. She enjoys fly-fishing, snow skiing and gardening. She’s a member of the Camellia Society and relishes digging in the dirt.

CONSIDERING, she has a special love for Habitat for Humanity. In lieu of a 20th anniversary gift or party five years ago, Hospice’s board allowed her to work on a Habitat house—her request. “I became a flooring specialist,” she says, laughing.

CONSIDERING, she is dedicated to her church, First United Methodist, and supports programs such as Connections for Life. It provides a solid foundation for women who are stepping back into a regular life after being incarcerated. “It is a great reminder of how spoiled we all truly are.”

CONSIDERING, she loves what she does, and she loves the people whom she works with. “It’s a very challenging time. There is so much uncertainty in health care as to what the future will bring. Thankfully I’m surrounded by tremendous support, and I believe in what we do. We are making a difference.”