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Archive | August, 2015

Turning Grief Into an Art Gallery

Connie Crosby came to Pathways of Hope at Hospice of Dayton eight years ago following the loss of her husband.  Sometimes her support group would convene in the café down the hall in Hospice of Dayton.  A former gallery owner, Connie enjoyed the art displayed on the café walls.  When she learned that the art display might end when the staff member coordinating the project left, she volunteered for the job.

Through Connie’s efforts, local artists display artworks at Carole’s Café dining room on a two-month rotation.   It gives local artists exposure to a new audience.  It offers comfort to patients, families and hospice staff while enabling them to enjoy an art experience at no cost.  If they fall in love with one of the pieces, the artwork is for sale, with each artist pledging 25% of the proceeds as a donation to Hospice of Dayton.   Every artist displayed is local and, according to Connie, many of them are seniors.  A number of items have sold, including one painting that was purchased and taken home by a Chinese physician who was visiting a family member at Hospice.

The art display is available to visitors 24/7 in the Café dining room.  Inquiries about art purchases can be directed to Vicky Forrest at 937-256-4490 ext. 4409.

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Hospice of Dayton Campus Construction Projects

Several construction projects are underway on the Hospice of Dayton campus on Wilmington Avenue.  The projects are underway with a goal of improving campus accessibility and safety, and to enhance the experience of patients and visitors who come to the Hospice House and campus.

A new main entry is being created at Irving Avenue, with a brick wall under construction at the outskirt of the campus.  Upon completion, there will be new signage to mark the new main entry, and a separate entry off of Wilmington Avenue will be closed to through traffic to create a safer access to the campus.


Entry wall reduced








A second project involves the construction of a Veterans Memorial to honor servicemen and women for their sacrifice and patriotism. The new memorial will be located near the north pond adjacent to Wilmington Avenue with plans for completion and dedication to coincide with Veteran’s Day in November. The project is being funded by donors and information about contributing is available by contacting the Foundation Department at 937-258-5537.


Veteran Memorial reduced








In addition to the Memorial, a limestone retaining wall is being added to the north pond to prevent erosion. The retaining wall and landscaping will also beautify and enhance the pond area.

Pond Retention Wallreduced

Volunteer Sisters Bring Sunshine to Hospice of Dayton

Petersons 1Good luck to two vibrant young ladies, sisters, Aan’Jayla and Aa’Leeyah Peterson as they head back to school. They volunteered in the Volunteer Services workroom for 2 days a week, and at Carole’s Café for 2 days a week through the Montgomery County YouthWorks summer program.

YouthWorks provides summer employment opportunities for in-school youth ages 14-17, helping to develop fundamental life skills including personal growth, interpersonal relationships, and career development.

The Petersons attend Belmont High School and are cheerleaders.  Director of Volunteer Services, Maureen Swarts says, “They are the sweetest girls and work hard! They learned a lot and are a blessing to us!”

We look forward to having them back to volunteer throughout the school year and next summer!

If you are interested in volunteer opportunities with Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton, click here.

More information about the Montgomery County YouthWorks program can be found here.

The truth about kindness – Join Us for a fascinating Film Premier

Let’s make kindness contagious.

Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton is hoping to do just that with a free showing of the film “Kindness is Contagious” on Monday, August 24 at the Fairfield Commons Stadium 20 Theater in Beavercreek.  The documentary film applies the “Pay It Forward” concept created by author and screenwriter Catherine Ryan Hyde.  Featuring heartfelt stories of kindness and generosity, the movie inspires and energizes audiences. kindnessIsContagious_Poster_web-2y2urqutvt183col8n81ds

The film presentation is part of Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton’s “Compassionate City” effort involving Dayton area community leaders from sectors including education, business, service organizations, healthcare, faith communities and more. It is based on the “Charter for Compassion,” an international movement to spread compassion around the world.

