January 14, 2022
Four Seasons President & CEO, Dr. Millicent Burke Sinclair, was featured in the January 2022 issue of Carolina Spark Magazine. Spark highlights women in Western North Carolina who are leading the way in their field. We are proud and happy to have one such woman in leadership at Four Seasons in Millicent.
Read Millicent's spotlight below!
President and CEO of Four Seasons Leads the Way in Co-Creating the Care Experience
Founded in 1979, Four Seasons is a nationally respected, award-winning nonprofit provider of serious illness care committed to serving the community through fulfilling its mission of “Co-Creating the Care Experience.” “The key to fulfilling this mission,” she says, “is to consistently live our values throughout the organization and ensure that these values guide each of us as we learn what’s most important to those for whom we care.”
The story begins with Jean Moulthrop Hoogstra, who is referred to as the matriarch of hospice in WNC. She relocated to Hendersonville, NC with her husband in 1977. During that time, their church was seeking an outreach program, so she and a group of volunteers attended a workshop on hospice, and what they learned inspired them. Jean sought out resources, including a professional psychologist and a registered nurse, to provide services to terminally ill individuals who would prefer to die at home. The Hospice of Henderson County was incorporated in December 1979 and served its first patient in 1981. Since then, Four Seasons has continued to grow, expanding its care services to more patients across WNC, and are able to continue to provide even more care to the community because of generous donors.
Growing up in Henderson County, Burke-Sinclair knew about Four Seasons as she has always had a heart for the community being part of a ministers’ family, but their presence didn’t truly connect with her on a personal level until a member of her family needed their services. A month after the diagnosis, her family member passed away. “It all happened so fast,” she recalls. But what stood out to her the most during the process was the incredible care that the clinicians provided to her and her family. “I just remember the most tremendous, compassionate care,” Burke-Sinclair says of the experience. “The amazing care that the clinicians gave not only to our loved one receiving care, but also to our entire family was an incredible blessing.”
After a career in education and manufacturing, Burke-Sinclair was able to further her life’s purpose of positively impacting the lives of others and helping them to fulfill their purpose by joining Four Seasons. Before becoming President and CEO of Four Seasons in 2017, Burke-Sinclair served at Four Seasons as the Chief Operating Officer, after serving as the Vice President of Human Resources. During that time, she learned all about the organization, the communities the organization serves, and how to ensure the best care is provided to all in need.
This is when she discovered the importance of every staff member living out Four Seasons’ values to successfully provide the most excellent care to each patient every single time. Burke-Sinclair says that the level of commitment to the mission from every staff member, volunteer, and everyone involved is what makes Four Seasons’ care different. They each believe in these values and incorporate them into everything they do. “We must all live united in our values, and these values are compassion, balance, respect, integrity, teamwork, excellence, and resilience,” Burke-Sinclair says, confidently. “If we embody those values, we can co-create the very best care for all around us.”
As a result of living their values, Four Seasons was just recently recognized as a Hospice Honors organization which recognizes organizations providing high quality care consistently. Likewise, across each of their service lines, they are recognized for quality care and responsiveness, and this is a testament of their commitment to co-creating the care experience.
Four Seasons is also receiving national recognition in response to their outstanding care services. Just this year, in 2021, despite it being challenging because of COVID-19, Four Seasons was awarded Top 50 across the entire nation for The Best Place to Work in Modern Healthcare in the Nonprofit Healthcare Provider Category. To make sure Four Seasons continues to provide the best care, they have expanded their care services. Not only do they provide Hospice care and Palliative care, they also offer Care Navigation, Home Care, Clinical Research, and Grief Services for the entire community.
Four Seasons also invests in new resources including staff, technology, clinical trials, programs for children and teens, and much more, so that everyone who needs their care can receive it in a timely manner. “What is most important to us is to make sure that absolutely everyone who needs our care gets it as soon as possible,” Burke-Sinclair says, “and so we make investments in new staff, new technology, new locations, and new training to make sure that we provide the most compassionate care.” Four Seasons is constantly hiring for passionate caregivers and certified nursing assistants within their Home Care Service Line, as well as many other roles like nursing, social work, and much more throughout their organization. They are even known in our social media community for their #LoveWhereIWork campaign, where current staff share why they love working at Four Seasons and how they advance care daily, together.
Burke-Sinclair considers herself blessed to be a part of an organization that strives to offer such meaningful care to her community and is honored to be a part of one of the hardest seasons in peoples’ lives. “I am grateful that we get to be a part of their season that is probably one of, if not, the hardest season they’ve been through,” she expresses, “and it doesn’t just stop when the individual passes away; it really keeps going and we are able to be there with them when they need support the most.” Burke-Sinclair continues to lead the way with her commitment to excellence in care and looks forward to what is in store for the future of Four Seasons so that they can continue to provide “the care our community trusts.”
Read the full January 2022 issue of Spark Magazine.
Photography by Brooke Parker Photography