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Archive | March, 2016

Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton Spearheads Matters of the Heart Series with Local Clergy

Serious illness and end-of-life needs are unique.  “Matters of the Heart” is designed to empower clergy and lay leaders to support their communities.

Faith communities are called upon to support members of their congregations during times of serious illness and loss. Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton is reaching out to faith communities to strengthen and educate clergy and lay leaders in serving their constituencies. The next session in the series is slated for March 23 at the Ray and Joan Kroc Community Center, 1000 N. Keowee Street in Dayton. The focus of the session is Addressing Caregiver Burnout: Yours and Those Who Are Caregivers for Loved Ones. There is no cost for the program.

Kim Vesey, RN, CHPN, MS, Vice President of Mission Support with Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton, is leading the Matters of the Heart project, working with faith communities from across the Miami Valley. “By using our expertise to better prepare congregations in supporting their families, we believe we are extending our mission of reducing pain and suffering,” Vesey explains.

The Matters of the Heart Series involves members of church communities who develop individualized approaches to addressing the needs of those dying and grieving within their faith community. Each faith community develops and individualizes approaches to address the needs identified among their following.

Additional information is available by contacting Kim Vesey at or by calling (937) 256-9507, ext. 4447. Advance registration is required and can be completed at


Lincoln is Learning to Bring Laughter, Love and Quality of Life

On this National Puppy Day we are pleased to share photos of Lincoln, our puppy in assisted pet therapy training. Lincoln is now 9 1/2 months old with a chocolate lab mother and unknown dad. He, his siblings and mother were all abandoned when the pups were a week old. A member of the Ohio’s Hospice staff adopted Lincoln, who has graduated from puppy kindergarten. “He is a fun loving, people loving goofball,” says his owner. Both are looking forward to joining the pet assisted therapy team visiting hospice patients. Like all pet assisted therapy dogs at Ohio’s Hospice, Lincoln and his owner will be required to complete a training program and become certified before interacting with patients.

Pet assisted therapy enriches the quality of life for hospice patients and families. Physical contact with animals is known to reduce anxiety, lower blood pressure and bring comfort to patients. Enjoying time with an animal can help reduce physical and emotional pain, ease loneliness and encourage movement. Dogs have the ability to bring back pleasant memories and a sense of normalcy for patients, visitors and family members. A 2013 study reported that dementia patients who were provided pet therapy over a ten week period experienced a slower progression of symptoms including agitation, aggression and depression.

Once certified, Lincoln will join our other pet assisted therapy dogs in lighting up the lives of our patients and their families – proving that puppies are good medicine.

Below are pictures of Lincoln at 4 months and now at 9 1/2 months. We can’t wait to see how big he will be when he is fully grown!



Bouquet Awards Honor Outstanding Staff

Every quarter we honor outstanding staff members for their contributions to our mission. Each of our disciplines is recognized as part of our Bouquet of Recognition. Here are our most recent recipients:


Carnation AwardsTwo staff members earned Carnation recognition and Bouquets of Recognition. Facilities Coordinator Mark Wagner was honored for his concern and quick action when a colleague suffered an unexpected medical emergency. “Thankfully, Mark recognized that she clearly wasn’t feeling well…and insisted that she go with him to the shift leader office and meet with nursing staff just to be safe. Mark’s quick action in getting her to the shift leader’s office so she could receive additional assistance probably saved her life that day.” Also honored was Landscape Assistant Noah Stomps for stepping up to new responsibilities in recent months. Noah demonstrated willingness to go “above and beyond his duties the entire season to make sure the grounds at Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton look exceptional,” the nomination notes. “Noah is an asset to the landscaping department” and reflects the values of the Hospice mission. Thanks to both worthy recipients for all they do! Mark is pictured left and Noah on the right.



