According to Albom We’re All Connected
Mitch Albom, best-selling author, journalist and broadcaster will make a rare Houston appearance to speak at the Houston Hospice 15th Annual Butterfly Luncheon on Tuesday, March 29, 2016. With the humor, insight and compassion that made his first novel, Tuesdays with Morrie, a runaway best-seller, Albom, will talk about the connectedness that serendipitously results from the seemingly random path of life’s journey. This is a major theme of his latest book, The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto, in which he notes that we’re all in a band, in fact several bands of people and groups throughout our lifetime. This book entices us to examine what part we’re playing in each of those “bands”.
A Funny Thing Happened on the Road to Being a Rock Star
An aspiring musician, Albom played in bands throughout his adolescence and worked as a performer after college. When he took an interest in journalism in his early 20’s Albom returned to graduate school, earning a Master’s degree in Journalism, followed by an MBA. He turned full-time to his writing, eventually moving to Detroit, where he became a nationally-acclaimed sports journalist at the Detroit Free Press. His first book, Tuesdays with Morrie is the chronicle of time spent with his beloved professor. Albom wrote the book to help pay Morrie’s medical bills, and to his great surprise it spent four years on the New York Times Bestseller list. A succession of best sellers followed including, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, For One More Day, Have a Little Faith, The Time Keeper and The First Phone Call from Heaven. In his latest book, The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto, Albom has merged his love of music and writing with his virtuoso main character’s Forest Gump-like romp through the music world.
The community is invited to attend the Butterfly Luncheon and hear Mitch Albom on Tuesday, March 29, 2016 at the Houstonian Hotel located at 111 North Post Oak Lane, Houston, Texas 77024. Registration begins at 11 a.m. Individual tickets and table reservations are available at www.houstonhospice.org or by calling 713-467-7423. Copies of The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto will be available for purchase and signing.
Proceeds from the luncheon fund Houston Hospice operations and its Butterfly Program of pediatric hospice care. The Butterfly Program was developed in 1996 to meet the needs of children with life-limiting conditions. Through this program, a team of physicians, nurses, social workers, chaplains, hospice aides and volunteers with expertise in children’s care are devoted to caring for children and their families.
—Karla Goolsby, Houston Hospice Communication Specialist
Interfaith Blessing of Hands
Houston Hospice Cockrell Chapel
1905 Holcombe Blvd., Houston, Texas 77030
Wednesday October 28, 12 p.m. and 3 p.m.
A Tradition in Many Cultures
Blessing of Hands is a tradition among many cultures and religions as well as in many medical institutions. The Texas Medical Center’s Houston Hospice believes this voluntary, nondenominational act recognizes and unites health care employees, volunteers and caregivers who have chosen the shared journey of caring for patients, directly and non-directly. Blessing of Hands is a spiritual exercise and prayer to honor those who give of themselves each day. Affirming their work through this blessing is meant to strengthen and renew their efforts.
Services are for all Texas Medical Center staff, volunteers and caregivers and last about 15 minutes. For more information about Blessing of the Hands services, contact Chaplain Gordon Robertson at 713-677- 7220.
—Karla Goolsby, Houston Hospice Communication Specialist
Featured for National Hospice Month for the week of November 26 are Tiffany Livanec and Kathy Flinn. Tiffany is a Professional Relations Liaison and has been working at Houston Hospice El Campo office for five years. Kathy Flinn is the RN, PCM-IPU and has been working with Houston Hospice at the Texas Medical Center location for the past 14 years.
(Tiffany) What do you love most about working at Houston Hospice?
I love educating the community about hospice and knowing that many will have a much greater quality of life due to our efforts.
(T) What draws you to your position?
My grandmother was on our services several years ago. The GIFT of hospice to our family is so dear to my heart that I feel incredibly blessed to have the opportunity to work for such an amazing organization.
(T) What have you gained from working at Houston Hospice?
I have gained a greater appreciation for life, even less fear of death, and an increased faith!
(T) If you hadn’t become a Professional Relations Liaison, what might you have become?
If I weren’t called to be a liaison, I would like to be a chaplain.
(Kathy) What has been a pleasant discovery for you in the hospice community?
