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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:




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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! 


Julia was nominated by Lynda Smith.

Julia was so caring with my brother, I really think they bonded instantly.  Jim was non verbal but understood everything you said to him, and he really liked Julia.   We had Julia for a year or more and she was here as he started his journey.  Anything I asked her was okay with her and she gave me so many great tips.  As time went on his eating decreased and his skin was breaking down it really upset me, all I had to do was call her and she made all the time to come over and address the problem.  Julia was so gentle with him and she got him to smile, I really Loved that.  You need to be a special person to be a Hospice nurse and she is.  The last two weeks were very hard on me and Julia came everyday, and I was really thankful for that.  She never said he was leaving us I just knew.  When Jim passed I called her and she came right away and took care of everything.  After they came and took Jim away she didn’t leave right away, she made sure I was okay.  I will never forget Julia and what she did for my family, she really is a special person.

- Lynda Smith

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Pictured from left to right:  Dana Naumann, Bereavement Care Coordinator, Langeland Family Funeral Homes; Julie Ortiz, RN, Case Manager, Grace Hospice; & Tod Langeland, General Manager, Langeland Family Funeral Homes.

Thank you Julia for your commitment to those you serve!     


Congratulations to our August Caregiver Award recipient Julia Ortiz.

Julia received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card to be used for whatever she would like.                                                                                    

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