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Showing posts from 2016

Employee Spotlight: Barb Brown

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Name, title: Barb Brown, Mission Integration Leader & Administrative Assistant
How long have you worked here? Six years. (My anniversary is Nov. 8 which also happens to be my birthday. My first day at Angela Hospice was the best birthday present ever.)
What made you decide to work here? I worked as a volunteer with Angela Hospice and was looking on the website because I had missed receiving the volunteer newsletter. I happened to look at the job openings and saw the Administrative Assistant job advertised. I applied, taking a chance and not thinking anything would come of it, and here I am six years later.
How had you heard of Angela Hospice? My mother was a patient at Angela Hospice 20 years ago. So my family was fortunate to experience firsthand the wonderful services of Angela Hospice.
What’s a typical day like for you? I guess the best way to answer that question is that I don’t have typical days – and that’s why I love my job. My days include planning and working on Mission Integra…

Volunteer Spotlight: Sharon Stuscavage

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Name: Sharon Stuscavage
How long have you been a volunteer? Three years.
What areas do you work in/what sort of tasks do you do as a volunteer? Medical records, bakes cookies for incoming volunteer classes, caregiver suppers, and the Tree of Life.
What made you decide to become a volunteer? A few years ago they needed people to go to the Tree of Life and they said you could bring a friend, and my friend asked me to come. After I got done…I had kind of been looking for somewhere to start volunteering because I had been very active in the school system when my kids were smaller…when I worked the Tree of Life I thought, “I think I like this.” So I came in and did the volunteer classes.
What is your favorite part about volunteering? The satisfaction you get from seeing how grateful people are, especially at the caregiver suppers. They are so grateful for that little, tiny thing.
What is one of your favorite stories or memories from volunteering? That’s a hard one. I do know the first time tha…

Employee Spotlight: Martha Hutchinson

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Name, title: Martha Hutchinson, Home Care Case Manager
How long have you worked here? Almost 17 years. 
What made you decide to work here? As a new, inexperienced but older nurse, I followed the advice of my friend Wendy Winkler -- an Angela Hospice pediatric RN at the time -- to visit and consider working for Angela Hospice. Oh, what she set in motion!
What’s a typical day like for you? Most days, plans made the day before will change after listening to report -- requiring more flexibility than I knew I possessed. A typical day involves lots of phone calls related to patients and their care. A good typical day includes regular interactions with my clinical peers. Each day includes home visits, of course, which can go as planned or can provide unexpected challenges. I sure have been exposed to many opportunities to reach outside my original comfort zone.
What is your favorite part about working at Angela Hospice? The interactions with people facing end-of-life, in its many presentations. Mos…

Divine Intervention

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The two rooms are right next to each other and we enter the one on the left first, Shirley Potts leading the way. There’s something instantly likeable about her, maybe it’s her warm smile or the fact that she’s a self-described “hugger.” When she introduces me to her mom, Mary Mitchell, rather loudly (she’s hard of hearing), her mom smiles back, and so do I. Shirley shows off the clothes and jewelry box her mom had her bring from home, the rings glistening off the light when she opens the box. Her mom has always been stylish and being a hospice patient wasn’t about to stop that. Now her rings, which sparkle off her fingers, just go with a patient gown instead.
Mary’s jewelry isn’t the only thing familiar to her in the Angela Hospice Care Center though. Her son and one of Shirley’s brothers, Lawrence, is a patient in the room next door.
“To have them here is a sense of relief,” Shirley said. “I know that they’re taken care of if I can’t just run down here.”
It’s a relief for Lawrence too …

When it's a Blue Christmas

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The holidays can be an especially tough time while going through any kind of loss. On Wednesday, Dec. 14 Angela Hospice will be co-sponsoring Blue Christmas at St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church to provide support for those dealing with a loss this holiday season.
“It’s kind of a prayer service for anyone who has suffered any kind of loss,” said Diane McDonald, Angela Hospice Director of Spiritual Care, who will be doing a reading at the event. “It doesn’t have to be a death. It could be a job, it could be a relationship, it could be a pet…”
During this time of year there are often advertisements showing families enjoying the holidays, but not everyone has the opportunity to do that. Events like Blue Christmas are a good time to come together and support each other. Diane said she thinks events like this are important because no one should be alone during the holiday season.
For those unable to attend the event Diane has a few tips to help you get through the holiday season.

