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2021 Award Recipients

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, grief counselor, CNA, healthcare administrative professional or a volunteer.

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Hospice Caregiver of the Year 2021 - Nancy Lyon

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On October 20, 2021 Nancy Lyon was selected as the 2021 Langeland Hospice Caregiver of the Year. She attended the Hospice Caregiver Awards banquet with her husband Curtis and two of her three sons, Quincy and Matthew. Nancy has worked for Wings of Hope Hospice in Allegan Michigan for 8 years as Certified Nurse Assistant. She was nominated originally for the Langeland monthly Hospice Caregiver award by her collogues at Wings of Hope Hospice and received the November 2020 monthly award. She and the other 11 Hospice Caregiver Awards recipients (as well as including several of their guests) were invited to the annual banquet on October 20, 2021 at the Westside Chapel of Langeland Family Funeral Homes. During the banquet each of the attendees was recognized for their special work as a Hospice Caregiver.

Nancy’s journey towards working at hospice began when her brother was on hospice, and she became his Power of Attorney. She had never thought about working for hospice until after her brother’s passing, months down the road. His death was a traumatic time for her and her family, but she saw how beautiful “the team hospice” was at during his time on the service. She says, “They made it the best for my brother it could possibly be. They were like my bloodline. Each discipline did their part, and this comforted us in this time. This is also where I came to the end of myself and cried out for help to God as I was so broken. And He alone saved me. This is when I knew I wanted to work for hospice and give back what was done for me.” She also shared about how working during the pandemic has reaffirmed things that she has always believed, “To listen to that really small voice in my mind, heart and soul that is bigger than the news, the media and the world around me and the unseen. That death is imminent for all of us, not just hospice patients. The most important person to listen to is not ourselves, but the one who is always there no matter the circumstances and loves far more than we can imagine and forgives all our sins.”

After receiving the Hospice Caregiver of the Year Award Nancy, she began by saying how she glorifies God in all His work and prays that He guides her. “It is my desire to be led by Jesus in all my relationships and I believe He brought me to hospice and He is working out in me, my salvation through faith. That not of myself, He continues to build those relationships for community and family to glorify Him. I am so blessed and my cup overflows”

Other Hospice Caregiver Award winners shared their thoughts as well:

“The most gratifying part of Stephanie’s job is the smiles! It warms her heart when she knows they are looking forward to her visiting, seeing that she can make them feel better at least for a moment.” Stephanie Esman – Home Health Aide - Hospice Care of Southwest MI

Through the challenges of working in a pandemic Crystal shares, “I have learned that when loved ones are unable to see our clients, it’s more important than ever that we are their eyes and ears, and that any piece of contact we can facilitate between clients and their families is such a gift.” Crystal Morrow – Registered Nurse - Elara Caring Hospice

“Helping others in time of need and helping their families and being that smiling, compassionate face that helps them in a time when they need it the most. Every moment is special to me from the time I walk in until the time, I walk out the door, I know I’ve made a difference in someone’s life.” Tina Higdon – Nursing Assistant – Heartland Hospice

“I’ve been changed as a hospice nurse seeing the amazing differences in every client and family and how they move through the death process. It has widened my eyes further to appreciate the awe of how beautifully different we all are in life and death.” Beth Koperdak – Registered Nurse – Hospice Care of Southwest MI

Matt speaks about how his work at hospice has changed him, “My work with hospice has made me more aware of and more concerned about the many ways our society and our health care system fail the people they claim to serve, thus making me into an ever more fierce and more committed advocate.” Matt Gross – Registered Nurse – Hospice Care of Southwest MI

“I was able to care for my mom at her end of life. She often said to me she did’t know how I did this job and I told her, ‘Someone is there to bring people into this world, and someone has to be there to help people out’”. Nichole Schnurr – Registered Nurse – Elara Caring Hospice

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