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Hospice volunteers honored for service

Nov. 14, 2012 @ 07:20 AM

HUNTINGTON -- All who work or volunteer with Hospice of Huntington have a different journey that led them there, said Charlene Farrell, its president and CEO.

For her, it began even before the organization was founded, when she went to visit an ailing aunt, bathed her and painted her nails and freshened up her room, making a pleasant, peaceful environment for her to have some final visits with loved ones.

For Consuelo Jeffreys, a path to Hospice began with the many hours she spent at the bedside of her husband in the hospital, coming to fully appreciate the friends who came to give her respite. That and friend Virginia Thompson, who volunteered with Hospice, inspired her to become a Hospice volunteer herself to give the same blessing to others.

Jeffreys was among a number of Hospice volunteers and staff members who were honored Tuesday during Hospice's annual appreciation luncheon at Pullman Plaza Hotel. They all had their own reasons for becoming part of the well-respected organization, and they all have unique attributes that they contribute, said Lisa Floyd, director of Volunteer Services for Hospice.

"They all have different gifts that they bring to the table," Floyd said. "You learn more about living when you work with people close to the end of life."

She described the staff and volunteers as "compassionate, kind and thoughtful with high ethical standards."

The organization has 140 staff members and about 275 regular volunteers. Adding those who contribute to one project or another -- whether it be helping at a fundraiser, baking cookies or knitting prayer shawls -- that number grows to about 800, Floyd said.

"Last year, (volunteers) saved the agency $250,000 in services -- from gardening, to knitting to sitting in the home," she said.

With this year being the 30th anniversary of Hospice of Huntington, Farrell pointed out that this year's group is far more impressive in size than the founding year, when "ET" was a hit movie, Michael Jackson's "Thriller" was on the radio and a gallon of gas cost $1.30.

Whatever their reasons, they joined the effort because they felt drawn to the cause, just as she did.

"I knew this was the right thing to do," Farrell said. "People needed to have the ability to stay home and be in an environment that was clean and pain-free."

Awards were presented Tuesday to staff and volunteers for a variety of things, such as years of service and for merit and exemplary work. Award winners were praised for compassion, quality care, organizational skills, finding new and creative ways to promote Hospice's mission, and more.

All the staff and volunteers are tremendous ambassadors for an organization which has an ongoing battle of fighting misconceptions, Floyd said.

"If we could take away the fear of Hospice and let them know that we're a support system to prop you up and not take over your home," she said.

Jeffreys, who received the George Parker Spirit of Hospice Award, said her volunteer work for Hospice of providing respite for caregivers has been a blessing for her in many ways.

"It's such a rewarding thing to know you're relieving the caregiver, and that they trust you enough to put their loved one in your care," she said. "They make you feel like family."

2012 Hospice of Huntington award winners

Here's a list of all of Hospice's awards given out Tuesday to staff members and volunteers:

Board of Trustees Officers: Dr. Vera Rose, chairwoman; Sarah Denman, vice chairwoman; Calvin A. Kent, treasurer; John Oxley, secretary.

Staff Five-Year Service Awards: Rachel Anderson, CHPNA; Patricia Fugate, LPN; Tabitha Gillespie, unit clerk; Janet Holcomb, RN, CHPN; Michael Kilkenny, MD; Amanda McKenzie; Andrea Queen, RN; Ron Snyder.

Volunteer Five-Year Service Awards: Charlotte Adkins, Jean Artis, Norma Bromley, Rebecca Compton, Frances Keenan, Sharon Lake, Arthur Lydick, Patricia Perry, Dorothy Scott and Emma Williams.

Staff 10-Year Gold Pin Award: Christina Davis, MSW.

Volunteer 10-Year Gold Pin Award: Beverley Pofahl.

Staff 15-Year Award: Barbara Cassidy, CFO.

Volunteer 15-Year Award: Chelee Farrell, Joy Ferguson, Scott Ramsey.

Staff Special Merit Awards

Shining Star Award: Kathy Thornton, vice president of Clinical Services.

Support Staff Awards: Barbara Cassidy, CFO; Martha Persinger, volunteer coordinator; Niki Rice.

2012 "Measure of Success" Awards

Best Performance Improvement: Renee Snyder, RNC, BSN, CHPN.

Quality Assessment Performance Improvement Project: Emogene Dolin Jones Hospice House staff nurses, for assessing and relieving new patients' pain, shortness of breath, nausea and restlessness within one hour of admission.

Those nurses are Linda Black, RN; Travis Clagg, RN, CHPN; Tammi Cox, RN; Carla Diehl-Neville, RN; Valerie Dennison, RN, CHPN; Vicki Ellis, RN; Sheila Fillinger, RN; Cindy Hawley, RN, CHPN; Becky Hedrick, RN; Jan Holcomb, RN, CHPN; Tisha Hudson, RN; Nikki Huff, RN; Marian Legg, RN; Lois Norris, RN; Lora Petrie, RN, CHPN; Felicia Skeens, RN; Renee Snyder, RNC, BSN, CHPN; and Renee Szekely, RN.

Nursing Award: Valerie Dennison, RN, CHPN.

Family Services Award: Ginger Nichols, social worker.

Hospice Aid Award: Mickey Newsome, CNA.

Volunteer Special Merit Awards

Fundraising and Development Award: Pam Gruber, gift shop worker and Volunteer Advisory Council.

Heart of Hospice Award: Shirley Henson.

Casper Frank Award: Shirley Danysh.

George Parker Spirit of Hospice Award: Consuelo Jeffreys.

Bereavement Volunteer Award: Amber Pappas.

Patient Care Volunteer Award: Shirley Hale.

Office Volunteer Award: Sharon Lake.

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