Be with those…

A Lifelong Entertainer

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At 95 some would be slowing down, but that’s not Doug Williams’ style. He might be a hospice patient but that doesn’t mean he is going to stop doing what he loves: karaoke.

“I’d be lost without karaoke,” he said.
“It’s definitelyyour thing,” laughed Mary Wolfe, one of his daughters who is with her dad six days a week. He spends four days a week at her home, which Doug helped build, and three nights at his room at Fox Run, where she stays a couple nights a week. One of her brothers stays with him the seventh day.
This isn’t Doug’s first hospice stay though. He tried hospice back in January, but just kept on getting better. And he was finally discharged before going back on hospice in November.
When he isn’t at home Doug, who has congestive heart failure, can be found at the VFW or American Legion every weekend with his family. Sometimes he sings with his brothers and sister, who call themselves the Wild Willies. Other times he sings with one of his kids. Or he’s perfectly content sing…

Volunteer Spotlight: Anne and John Kanitra

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Last year volunteers Anne and John Kanitra worked the Tree of Life for the first time, and it wasn’t exactly what they had expected.
“We did a Saturday night and a couple of ladies came up to the table,” John said. “They had just lost their young child and she’s telling us all about it and we’re both choking back tears.
“After they left we looked at each other and said, ‘Oh my gosh, is it going to be like this the whole three hours? I’ll never survive this. It’s so hard,’” he laughed.
Luckily, the rest of that first shift went pretty smoothly and it didn’t scare them off. They kept coming back, every Saturday in fact, in what has now become a tradition in itself. They first go to church, then grab dinner at the mall before going to their Tree of Life shift.
When Anne first heard about the Tree of Life she said it was a no-brainer as to whether or not they should sign up.
“To take a couple hours and sit at those tables is no problem at all for us,” she said. “What else are we going to be …

Volunteer Spotlight: Sandy Barr

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Name: Sandy Barr
How long have you been a volunteer? Almost three years.
What areas do you work in/what sort of tasks do you do as a volunteer? Makes salads for the caregiver suppers, mailings, BBQs, is a Flower Bud, and has worked events.
What made you decide to become a volunteer? The reason I wanted to volunteer at Angela Hospice is because I knew it was a good place. They helped my mother, who had cancer, and we all have family members that they’ve been great with.
Before I retired, I worked with Angela Hospice at the credit union. They were one of my accounts. So when I retired I said, “That’s what I want to do.”
What is your favorite part about volunteering? The diversity. They can use you in so many different areas. There’s always a need somewhere.
What is one of your favorite stories or memories from volunteering? I think the most rewarding of what I’ve done has been the flower arranging. You know, fixing the flowers, and then bringing them around to the rooms. The people just seem so …

Support Angela Hospice On #GivingTuesday

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Do you love to give and help others? Then participate in #GivingTuesday on Tuesday, November 29, the day after Cyber Monday!

So what can you do on this international day of giving? We have a few ideas:
Take an #UNselfie. Show the world why Angela Hospice means so much to you. Download this flyerand post it on social media. Be sure to tag us on Facebook and Twitter so we can put your photo in our #UNselfie album!Give your time. Help out a neighbor in need or volunteerDonate money to your favorite charity, like Angela Hospice, which you can donate to here. Write a wonderful review. Organizations depend on kind words from people like you to help spread the word about what we do. Writea review about Angela Hospice.  Those are just a few ideas for what you could do on #GivingTuesday! It doesn't matter what exactly you do, what matters is that you give in some way. Let us know how you plan on participating!

