January 19, 2017

Tavares, Fla. – When Deborah Harley was in high school, she knew that she wanted to make a difference in the world. Her journey eventually led her to a long career in hospice care helping people with life-threatening illnesses and their families live life to the fullest during one of the most difficult times of their lives.

After a thirty year career serving in the Hospice mission, Harley, a Lakeland resident and Executive Director at Cornerstone Hospice and Palliative Care, is retiring.

Harley, who joined Cornerstone Hospice in 2010, has worked in seven different hospices in Florida and South Carolina. Her dedication and expertise was well-known within the industry and she was often recruited to lead peer workshops that focused on contemplative care and communication.

“People who work in hospice need to learn how to be fully present at the bedside, how to take good care of themselves because it is hard work, and learn how to get along with one another in healthy, productive and positive ways,” said Harley.

“Deborah has been instrumental in leading our interdisciplinary care teams as they met the growing demand of patients and families who rely on our loving care and support during their end of life journey, “said Chuck Lee, President and CEO of Cornerstone Hospice. “She is the consummate professional and we are grateful for her role in reinforcing Cornerstone Hospice’s excellent reputation in the community.”

Harley says her own education came from the people she cared for throughout her career.

“The love, devotion, and compassion that our patients and their families exhibit to one another on a daily basis gives me hope that our world is a loving one,” said Harley.

Harley’s retirement takes effect January 20th.  She and her husband are building a home in New Smyrna Beach where they will be close to their children and grandchildren and where she plans to take photography lessons and possibly reinvent herself.

“I know enough about life, having seen thousands of people die, that I am going to make it joyful journey,” said Harley.


About Cornerstone Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc.
Cornerstone Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc., a not-for-profit, community organization since 1984, provides comfort and care to Central Florida families experiencing life-limiting illnesses.
Cornerstone is Joint Commission accredited for hospice care, a national symbol of quality that reflects the organization’s commitment to meeting high performance standards. Over 7,000 people in Lake, Sumter, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Hardee and Highlands counties benefit from Cornerstone programs each year. Enhanced patient and family care is made possible through the generous support of individuals and groups. For more information, to donate, or to volunteer, call 866-742-6655 or visit

Contact: Nanci Schwartz
The CommConnection, Inc.
(305) 788-8256