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Archive | March, 2017

Theresa Sugrue Honored with Cameo of Caring

Theresa Sugrue, RN, CHPN,  embodies the characteristics that make an outstanding hospice and palliative care nurse and Cameo of Caring recipient. She will be presented with the Cameo of Caring Award at ceremonies on Saturday, April 22 at the Schuster Performing Arts Center.

A graduate of the Miami Valley School of Nursing, Theresa launched her nursing career at Miami Valley Hospital, working in various departments over the next 18 years. She joined the staff at Hospice of Dayton for a couple of years and then accepted a role as a school nurse for eight years. She returned to Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton in 2011, and earned certification in hospice and palliative care.

Theresa’s commitment to the hospice mission is clear and reflected in her work every day. She serves as a preceptor for new teammates and as a facilitator for the Power of Nursing program at the Remen Institute for the Study of Health and Illness at the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Nursing.

Patient families praise Theresa for her compassionate care and clinical expertise. Theresa is a patient advocate and demonstrates unwavering commitment to both patients and families. Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton is grateful for her expertise and her passion for the hospice mission.


Janice Booker Earns Sunflower Award

Sunflower Award

Janice Booker

A family member submitted a nomination recognizing Janice for her outstanding work.  “As you know, registered nurses can be a little picky when it comes to a loved one receiving health care,” she wrote. “Not only am I an RN of 20 years, but I have eight years of hospice experience and I also have been a director of nursing and an assistant director of nursing –  so you could say it takes a little to impress me. My aunt was a patient at Ohio’s Hospice of Butler & Warren Counties. Her death was rather shocking to us because, despite her first set of strokes, she was sitting up in a wheelchair feeding herself, alert and oriented, and speaking with us just a few days ago. Unfortunately six more strokes followed….Today would have been my Aunt’s birthday, so as you can imagine, this was all very hard on us.  Janice and your staff made this transition more bearable, which we are grateful for.  Janice also provided care to my grandfather Harold Helton a few years ago, and she was of course excellent then too. There was absolutely nothing I can think of that they could have done better! They are truly a great asset to Hospice of Butler & Warren Counties! Thank you again for such wonderful care.”



Rhetta Riggs is Still Kickin’

Rhetta Riggs still has the most engaging, expressive eyes and smile and warmth that fills a room. Her eyes sparkled as she enjoyed a personal performance by her former dance troupe at Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton. It was obvious she would have loved to be able to leap from her chair and join the Kettering Kickers in their lively performance.


Rhetta enjoyed a 38-year career at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, but her passion was for dance – in particular, the hula. “I love it because it’s dance that tells stories,” she explains. Her love for Hawaiian folklore and dance eventually extended to playing steel guitar and traveling to perform in Hawaii every two years.


For three decades Rhetta kicked up her heels and participated in the Kettering Kickers performances to old-time classics and familiar pop tunes. Hearing Rhetta was receiving care at the Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton Hospice House, her former dance mates decided to bring their show to her. Hospice staff members and passers-by who were intrigued by the music and joyous performance of the Kettering Kickers joined Rhetta’s family members. Rhetta mimicked their moves from the sidelines this time, but it was clear her heart was with them in synchronized beat, her eyes sparkling and her smile contagious.

See the video below:


Medical Journal to Publish Article Based on Treatment Innovation Originating at Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton

Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton clinicians Kathleen Emerson, Linda Quinlin, Mary Murphy,  along with Miami Valley Hospital clinician Patricia O’Malley, and Kathleen Hayes, Hospice and Palliative Care Coordinator with the Dayton VA Hospital, are the authors of an article to be published in the June issue of the Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing.

“Evaluation of a Low Light Intervention- Starlight Therapy –for Agitation, Anxiety, Restlessness, Sleep Disturbances, Dyspnea and Pain at End of Life” details study outcomes in the use of innovative light therapy in the treatment of patients.

Research into the impact of starlight therapy was initiated at Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton over seven years ago when laser star projectors were first introduced to patient care. The projection of starlight onto the ceiling and walls of patient rooms proved to be a valuable therapy in easing anxiety, agitation, sleep disturbances, dyspnea, pain and restlessness among patients. Research also demonstrated a reduction in the need for pharmaceutical interventions for patients with a positive response to the light therapy approach.

