Heart of Hospice has the gift of appreciation

Mary Kay LeFevour, TMC Hopsice bereavement coordinator, named Heart of Hospice for the fourth quarter.

During the semiannual Celebrations of Life recognizing those who passed under the care of TMC Hospice, each family is given a specially handmade comfort charm.  These keepsakes for grieving families offer a reminder that their loved ones were cared for with dignity and respect. 

A sampling of ceramic comfort charms given to TMC Hospice families.

Credit for the comfort charm initiative goes to Mary Kay LeFevour, bereavement specialist for TMC Hospice, who has been named the Heart of Hospice for the fourth quarter.

“She has brought such beautiful gifts of appreciation to staff, volunteers, patients and their loved ones through her clay pieces,” wrote one anonymous nominator. 

While LeFevour, fondly known as MK around the department, is one of many who create the charms, she is the heart that keeps the effort going, in part, by coordinating efforts with local ceramicist Kelly Frink.

Ceramic ornaments are shared with patients and families who have been TMC staff or volunteers.

And that’s just emblematic of the way she is. 

“She gives these gifts with such genuine love and support you can’t help but want to do the same,” the nominator wrote. Additionally, current or former staff and volunteers who find themselves patients in TMC Hospice receive a unique ceramic ornament. Similarly, MK asked the artist to add ceramic luminaries to the mix to adorn certain patient rooms.

LeFevour began with TMC Hospice five years ago as a chaplain. The interfaith minister would provide back up for the bereavement coordinator and found she loved working with these families so transitioned when the position opened up.

As bereavement coordinator LeFevour has daily one-on-one sessions with bereaved families, reaches out via phone to check in with the bereaved, and being available for staff and volunteers for personal and work grief issues.

She also created the Grief 101 sessions for bereaved families teaching the four tasks of grief, which gives them tools they will need to navigate through their loss.

A natural speaker, she gives talks to volunteers, employees and various community partners sharing her knowledge on grief and loss.

“MK is an invaluable part of our team and has helped many people while she has worked here. We are so blessed to have her on our team!” wrote one nominator.

One thing her colleagues agree on is that it’s a pleasure to work with LeFevour.

“She is a delight to work with. She shows such compassion for her coworkers, clients and client families. She has a mischievous, wry sense of humor, sometimes, and a quiet presence at others.

That sense of humor can have a room in stitches in no time, such as during the Heart of Hospice celebration when she up and offered an Irish prayer, complete with the lilt of her heritage, “May you get to heaven 10 minutes before the Devil knows you’re dead.”

As Heart of Hospice for the quarter, LeFevour’s name and photo goes onto a recognition plaque on the unit, she received a pin and gets a dedicated parking space until next quarter. The award allows colleagues to recognize their peers:

Everything he or she does is for our patients and families and personifies compassion, kindness, empathy, a great work ethic and knowledge. The Heart of Hospice is also someone who is calm under pressure, is respectful, is detail-oriented, is a critical thinker, and has great communication skills. This person is someone who is always there to help his or her peers and does so with grace and skill. Being able to nominate someone for this award is a gift because it means you have observed greatness, not just once, but every time you have interacted with this individual.

Want to be part of a team that makes a difference?

Learn about volunteering for TMC Hospice Home Care

Heart of Hospice dedicated to caring for patients in their homes

Meet the Heart of Hospice, Lynn Rumsey PCTThe enthusiasm, energy and compassion of one of TMC Hospice’s longest-serving home-health aides earned her the Heart of Hospice for the third quarter.

Since 2002, Lynn Rumsey, a patient care technician, has been visiting hospice patients in their homes, helping them with personal care (bathing, shaving, hair care, etc.), exercise, safely getting in and out of bed and chairs, as well as teaching families how to care for their loved ones.

“She’s so energetic and enthusiastic, it’s like every week for Lynn is her first week here,” said Stephanie Carter, manager of TMC Hospice at Home, during a celebration last week.

