Hospice Caregiver Award

The work of a hospice caregiver often transcends any description of kindness, service and ministry.  It takes a very special kind of compassion and dedication. A very special person.

Each month Langeland Family Funeral Homes selects an individual as a recipient of the Hospice Caregiver Award from your nominations. The person chosen as the monthly award winner receives a gift card to be used for whatever they desire. Their name is also engraved on a leaf on the Hospice Caregiver tree at the Westside location. Yearly, Langeland Family Funeral Homes holds a reception to honor the past year's award recipients. During the reception, one of these special people will be selected as “Caregiver of the Year”. The Caregiver of the Year recipient will receive a gift certificate for a very special evening and a night away.

We invite nominations from peers, friends, patients and their families, and others who feel a particular person excels in his or her profession. Through your nomination, you can provide a special honor to someone who gives so much.

Please take a moment to nominate an individual whose care has touched your heart. This person may be a hospice
professional physician, nurse, chaplain, social worker, CNA, healthcare administrative professional or a volunteer.






View past winners by year, October to September:
2017
2016

2017 Langeland HOSPICE CAREGIVER OF THE YEAR
Jeff Bell OF Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan

Congratulations to Jeff Bell, recipient of the Langeland 2017 Hospice Caregiver Award.  Jeff works as a registered nurse for Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan, originally at Rose Arbor in Kalamazoo and now at Glenn Arbor in Battle Creek, both Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan facilities.  He was nominated originally for the monthly Hospice Caregiver Award and selected by Langelands as their December 2016 recipient. His nominator was particularly impressed by Jeff's kindness and sensitivity to their loved one and the whole family.  This made a huge impact on them.
 
On October 11th Langelands hosted the Hospice Caregiver Award Banquet at their Westside Chapel.  It was an evening focused on honoring the 12 monthly winners of the Caregiver Award.  The monthly award recipients were also encouraged to invite some guests to join them for the festivities.  Jeff included his parents Fran and Eleanor Bell, and his partner Brian Smith to be part of his special evening. 
 
Jeff was drawn to hospice work in the mid 80's though his own experience of witnessing the important role that hospice workers played in assisting those he knew who were affected by AIDS.  He later enrolled at KVCC in the nursing program and began working for Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan as a Home Health Aide.  That was 23 years ago.
 
Jeff shares the most gratifying part of his job. "To be able to offer support and comfort to someone at the end of life, is an honor.  Guiding families through this process, when they are in need of kindness, is gratifying."  Hospice work is very rewarding but it can also be very emotionally draining.  Jeff works to keep a healthy balance between work and home.  He says, "I strive to do my very best when at work, then focus on personal interests and pastimes at home.  Reading, bicycling, and gardening help relieve stress and mental fatigue. My family and friends are very important to me.  I would not be where I am today without them."
 
Jeff feels truly honored by this award. He believes the hospice profession as one to be pursued for the pay or recognition, but rather it is a calling.  He shares this award with everyone on his team at Rose Arbor and Glenn Arbor.  "We all work together, we all share the same goals.  I could not do this work alone!"


In October 2018 the Hospice Caregiver of 2018 will be announced at a special reception honoring all the award recipients of the past year.  The Caregiver of the Year will receive a gift certificate for dinner and overnight accommodations.

Do you know a special Caregiver?  Nominate them today


Langeland Monthly HOSPICE CAREGIVER AWARD RECIPIENTS:

June 2018 Caregiver Award – Mary Beth Sarhatt - Chaplain – Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan

Mary Beth was nominated by Tamara Norman

Mary Beth Sarhatt is a chaplain with Hospice Care of SW MI.  She visited my mother while she lived at the Gardens during March 2018.  She was at the front door of Rose Arbor when my mother arrived via ambulance.  She escorted me and my mother to her room and stood by while the nurses sedated her.  Mary Beth visited with me for about an hour just a few hours before my mother, Rose Schanwald, took her last breaths.  I am grateful to Mary Beth for the time and comfort she gave me.

- Tamara Norman

Pictured from left to right:  Dana Naumann, Bereavement Care Coordinator, Langeland Family Funeral Homes; Mary Beth Sarhatt, Chaplain, Hospice Care of Southwest MI; and Tod Langeland, Secretary and General Manager of Langeland Family Funeral Homes.

Thank you Mary Beth for your commitment to those you serve! 

