Please join Pemi-Baker Community Health (PBCH) in extending best wishes to Diane Arsenault, MD, FAAFP, HPM, HMDC, who is retiring as Hospice Medical Director for PBCH after 23 years of service. She will continue to serve hospice families at PBCH as well as her patients at Mid-State Health on a part time basis.
Dr. Arsenault has had an extraordinary career as a family physician, working in low risk obstetrical care for the first 20 years of her career before changing her focus to the care of the middle aged and the elderly for the last 20+ years. She felt that hospice care was just a natural extension of her role as a family physician providing care from birth to death. “Just as pregnancy and birth involve a process of anticipation, planning and intense work at the end, the end of life and process of dying have a similar journey and work. My personal experience with my father’s death in 1993 and my mother’s death in 2004, both on Hospice, allowed me to experience firsthand the joys and burden of caregiving for a dying loved one. I aspire to care for patients and families on their Hospice journey, as I and my family were supported,” said Dr. Arsenault.
When Dr. Arsenault started as Hospice Medical Director for PBCH in 1998, she had less than 10 patients at any given time. Community awareness of Hospice services and what PBCH can provide has grown over the years, increasing that number four fold. “For many years Dr. Arsenault has been the only Hospice physician in the Pemi-Baker area. Her dedication to our staff and our patients, to be available night and day, has been invaluable,” said Amy Dennis, Interim Executive Director for PBCH.
Dr. Arsenault will continue her role as Family physician at Mid-State Health Center as well as part time Hospice physician for PBCH but her schedule is now 6 weeks working then 6 weeks off. As she eases into retirement she looks forward to traveling with her husband to national parks in the Southwest, Pacific Northwest and the Canadian Maritime provinces, as well as spending as much time as possible with her 3 preschool aged grandchildren and their families.
“Our organization has grown and become stronger thanks to Dr. Arsenault’s commitment to our mission, vision and values. She has touched many lives in the process. Her kindhearted manner, undeniable professionalism and many achievements will not be forgotten. We wish her the best in the next steps of her journey,” said Danielle Paquette-Horne, Senior Director of Home Health, Palliative Care & Hospice at PBCH.