According to one nomination from a colleague (nominations are anonymous):

“Lynn is always helpful and pleasant with co-workers and patients. One recent patient’s family reported that in all the years of working with doctors, nurses and others in the medical profession, she was the most compassionate, pleasant person they have met.”

Lynn Rumsey, PCT and home health aide for TMC HospiceThe colleague goes on to give an example:

On a Saturday that Lynn was seeing patients, she bathed a new patient, called the office to report a problem with the patient’s Foley [catheter], and stayed at the patient’s home to assist the RN with troubleshooting and replacing the Foley.

The patient was very large and the patient’s husband unsure of how to care for her, and the RN would not have been able to insert the Foley without Lynn’s’ help. The patient’s husband was more calm and relaxed after observing Lynn providing care to his wife.

As one colleague said, “We are privileged to have Lynn on our TMC Hospice Home Care Team.”

As Heart of Hospice for the quarter, Rumsey’s name and photo goes onto a recognition plaque on the unit, she received a pin and gets a dedicated parking space until next quarter. The award allows colleagues to recognize their peers:

Everything he or she does is for our patients and families and personifies compassion, kindness, empathy, a great work ethic and knowledge. The Heart of Hospice is also someone who is calm under pressure, is respectful, is detail-oriented, is a critical thinker, and has great communication skills. This person is someone who is always there to help his or her peers and does so with grace and skill. Being able to nominate someone for this award is a gift because it means you have observed greatness, not just once, but every time you have interacted with this individual.

Want to be part of a team that makes a difference?

Learn about volunteering for TMC Hospice Home Care

Social worker named Heart of Hospice for her work on behalf of patients, families, staff

After being hoodwinked into coming to a celebration she thought was for a colleague, Marybeth Racioppi was speechless when her name was announced last week as the Heart of Hospice for the first quarter. But she shouldn’t have been surprised that the recognition was for her.

“Marybeth is a true asset to our organization,” wrote one colleague in nominating the social worker. “She consistently partners with the nurses to take a team approach to patient care.”

A 14-year TMC Hospice veteran, Racioppi “works diligently to ensure that the patient’s and family’s spiritual, psychosocial and medical needs are all addressed,” the colleague said.

When asked about the secret to her success as a social worker, Racioppi said it boils down to assessing the needs not only for the patient, but for the entire family.

“I take a systemic view of families,” she said. “Everyone in the room has meaning, biases, beliefs and feelings. My challenge is to learn the dynamics and make them each feel supported.”

“Marybeth is so diligent in finding out pertinent information regarding patients and their families to be able to provide the best care for them all, making each one feel cared for in a special way at a difficult time,” wrote another nominator. “Using her wry, sometimes irreverent sense of humor, she gets to the heart of the matter and starts problem-solving.”

And it’s not only patients and families who get her support.

“She also serves as a rock solid support for all of us staffers here at Peppi’s House,” another colleague wrote. “She lets us unload and decompress, offering guidance if needed or requested. And her advice is always ‘spot on.’ ”

“Best of all,” this person wrote, “she teaches us to problem solve with her so that we grow as individuals and as an organization.”

As Heart of Hospice for the quarter, Racioppi’s name and photo goes onto a recognition plaque on the unit, she received a pin and gets a dedicated parking space until next quarter. The award allows colleagues to recognize their peers:

Everything he or she does is for our patients and families and personifies compassion, kindness, empathy, a great work ethic and knowledge. The Heart of Hospice is also someone who is calm under pressure, is respectful, is detail-oriented, is a critical thinker, and has great communication skills. This person is someone who is always there to help his or her peers and does so with grace and skill. Being able to nominate someone for this award is a gift because it means you have observed greatness, not just once, but every time you have interacted with this individual.

Want to be part of a team that makes a difference?

Click to learn about volunteering for TMC Hospice Home Care.

Heart of Hospice: The glue that holds the team together

Sherry Schneider, admissions coordinator for TMC Hospice, was honored this week as the Heart of Hospice.

Schneider, who has been with TMC Hospice for almost eight years, coordinates the assessments of patients to ensure they qualify for hospice benefits, and then begins the process of admitting patients into Hospice. She works hand and hand with admission nurses, case managers and physicians within TMC Hospice as well as all over the community. She is also usually the person one would call if they were considering hospice for themselves or a loved one.

