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.
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View past winners by year, October to September:
Langeland Monthly HOSPICE CAREGIVER AWARD RECIPIENTS:
June 2017 Caregiver Award - Ashley Rugg, Home Health Aide - Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan
Ashley was nominated Ricki Butler for Basil Van Linder.
Ashley Rugg of Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan was my 90 year old father's aide after I brought him home from the hospital. Dad was in a hospital bed and could only get up to sit in his wheel chair periodically with assistance and to use the bedside commode. His legs were very weak. Ashley was always so joyful and happy when she came and it got to where dad really looked forward to her visits. She laughed and joked with him as she gently made sure he was bathed, clean and shaved and nails even cut. Dad became very fond of Ashley over the time she was here. Dad became uncommunicative the last 3 days of his life. Ashley came to see him and to bathe him. She talked to him and made sure he was clean and shaved. She was so gentle. She then held his head up so that I could cut his hair. It meant so much to me that his hair be cut before he died. I had not been able to do it when he was sick. Ashley Rugg is a very very special person and was very special to all of us. I don't think she could ever be replaced.
- Marcia Butler/Van Linder
Pictured from left to right: Greg Langeland, Vice President, Langeland Family Funeral Homes; Ashley Rugg, Home Health Aide, Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan; and Dana Naumann, Bereavement Care Coordinator, Langeland Family Funeral Homes.
Thank you Ashley for your commitment to those you serve!
Congratulations to our June Caregiver Award recipient - Ashley Rugg.
Ashley received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card to be used for whatever she would like.
In October of 2017 the Hospice Caregiver of 2017 will be announced at a special reception honoring all the award recipients from October 2016 - September 2017. The Caregiver of the Year will receive a gift certificate for dinner and overnight accommodations.
Do you know a special Caregiver? Nominate her/him today!
May 2017 Langeland Caregiver Award - Tara Stolniki - RN Case Manager - Southern Care Hospice
Tara was nominated by JoAn Mowery
I would like to nominate Tara Stolniki for several reasons. Tara has been a nurse for 6+ years at Southern Care and has worn many different hats, from Director of Office Operations to Case Manager. She has not only shown proficiency in each, she has done so with a warm and caring heart. While being "the boss" she was always available for questions, comment, or just to lend an ear or shoulder to cry on. Tara made it a point to know all of our patients when in that role and their and their families' needs. Never wanting to languish in the office she went out on visits to help the Case Managers whenever possible. Her passion for being hands on has led her back to being a Case Manager as well as furthering her education to provide even better care. It is evident how much she cares for her patients by the numerous notes the families send. As a PRN, I have had the honor to help her with her patients and their words let me know; that she is as kind, knowledgeable and passionate in their care as I have believed. She frequently will spend hours overtime to make sure that the patient and the family are comfortable with the dying process. She has helped ease a particular family's grief by ensuring their death and dying rituals were carried out. Her compassion is not limited to people as she has taken in patient's dogs that were going to be put in a shelter due to the death. Words fall short in describing all she does and the passion that she has shown. I consider myself lucky to be working with such a wonderful RN.
- JoAn Mowery, PRN , Southern Care Hospice
Pictured from left to right: Greg Langeland, Vice President, Langeland Family Funeral Homes; Tara Stolniki, Registered Nurse, Case Manager, Southern Care Hospice; JoAn Mowery, Registered Nurse, Southern Care Hospice; and Dana Naumann, Bereavement Care Coordinator, Langeland Family Funeral Homes.
Thank you Tara for your commitment to those you serve!
Tara received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card to be used for whatever she would like.
April 2017 Caregiver Award - Emmett Houghton - Hospice Volunteer - Wings of Hope Hospice
Emmett was nominated Mary Soule - Volunteer Coordinator - Wings of Hope
Understated, and behind the scenes, a hospice volunteer quietly makes a tough day better, one act of kindness at a time. Some of his or her many assignments include listening and encouraging our patients and their loved ones, delivering needed medications and supplies, helping with office and event support, or providing handyman and maintenance services. Our patients inspire us to do everything we can to make each day its best. We are fortunate to have a committed group of volunteers that generously share their time and talents with them.
One of our stand-out volunteers is Emmett Houghton. Emmett has volunteered with Wings of Hope Hospice since November, 2012, and has served in a number of roles. In 2016 alone, he volunteered 121 hours and drove 3367 miles for Wings of Hope Hospice patients. Delivering medications is by far his most frequent assignment. On a typical day, our nurse case managers visit patients to assess how well medications are working. When they and the doctor determine that adjustments are needed, a new prescription is called into the pharmacy. If changes are urgently needed, the nurse will request a volunteer pick up and deliver the medication to the patient's home. Our pharmacy of choice is Portage Pharmacy, which can compound many specialized medications for our patients. A pick-up and delivery is often a 100-mile route. While the distance alone is above and beyond, Emmett is the one we can depend on to meet a patient's needs.
