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.
This year Nikki Warner a Certified Nurse Assistant for Centrica Care Navigators was selected as the Langeland 2022 Hospice Caregiver of the Year. Nikki originally received the monthly Hospice Caregiver Award for January 2022. Nikki has worked in hospice for five years. She is dedicated to her job and was so surprised to receive the yearly award for 2022. Nikki says she wants to do the best for her clients, she treats them like she is caring for her own family. She also feels that so many in her profession – CNA’s, nurses, chaplains, and others are so deserving of this recognition she has a hard time receiving it for herself. “I just do my job and I love what I do”.
Nikki shared a special story from her numerous special memories with her patients. Nikki cared for one man for three years. He had dementia and continued to decline over the years which she cared for him. He has a special place in her heart. He taught her about the Pink Panther movies, asking her, “Does your Dog bit?” She was confused at first because she did not bring her dog to the appointment, this then became a special joke between them. His wife would introduce Nikki as, “Your Girlfriend is here” and he called Nikki “Nikki Canna” – because her nametag said Nikki CNA. Karen Rich, who initially nominated Nikki, wrote; “As a hospice caregiver, Nikki has a heart the size of Texas and a disposition that brings out the smiles and humor in what is often a dismal situation.” These special relationships Nikki develops with her patients make her service so much more than a job.
Nikki attended the banquet with her parents Larry and Marie Warner and her co-worker Dion Platz-Marcum. She lives in Portage with her goldfish (who is in a pond outside) and her two dogs. Nikki unwinds from the stress of being a caregiver with her hobbies – hunting, fishing and keeping in touch with family and friends on “Talk Tuesdays” and going to the Barn Theatre on Friday nights.
Langeland Family Funeral Homes is so thankful to Nikki and all the Hospice Caregivers who give so much of themselves to make sure those who are suffering have the support and guidance they need.
CLICK ON A TAB BELOW FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE WINNER.
Colleen Minarovic was nominated by Alison Young for the Langeland Hospice Caregiver Award
I'm choosing to nominate Colleen for a lot of reasons. She sees a resident in the facility where I am employed and has seen other residents there in the past. Colleen is one of the most caring, selfless humans I have ever met. She makes it clear that taking care of people is more than just a job to her. Her positive attitude and calmness when she arrives at our facility never goes unnoticed. Our residents look forward to her visits. Even residents who are not hers. She takes time to bond with her residents to show them that she truly cares about them, who they are and who they were. She always brings a bag full of treats, nail polishes, lotions and other things to make them feel pampered and beautiful. She is a great advocate and we feel confident that she will always communicate with the hospice nurses to make sure a resident needs are met. Colleen is very reliable, even during the worst Michigan winter days, she still walks through that door with a smile. Her hard work and dedication never goes unnoticed and many would agree with me when I say I wouldn't hesitate to have her care for any of my loved ones.
Left to Right: Dana Naumann, Bereavement Care Coordinator, Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial & Cremation Services and Colleen Minarovic, Certified Nurse Assistant, Promedica Hospice.
Colleen received the Hospice Caregiver Award for September 2023.
Thank you Colleen for all you do as an exceptional Hospice Caregiver!
Colleen received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card to be used for whatever she would like.
Natalie was home health aide for my husband while he was on Hospice Care during January and Part of February 2023. She was so caring and kind to him and always considerate of his needs. She also spoke politely and respectfully to him while taking care of his needs. His eyes would always light up when she would say good morning to him when entering his room. And she was a wonderful person for me to interact with as well, knowing that I needed her help with him and her friendship as well. Natalie is a very wise and kind caregiver. And she took time to train me to do things to help him as well. For these reasons I nominate Natalie Richards to receive your Hospice Caregiver Award.
Natalie was such a caring aide for my dad Don Platt, but also for my mom who has been his primary caregiver for the prior years. She was compassionate with her care she gave to my dad- always talking to him so kindly and showing him great dignity. She gave my mom so many great tips and advice (and hugs)! She was such a super caregiver that will be remembered forever for her contribution to helping my dad in his final months.
Natalie showed my dad such respect and dignity and was so kind and sweet to him and my mom. She helped showed my mom and us how to help my dad when she wasn’t there and was understanding about the challenges we were all having with my dad’s declining health. These you may say, are what a hospice aid is supposed to do - but what she did was way above her job description. She touched our hearts and made my dad happy in his last month of life and made his eyes light up when we told him Natalie was coming. She would take the time to listen to both my parents and was a great help and confidant to my mom and I don’t know how we would have gotten through this without her. She has this gentle nature about her that you feel as soon as she walks in the door and I am honored that she took care of my dad in his last days. She deserves to win this month’s Hospice Worker of the month because she takes such good care of others, that I’d love to see her be taken care of. Thank you.