TMC Hospice admissions coordinator holding a boquet of red and white rosesAnyone who was around for the morning celebration would have heard the superlatives flying around to describe Schneider.

“Sherry is a really incredible person to work with,” said Stephanie Carter, manager of hospice care. “She’s always willing to help out no matter how long it takes.”

According to the anonymous nomination, “Sherry is amazing! Somehow she is able to juggle so many responsibilities at once. She always does her best to get as many people seen as quickly as possible; often with not enough staff and paltry records. She navigates the murky waters of insurance companies, Medicare and the VA and case managers, all the while be politic and professional.”

But perhaps the highest praise comes by those who have had to step into her shoes when she is not around.

“I can safely say that anyone of us who has ever covered for her has likely cried at his or her desk, overwhelmed by the phone calls, requests, question and responsibilities,” the nominator said.

Her director, Kim Fore, put it succinctly, “Sherry is awesome. She’s our glue.”

The quarterly award comes with a recognition plaque on the unit, a pin and a dedicated parking space. The award allows colleagues to recognize their peers:

Everything he or she does is for our patients and families and personifies compassion, kindness, empathy, a great work ethic and knowledge. The Heart of Hospice is also someone who is calm under pressure, is respectful, is detail-oriented, is a critical thinker, and has great communication skills. This person is someone who is always there to help his or her peers and does so with grace and skill. Being able to nominate someone for this award is a gift because it means you have observed greatness, not just once, but every time you have interacted with this individual.

Has a TMC Hospice nurse made a difference in your life? Consider recognizing this extraordinary nurse with a DAISY Award nomination.

New manager called out by her peers for being the Heart of Hospice

Stephanie Carter, center, is honored as Heart of Hospice with bereavement specialist MK LeFevour, left, and director Alicia Ferguson.

Unbeknownst to the new TMC Hospice manager, many of her colleagues had already tossed her name into the hat for the program’s quarterly recognition award.

“She holds the bar to the highest level and is always there to help you,” said Alicia Ferguson, director of TMC Hospice.

After a blind judging, Ferguson explained, Stephanie Carter, the home-care supervisor turned manager was named the Heart of Hospice last Thursday during a breakfast ceremony.

“It’s very telling you all voted your new manager to be your new Heart of Hospice,” quipped Alicia Ferguson, noting that nominations had closed prior to Carter getting her new role.

“Stephanie plays the role of RN, supervisor, case manager, EPIC super user, teacher, student and voice for the team,” according to one of the nomination forms. “She stands up for what is right for her patients, families, employees and peers and will not take ‘no’ for an answer with her patients and the team’s best interests at heart.”

In addition to her own caseload, according to those who nominated her, “she picks up visits to help out the team. Not one to complain, she works tirelessly to ensure patient and family satisfaction as well as to take care of her teammates. She has a willingness to learn more about hospice and leadership and is always open to doing more.”

Almost as if on cue, Carter is doing more in a leadership role, taking her new position two days prior to receiving the award. Carter has nine years at TMC and seven and a half with TMC Hospice, and, in her new role as clinical manager, she leads both the inpatient and outpatient areas of hospice.

The Heart of Hospice is someone who embodies the hospice philosophy and represents all that is good in health care:

Everything he or she does is for our patients and families and personifies compassion, kindness, empathy, a great work ethic and knowledge. The Heart of Hospice is also someone who is calm under pressure, is respectful, is detail-oriented, is a critical thinker, and has great communication skills. This person is someone who is always there to help his or her peers and does so with grace and skill. Being able to nominate someone for this award is a gift because it means you have observed greatness, not just once, but every time you have interacted with this individual.

In addition to being recognized among her peers, Carter has her name and photo displayed on a plaque in the entryway to Peppi’s House, received a “key” pin to wear on her ID badge representing the key to the Heart of Hospice, and parks in the designated Employee of the Quarter space at Peppi’s House.


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