Page 1

Fall 2020 Newsletter

Offering Hope and Care in All Seasons November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month, a time to celebrate the specialized care that helps patients and their families find comfort, respect, and support when coping with life-limiting illness. For more than 37 years, your hometown hospice—Hospice of Dubuque—has helped ensure quality of life and dignity for thousands of people, enabling them to spend their final months wherever they call home, surrounded by loved ones. Through the years, your nonprofit hospice has also provided bereavement services for grieving individuals, offered educational programs and resources regarding end-of-life issues, and advanced the practice of palliative care in our community. Each day, Hospice of Dubuque provides excellent care to tri-state patients and families. A team of healthcare professionals delivers comprehensive care centered on patient and family goals. To help patients feel better and live their lives as fully as possible, our care team provides expert pain and symptom management. Spiritual and emotional support are offered to both patients and their loved ones. When we are not dealing with a pandemic, caring volunteers are available to offer respite to family members and companionship to patients. Hospice of Dubuque’s dedicated team of professionals and volunteers are committed to delivering high quality, compassionate care in all seasons. National Hospice and Palliative Care Month is a time to thank our generous tristate community for embracing and supporting the Hospice of Dubuque mission of providing compassionate care for the terminally ill and their loved ones. We especially thank those who welcome hospice services into their lives, homes, and hearts. We, at Hospice of Dubuque, are privileged to serve our neighbors on their end-of-life journeys. During this time of year, we also celebrate the staff and volunteers who, day after day, offer the care, kindness, and compassion that makes a difference in how people live! If you or your family could use support or would like more information about services, please contact us at 563.582.1220 or visit hospiceofdubuque.org.




563.582.1220 • hospiceofdubuque.org


Hospice of Dubuque Mission: Providing compassionate care for the terminally ill and their loved ones.

Simulation Training in Hospice Care Hospice of Dubuque is excited to announce its new simulation lab. A former data entry area within the Hospice office at 1670 JFK Road has been repurposed as a staff training space. Lavonne Noel, Executive Director, states, “When Hospice of Dubuque moved into this building ten years ago, clinical staff came back to the office after patient visits to complete data entry at desktop computers located in a computer lab area. With the transition to laptops, the computer lab area became obsolete. That space was used for storage for the past few years. When we did some office remodeling this past winter, the idea took root for a staff training area in which we could replicate a patient’s room as it would be in his or her own home or at a facility. We are thankful to the donors who helped make this idea a reality.” In this new training space, Clinical Education Specialist, Kristina Heinzen, works oneon-one with staff members to imitate various patient-care scenarios. Audio equipment simulates patient and family questions and concerns to which Hospice staff members need to respond. The teaching sessions are recorded and reviewed by the staff member and Kristina to allow for self-critique and to ensure responses are consistent with the Hospice of Dubuque standard of care. Kristina states, “Hospice of Dubuque has always been dedicated to staff education. Speakers and reading materials are good teaching methods, but studies have shown that active learning results in the highest retention. I am so excited that staff has the opportunity to practice hospice care in the simulation environment. This demonstrates our organization’s commitment to staff education and to ensuring a quality end-of-life experience for the patients, family members, and caregivers we serve.” A special thank you to the following donors who helped make the sim lab possible: Rodney and Lori Fiebelkorn, Kristina Heinzen, Dennis Kingsley, the Mary Langkamp Family, and Robert and Donna Wahlert. Leadership Team

Lavonne Noel, Executive Director Jackie Brehm, Financial Director Nancy Diehm, Psychosocial Director Katy Morrow, Patient Care Director Renee Frith, Senior Nursing Services Director Rose Guler-Ludowitz, Nursing Services Director Amy Koeller, Nursing Services Director Lisa Patterson, Compliance Specialist

Medical Staff

Brian Sullivan, MD, Medical Director Mark Hermann, MD, Medical Director Kate Hermsen, MSN, ARNP Tim Saunders, MSN, ARNP