Congratulations to our June Caregiver Award recipient Mary Beth Sarhatt.  Mary Beth received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card to be used for whatever she would like.


May 2018 Caregiver Award – Colleen Cupani, RN, WCC Triage Coordinator – Wings of Hope Hospice

Colleen was nominated by Wings of Hope Hospice Staff

We the staff at Wings of Hope Hospice, wish to nominate Colleen Cupani  for the Hospice Caregiver Award from the Langeland Family Funeral Homes.  We appreciate her endless patience.  One nurse said, “When presented with the question, “Colleen, how do I do this again?” she calmly describes the instructions again as if it was the first time I asked.  I have witnessed up to four co-workers in her room at one time, throwing out multiple questions to Colleen. I have never once seen her get impatient or annoyed at the constant distractions she endures every day.” One staff member said, “I appreciate Colleen’s ‘mother hen’ attitude toward everyone.  She truly cares about each and every one of us.  She is one of the kindest people I have ever met.”  When being honored for her third anniversary at Wings of Hope a few weeks ago, Colleen responded, “I feel that we are family here at Wings of Hope and treat each other accordingly.” Colleen is an active, respectful listener with a sweet spirit.  She is caring and sincere.  She is a great sounding board for all of the nurses.  We appreciate her sound judgment.  In caring for our clinical staff members, Colleen motivates us to provide excellent care and comfort for our patients and families.  One RN recognizes that “Colleen is always willing to go the extra mile to help co-workers and patients.”  This care is nurtured in a big heart for people who are having a hard time.  Another staff member said, “I love how Colleen stays calm and makes quick decisions in an emergency.  I saw this first hand several weeks ago when one of the patients on our Journeys Advanced Illness Management program called in with a lot of pain and in the midst of a crisis.  Colleen very calmly talked me through what to say while she was working on several other situations at the same time.  She is definitely in the right position at Wings of Hope.”  That ability to remain calm in the middle of chaos helps our staff to deliver a greater level of patient care.  A team member recently said, “I appreciate Colleen’s calm, positive attitude in the midst of a whirlwind of urgent needs, and her ability to sort through priorities and provide direction to meet the needs of the day.”  She is always “on top” of all our patients’ needs.  Her brain has a huge storage capacity for details.  She communicates well with our staff via updates.  An after-hours RN wrote, “She makes sure that admissions information is the best we can get.  That helps with a smoother admission whether it is during the day or after hours.  She is the glue that holds the clinical staff together.  She works hard to make the day flow well.”  Colleen is a model of human maturity.  She brings decades of accumulated knowledge and experience to Wings of Hope.  One RN said, “Colleen is so knowledgeable about everything and is always willing to share that knowledge.”  Her positive attitude, warm smile and emotional maturity are a large influence on the maturity and morale of our staff.  Colleen is definitely one of a kind! We are immensely blessed to have her as part of our team.

- Greg Carlson, Chaplain, Wings of Hope Hospice 

Pictured from left to right:  Dana Naumann, Bereavement Care Coordinator, Langeland Family Funeral Homes; Colleen Cupani, RN, WCC Triage Coordinator, Wings of Hope Hospice; and Tod Langeland, Secretary and General Manager of Langeland Family Funeral Homes.

Thank you Colleen for your commitment to those you serve!

Congratulations to our May Caregiver Award recipient Colleen Cupani.  Colleen received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card to be used for whatever she would like.


April 2018 Caregiver Award – Wendy Wilke RN – Grace Hospice

Wendy was nominated by Kevin Brintnall - Chaplain - Grace Hospice

Wendy Wilke, and RN and Case Manager, demonstrated from day one at Grace Hospice that she would maintain the priority of patient care as the first priority over all other considerations. Whether providing excellent care for the patient or providing a compassionate ear for distressed family members, Wendy’s work is exemplary.  Going the extra mile for her patients and families is not out of the ordinary for Wendy.  Recently, a patient expressed to her that on his list of undone things in his life was to marry his longtime companion who was his caregiver for many, many months.  Wendy immediately proposed that she could help the couple to make this dream come true.  Wendy contacted the hospice chaplain and asked if he would be available and willing to conduct the ceremony, and a date was set. She shopped for wedding rings and purchased them out of her own resources.  She recruited another RN to order a cake, to bring flowers and to act as a photographer to record the moment.  Family members were contacted and invited to attend this simple yet meaningful ceremony in the apartment of the patient.  The day of the wedding arrived, all the pieces came together, and this couple joined their lives in marriage.  The patient, by this time in the disease process, was unable to stand, but said over and over again, “I’m so happy for this day.”  Truly, it was a joyful moment!  And it was made possible because a hospice nurse took care not only of the physical side of her patient, but also listed to his heart.  The patient reported that he was at peace just before he died just two weeks later.  Wendy Wilke, RN, exemplifies the very best of what it means to be a hospice nurse.