 Pictured (L to R) are Mary Murphy, MS,RN,CNS, AOCN, ACHPN,  Linda Quinlin, DNP, RN, ACNS-BC, NP-C, ACHPN and Kathleen Emerson, LPN, CHPLN


Bouquet Award Presented to Jamie Doughman

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. Among our most recent recipients

Carnation award

Jamie Doughman, Hospice House Unit Clerk

Jamie was nominated by a colleague for her role in a moving reunion of husband and wife.

The hospice patient came to the Hospice House directly from a rehab center. He cried and wept off and on for several days as his wife could not bring herself to overcome her fear of leaving their home.

The couple have been married 60+ years. The wife is Japanese and has a slight language barrier, walks with a cane and is usually wheelchair bound. She is 89 years old and has an extreme fear of leaving the house. Due to her agoraphobia, she had not seen her husband for over three months while he was in the hospital and in rehab before coming to Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton.  Staff called the wife to make her aware of her husband’s decline. She was very upset and asked that we place the phone close to Charles ear so he could hear her. As she cried and proclaimed her love for him, Jamie offered to find a way to go and get her even if she had to take her lunch and go herself. With the help of the volunteer department, Jamie and a volunteer visited the home to help escort the wife to the Hospice House. When Jamie and Bob arrived at the house they offered the encouragement needed for the wife to face her fear. When the patient, who had been previously unresponsive and actively dying, learned his wife was on her way, he opened his eyes. When she arrived, her visit coincided with a veteran pinning ceremony honoring the husband for his service. The couple were able to reunite and spend precious time together before the husband’s passing.

Pictured above, Jamie left with Brittney Thiel, Hospice House Team Leader, right



April Event Satisfies Appetites and Supports Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton Mission

Celebrating life is part of Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton’s mission, and celebrating Steins, Stems, Savories and Sweets is on the calendar this April, an event sure to please the palates of Dayton area “foodies.” Dayton area culinary connoisseurs can put their taste to the test as Steins, Stems, Savories and Sweets brings together the best flavors of Dayton on one great night at one great location.

“This event is so special because it enables us to lift up and highlight the creative chefs of wonderful local restaurants and the craftsmanship of local breweries, wine shops, bakeries and chocolatiers,” says event chair Teri Anderson. “Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton emphasizes celebrating life every day, and we are excited to feature businesses in our community that help us celebrate those important milestones in our lives.”

Scheduled for Saturday, April 29 at 7pm, at Carillon Historical Park, 1000 Carillon Blvd., in Dayton, the evening promises a passionate food experience for the culinary conscious. Top chefs from locally-owned eateries including Arche
r’s Tavern, Coco’s Bistro, El Meson, Bar Dumaine – Rue Dumaine, Lily’s Bistro, Nibbles – Watermark, Salar and the Greek Street Food Truck will serve scrumptious samples of their best work. Rumbleseat will select and pair wine with food selections; Sweets by Esther Price and Ginniebug Creations. Local breweries offering locally crafted beer include Fifth Street Brewpub, Warped Wing Brewing Company and Carillon Brewing Company.

Sponsors for the event include Synergy Building Systems, Dayton Physicians Network, Jerry and Patty Tatar, McGohan Brabender – Tony Lombardo, Coolidge Wall Co., LPA, Kent and Teri Anderson and Today’s Home Interiors.

Chef Anne Kearney from Rue Dumaine and Bar Dumaine says she was inspired to participate in the benefit for Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton because of the services the local not-for-profit organization provides families as well as patients. “Finding comfort for you and your loved ones during the struggle that often leads us to heaven’s gates is an essential part of survival for those left behind,” she says. “Consoling each of their pain lifts concern and allows for each to find closure.”

Those already salivating at the prospect of attending should purchase tickets now at or by calling 937.258.5537. Tickets are limited. Tickets cost $90 each, with $70 of that total tax deductible as proceeds benefit patient care and services at Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton. Dollars raised will

  • Provide superior care and superior services to anyone in our community facing end-of-life, regardless of ability to pay.
  • Provide grief support at no cost to anyone in the community.
  • Provide complementary services such as respiratory care, massage, music and art therapy.
  • Provide palliative care to patients whose chronic disease compromises their quality of life.

