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Shannon McOuat named new Hospice SLO County Executive Director 

L to R: Kris Kington-Barker and Shannon McOuat.

Former Hospice SLO County Executive Director, Kris Kington-Barker, retires

Hospice of San Luis Obispo County (Hospice SLO County) has announced a transfer of leadership. After 10 years of exceptional service as Executive Director and End-of-Life Doula, Kris Kington-Barker has retired.

Over the years, Kington-Barker has worked as the Director of Business Development at French Hospital Medical Center and Doctors Hospital Dallas. She was the VP of Business Development & Associate Administrator at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center and Associate Administrator & Clinical Support Services Director at Delano Regional Medical Center. She owned Central Coast Wigs & Wiggin Out for five years where she was a participant in Hats for Hope and local provider for American Cancer Society free wig and accessory services. She continues to be the Western U.S. instructor for the International End of Life Doula Association (INELDA) and co-host of Central Coast Voices, a weekly 1-hour talk show on KCBX public radio.

“During the past decade I have been honored to be a part of this organization. It has been both challenging and exciting to participate in the agency’s continuing development and transformation as the healthcare needs of our community and gaps in services have increased over the years,” said Kington-Barker. “I was fortunate to follow numerous extraordinary leaders at Hospice SLO County. This organization has been built on and around the vision and gifts of each staff member and volunteer who has contributed. I am so proud to have been a part of it and I am equally proud to welcome and be a part of mentoring Shannon McOuat into her new role as Executive Director. Shannon is the next generation of nonprofit leaders and it makes my heart swell. I look forward to serving as a volunteer End-of-Life Doula and staying involved in the community in ways that make a difference.”

Shannon McOuat graduated from San Luis Obispo High School and holds Bachelor Degrees from both Chico and Humboldt State. Over the years, McOuat has worked as the Director of Member Services for the Pismo Beach Chamber of Commerce, as the Marketing Coordinator for Wallace Group and for seven years as the Community Outreach Manger for Transitions-Mental Health Association. She is a graduate of SLO Leadership class 16 and received the Tribune’s Top 20 under 40 award.

McOuat has been the Director of Volunteer Services for the past 2.5 years and has brought enthusiasm and expertise to that position. “It is my honor to follow in Kris Kington-Barker’s footsteps in leading Hospice SLO County through this current climate and beyond. I have a deep respect for Kris and am filled with gratitude for her leadership, mentorship, support and confidence,” said McOuat. “I appreciate the support and encouragement I have received from Kris and the Board of Directors.”

Terry Housinger M.D., Board Chair, reflects, “On behalf of the Board of Directors I am very pleased to welcome Shannon McOuat to her new position as Executive Director of Hospice SLO County. We feel extremely fortunate to have someone of Shannon’s caliber ready to fill the role that has been so well-developed and executed by Kris Kington-Barker. While it is always sad to see a beloved leader retire as Kris, it is heartening for all of us to know that Shannon has been working side-by side with Kris to learn this new role. Everyone on the Board and within the whole organization feels that Shannon has the skills and leadership qualities that will carry on Kris’s legacy.”

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