Meeting the dedicated people who do this work because they perceive it as a”calling”… not just a job.
(K) What impact has hospice had on your life?
It reminds me that this life is temporary. It’s the next life that is really important.
(K) If you hadn’t become a nurse, what might you have done?
A travel journalist.
(K) Who was the person who most influenced you, and how?
Jane Sidwell. She was PCM of the Inpatient Unit in 1996 when I oriented to my role as on-call nurse. I spent a 3-week rotation in the PCC (Patient Care Center) as it was called back then. Jane is the epitome of what I perceive to be an effective manager.
Elizabeth Erwin & Robynette Hall share their hospice experiences for National Hospice Month. Robynette Hall has worked with Houston Hospice for the past five years as an RN for the On-call Team and works throughout the city. Elizabeth Erwin, Senior Accountant has worked at Houston Hospice in the Texas Medical Center for the past 15 years.
(Elizabeth) What has been a pleasant discovery for you in the hospice community?
There are some who don’t know what hospice is all about and then there are others who look at me with admiration when they hear I work at Hospice.
(E) What draws you to your position?
I love Accounting!
(E) What have you gained from working at Houston Hospice?
Respect for what the nurses and doctors do on a daily basis. And let’s not forget the Finance staff who book and report the results of their work!
(E) If you hadn’t become a Senior Accountant, what might you have done?
Forest Ranger – I love nature – the backyard outside my window helps with the forestry side of my accounting!
(Robynette) What do you love most about working at Houston Hospice?
I love the Team work and how much everyone truly cares for the patients and their families. I also like how many Disciplines are involved taking care of our patients and their families. It takes an army to care for them.
(R) What has been a pleasant discovery for you in the hospice community?
This is where I belong, working Hospice and how rewarding it is to be able to help the patients and their families. I feel truly blessed.
(R) What impact has hospice had on your life?
The company is terrific and growing, the Team work has been the best I have ever witnessed and I feel everyone really cares about each other. Knowing how much impact you have on the patients and families is a great reward unto itself. As well as being able to work for one of the only nonprofit hospices in the Houston area.
(R) If you hadn’t become an RN, what might you have done?
This is my third career and my second career move as a nurse. I think I am hooked as a hospice nurse however.
Houston Hospice employees Sharon Hempler and Sonja Payne talk about their experiences at Houston Hospice for National Hospice Month. Sharon has been an RN-PCM on the Blue Team in the West Office for the past five years. Sonja Payne, Receptionist, at the Texas Medical Center location has been working with Houston Hospice for 20 years.
(Sharon) What has been a pleasant discovery for you in the hospice community?
Inspite of the difficulty of our work, we support & uplift each other.
(Sh) What impact has hospice had on your life?
Not only was I able to assist patients and families, but Houston Hospice supported me through my husband’s death.
(Sh) If you hadn’t become an RN-PCM, what might you have done?
If I hadn’t become a PCM, I would still be out seeing patients and families.
(Sh) Who was the person who most influenced you, and how?
Cheryl Holbert was my PCM and set a high standard for me to follow. She is knowledgeable and was a good mentor and teacher. Ruth Landauer was a friend of a friend who recommended Houston Hospice to me. She is a calming influence and supportive of staff and our clients.
(Sonja) What has been a pleasant discovery for you in the hospice community?
What has been a pleasant discovery for me is the spiritual bindings that hold me to Houston Hospice. No matter how I look at my position here, I can always find myself spiritually connected to the organization.
(So) What impact has hospice had on your life?
The impact hospice has had on my life is tremendous. I am grateful for all the years and experience that I have endured here. I don’t take hospice or the people here for granted. I am aware of other people’s feelings and believe everyone here at Houston Hospice is on a journey.
(So) What have you gained from working at Houston Hospice?
Compassion and patience are two things I did not necessarily exude before coming to work here. I knew about compassion and I had heard about patience. However, had I not come to work here I would probably not have gained either. It prepared me for the grief I suffered in losing my brother and helped me support my family during our losses. Many of my friends and family say that I have two lives; one before hospice and the one I have now, after hospice.
(So) Who was the person who most influenced you, and how?