Board of Directors, Members Greg Birkett, President Carole Carroll, Vice President Sue Bushman, ARNP, Secretary Zac Scherrman, Treasurer Tom Anderegg, PhD Stasia Brannon Charlotte Halverson Bonnie Hancock Joe Kane Msgr. Daniel Knepper Dave Ludovissy Mark Manders Gary McAndrew Allen Meurer, MD Mike Sinkey Rev. DeWayne Teig Troy Wright

Foundation Board Don Freymann Rita Helle Bill Maiers Mike Martin Bob Miller Bruce Rehmke Zac Scherrman Chuck Schrup, III Ken Snodgrass

Newsletter Editors

Community Relations Cheryl Fuller Tiffany Stietz

Ten Reasons to Look Forward to Fall Lavonne Noel, Executive Director

Nature has been sending daily reminders that summer is now behind us. The days are getting shorter and the trees are showing off their annual transition. Pumpkins on the vine are now a brilliant orange and leaves are starting to crunch under our feet. Often times, the end of summer brings with it a melancholy feeling. However, this year, I propose the following ten reasons to shake any sadness over summer’s end and instead embrace fall: Changing leaves Each fall, Mother Nature puts on a brilliant show for us here in the tri-states! Take a short or long drive to enjoy the colorful display.

Daylight savings time ends We gain one hour of sleep when the clocks fall back. This is short-lived, but on that one night of the year, that extra hour is a wonderful treat.

Sweater weather It’s time to get out your fall wardrobe— maybe even buy a few new items! Wear a comfy, cozy sweater or sweatshirt, and enjoy the change in the weather.

Blankets and cuddling Fall is all about being warm and cuddly beneath blankets and throws. Get out your cold weather bedding and get ready to get snuggly again.

Apples, apples, apples Apple season is a highlight each fall. Is there anything better than biting into a fresh, sweet, crunchy apple? Don’t forget about apple cider donuts, apple pie, and apple crisp too.

Thanksgiving Fall culminates in this holiday, which, without a doubt, brings with it the best meal of the year! Of course, it also brings an opportunity to be grateful for our many blessings.

Pumpkin everything I believe pumpkin is a year-round food, but, unfortunately, the rest of the world hasn’t caught onto this attitude yet. For us pumpkin lovers, fall brings a plethora of pumpkin-themed foods and, to steal a phrase from our friends in Maine, all are ‘wicked good!’

Seasonal drinks This is the season for pumpkin spice latté and warm apple cider. Both smell as delicious as they taste!

Lower electricity bills Say good-bye to the air conditioning, and say hello to cool, crisp days.

How beautifully leaves grow old. How full of light and color are their last days. - John Burroughs

One season closer to the end of Covid-19 Like Forest Gump, “that’s all I’m going to say about that.” I invite you to find opportunities to enjoy the fall and join me in looking forward to the glorious season that will come when this pandemic is over.

End-of-Life Conversations

Diane Fasselius, BA, RN, Community Education Specialist Myth: It’s too late to say good-bye if my loved one is always sleeping, confused, or less responsive. Truth: Your loved one can hear and benefit from touch and loving communication right up until his or her final breath. When someone you love is dying, there are many opportunities for gifts. It is most appropriate to share loving actions such as reminiscing, tender touch, and telling your loved one what he or she has meant to you. It can be a time to share that you will be sad when your loved one is gone and to find a peaceful way to say ‘good-bye.’ The term, nearing death awareness, refers to a special knowledge about the process of dying. At the end of life, persons frequently attempt to describe what they are experiencing and this can often be missed, misunderstood, or even ignored because the communication is obscure, unexpected, or expressed in symbolic ways. Keeping an open mind and listening carefully to the dying can bring a deeper understanding of the messages they may be trying to convey through speech or gestures. The dying frequently provide glimpses into another world and those who may be waiting there. By being open and listening to what the dying have to say, survivors can gain knowledge, understanding, and comfort. When they speak, we should listen. For more information regarding nearing death awareness, I reccomend the book: Final Gifts: Understanding the Special Awareness, Needs, and Communication of the Dying. Authors Maggie Callanan and Patricia Kelley, hospice nurses who have tended to the terminally ill, share their intimate experiences with patients at the edge of life. Their stories illuminate the near-miraculous way in which the dying communicate their needs and reveal their feelings. You will gain new insight into the leave-taking process and discover the gifts of wisdom, faith, and love that the dying leave for us.