- Kevin Brintnall

Pictured from left to right:  Greg Langeland, Vice President Langeland Family Funeral Homes; Dana Naumann, Bereavement Care Coordinator; Langeland Family Funeral Homes; Wendy Wilke, RN, Grace Hospice; & Kevin Brintnall, Chaplain, Grace Hospice.

Thank you Wendy for your commitment to those you serve!

Congratulations to our April Caregiver Award recipient Wendy Wilke. Wendy received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card to be used for whatever she would like.


March 2018 Caregiver Award – Chrissie Kemple, RN – Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan

Chrissie was nominated by  Lea Sidibe.

Chrissie cared for our mom with gentle respect for her choices.  She was extremely confident and flexible in the care she provided.  She always knew how to help mom through each change, always gave her options and made sure she participated in her own care.  Chrissie instilled confidence in us, as her caretakers, she taught us how to keep mom comfortable and routinely praised our efforts.

Sincerely,
- Lea Sidibe

Pictured from left to right:  Dana Naumann, Bereavement Care Coordinator, Langeland Family Funeral Homes; Krissie Kemple, Registered Nurse, Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan; & Tod Langeland, Secretary and General Manager,  Langeland Family Funeral Homes.

Thank you Chrissie for your commitment to those you serve!

Congratulations to our March Caregiver Award recipient Chrissie Kemple. Chrissie received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card that can be used for whatever she decides.   


February 2018 Caregiver Award – Nikki Warner - Clinical Nurse Assistant – Great Lakes Caring Hospice

Nikki was nominated by Terrie Polendo and The Whole Staff at Grand Vista of Marshall.

Nikki comes in to Grand Vista Assisted Living with a smile on her face and everyone in our facility loves her.  She is amazing with the residents she is assigned to.  She sits with them at meal time, visits and is so pleasant to everyone.  As the Nursing Supervisor she always reports to me any concerns, and communicates with staff amazingly.  All of our residents think she is so wonderful.  You can tell Nikki truly loves what she does.  Nikki is so deserving of this award.  The whole Grand Vista Team Thanks Nikki for going above and beyond for our special residents.

Sincerely,
Terri Polendo, Nursing Supervisor

Pictured from left to right:  Dana Naumann, Bereavement Care Coordinator, Langeland Family Funeral Homes; Nikki Warner, Clinical Nurse Assistant, Great Lakes Caring Hospice; & Tod Langeland, Secretary and General Manager of Langeland Family Funeral Homes.

Thank you Nikki for your commitment to those you serve!

Congratulations to our February Caregiver Award recipient Nikki Warner. Nikki received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card that can be used for whatever she decides.   


January 2018 Caregiver Award – Debra Koning - Grief Counselor – Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan

Debra was nominated by Kris Kenz Locke.

Deb is wonderful.  She listens closely, and well to everything you say, and catches everything you can't say.  She gets to know you and speaks to your situation, not just grief in general.  Losing my Dad in September 2015 was so hard, and having Deb there for me meant the world.  I'd lost my Mom in August 2012 and when Daddy died I had strong grief for Mom again.  I'd heard that was possible, but I wasn't prepared at all for the intensity.  Deb not only held our scheduled meetings, she also took my phone calls; always patiently listening to what I said and figuring out what else might be lurking but not spoken.  She supported me and challenged me to grow.  I've been blessed to work with several people in hospice, all very good.  But  Deb was truly an angel.  Even now, 19 months after Daddy  died, I think of Deb and her advice to help me through rough patches.  And I smile when I feel better because I know Deb would be happy for me too.

- Kris Kenz Locke

Pictured from left to right:  Lisa Langeland Allen, Treasurer of Langeland Family Funeral Homes; Norm Langeland President of Langeland Family Funeral Homes; Debra Koning, Grief Counselor, Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan; Greg Langeland, Vice President of Langeland Family Funeral Homes; Tod Langeland, Secretary and General Manager of Langeland Family Funeral Homes; & Dana Naumann, Bereavement Care Coordinator of Langeland Family Funeral Homes.