#GivingTuesday started in 2012 when the New York's 92nd Street Y was inspi…

Employee Spotlight: Krystie Davis

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Name: Krystie Davis, RN Home Care Case Manager
How long have you worked here? Four years.
What made you decide to work here? While going through Wayne State University Nursing School I worked as a caregiver at an assisted living facility, and Medtech. I loved that with this job I got to know residents and families, and I really enjoyed working with the elderly. There was a hospice RN who used to come to the facility I worked at, and she knew I was going through nursing school, so she would talk to me and teach me things about hospice. I found her job very interesting and knew I wanted to find out more about it.
When I was in my community clinical rotation my last semester of nursing school, I was able to shadow Karen Cafeo (Angela Hospice Director of Quality Systems and RN) for a day and I loved it. A few months after graduation and taking my boards, I put in an application and was hired right away for the position.
What is a typical day for you? Not sure if there is really a “typical” day…

Volunteer Spotlight: John and Lucy Stern

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For John and Lucy Stern the We Honor Veterans program at Angela Hospice is much more than just a way to gain volunteer hours. It’s a deep-rooted passion.
“I always call it a labor of love, and labor isn’t really a good word. It’s more of an activity of love,” John said. “We just really, really enjoy it.”
Their enjoyment is clear in a variety of ways but it’s really seen when you look at the program’s numbers. John and Lucy – who spearheaded We Honor Veterans at Angela Hospice – along with the help of 12 other volunteers, have performed over 400 ceremonies since the inception of the program. The most impressive part? They’ve done all those ceremonies in less than four years.
“We thought it was just going to be a couple ceremonies here and there,” Lucy said.
The Sterns first got the idea for bringing the program to Angela Hospice when Lucy found an article about We Honor Veterans in a nursing journal. Lucy, a now retired nurse who has been connected to Angela Hospice since it first beg…

Volunteer Spotlight: Brenda McClellan

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Name: Brenda McClellan

How long have you been a volunteer?
Three years.

What areas do you work in/what sort of tasks do you do as a volunteer?
Started in the Care Center, now volunteers in medical records and helps with the mailings.

What made you decide to become a volunteer?
I had some extra time. I didn’t want to get a paying job because I didn’t know how regular I’d be able to do that because of other commitments so I decided to volunteer. I started looking for a place to volunteer and I have friends who volunteer here (one from high school, the other from college). They recommended it, so I started.

What is your favorite part about volunteering?
I just like being active and out with people. I’m a quiet person but I just like being out with people, talking, chatting, here and there. 

What is one of your favorite stories or memories from volunteering?
When I was taking the classes with Syndie I enjoyed meeting all the women in there and their different walks of life, what they planned to do …

"Being Mortal" Panel

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On November 9 join us for a free screening of the Frontline documentary "Being Mortal," which is based on Dr. Atul Gawande's best-selling book of the same name.
A panel discussion will follow the screening at Madonna University. Read more about the panelists below.
Kathleen A. Aseltyne Assistant Professor, Hospice and Palliative Studies, Department of Nursing, Madonna University Dr. Aseltyne completed her PhD. in 2013 at Oakland University in Counseling and Education, and also holds a Certificate in Bereavement from Madonna University. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and has worked in various mental health settings including community mental health, and cancer and bereavement support groups.
Dr. James Boal Angela Hospice Medical Director A graduate of Wayne State University’s College of Medicine, Dr. James Boal became employed in July 2000 as Angela Hospice’s full-time hospice medical director. Prior to his employment at Angela Hospice, Dr. Boal worked in the…

Employee Spotlight: Kristy Hunley

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Name: Kristy Hunley, Employee Relations Coordinator
How long have you worked here? Six-and-a-half years.
What made you decide to work here? I actually always wanted to be in the hospice field but I’m not clinical so I didn’t really think there was anything out there for me. But when I worked for Metro Medical, which was the local DME (durable medical equipment provider) that worked with Angela Hospice a lot, I talked to people here almost every single day. They always seemed so happy and so fulfilled with the position that they had, no matter what it was. I kept saying, “That’s what I want.” So that’s kind of what brought me over here.
How had you heard of Angela Hospice? I heard of them a lot when I was working for the DME…I kind of always knew they were in this area. When Sister Giovanni started to look for donations for Angela Hospice, before it all even existed, she was standing outside at 5 Mile and Middlebelt, which was Arbor Drugs at that point, and my parents had walked out and she…