Special thanks to ... • Multicultural Family Center, for the donated face masks and greeting cards, pictured right. • Schoen Family Charitable Trust, for a grant that covers medical equipment and supplies to ensure comfort and dignity for hospice patients.

Hospice of Dubuque welcomes ... Mariah Aldis, BSN, RN, who joined the team in April. Mariah is a graduate of Allen College. She previously worked at Freeport Memorial Hospital. Mariah began working in health care in high school and is also a licensed massage therapist. She and her fiancé, Marshall, have three fur babies—two dogs and one cat. They enjoy spending time with their families, camping, boating, and fishing. Nikki Brehm, BS, who joined the team in June. Nikki is a graduate of Iowa State University. She previously worked at Regional Medical Center. She will complete a Master of Social Work degree from Walden University in November. Nikki and her husband, Andy, have a daughter, Addison (3). They enjoy spending time with families, gardening, and cooking. Chris Weber, BSN, RN, who joined the team in June. Chris is a graduate of University of Dubuque and previously worked at Manor Care as a CNA and as a nurse. For the past six years, he worked at MercyOne. Chris is married to Rachel and has three children: Jackson (7), Hannah (6), and Henry (4). Chris and his family enjoy time together riding UTV’s, swimming, and fishing at the family cabin. Chris also enjoys bowling and woodworking. Hillary Wilson, BSN, RN, who joined the team in June. Hillary is a graduate of Clarke University and previously worked at MercyOne on the Medical Unit. She is newly married to Jacob. She and her husband have a black lab, Bailey. Together, they enjoy hiking, kayaking, biking, and camping. Hillary also likes to read in her spare time.

In By My Sister’s Side: Stories of Hope and Resilience, Mindy Dalgarn has compiled heartfelt stories by twelve local individuals who lost loved ones to cancer. Each chapter tells a story that is deeply personal, exposing hearts that have been broken. It is a compilation of vivid memories, shared laughter, thoughtful reflections, and deep sorrow. The writers share their journeys, describe their roles in helping their loved ones, discuss helpful diversions, explain changes in family dynamics, and reflect on the months and years following their losses. This book is available at Hy-Vee (Locust Street and Asbury Road locations) in Dubuque; Tammy’s Piggy Wiggly, Hello Galena, and Peddler Boutique in Galena; E-Town and Grand Antique Mall in Elizabeth; and Ila Rose in Shullsburg. The book may also be ordered at bronzebearbooks.com.

BIG DUFFER Hospice Golf Outing It was a golf outing like no other. Yes, COVID-19 changed our plans for this annual summer event. However, our loyal supporters raised over $7,000 through a letter campaign. Hospice of Dubuque extends a big thank you to this year’s donors. All donations received remain in our tri-state community and allow us to continue to offer compassionate care to patients and families. A big thank you to the golf outing committee for their support. We look forward to seeing you all again in 2021!

Hole-In-One Donors

Supports Hospice of Dubuque’s excellent patient care including needed equipment, supplies, and medications

• Roger Bentley In memory of Marilyn Bentley • Tom & Lynn Biver In memory of Virginia Biver, Jerry Coble • Jim Miller In memory of Dan Miller, Pam Miller • Philip & Linda Schwinn

• Jolene & John Biver Eagle Donors In memory of Virginia Biver, Joseph & Rita Stieber Supports • Fidelity Bank & Trust bereavement and • Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers veteran’s programs • Danny & Victoria Kieler In memory of Jonathon Kieler • Pat & Darlene O’Neill In memory of Peggy McCleary, Jack & Dorothy O’Neill • The Red Shirts In memory of Rex Wellman • Bruce & Marilyn Rothenberger • Bill & Ina Schaefer In memory of Dot Schaefer, Gene Schaefer, Joe Schaefer • Carol Boge & Cindy Chatfield In memory of Ken & Kay Boge, Don & Ginny Chatfield • Wes & Lisa Dolphin In memory of Virginia Biver • Gary & Bonnie Hancock Par Donors In honor of Hospice of Dubuque Staff Supports purchase • Emma & Micah Kraayenbrink of personal protective • Derek & Kayla Olberding equipment In memory of Francis Brosius • Karen & Dan Timmerman