Steins, Stems, Savories & Sweets

April 29, 2017, 7pm

at Carillon Historical Park, 1000 Carillon Blvd., Dayton, Ohio

Ticket Price $90

Ticket Information – or 937.258.5537

Complimentary Valet Parking Available


Nine-Year-Olds Celebrate with Charitable Giving

Mitchel Schmidt and Ethan Bailey were both born in February and have celebrated their birthdays together since before kindergarten. For the past several years, lots of other kids have been the beneficiaries of their birthday celebrations.

This year the boys turned nine. As they have since they celebrated their sixth birthday, the boys bypassed birthday gifts for themselves in favor of requesting donations for local not-for-profit organizations. This year their designated charity is Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton, so kids who are visiting loved ones at the Hospice House will receive “Kid’s Packs” that include gifts contributed by Mitchel and Ethan’s friends.


Both boys are students at St. Luke Catholic School in Beavercreek, so their mothers say this charitable outreach is a positive lesson in caring and community. Fourteen children attended the birthday party for the boys at SkyZone, enjoying cake and pizza, and contributing gifts that this year will help comfort and entertain children who may be losing a loved one.




Drawbacks of Daylight Savings for Seniors and those with Serious Illness

We join in celebrating the arrival of spring, but for many the adjustment to Daylight Savings Time that comes with it poses special health concerns. As clocks spring forward we not only lose an hour of sleep, we need several days to reset our internal clocks.

Older adults and those with chronic illnesses can find the transition particularly difficult. Sleep deprivation is already a common complaint for seniors and those who are ill. According to Nancy Trimble, an Advance Practice Nurse with Ohio’s Hospice, “The elderly, who already have fragmented sleep patterns due to aging, may suffer more sleep disturbances, worsening of sundowning in dementia, and are at a higher risk of heart attack in the first 3 days following the Daylight Savings Time change due to the stress of sleep disturbance. People can be groggy, leading to more auto and on the job accidents. For seniors it may also affect their accuracy in taking medications correctly. Falls due to sleepiness may also ensue.”

Trimble offers some recommendations for easing into the time switch. “Avoidance of sleeping pills, alcohol, and caffeine will help, as well as gradually adjusting bedtimes and awakening, and being aware of the potential changes that might occur. It may be necessary to speak to your health care provider on how to adjust scheduled medications such as insulin with the time change. Exposure to more light also is helpful in resetting the circadian (light, hormone, wake/sleep cycle) rhythms. Seniors tend to take more time to adjust to the time changes and may need a little help during those times.”

The following are some additional suggestions to help those most affected by the change to Daylight Savings Time:

  • Maintain a routine. As much as possible, maintain regular sleep patterns, adjusting the time of going to bed and waking up by no more than 15-20 minutes. This helps keep your personal sleep rhythm steady.
  • Avoid the enemies of good sleep. Don’t drink caffeine or alcohol in the evening; avoid over-the-counter sleep aids; and avoid napping.
  • Exercise. Walking, biking, swimming can all help you fall asleep more easily.
  • Take a bath. A warm bath before bed can help the body relax and produce the natural sleep-hormone melatonin.
  • Set the stage for sleep. Make sure your sleep environment is comfortable and quiet. Turn off that TV!

Patient Experience Advocate Focuses on Patient Satisfaction

Jessica Conger, BSN, CHPN, has a new role at Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton. Her experience as a bedside nurse has helped prepare her to serve as the Patient Experience Advocate for hospice patients.

“We can always improve on patient satisfaction,” Conger explains. “Our commitment to providing superior care and super services means we are always identifying opportunities for improvement. If we don’t understand how we are doing, we can’t become better.”

Conger is working with staff members to find enhancements that will benefit patients and families in hospice care. She is also establishing a Family Advisory Council, comprised of family members of former patients, to help refine processes for an improved patient experience.  Conger explains. “We are hoping to involve at least 20 people in the Family Advisory Council who can help us evaluate and improve things like our patient handbook, admission packet, and communication processes. They will also have the opportunity to identify and recommend additional areas where improvements will be meaningful to our patients and families.”

Those interested in serving with the Family Advisory Council can contact her at