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30-Year Hospice Volunteers

2015 Volunteer Recognition Brunch,  April 18, 2015 - Milestone Honorees L to R: Christina Moore 15 yrs, Linda Lloyd 15 yrs, Barbara Cambria 15 yrs, Ann Arseneault 15 yrs, Marilyn Douglass 30 yrs, Helen Woronik 5 yrs, Marion Ripani 5 yrs, Phyllis Lee 5 yrs, Marcia Ketelhut 5 yrs, Trish Davis 5 yrs, Betty Garvie 5 yrs, June Dailey 20 yrs, Kathy Bierwirth 15 yrs, Doris Beebe 30 yrs. Missing form photo: Ann Arpin 20 yrs, Janna Austin 10 yrs, Ann Carignan 25 yrs, Mary Lou Chichester 20 yrs, Sally Cogan 5 yrs, Evelyn Kallinen 5 yrs, Chris Karpinski 5 yrs, Dee Lavoie Gonci 10 yrs, Ilona Oberman 10 yrs, Sue Olenick 5 yrs, Linda Snarski 5 yrs, Lillie Steadwell 15 yrs

At Center for Hospice Care’s annual Volunteer Recognition Brunch, held on April 18, volunteers Doris Beebe and Marilyn Douglass were honored for 30 years of dedicated service.  As friends who wanted to help launch the hospice cause in Southeastern Connecticut, Doris and Marilyn were in the first volunteer training class at the founding of Center for Hospice Care in 1985 when it was known as Hospice Southeastern CT.  As Center for Hospice Care celebrates its 30th anniversary, Doris and Marilyn were recognized for 30 years of helping in the care of hospice patients in the home. 

“Hospice has been an important part of my life,” said Doris Beebe, “and I am glad I have had the opportunity to give time and care to others in this way.” 

“I have found the Center for Hospice Care staff and volunteers are special, caring people who make a big difference in families’ lives,” said Marilyn Douglass. 

“Trained volunteers are essential to Center for Hospice Care’s interdisciplinary team,” said Lauren Watson who is the organization’s Volunteer Program Manager.  “Our teams include a doctor, pharmacist, highly skilled nurses, hospice aides, social workers, bereavement counselors, spiritual counselors, and of course, the volunteers.”

Center for Hospice Care has one of the most extensive volunteer programs in Connecticut with more than 160 people in the field.  Volunteers commit to at least 3-4 hours of service per week and must be available for at least 2 years.  Center for Hospice Care volunteers are trained to provide patients with companionship and emotional support, and to support families by offering respite, delivering medical equipment, and running errands.  Specially certified volunteers also provide patients with pet therapy and complementary therapies that include therapeutic massage, Reiki, and energy work.

“With a little support from us,” said Marilyn Douglass, “families are able to keep their loved ones at home during the last months, weeks, and days of their lives. They are able to have very special family time to celebrate birthday parties, weddings, or just quiet time and personal family time. This is remarkable to witness.”

“Each April,” Lauren Watson noted, “during National Volunteer Week, we are privileged to pay tribute to our volunteers for the dedication and caring they bring to our patients, their families, and our staff. In 2015, as Center for Hospice Care celebrates 30 years of service to the community, we are particularly grateful to volunteers Doris Beebe and Marilyn Douglass who have been with us for all of those 30 years!”

Those interested in becoming a Center for Hospice Care volunteer should contact Lauren Watson at lwatson@hospicesect.org or call 860-848-5699.

Posted on April 22, 2015

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