Golfing Through the Years


• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •



Advantage Sheet Metal Alliant Credit Union Brannon Monument Joe & Lettie Brown In memory of Rex Wellman Joe & Sandy Bushman In memory of James “Jim” “Big Duffer” Bertsch Sue & Steve Bushman In memory of Mae & Joe Bushman, Monica Digman, Al Schulte Tom & Carole Carroll In memory of Peter Carroll Auggie Comella In memory of Barbara Comella Drive Line In memory of Ken Klinkner, Lucille Riedl Gooch’s Greenhouse Mary Jo Graham In memory of Thomas Graham Birdie Donors Ron & Doreen Kane and Shirley Kane Supports educational In memory of Stanley Kane outreach including Ron Kirchhoff resources and In memory of Bob Kirchhoff materials on Rick & Becky Lorenzen end-of-life care In honor of all caregivers Mike Martin In memory of Irene Graves MercyOne Pharmacy Movement Foundation John & Lavonne Noel In honor of Hospice of Dubuque Staff and Volunteers Portzen Construction Keith and Lori Sindberg Mike & Ellen Sinkey Patrick & Carol Walsh In memory of Connie Manders, Paul Melloy, Ann O’Brien, Dave Rea, Janet Staner Phil & Joan Weber In memory of Patrick Scherrman Troy & Kris Wright

Thank a Veteran In honor of Veteran’s Day, two Hospice of Dubuque staff members, who proudly served our country, share their personal stories. We commend Alisa and Scott for their service to our country, as well as all tri-state veterans, and especially those we are privileged to serve in our hospice program.

Alisa Martensen, RN I have been a nurse at Hospice of Dubuque for nearly two years, but my journey to this work began when I was a teenager, and I felt a call to military service. Unlike any of my classmates and friends, I enlisted in the Wisconsin Army National Guard the month I turned 17. My unit was out of Madison, Wisconsin. The summer between my junior and senior years in high school, I attended basic training at Fort Dix in New Jersey—not what most kids do on their summer break! After basic training, I came back to southwest Wisconsin and completed my senior year of high school. After graduation in June, I went to medic training at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas. I had always been interested in healthcare, and through my training, I learned all I needed to know to take care of any wounded soldier in a combat situation. I was a combat medic with an evacuation field hospital. I had monthly drill at my unit in Madison. During the summer months, we practiced setting up our field hospital, which was a very large tent in which we were able to perform surgery and provide care for many patients. I also was able to spend time during the winter months at the VA Hospital in Madison. I was blessed to work with wonderful nurses in my unit, and they pushed me to learn many new skills. I still have many friends from my time of service; thank goodness for facebook, which has allowed us to remain in contact. My time of service was from 1988 until 1996. I would do it again in a heartbeat, but now I’m too old! I am pretty sure my organizational skills and attention to detail were the biggest lessons I learned through my military service. I have had the pleasure of taking care of quite a few veterans in my 24-year career as a nurse, and my service has always seemed to create a unique bond with them. It often gives patients a sense of ease to know that I also served our country and will treat them with the honor and respect they deserve.

Hospice of Dubuque is actively involved in the We Honor Veterans program, a collaboration between the Department of Veterans Affairs and the National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization. The We Honor Veterans program promotes respectful inquiry, compassionate listening, and grateful acknowledgement for veterans who are facing the end of life. The Hospice of Dubuque staff and volunteers are honored to care for our local American heroes and to offer a final thank you for each veteran’s service. To all our nation’s veterans, thank you.

