Supportive Care has new executive director, board president

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 19 June 2021 at 1:28 pm

Photo by Ginny Kropf: Medina attorney David Schubel, new president of the board of Supportive Care of Orleans County (Hospice), meets with new CEO Elisa Chambery. Chambery replaces Kellie Spychalski, who retired and moved to Arizona in the spring.

ALBION – Hospice of Orleans County has undergone major changes during the past few months, starting with a name change to Supportive Care of Orleans County. The change is meant to better convey the agency’s mission and the services it provides, staff said.

More recently, former director Kellie Spychalski announced her retirement and a relocation to Arizona. She has just been replaced by new CEO Elisa Chambery of Rochester, effective June 1.

Chambery comes with a long record of work in the health care industry, including longterm care and rehabilitation and respite care at Highlands Living Center, a part of the University of Rochester Medical Center.

“My roots are in social work,” Chambery said during a recent interview. “Anything else but health care doesn’t seem meaningful.”

She received her master’s in health administration at Brockport State.

Chambery grew up in Rochester, from the time she was 12. She continues to live there and said she enjoys the 50-minute drive to Albion.

“It’s such a pleasant drive, and I look forward to it,” she said.

She said she is looking forward to working collaboratively with the board and new associate director Doug Sommerfeldt, who recently replaced Derek Reiner.

“The staff here is so committed,” Chambery said. “They seem like a very tight-knit group of individuals. This is truly their passion. I am also so impressed with the Martin-Linsin House. I’ve been in a lot of places, and I can’t think of anywhere more beautiful.”

Chambery and her husband Keith have four grown daughters, ages 26 to 31. One is a nurse practitioner, one a mechanical engineer, one a veterinarian and the other a kindergarten teacher.

As agencies and individuals navigate through the tail end of Covid, Chambery said she just wants to be here for the community.

Schubel steps into the role as president of the board of Supportive Care as he begins his second year on the board.

A Medina attorney, he has been practicing law since 1974, starting out with Miles and Webster. That became Webster, Schubel and Meier. He said the late Norris Webster “set the standard of how to practice law.”

Schubel’s involvement in Supportive Care’s board came about during a contemplative prayer group to which he belongs with former county judge Jim Punch at St. Mary’s Church in Medina.

“As the county attorney for 27 years, I was involved with the nursing home, which the county then owned,” Schubel said. “Jim said, ‘You have all the experience with health care. Why don’t you join the board.’”

“Jim said he wanted to step down, so here I am,” Schubel said.

Schubel is also a partner with Phil Keppler of Shelby Center in raising Hereford cattle.

“I grew up in Akron and used to come to Forrestel Farm for pheasant hunting,” he said. “I thought it was the greatest place to be. I saw the cattle and I was intrigued by them.”

Schubel was elected president of Supportive Care’s board at their annual meeting in May.

“This is a terrific organization and one of the true ornaments of Orleans County,” he said.

While he said he was not in on the decision to change the name of the organization, it said it is reflective of their mission to support, not only the patient, but their family and loved ones.

He called the board a diverse one, with all very talented people, one of which was former Albion school superintendent Ada Grabowski, who was given the status of director emeritus at the last meeting.

“We are duly aware of the challenges that face any health care agency in the industry, and we are exploring collaborative relationships with Rochester Regional Health,” Schubel said. “We still want to remain independent with local control, but all the regulations we have to comply with are really difficult.”