Natalie is a very experienced and proficient caregiver for my mother. She makes Mom feel loved and pampered. Natalie has given our family a lot of excellent and practical suggestions for ways to better care for mom and keep her safe. She is like a ray of sunshine when she comes to give such personal care. Natalie is a great blessing to my mother and to our family.
Left to Right: Natalie Richards, Certified Nurse Assistant, Centrica Care Navigators and Dana Naumann, Bereavement Care Coordinator, Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial & Cremation Services.
Natalie received the Hospice Caregiver Award for July 2023.
Thank you Natalie for all you do as an exceptional Hospice Caregiver!
Natalie received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card to be used for whatever she would like.
Phyllis Hepp was nominated by the leadership team and her colleagues at Wings of Hope.
Phyllis Hepp is a social worker for Wings of Hope’s hospice and palliative patients and the Manager of our Family Support Services Team. The consummate professional, Phyllis’s calming influence is felt by everyone who encounters her. Nothing ruffles her. She listens without judgment to patients, family members and colleagues and is always objective in her response. Phyllis is perceptive and understands the dynamics of human fallibility. Her problem-solving abilities are beyond amazing, and she has diffused many different challenging situations. Leaving no stone unturned, she tackles the most difficult issues with ease, creativity and grace. We are fortunate to have her.
Phyllis Hepp MSW genuinely cares about the entire hospice team and makes a difference each day in our patients’ and families’ lives. She is intelligent, empathetic, resourceful, calm and a joy to work with. She always sees the big picture. As a social worker, she assists patients and families with beneficial resources in their time of need. She is committed to developing best practices to improve the quality of care provided across our team of professionals. She is always available to the patients and hospice staff. She is “all in,” meaning she always gives 150%.
One of our CNAs nominates Phyllis because, “She is beautiful inside and out. She takes her time to really understand people. She is a listener and directs people in the way they should go. I feel she loves humans because she is a good human.” Phyllis speaks from her heart. She has a graceful, loving spirit that shines down on everyone around her. She is approachable and gracious in being interrupted to answer questions. Another staff member says, “I have reached out to her many times with questions stemming from a wide variety of topics and she always gets back to me with an ‘above and beyond’ answer.”
If there is an engagement score for supervisors, Phyllis would get 100%. You can see that in how she manages the Family Support Services staff. She is the best listener and provides constructive feedback. She makes it a priority to highlight each team member’s work. She has a large capacity for noting what is going on in our personal and work lives and is a great encouragement for both. She has fantastic communication skills.
The outcome of Phyllis’s supervisory work shows the quality of it. Our FSS team members were able to successfully navigate through two considerable challenges in the last two years in restructuring one electronic medical record (EMR) and then learning an entirely different EMR. Phyllis spent valuable time in teaching us how to use the new technology.
She has vision and enjoys focusing on the system and why we do what we do. She helped our team recognize the need of certain patients who are eligible for Continuous Care and then helped organize the team to service to those patients. She intuitively seems to know how to build collaborative action plans in tackling tough challenges.
Phyllis is also a phenomenal social worker. When you combine leadership and caring for patients, you end up with a force that can’t be stopped. She cares about people prior to, during and after death.
Phyllis is knowledgeable in bereavement counseling issues. She recently spoke at Christ Community Church of Allegan. She helped the people understand how to speak with others who suffered a significant loss.
She helps hospice and palliative families identify their worst fear and make realistic adjustments to address that fear. She listens carefully as people identify the source of their issues such as anxiety, anger, pride or shame and helps them focus on those issues in proactive ways. She sees the desirable future and encourages people in how to get there.
Our entire team is stronger because of Phyllis’ insights over nearly five years with Wings of Hope. She is a rock for Wings of Hope Hospice and Journeys Palliative Care.
Left to Right: Dana Naumann, Bereavement Care Coordinator, Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial & Cremation Services and Phyllis Hepp, Social Worker, Wings of Hope Hospice
Phyllis received the Hospice Caregiver Award for June 2023.
Thank you Phyllis for all you do as an exceptional Hospice Caregiver!
Phyllis received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card to be used for whatever she would like.
Laura Haley was nominated by Donna Langford for the Langeland Hospice Caregiver Award.
Laura is one of our excellent medical social workers and she went out of her way several times in the last month to have hard conversations about end of life and has gone to the Hospital and patient homes after hours to help guide discussions and facilitate family conferences. She stayed till early morning with a family that needed her support while waiting for the funeral home that was 5 hours away to arrive. She does all of this with a cheerful, helpful and respectful attitude.