Scott Charland, BSN, RN I am a nurse at Hospice of Dubuque, who happens to be a 20-year veteran of the United States Navy. The world changed a lot during my naval career, which spanned Presidents Reagan to Bush 43. I started with a four-year tour that turned into a 20-year career! During my 20 years, I was on every continent other than Antarctica, although I also tried to go there. My service took me away from my home in the Adirondack Mountains of New York to the volcanic rocky land of Iceland and to warm places like the Andalusia region of Spain, across to Gibraltar, and to Morocco. It continued from Camp Pendleton to Camp Lejeune and Kaneohe Bay with the Marines, to Port Hueneme and Puerto Rico with the Seabees. I saw Okinawa twice with the Marines and Seabees, and I spent three-month stints in the cold, wet South Korean lowlands and the warmth of the Australian jungle. My primary specialties were treating and suturing wounds of sailors and marines in isolated areas with no battalion surgeon to being the public health expert dealing with various viruses, examining the spread of disease, and participating in important research for West Nile and Lyme disease. My final assignment, from which I retired, was doing public health at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. I started my service as a young 19-year-old with little responsibility at the bottom of the rank, and ended as a public health educator giving talks to three to four thousand sailors and marines at a time. When you see veterans, it is nice to thank them for serving, but be sure to spend extra time finding out more about them. Through my military service, I met people from around the world of many different ethnicities, religions, and socioeconomic groups, and I tried to learn about customs from around the globe. At Hospice of Dubuque, I have witnessed many veteran pinning ceremonies, and I have been privileged to award the pin to service members from all branches. Looking in a veteran’s eyes, holding his or her hand, and saluting a person’s service is a wonderful and always unique experience. Some of my best memories are seeing the respect, love, and tears of the family members and friends as they ponder and salute a life well worth living, which included selfless service to a country that constantly changes and, at times, leaves service members behind. Sometimes, veterans of our armed services like to just start again; they put aside their experience and service because most people do not understand what they did and the consequences of serving their nation. We are not all saints. We come from all parts of this nation—from the inner cities to the swamps of the Southeast, from the mountain regions to the plains, and from river regions to the shores of this vast land. We salute our country and our flag. In return, let us salute our veterans who have served—some less than a year and some for twenty years plus, some who left the service healthy and others who were severely injured, and finally, the families of the fallen.

Honorariums and Memorials

We gratefully acknowledge these gifts received from June 23 through September 22. If a name is inaccurate or missing, please call Community Relations at 563.582.1220. Honorariums Nancy Borchers Curt & Nancy Diehm, 40th Wedding Anniversary Richard Hueneke Michael Neuhaus Lavonne Noel Carol & Ray Noonan, 50th Wedding Anniversary Barbara Soley Memorials Mary Beth Althoff Harvey Avery Jim Avery Julie Avery James A. “Jim” Baker Juanita Barrett Penny Baumhover Carol Bechen Bernice Behnke Vernon N. Behnke Rita Bemis Ivan “Ike” Berger Francis “Al” Bergfeld Bob & Gary Betts Callie Bishay Mable L. Boelk Molly Boever Linda Boffeli Edward Bowers Jr. James “Jim” Boyer Judy Braun Charles Bries Sherry Brimeyer Carolyn Brown Kenneth G. Brown Robert Buechele Steve Burgess Calvin Burnes Donald Burrows Robert Byrne Callahan Family Robert & Mary Capesius Bob Casper Terry Chapman John Chesney Betty Clemen David A. Clemen Harold L. Coleman Ray Collins Marvin Connolly Richard Conrad Phyllis Cooper Donald Cornish Bob Cottrell Elizabeth & Ralph Cromas David B. Czarnecki Charlotte Danner Joanne Dardis John Del Degan Dale Dettman