While on medication deliveries, Emmett looks for ways to encourage or bring a smile to the faces of those he meets. Occasionally, he has shoveled a patient's sidewalk or chatted with caregivers about how they are holding up under the stress. When he gets back to the Wings of Hope Hospice office, he also regularly encourages our staff. It is not uncommon for Emmett to just stop into the office to see if there is something he can help with. As you can imagine, there are always a few things that need attention. He has fixed door locks, replaced light bulbs, installed smoke detectors and moved fire extinguishers. We are very grateful for his support.
- Mary Soule, Volunteer Coordinator, Wings of Hope Hospice
Pictured from left to right: Tod Langeland, Secretary and General Manager, Langeland Family Funeral Homes; Mary Soule, Volunteer Coordinator, Wings of Hope Hospice; Emmett Houghton, Volunteer, Wings of Hope Hospice; and Dana Naumann, Bereavement Care Coordinator, Langeland Family Funeral Homes.
Thank you Emmett for your commitment to those you serve!
Congratulations to our April Caregiver Award Recipient Emmett Houghton.
Emmett received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card to be used for whatever he would like.
March 2017 Caregiver Award - Layla Jabboori - Grief Counselor - Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan
Layla was nominated by Deb LaRoy.
Layla is amazing. She is a vibrant caring loving person. She listens and understands and would often know exactly what we were trying to describe before we could get it out. She went extra miles often for us. She came to see my dad while he was at Rose Arbor and check on each of us. After dad died she made numerous trips to the nursing home to check on my mom. She and I were also co-workers and I always felt appreciated and uplifted by Layla. I know there are numerous folks in this community who have benefited from her love, care and support. She is truly a blessing.
- Deb LaRoy
Pictured from left to right: Tod Langeland, Secretary and General Manager of Langeland Family Funeral Homes; Layla Jabboori, Grief Counselor, Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan; Dana Naumann, Bereavement Care Coordinator, Langeland Family Funeral Homes.
Thank you Layla for your commitment to those you serve!
Congratulations to our March Caregiver Award recipient Layla Jabboori.
Layla received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card to be used for whatever she would like.
February 2017 Caregiver Award - Debra McCormick - Medical Records Coordinator - Wings of Hope Hospice
Debra was nominated by Greg Carlson.
We at Wings of Hope Hospice value Deb McCormick's work in our Medical Records Department. We just finished a record year at Wings of Hope, having a higher census than ever before. Still, Deb goes about her work quietly and maintains an "even keel" emotionally, even when under pressure to process an increasing number of records. We enjoy her unflagging sense of humor - even when things get crazy. She has a good chemistry with the rest of our staff, always ready to serve our needs for information. She is a warm professional in a challenging position. She is outstanding in her competence and eye for detail. She has exemplary character in following through on what she promises to do. The reason I'm nominating Deb is that she works humbly year after year without public recognition. Most of us see our names in print and hear them mentioned during community programs and fundraisers throughout the year. Deb, however, often works alone without acknowledgement. But she has a meaningful and purposeful position. She is a vital part of the team providing compassionate care at the end of life for patients and loved ones.
- Greg Carlson, Spiritual Care Coordinator, Wings of Hope Hospice
Pictured from left to right: Dana Naumann, Bereavement Care Coordinator, Langeland Family Funeral Homes; Debra McCormick, Medical Records Coordinator, Wings of Hope Hospice; Tod Langeland, Secretary and General Manager of Langeland Family Funeral Homes, and Greg Carlson, Spiritual Care Coordinator, Wings of Hope Hospice.
Thank you Debra for your commitment to those you serve!
Congratulations to our February Caregiver Award recipient Debra McCormick.
Debra received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card to be used for whatever she would like.
January 2017 Caregiver Award - Gretchen Ross - Music Therapist - Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan
Gretchen was nominated by Jackie Fletcher.
Gretchen is a wonderful music therapist. My husband Bill was in Amber Gardens (memory ward) at Upjohn Community Care Center. Gretchen brought much joy to him. She played and sang his favorite gospel songs - MUCH TO HIS DELIGHT. During his last hours she "sang him to heaven" and brought comfort to me and my family. Gretchen volunteered to sing at Bill's funeral - all his favorites. It was a joyous occasion. she was so nice to work with - cooperating with our clergy, sound and personal wishes. Everyone was blessed by Gretchen's music, as well as her countenance.
- Jackie Fletcher
Pictured from left to right: Tod Langeland, Secretary and General Manager of Langeland Family Funeral Homes; Gretchen Ross, Music Therapist, Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan; and Dana Naumann, Bereavement Care Coordinator, Langeland Family Funeral Homes.
