Two longtime Hospice of the Panhandle employees have been promoted.
Nikki Bigiarelli, most recently the clinical director and earlier nursing home team manager, has been named chief clinical officer. Danielle Ruble, previously the access team manager and more recently the assistant clinical director and quality assurance manager, has been named clinical director.
Bigiarelli first came to Hospice of the Panhandle in 2010 and began her career as a nurse on the long-term care team. Before coming to work at Hospice, Bigiarelli was a nurse at Berkeley Medical Center.
She became a registered nurse in 2008 and went on to get her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Shenandoah University.
Ruble was first hired as an access/admissions nurse in 2011. In 2014, she was promoted to become the access team manager. She worked in the access department for 10 years, added the responsibilities of assistant clinical director five years ago and took on the quality assurance position earlier in 2022. Ruble also continues to direct the agency’s 15-month-old palliative care program.
Ruble is a registered nurse who went on to get her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Shepherd University in 2004
“We are so confident in the work of these two nurse managers,” said CEO Margaret Cogswell. “They are outstanding clinicians themselves and know how to guide and direct our team members. We know that they will continue to promote and drive what is most important to Hospice of the Panhandle – offering excellent care for our patients and families. As Hospice continues to grow, Nikki and Danielle are well equipped to lead our clinical staff.”
Bigiarelli is a native of Berkeley County, who lives in Martinsburg with her son, Bennett.
“I’m so committed to the mission of Hospice of the Panhandle,” Bigiarelli said. “As a Berkeley County native, I get to see so many family members, friends and neighbors experience the care here. It’s really a privilege to help them navigate through an incredibly difficult time in their lives.”
In her new role, Bigiarelli will oversee all clinical operations of the agency. Bigiarelli also is responsible for evaluation and recommendation of future program development.
“This is really important to me,” Bigiarelli said. “As we move into the future, we will focus on maintaining an organizational culture consistent with the mission and values of Hospice of the Panhandle.”
Hospice of the Panhandle is a not-for-profit hospice agency that cares for seriously ill patients and their families. Hospice was founded by a group of volunteers in 1980.
Ruble lives in Berkeley County with her husband, Justin, and son, Ashton. She is also excited about her new role.
“Taking care of people in the last months of their lives is never easy,” Ruble said. “For many years, my job was to try to help our nurses get patients admitted – understanding that Hospice doesn’t mean it’s the end. We want to focus on helping sooner rather than later. And while it’s challenging, it’s also very rewarding.”
Ruble will assist Bigiarelli in oversight of the clinical teams, daily operations and ensure the highest level of quality care delivery to patients and families.
“The job I do here is so fulfilling,” Ruble said. “I am so excited to be a part of an organization that is so mission-focused.”
Cogswell, who recently celebrated 35 years with the organization, believes Bigiarelli and Ruble have the skills needed to continue Hospice of the Panhandle’s focus on excellent care for patients and families.
“They are leaders of a very strong clinical team,” Cogswell said. “These promotions are part of the continued work to assure Hospice of the Panhandle’s role in post-acute healthcare delivery.”