Left to Right: Donna Langford, Promedica Hospice; Laura Haley, Medical Social Worker, Promedica Hospice; and Dana Naumann, Bereavement Care Coordinator, Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial & Cremation Services.
Laura received the Hospice Caregiver Award for May 2023.
Thank you Laura for all you do as an exceptional Hospice Caregiver!
Laura received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card to be used for whatever she would like.
Danielle Lucas was nominated by two patient families Kim Griffin and Karen Crane for the Langeland Hospice Caregiver Award.
Danielle was the nurse who cared for my Mom during the last couple of days before her passing. I felt it was a blessing that she be assigned to Mom 2 days in a row to take care of Mom. Danielle was very kind, sweet, comforting by supporting us and walking us through each phase during Mom's passing. She took the time to explain things and made sure Mom was comfortable. Danielle is a wonderful nurse, whose heart is in the right place. You can tell she loves her job, loves helping others, and is very good at what she does. Danielle is that type of employee who will go above and beyond for others. We nominate her for this award.
My husband was transferred from Bronson to Rose Arbor. We were scared as we knew what was to come. Danielle came into his room and introduced herself. From then on, she was his caretaker. Not only did she take care of him, but she also took care of us. Always asking if we needed anything and would ask for my opinion on things. Whoever gets her is getting an angel.
Left to Right: Danielle Lucas, Registered Nurse, Centrica Care Rose Arbor Place and Dana Naumann, Bereavement Care Coordinator, Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial & Cremation Services.
Danielle received the Hospice Caregiver Award for April 2023.
Thank you Danielle for all you do as an exceptional Hospice Caregiver!
Danielle received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card to be used for whatever she would like.
Mielko Moore was nominated by Alice Emery for the Langeland Hospice Caregiver Award.
Mielko was like family to us. She came regularly to help with Gary’s care. She is disciplined and gave us tips on how to handle various aspects of his care. She also listened as we shared our journey and struggles as Gary’s illness progressed. Mielko is so skilled at her job and has the perfect personality which we could easily relate to. We even laughed at times. A special moment was watching Mielko help Gary move from the bed to the bathroom. She would walk backwards while holding his hands and encouraging him one step at a time (as I walked behind him). She made it easy and the whole family liked her. I highly recommend Mielko to receive the Langeland Hospice Caregiver Award.
Left to Right: Dana Naumann, Bereavement Care Coordinator, Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial & Cremation Services and Mielko Moore, Certified Nurse Assistant, Centrica Care Navigators.
Mielko received the Hospice Caregiver Award for March 2023.
Thank you Mielko for all you do as an exceptional Hospice Caregiver!
Mielko received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card to be used for whatever she would like.
Deb Comstock was nominated by Rich Harlow for the Langeland Hospice Caregiver Award.
Deb started Hospice Care for Rhonda beginning September 2022 until her death December 2022. She visited her two times per week with phone call updates to me. Deb visited every day starting in mid-December until the end. She was very helpful, loving, and caring. She was a tremendous support to me in those final days. Deb became a close friend and truly loved Rhonda.
Left to Right: Dana Naumann, Bereavement Care Coordinator, Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial & Cremation Services and Deb Comstock, Registered Nurse, Careline Hospice.
Deb received the Hospice Caregiver Award for February 2023.
Thank you Deb for all you do as an exceptional Hospice Caregiver!
Deb received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card to be used for whatever she would like.
Dion PlatzMarcum was nominated by Laura Smidchens for the Langeland Hospice Caregiver Award.
Everyone from the hospice teams were amazing exuding a sense of peacefulness while making sure that my husband's care was exemplary. However, I want to shine special light on Dion whose regular visits helped bring a level of joy into the day. Additionally, his calm efficient approach dramatically reduced my husband's stress. Vinay even at times mustered up signs that he enjoyed Dion's visits and appreciated him. Thank you for consistently bringing both of us peace and joy.
Left to Right: Dana Naumann, Bereavement Care Coordinator, Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial & Cremation Services and Dion PlatzMarcum, Certified Nurse Assistant, Centrica Care Navigators.
Dion received the Hospice Caregiver Award for January 2023.
Thank you Dion for all you do as an exceptional Hospice Caregiver.
Dion received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card to be used for whatever he would like.
Rachel Giddings was nominated by Barbara Maury for the Langeland Hospice Caregiver Award.
Rachel was there when we needed it most, helped everyone in a gentle caring way, gave us the words to help Bill on his journey home, and helped our hearts give him the release he needed. She became part of our family for that short time we so needed her. It was surely a blessing that God sent her to us.
