Gretchen Marcum Brown

Brown earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in sociology from UK in 1971. She continued her education at the university and received her master’s with a concentration in administration from the College of Social Professions in 1972.

Brown has served as the president and CEO of Hospice of the Bluegrass since 1982. She works at local, state and national levels developing program advocacy. Her duties also include clinical and administrative management, financial planning, board and community relations, staff development and fundraising.

Those who know her agree that Brown is an authentic social worker. “She found a need and she acted upon it, creating one of the finest hospice programs in the country,” said Kay Hoffman, dean of the College of Social Work. “Every person who has experienced the loving care that hospice offers to families and to dying persons knows exactly what I am talking about. Family members leave hospice knowing that their loved ones had the best care and the best quality of life possible.”

Throughout her career, Brown has made major contributions to the core values of her profession. She has lobbied the Kentucky Legislature to pass laws allowing terminally ill individuals to exercise their right to appoint someone to make health care decisions. Also, Brown helped Kentucky become the first state to add the Hospice Medicaid Benefit, which gives Medicaid recipients and their families access to enhanced care and services.

Brown has received several awards from health and community groups for exemplary services, and was selected as one of Central Kentucky’s top women in business by the Kentucky business publication, Lane Report. Also, in 2003, Brown was awarded the Heart of Hospice (HOH) award from the National Council of Hospice and Palliative Professionals. HOH recognizes those who have attained repeated outstanding achievements and have made contributions with impact beyond hospice.