The Volunteers are the Foundation of Hospice Awards recognize hospice volunteers who best reflect the universal concept of volunteerism in its truest sense—serving as an inspiration to others. The honorees have made significant contributions to hospice programs in the areas of care delivery, organizational support, and teamwork.
This year’s recipients of the Volunteers are the Foundation of Hospice Award and the area for which they were honored are:
Specialized Service Award:
Bluegrass Care Navigators, Frankfort, Kentucky.
Inspired by the compassion and commitment of the hospice team that cared for her husband, Shirley wanted to repay hospice in some way. She began by making visits to patients in their homes and in nursing facilities. Gradually, she branched out into transporting, fundraising and special events, respite care, and 11th hour service among various areas of service. Among her talents to support those who Bluegrass cares for, Shirley has made 147 “comfort bears” out of patients’ clothing that go on to become treasured keepsakes. And she has hand-written 2,485 anniversary notes to patients’ families.
Patient and Family Service Award:
Casa de la Luz Hospice, Tucson, Arizona.
Carl volunteers every week at the hospice’s inpatient unit where he sits vigil and has provided companionship to hundreds of patients. He also provides respite to family members and patient caregivers and he helps with quarterly memorial services. Carl sits on the panel for volunteer training sessions where he inspires many new volunteers. Willing to accept many hard-to-fill assignments, he consistently navigates sensitive situations with tact and care. One of Carl’s most valued talents lies in his companionship to military veteran patients.
Organizational Support Award:
Sutter Auburn Faith VNA & Hospice, Auburn, California.
Pat was one of many dedicated volunteers doing anything that needed to be done in the early years of the Auburn hospice – and that’s how she began to work raising money and hosting events. For example, she tells of getting the local Jeep Club, who had a rolling kitchen, to cook for the hospice’s annual pancake breakfasts, for which Pat secured donated supplies from local businesses. When the hospice became Medicare certified and hospital-based, her fundraising work was done. But Pat wasn’t, she now spends most of her time volunteering in the office in support of the organization’s mission.
Young Leader Award:
Gulfside Hospice & Pasco Palliative Care, Land O’ Lakes, Florida.
Courtney is a junior at the University of South Florida where she is working towards a degree in Health Sciences, is a member of the Honors College, and has earned a place on the Dean’s list. She has plans to further her education by attending nursing school. Her hospice volunteer work all started in 2013 at one of Gulfside’s Thrift Shops where she would spend time with her grandmother, Carol, who is also a Gulfside volunteer. Courtney’s efforts have since expanded within the organization and the team at Gulfside says that her love of living and giving shows in all that she does.
“Today we happily recognize four volunteers who demonstrate remarkable service, compassion and commitment. Their gift of caring has a profound impact on patients, families, and the communities they serve and we cannot say thank you enough for the support they provide,” said Edo Banach, NHPCO president and CEO.
NHPCO reports that there are more than 430,000 trained hospice volunteers contributing more than 19 million hours of service to hospice organizations across the country.
“Hospice volunteers play an indispensable role in enabling hospice and palliative care organizations to offer the best care possible for the people they serve. By sharing their time, energy, and expertise, volunteers bring compassion and caring to the lives of those in need,” noted Banach.
These volunteer awards were created and administered by NHPCO’s National Council of Hospice and Palliative Professionals, a section of the organization’s membership that promotes the contributions and skills of the different professional disciplines that make up the hospice interdisciplinary team.
Learn more about the ways hospice benefits patients and families at www.MomentsofLife.org.