The showing of “Kindness is Contagious” at the Fairfield Commons Stadium 20 Theatre, 2651 Fairfield Commons Blvd, Beavercreek, begins at 7:30pm.

Registration Information

Seating is limited so reservations are required and can be made by clicking here.

Event Information

What: “Kindness is Contagious” – Film Premier
Where: Fairfield Commons Stadium 20 Theatre
2651 Fairfield Commons Blvd, Beavercreek
When: August 24th, 2015, begins at 7:30pm

National Book Lover’s Day featuring Fearless Living and Loving

Fearless Living and Loving

By Vicky Forrest, Media Content Editor – Article featured in the 2015 Summer Journey Newsletterjohn love

Hospice of Dayton Chaplain, John Love, started writing spiritual reflections to share with his patients and families three and half years ago. The positive response he received from hospice patients, families and caregivers motivated him to turn his reflections into a book. The newly published Fearless Living and Loving-Christian Hope for the Sick and Their Caregivers guides readers through a spiritual journey of self-discovery.

“As a chaplain, I’m sensitive to honoring all faith traditions,” Love explains. “I didn’t write this book to change what people believe. Rather, I think it will help people clarify their beliefs and encourage readers to examine what their faith means to them. I also wanted to provide an uplifting message, a book that offers hope for people facing chronic or terminal illness and for those who love and care for them.”

Capture2Love has observed that end-of-life care presents unique challenges for professional caregivers. He says, “Hospice organizations are blessed to attract the very best of the best: nurses, aides, counselors, and so on. But the physical and emotional demands of the work can deplete caregivers and lead to burnout. I believe that spiritual work helps us grow in love and faith. And as we grow in love and faith-as we feel closer and more connected to God-we are better equipped to handle the daily stress which comes our way.”

Fearless Living and Loving is available through WestBow Press, a division of Christian publisher Thomas Nelson & Zondervan. It can be ordered online at or by calling WestBow at 1-866-928-1240.


You can also purchase the book through AmazonSmile, which donates 0.5% of your purchase to Hospice of Dayton when you designate Hospice of Dayton as your charity of choice.

Putting the Art in the Art and Science of Nursing

Betsy 1Anyone who asks Betsy Stavnitski if she “used to be a nurse” will receive a quick response. “I am a nurse,” Betsy says proudly. Retired or not, Betsy will always be a perfect example of what a nurse should be.

Betsy graduated from nursing school in 1958 and immediately earned a role as an instructor for nursing students. When she became pregnant with her first child, she was dismissed from the job and informed “a pregnant nurse is not an acceptable instructor for students.” She shares the story wryly today, adding “Can you imagine? But that’s the way things were done then.”

Like many women of the era, Betsy did not return to nursing until her three children had grown. When her youngest son was a junior in high school, she completed a refresher course at Miami Valley Hospital. “It was wonderful,” she remembers. “I learned so much!” She joined the Miami Valley staff in orthopedics, transitioned to infection control and ended up managing the orthopedic team. For the next thirty years she gave her loyalty and love to “the Valley.”

This year, Miami Valley and Premier Health returned her affection, presenting Betsy with a Lifetime Achievement Award for her career in nursing.   Her award notes that “Betsy strived to keep the patient and family 1st by leading compassionate and safe care….Many of us marvel at Betsy’s professionalism, spirit and direct communication skills. Betsy served with dignity, class and the utmost respect for the patient and the care team.” After retirement Betsy served as a volunteer, as a member of the Miami Valley Foundation Board and on other committees, extending her loyalty and contributions beyond the end of her nursing role.

Betsy is humble about her recent Premier honors, noting that her “colleagues on the floor work so hard, mentally, physically and emotionally.” Asked what has changed the most over the course of her nursing career, Betsy says “Technology. The art of nursing has not changed, but the science has.”

As any of her colleagues can tell you, when it comes to the art of nursing, Betsy is one of the Miami Valley’s finest artists.

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