Showing posts from December, 2016

Employee Spotlight: Barb Brown

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 …