Thank you Gretchen for your commitment to those you serve!
Gretchen received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card to be used for whatever she would like.
December 2016 Caregiver Award - Jeff Bell, RN - Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan - Rose Arbor
Jeff was nominated by Becky Nichols.
Jeff Bell was kind and sensitive to everyone's needs. He protected patient dignity; was sensitive and provided comfort to my daughter and the family. Jeff is very sincere - an amazing model of a caretaker. He has been a dedicated caregiver for 20 years.
- Becky Nichols
Pictured from left to right: Tod Langeland, Secretary and General Manager of Langeland Family Funeral Homes; Jeff Bell, RN, Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan - Rose Arbor; and Dana Naumann, Bereavement Care Coordinator, Langeland Family Funeral Homes
Thank you Jeff for your commitment to those your serve!
Congratulations to our December Caregiver Award recipient Jeff Bell.
Jeff received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card to be used for whatever he would like.
November 2016 Caregiver Award - Mary smith, RN, - Reverence Home Health and Hospice
Mary was nominated by Annette Smith.
Mary always provides excellent care for her patients and has gained the respect and appreciation from many of Kalamazoo's local facilities like Kairos and Borgess Gardens. She continues to put her passion for hospice patients into her work every single day. When I ask for more from her she takes on more without question, knowing that it is usually in the best interest of our patients. She has been known to go out after hours, without being on call, and provide care at a patient's death so that the family feels the continuum of care that is always the goal of our organization. Mary is a great asset to our organization and to our community. She deserves to be recognized for all that she has done.
- Annette Smith; Supervisor Reverence Home Health and Hospice
From left to right: Greg Langeland, Vice President, Langeland Family Funeral Homes; Dana Naumann, Bereavement Care Coordinator, Langeland Family Funeral Homes; Mary Smith, RN, Reverence Home Health and Hospice; & Annette Smith, Supervisor Reverence Home Health & Hospice.
Thank you Mary for your commitment to those you serve!
Congratulations to our November recipient Mary Smith.
Mary received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card to be used for whatever the she decides.
October 2016 Caregiver Award – Matt Gross, RN - Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan
Matt was nominated by Ford Granger.
Matt was so good with mother making her feel very special. He went way beyond his duties in helping her in her last days and in keeping in touch with family.
- Ford Granger
Pictured from left to right: Tod Langeland, Secretary and General Manager of Langeland Family Funeral Homes; Matt Gross, RN at Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan.
Thank you Matt for your commitment to those you serve!
Congratulations to our October recipient Matt Granger.
2016 Langeland HOSPICE CAREGIVER OF THE YEAR
PAM INZANO-WESAW OF HEARTLAND HOSPICE OF KALAMAZOO
Pam Inzano-Wesaw is the Langeland Family Funeral Homes Hospice Caregiver of 2016. She works as a social worker for Heartland Hospice of Kalamazoo and just celebrated her two year anniversary in October 2016. Pam was nominated by the Leadership Team of Heartland Hospice and was originally selected as the May 2016 monthly award recipient.
When Pam was asked about what this award means to her, she first qualified it by saying that she does what she does not for the recognition, but she is by nature uncomfortable with all of this attention. She did say how hard it is to put this experience into words since hospice means a great deal to her and it is such a big part of who she is. She is honored to be the recipient of the Hospice caregiver award, but is aware that there are so many exceptional caregivers which are deserving of recognition. She shares this award with her entire team!
Pam began working for hospice because of a personal connection with hospice where she saw how it had a positive impact on her and her philosophy of care. After that she made the decision to be involved with hospice, first as a volunteer and later had the privilege of working in the capacity of a social worker. She finds it an honor to meet the patients and the families and give special significance to their stories and experiences. Every day is different with its challenges and new experiences which brings the reward of being able to assist her families in whatever is important to them. She expressed that by working with each of her patients she takes something from the relationship which continues to mold and form her in the role as a social worker.
Working as a hospice worker brings gratification but can also be very stressful. Pam shared how she deals with the stresses of hospice social worker. “I try to direct my emotions in a positive way that honors all of my patients at different stages of their journey. I have an amazing family that supports me without ever having to say a word. I am very active and involved with my kid’s extracurricular activities and enjoy spending time outdoors in many various functions. My coworkers are also an amazing source of support and encouragement. This job would be impossible without the efforts of others.”
Pam lives in Portage with her husband Jeff, and her three children Brendan, Jordan and Mason. They all attended the awards banquet and took special joy in seeing Pam receive this tremendous honor.
Thank you, Pam.
Langeland Family Funeral Homes is delighted to recognize you as the Hospice Caregiver of 2016.