Thank you Debra for your commitment to those you serve!

Congratulations to our January Caregiver Award recipient Debra Koning. Debra received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card to be used for whatever she would like.


December 2017 Caregiver Award – Sandy Rapp – Nurse’s Aide – Southern Care Hospice

Sandy was nominated by Rachel Mol.

For the past year Sandy has faithfully, lovingly and cheerfully taken care of my resident (who passed away) twice a week.  Sandy has treated this person as one of her family members; and when she was not doing well would call or stop in unexpectedly just to see how we are doing and how our resident was doing.  Sandy is wonderful and we love her dearly.

- Rachel Mol -  Bethesda Ranch

Pictured from left to right:  Dana Naumann, Bereavement Care Coordinator, Langeland Family Funeral Homes; Sandy Rapp, Nurse's Aide, Southern Care Hospice; and Tod Langeland, Secretary and General Manager of Langeland Family Funeral Homes.

Thank you Sandy for your commitment to those you serve!

Congratulations to our December Caregiver Award recipient Sandy Rapp. Sandy received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card to be used for whatever she would like.


November 2017 Caregiver Award - Roxanne James - Hospice Aide - Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan, Rose Arbor

Roxanne was nominated by Victoria Johnson

Roxanne was a day shift caregiver for my father, John Johnson, who just recently passed while at Rose Arbor in Kalamazoo.  He was there for a total of 6 weeks and Roxanne bonded with my father almost immediately.  She always talked to my dad finding a common interest to talk about.  She was always very kind to my father but honest telling him to enjoy and find something in every day he had left.  She always made sure he was well cared for and groomed (whether he wanted to be or not) which he thanked her for every time.  She went out of her way even when he wasn’t a part of her care team to come down and see him and how his day was going.  It is very evident that Roxanne has a LOT of experience and she is a true asset to the Kalamazoo Rose Arbor facility and to the patients she cares for.

- Victoria Johnson

Roxanne James, Hospice Aide – Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan - Rose Arbor (standing in the center in the blue shirt)  is surrounded by her co-workers at Rose Arbor and Shelby Baas and Dana Naumann from Langeland Family Funeral Homes.

Thank you Roxanne for your commitment to those you serve!

Congratulations to our November Caregiver Award recipient Roxanne James. Roxanne received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card to be used for whatever she would like.


October 2017 Caregiver Award - Lillian Lockwood - Home Health Aide - Reverence Home Health and Hospice

Lillian Lockwood was nominated by Deb Withee (a family member she served) & Mary Smith (RN - Reverence Hospice)

Lillian started taking care of mom in March 2017. She treated my mom as if it were her own mother (Lillian had very recently cared for her own mother by providing hospice care while taking time off of her job at Reverence). Lillian stands out for her work ethic, positive attitude, teamwork mentality, and diligence. She would start her day early to make sure she could be the one to take care of mom. She always spoke positive words to mom and the family. If there was a question about anything, she would follow through by contacting the staff or nurse. She went beyond providing basic care and made sure that mom was taken care of compassionately, even to the smallest details. Lillian not only was committed to caring for mom, she loved and encouraged her. Lillian’s support and caring heart made such a difference to us, knowing mom was getting personalized wonderful care.

Lillian has been a Home Health Aide at Reverence Aide at Reverence Hospice for 20 years. She is an invaluable member of our Hospice Team exhibited by her never ending kindness and gentleness. This enables her to meet her patients and family needs. She goes beyond in meeting spiritual needs and puts patients at ease by singing hymns to them as she performs their care in the most gentle and caring ways always concerned about their dignity and comfort. Her patients and families love her kindness, patience and gentleness and her true ability to let them know she really cares for them on both a personal and spiritual level during this most difficult transition in all their lives. It is a pleasure to work with Lillian and I truly respect all the care she provides.

- Deb Withee & Mary Smith

Pictured from left to right:  Dana Naumann, Bereavement Care Coordinator, Langeland Family funeral Homes; Lillian Lockwood, Home Health Aide, Reverence Home Health and Hospice; Lisa Langeland, Treasure of  Langeland Family Funeral Homes.

Thank you Lillian for your commitment to those you serve!

Congratulations to our October Caregiver Award recipient Lillian Lockwood. Lillian received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card to be used for whatever she would like.