IMG_9079Bereavement Counselor Lisa Conn was surprised with the Tulip award in appreciation for her dedication to addressing the needs of those in grief. “Lisa has been helping a group of Jamestown adults and young adults deal with a tragic death of a 14-year old young man,” the nomination explains. “She is great at her job! Everyone looked so forward to our meetings with her and she went above and beyond making her schedule work with our crazy schedules…Thank you, Lisa, for being you…you have been given a wonderful gift.” Lisa is pictured left with Director of Care, Patient Family Support Services Lisa Balster.



DAISY QTR 1 2016Crisis Care RN Suzanne Jackson earned DAISY Award honors in appreciation of her exceptional care and attention to patients. “Suzanne was recently caring for a Coming Home patient who was very aware of her appearance, had been very outgoing and involved in the community and had many friends who came to visit. The day of her death, Susie applied the patient’s make-up and lipstick, adorned the patient with a lovely scarf and told her how beautiful she looked. She provided loving support to all visitors and family while providing exceptional care to the patient. Suzanne exhibits Ohio’s Hospice core values with the care she provides and is a great asset to our team.”Suzanne is at left with Crisis Care Manager Kristy Brock.


IMG_9060Personal Care Specialist Dianna Irven was presented with the Sunflower Award for her dedication to patients and collaboration with colleagues. A co-worker said, “I always know I can call Dianna if she is familiar with a patient, because she is more than willing to help and let you know all the details so that the visit goes smooth for you and more importantly for the patient … Diana always has a smile on her face and a great way with her patients and coworkers. I appreciate all the help she has given me anytime I have ever needed to call her!” Dianna is pictured, center, with Team Manager Jayne Ormberg to her right and Director of Care Yvonne Turner at left.


If you would like to nominate someone for an award, you can do so here:

Recognition Awards


Making It Personal – How Melinda Tobin Touches Lives

Melinda-reducedPersonal Care Specialist Melinda Tobin has found a unique way to develop some special bonds with her patients and families. It started with a visit to the bookstore.“I saw the book and I thought it would be a good ice-breaker,” Melinda explains. 

“It’s been really well-received,” Melinda says. “It is a surprise to them and sometimes there are things the families didn’t even know.”

“The Book of Myself,” by Carl and David Marshall, is a do-it-yourself autobiography. It offers over 200 questions ranging from childhood toys, crushes, and forbidden exploits to adult achievements and how one’s views change over the years. Melinda bought the book and started using the questions with some of her patients to learn more about them.

“I usually start with questions about their work experience because it’s a comfortable place for them to start talking about themselves,” she says. “They like talking about their families. I get to know them on a personal level more quickly and intimately.”

As they talk, Melinda writes down what the patients share with her. “It’s something the patient and I share,” she confides. “We make a more personal connection.” As she builds upon her questions, her written notes provide a portrait of the patient that she ultimately presents to the family.

“It’s been really well-received,” Melinda says. “It is a surprise to them and sometimes there are things the families didn’t even know.”

Melinda says on a personal level she has gained insights into how hard times were for many of her patients. As an example she explains of one patient who had lived through the Great Depression. “She had a round metal tin that she would put all string in. If she had a loose thread on something she would cut it off and wrap it around cardboard and place it in the tin. Myself, I would trim the thread and throw it away. I had the opportunity to use some of the thread one visit when she had lost a button off her blouse.” Some of the stories she hears are recollections that bring laughter. “I had a patient who was driving and was pulled over by the police. My patient didn’t have his drivers license yet. He told the police officer he was in the military hoping the officer would let it slide, but the policeman told him he couldn’t drive.  He said no problem his wife would drive. His wife got in the drivers seat but she had no clue how to operate a stick shift. His wife drove operating the steering wheel and brake while he operated the stick. True teamwork! My patient got a real kick out of sharing this story.“

“Each and every story is touching,” Melinda observes. “I absolutely recommend this approach to others. It helps the patient understand we are interested in them on a personal level and we are not just there to be a physical caregiver.”