Dennis Dietzel Louis X. Dunn Maxine Egan Emerita Eggers Mary Lou Ehlert Leon T. Einsweiler John Erschen Dorothy Felderman George W. Flanagan Thomas M. Fleming Robert J. Foddrill Patricia Folger Sally Fortmann Melvin “Mick” Freisinger Dianne Fritsch Germaine Gaul Cecilia Gavin Mary Glennon Betty Goedert Francis Goedken Merlin Gonner Richard Gordon Mike Gulick Tom Gulick Joan Hamilton John “Dick” Hamilton Tom Hammel Sharon Hefel Dennis Matthew Heinze Agnes Heitzman Matt & Margie Helle Penny Jo Hendricks Joyce Henson Beverly J. Henss Mrs. William (Joan) Herrig Elizabeth “Lizzy” Hesselman Darel L. Hilkin Mary Hinkel Charlotte Holm Kelli Horch Robert Houselog Marge Hrynkow Elaine Hueneke Vern Jansen Carol Johnson Carol Ann Judge Florence Marie Kafar Neil Keith Eileen Keuter Mary Kingsley Teresa Marie Kivlahan Roger F. Klauer Ileen Klein David Kluesner Don & Lois Kluesner Ernie Kluesner Donnabelle Kramer Rita Kueter Marc J. Lahey Donald H. Lake Mary F. Lakeman Earl Lampe Mary Langkamp

Dorothy LaPointe Gary Latham Becki LeClere Nancy Leibfried David W. Leifker Brian O. Lenstra Ray Leppert Tracy Less Lucille “Sis” Link Kathy Lombardi James Lucey Sharon Lynch Ronald N. Maiers Jim Majerus Tom Martens Sue Marziali Robert “Bob” Massey Elbert & Ruth Maury Lucille McAndrew Edward McCarthy Charles McCormick Phoebe McCrea Kenneth McDermott Barb McDonald John McLean Virginia McLees Leonard Merfeld James D. Metcalf Donald R. Mettille Jim Meyer JoAnne & Merlin Meyer Ted J. Meyer Ray Miller Shirley A. (Bennett) Miller Ralph Muchow Mary G. Mullen Evelyn (Feipel) Mulvenna Joseph J. Nehl Nick Neiers John Nicks Alois & Dorothy Oberbroeckling Mary Ellen O’Brien Pam Ostrander Del Rose Ostwinkle Ernest Ostwinkle Nita Ostwinkle Ron Ostwinkle Sandy Ostwinkle Robert E. Peryon Katie Peterson Henry Pliner Robert “Bob” Pommerich Rosemary Priest Wayne E. Reicher Karen S. Repp Ronald Richeson Sue Ring Jerome “Jerry” Roling Tom & Twyla Rosenberger Richard Roth Wendy Rudd Shirley Runde

James T. Ryan Nicholas J. Ryan Tom Ryan Edwin Sabers Tom Schiesl Lucille Schmalz Gerry Schnieders William H. “Bill” Schrobilgen Merlin Schwers Pat Shaffer Reece Shaw Roger M. Simon Gerry & Helen Singsank Bob Soppe Clyde Aaron Spidell Chuck Spielman Sondra R. Spoerre Bob & Lu Stecher Father Kenneth Stecher Vincent Steckel Stillmunkes Family John Sweeney Jim Sysko Jane Tart Harold & Sucyn Tenney Robert J. Thilmany Sharon Thul Elaine Thumser Kathleen Timp Patty Tobin Donald Torrey Ralph & Florence Tranel John Trenkamp Millie Tressel Kathryn Grace Turnis Grant Vogt Ivyl M. Volkert Barb Weber Nicholas “Nick” Weis Charlotte A. Weitz Brad Welter Margaret & Norbert Welter M.K. “Mike” White LaVern D. Wiederholt Glenn Wienen Marcella Wilming Betty Woerdehoff Michael Wulfekuhle Charles William “Bill” Yager Mildred Zugenbuehler In Kind and Loan Closet Applewood Apartments I & II, residents & staff Big Apple Bagels Connie Bries Kathy Bromberg Center for Vein Restoration Tri-State Cremation Center

Businesses, Groups, and Matching Gifts AmazonSmile Andersen Corporation Benevity Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque Fidelity Charitable Frontstream Hoppenjan Giving Fund IBM Employee Services Iowa Fields of Opportunities