Left to Right: Rachel Giddings, Social Worker, Centrica Care Navigators; and Dana Naumann, Bereavement Care Coordinator, Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial & Cremation Services.
Rachel received the Hospice Caregiver Award for December.
Thank you Rachel for all you do as an exceptional Hospice Caregiver.
Rachel received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card to be used for whatever she would like.
Luke Canfield was nominated by Sandra DeYoung for the Langeland Hospice Caregiver Award.
Luke – Was a wonderful, helpful, caring guy who taught us basic care and needs. He taught how to change adult diapers. He came when I needed him most one morning! I appreciated his tender care of our mother. He has a positive attitude and loving heart. Thanks so much for your help!
Left to Right: Greg Langeland, Director, Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial & Cremation Services; Luke Canfield, Certified Nurse Assistant, Centrica Care Navigators.
Luke received the Hospice Caregiver Award for November.
Thank you Luke for all you do as an exceptional Caregiver.
Luke received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card to be used for whatever he would like.
Emma Macadangdang was nominated for the Langeland Hospice Caregiver Award by Beverly Nyhuis.
Emma’s care for my mother’s 6 weeks at Rose Arbor was compassionate and soothing to both my mother & our family. The days she worked, she stopped often to check on my mom. She took the time to talk to her & soothe her fears & anxiety. She was our angel & care giver that Blessed our family Richly! Emma gave 100% in doing a good job for my mom and family.
Left to Right: Kari Northey, Director, Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial & Cremation Services; Emma Macadangdang, Registered Nurse, Centrica Rose Arbor Place; and Dana Naumann, Bereavement Care Coordinator, Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial & Cremation Services.
Emma received the Hospice Caregiver Award for October.
Thank you Emma for all you do as an exceptional Caregiver and we especially recognize how you have gone above and beyond during the pandemic!
Emma received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card to be used for whatever she would like..
Jenna Knowles was nominated for the Langeland Hospice Caregiver Award by her Colleagues at Wings of Hope Hospice.
The team members from Wings of Hope Hospice want to nominate our colleague Jenna Knowles RN for the Langeland Hospice Caregiver Award. Jenna is loved by her patients and families. Her sweet quiet spirit encourages others. She is respected by her co-workers. One staff member describes Jenna as like a precious flower.⚘ “When I see her I am happy and when I don't see her I remember the graciousness she leaves behind and look forward to always talking with her or just listening. She is a beautiful creation the Lord has made to encourage, love and care for our patients in such a compassionate way. She uses all her gifts the Lord so wonderfully gave her. We are so blessed to have her. She is also a good friend.” One of the staff members who originally hired Jenna said, “Jenna came to us with no hospice experience and has embraced hospice philosophy and blossomed as a well-rounded nurse. She is empathetic, professional, calm, kind and knowledgeable. She sets a superb example for other nurses and is a great teacher. She excels in her job and is a true asset to Wings of Hope. We are blessed to have Jenna on our Team!” Jenna is a warm and caring presence who shares her thoughtful care, provides expert end-of life education, and offers options for increased patient comfort and peace of mind. One colleague said, “I had the privilege of joining Jenna on a visit with a patient. You could tell how much the patient appreciated Jenna and the attention Jenna gave her. Jenna truly sits and listens to her patients, really hearing them, which I know means so very much to all of them.” One of our Wings of Hope leadership team said, “Jenna is genuine, sincere, smart, compassionate, thorough and instills trust. One of the caregivers in our [recent Wings of Hope] video said, “I liked her the minute I met her.” I would want her to be my hospice nurse. We think Jenna is an amazing nurse. She listens well to patient concerns, uses her medical knowledge to assess and find helpful medical solutions and approaches each family member in the way that puts everyone at ease. Jenna goes above and beyond to make sure her patients have symptoms well controlled, anticipating potential problems and walking alongside patients and family members. Jenna is a consistent, reliable team-member. She plans her time with her husband and three daughters wisely so as to be dependable for her responsibilities to our patients. She has been a steady employee at Wings of Hope for some eight years. The compassion and empathy Jenna shows her patients and their families is natural and directly from her heart. Jenna sets the bar high for all the employees, especially the nurses at WOHH.
Left to Right: Kari Northey, Director, Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial & Cremation Services; Jenna Knowles, Registered Nurse, Wings of Hope Hospice; and Dana Naumann, Bereavement Care Coordinator, Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial & Cremation Services.
Jenna received the Hospice Caregiver Award for September.
Thank you Jenna for all you do as an exceptional Caregiver and we especially recognize how you have gone above and beyond during the pandemic!
Jenna received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card to be used for whatever she would like.