The person who influenced me the most at Houston Hospice would be Ruth Landauer, Director of Volunteers. I learned from Ruth’s warmth and dedication from the very beginning. She embraced me very delicately and made me feel ‘right at home’ on my very first day at hospice.
Over the past three months, Houston Hospice has embarked on an employee Capital Campaign to raise funds to build out the third floor of our inpatient unit, the Margaret Cullen Marshall Hospice Care Center, located at the Texas Medical Center. The success of the campaign is not measured by funds, but by employee participation. What’s important is to show that Houston Hospice employees support the Capital Campaign and that they are forming a community to show their support.
So far, Houston Hospice has 57% of all employees participating in the Capital Campaign. We are proud that more than half of our employees are recognizing the growth of Houston Hospice and are supporting this project. The eager responses from our employees have been overwhelming and touching. We feel very fortunate to have such a caring staff.
Once we reach a large majority of employee support, the Capital Campaign will open to outside donors and will apply for grants to contribute to the third floor build out. Once we start building, the project will take roughly six months to complete.
The need for a third floor at our inpatient care center is imperative. Many times, we have patients who are on a waiting list to enter our facility. A third floor would add an additional 12 rooms for our patients. With our continuing growth, Houston Hospice is finding a solution to provide more patients with the care they deserve.
We are proud and excited to know that our employees are onboard with the Capital Campaign. We hope our employee support continues to grow and that this project will be a large success. In the mean time, we feel very lucky and thankful to work for an organization that has a caring, passionate staff.
Houston Hospice will host its annual Butterfly Luncheon on Tuesday, April 10th from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Hilton Houston Post Oak Hotel. Ron Hall, co-author of the book, same kind of different As me, will be the special guest speaker. The Butterfly Luncheon is the primary fundraiser that recognizes Houston Hospice’s pediatrics program called The Butterfly Program. Profits raised from The Butterfly Luncheon benefit all operations of Houston Hospice.
I am very excited about our speaker Ron Hall. His capability to tell a story and paint a mental picture keeps the audience engaged and entertained. If attending our 2012 Butterfly Luncheon, I highly advise reading his book, same kind of different As me, that Ron co-wrote with friend Denver Moore. The story about how the two met is inspiring especially since they both came from two different worlds. The novel proves that when coping with death, we can all find common ground no matter what our backgrounds are.
The event will include lunch and a raffle that will feature our hand stitched quilt sewn by Houston Hospice volunteers. There will also be a booth with sterling silver butterfly jewelry for sale by JD Designs. Copies of same kind of different As me, will be available for purchase. Ron Hall will sign books at the event.
If you are interested in attending our 2012 Butterfly Luncheon, you can visit our website at www.houstonhospice.org or contact the Development Department at 713-677-7130. This is one of our major fundraisers for the year and is always a joy to be a part of.
Kelli and Eddy Blanton are co-chairs for the upcoming Thirteenth Annual Spirit Award Dinner to be held Wednesday, October 26 at the River Oaks Country Club. The Blantons chair numerous events throughout the year and Houston Hospice is honored to have them lead us to another record breaking fundraising event. This is particularly special because the award is the Laura Lee Blanton Community Spirit Award, named so for Eddy Blanton’s mother.
The Laura Lee Blanton Community Spirit Award was created in 1999. Houston Hospice named the Community Spirit Award in honor and memory of Laura Lee Blanton who dedicated herself to making a difference in the community. The recipient(s) of this award support a wide range of community efforts through their energy, enthusiasm, time and resources. Past recipients are Jack S. Blanton, Janet and Ernie Cockrell, Dr. John P. McGovern, The Honorable and Mrs. James A. Baker, III, Dr. Richard E. Wainerdi, Mary and Tony Gracely, Connie Baird Linbeck, Harriet and Joe Foster, Jes and John Hagale, Margaret R. Caddy and Sarita and Bob Hixon.
This year’s Laura Lee Blanton Community Spirit Award will be presented to Maureen and Jim Hackett. “We are pleased to have the opportunity to present this award to Maureen and Jim, who have not only been friends and supporters of Houston Hospice, but of the entire community,” remarks President & CEO Jim Faucett.