Volunteer Spotlight: Ellen LaGory

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Name: Ellen LaGory
How long have you been a volunteer? Three years.
What areas do you work in/what sort of tasks do you do as a volunteer? Helping Kristy Hunley in HR. I do filing, whatever she needs done. Used to do the Caregiver Suppers.
What made you decide to become a volunteer? I had started hearing about hospice when I was in high school. It was a fairly new concept then and it just made so much sense to me. Then as an adult – we lived right here in Livonia for 25 years – we were donors. I came to events but then when I neared retirement I decided I wanted to spend some time volunteering. So that’s when I went through the training.
Why Angela Hospice? I heard such good things about it. Living right here in the community I read more about it than I would have outside of the community. I just had a lot of respect for Sister Giovanni.
What is your favorite part about volunteering? I guess just knowing that I’m helping in some way.
What is one of your favorite stories or memories from volunt…

Looking for a little sparkle?

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This year’s Light Up a Life Gala will have guests feeling like VIPs! And what better way to feel like a superstar than winning an exclusive raffle.
One winner will receive the Lady’s White Gold 18K Beloved Pendant by Hearts of Fire and 20” adjustable chain (pictured above, enlarged to show detail). The necklace is valued at $3,650 and was generously donated by Orin Jewelers of Garden City.
Tickets for the exclusive raffle are $20 each, three for $50 or eight for $100. The drawing will take place on Friday, October 28, and you must be present to win. Tickets will only be sold at the event.
For more details on Light Up a Life click here: http://www.angelahospice.org/events/light-up-a-life/

Employee Spotlight: Helen Balmforth

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Name: Helen Balmforth, Events Coordinator

What made you decide to work here? I had run my own company for about 10 years doing event planning. I had called Deirdre (Stemmelen) over at Laurel Manor, as we were planning an event, and by coincidence she mentioned to me that Angela Hospice was hiring an event planner. It felt like that was sort of my tap on the shoulder move, as I’ve always sort of lived and worked in this square mile.
I went to St. Edith for grade school, Ladywood High School, went to Madonna (University) for college, and my most recent contract work – prior to working here – was at Ladywood High School. So when I was deciding if I wanted to continue doing contract work or go full-time…and that sort of fell into my lap, it felt like it was divine intervention, and here I am. I called, interviewed the next day, and was hired the day after that.
How had you heard of Angela Hospice? I’ve lived in this area my whole life.I’ve had a handful of friends that have gone through Ange…

Mission and Heritage Week

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Last week was Mission & Heritage Week for the Felician Sisters, and we took part in some fun activities to celebrate the week. The special week began on Oct. 4, which is the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi and ended on Oct. 10, the feast day of the Blessed Mary Angela, who founded the Felician Sisters. This year's theme was "Extending Mercy, Restoring Hope." So what did we do? Find out below!

Annual St. Francis HumaneSociety Drive: Throughout the week we collected items for animals, such as empty toilet paper rolls, peanut butter, pet toys, paper towels, and more. On Friday there was a Pet Blessing at Madonna University where guests were able to get their pets blessed.
Scavenger Hunt: Angela Hospice staff members got to take part in a scavenger hunt to test their knowledge about the Felician Sisters. 

Lady Jacoba cookies: A few of our team members made Lady Jacoba cookies for the Felician Sisters in Livonia. St. Francis loved these cookies, and at the end of his life…

Volunteer Spotlight: Pat Zygner

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After using Angela Hospice’s bereavement services, Pat Zygner wanted to give back. Little did she know her giving back was about to save Angela Hospice thousands of dollars.
“The bereavement office helped me out at the worst time of my life, so I just felt like I really wanted to do something for them,” Pat said.
Pat started volunteering in the bereavement office three years ago, helping in any way she could. Then during Christmas she wanted to do a little something extra for Angela Hospice Bereavement Social Worker Joan Lee, who Pat had gone to for counseling after her husband died. So she made her an embroidered angel. Then Joan called Pat with an idea.
“She said, ‘Can you make 100 to 120 a month?’” Pat laughed. “I almost fell over cause I thought, ‘No, each one takes 20 minutes.’
“Your machine has a stitch count – just like a car has gas – and I thought that would put an end to my machine, all those stitches.”
Plus, why would Joan want so many each month? Because on the one-year anniver…