Home Lifestyle WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH: Leyden leads Richmond County Hopsice to new heights

WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH: Leyden leads Richmond County Hopsice to new heights

Kristina Leyden is CEO of Richmond County Hospice.
Contributed photo

Our featured leading lady today is not from Richmond County, but her dedication and involvement in our community would make you think that she was a native.

As the chief executive officer of Richmond County Hospice, Inc. since March of 2015, Kristina Leyden’s impact has been very noticeable and extends well beyond the community-based organization, as she is actively involved in several other Richmond County projects, groups and organizations.

Leyden earned a bachelor’s degree in behavioral science from York College in Pennsylvania in 1995, a master’s degree in social work from Temple University in Pennsylvania in 2000, and is a licensed clinical social worker.  

After she graduated with her bachelors, she began her career as the director of Social Work/Admissions for an 800-plus-bed continuing care retirement community in Lancaster, Pennyslvania, in 1996. Her next position was in Baltimore, Maryland, as the director of Social Work for Genesis HealthCare from 2001 until 2009. With 15 years of experience in various management roles in continuing care retirement communities and long term care facilities, Leyden formed her own consulting company for longterm care facilities, supervising provisional licensed clinical social workers — including home-based clinical therapy for homebound clients — for four years. 

Leyden also served as an adjunct professor of social work, sociology, and women’s studies at Harrisburg Area Community College and the Community College of Baltimore County. 

In June of 2012, Leyden, with her husband Pete, and two their two children, Kate and Andrew, moved to North Carolina and she joined the Richmond County Hospice team as the director of Inpatient Care and Family Services. Less than two years later, in January of 2014, she was promoted to chief operating officer and in August of 2014 she was promoted again to the interim chief executive officer until March of 2015 when the interim was removed. 

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Under her leadership, Richmond County Hospice has grown immensely with a marked increase involving the community in a variety of events and projects, such as the annual Taste of the Sandhills Dancing with the Stars event that was reintroduced in 2016, Cool Cars for a Cause, Light of Life Ceremony, Forever Tree, Hospice Sabbath, annual Children’s Grief Camp, Mistletoe Gallery, and many more. 

Under her leadership, Richmond County Hospice has been recognized numerous times for their excellence in several aspects of their services. In 2018 and 2021, HEALTHCAREfirst named the facility a Hospice Honors Recipient for providing the highest level of quality as measured from the caregiver’s point of view. Other awards include the Richmond County Chamber of Commerce Best of the Rock Award for best home health service in 2020 and Circle of Life Award Winner for innovative quality hospice services. 

Additionally, Leyden serves on the United Way of Richmond County Allocations Committee, Leadership Richmond Planning Committee, on the Richmond County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, and as the current president of the Rockingham Rotary Club. An active member of Rockingham Rotary for the past four years, she also served as president-elect in 2020-2021. As president, she has led the club in completing a variety of community service initiatives, including the annual barbecue fundraiser in November. 

Previously, Leyden has served as a board member at the Academy of Moore County Charter School (2014-2017) and American Heritage Girls, Inc., of which she also served as the treasurer and Tenderheart Leader (2012-2016). 

Join us today in celebrating this philanthropic leading lady, whose commitment to providing compassionate healthcare and giving back to her community does not go unnoticed.

Meghann Lambeth is executive director of the Richmond County Tourism Development Authority. Republished from visitrichmondcounty.com. Throughout March, Visit Richmond County will feature a local leading lady in honor of Women’s History Month.

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