Michael & Judy McCoy Family Endowed Donor Advised Fund Jim & Jane Meyer Charitable Gift Foundation Mount St. Francis Sisters of St. Francis My Tribute Gift St. Matthew Lutheran Church St. Peter Lutheran Church Schoen Family Charitable Trust

Turpin Dodge of Dubuque United Way of Central Iowa YourCause Hospice of Dubuque is committed to respecting your privacy. You have received the Hospice of Dubuque newsletter because you or a family member have used Hospice of Dubuque services, made a donation, or volunteered for a fundraiser. We never disclose our mailing list. To have your name removed or to receive the newsletter by email, please contact us at 563.582.1220 or cr@hospiceofdubuque.org.

Hospice of Dubuque extends sympathy to the family of Charles “Chuck” Spielman, who died on July 31, 2020. He was a longtime business owner, community volunteer, and benefactor for many Dubuque-area nonprofit organizations. In recent years, Chuck was the organizer of the Chef’s Dinner fundraiser that benefited Hospice of Dubuque. He will be missed.

Sympathy to ... Hospice of Dubuque Staff

• Amy Bemis on the death of her mother-in-law, Rita Bemis, July 10. • Cheryl Fuller and Betsy Barna on the death of their brother-in-law and uncle, Lou Behrend, July 25. • Deb Horch on the deaths of her daughter, Kelli Horch, June 30 and her brother, Rick Clough, September 3. • Angela Nauman on the death of her grandparents, Tom Zender, August 2, and Joyce Kramer, September 3. • Jennie Schwartz on the death of her grandfather, John Nicks, August 4.

Congratulations to ... Hospice of Dubuque Staff

• Hillary Burgmeier on her marriage to Jacob Wilson, June 20. • Tim Saunders and his wife, Allie, on the birth of their daughter, Olivia Helen Saunders, August 28. Olivia joins two sisters, Sophia and Zoe. • Betsy Barna and Sara Licht for being selected as Turpin Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram of Dubuque’s Nurse of the Week. Hospice of Dubuque extends a special thank you to Turpin for their donation and advertising.

Hospice of Dubuque Volunteers

• Tom and Paula Giese on the birth of their grandson, Gage Thomas, May 18. Gage is the son of Stephanie & Kevin Meyers. Congratulations to Megan Schmitt, MSN, RN, CHPN, Hospice of Dubuque Intake Nurse, for recently renewing her Certified Hospice & Palliative Nurse (CHPN) certification. The Board of Certification of Hospice and Palliative Nurses confers this award to registered nurses who, through successful completion of a national examination, have demonstrated competency in the specialty of hospice and palliative nursing.


from the Hospice of Dubuque Staff


My family walked the entire Heritage Trail from Dyersville to Dubuque and back during COVID. It was beautiful and gave us time to spend together in the great outdoors!


One big positive of COVID has been including long-distance family members in music sessions. Daughter Linda was able to join Nona and me during our virtual music therapy visit.


Our family has enjoyed several camping trips—playtime and downtime, watching the sunset, indulgent meals, and many lasting and happy memories.


Our son was born January 23 and in early March we locked down. I have been blessed to spend so much quality time with him since he grows and changes everyday.



My grandsons and I enjoy doing so many things outdoors. COVID reminds us to appreciate the simple moments and time spent together.

My grandchildren and I have learned to make ourselves look silly on snapchat and completed many beautiful puzzles.


I was able to enjoy an afternoon with my boys—no work, no school! We first enjoyed some apple cider donuts and then walked the trails at Swiss Valley Nature Center. It was a great day!


COVID has helped us to slow down and appreciate the simple pleasures in life such as celebrating a nice sunny day on the deck and enjoying an ice cream treat.

Surviving Loss in the Midst of a Pandemic

Jessica Edge, Hospice of Dubuque Bereavement Coordinator Social connections and physical presence are two of the most vital elements of healing, especially after suffering the death of a loved one. This may seem impossible in the midst of a pandemic when society is forced to embrace social distancing and avoid physical contact. Grief is isolating enough as it is, and the feelings of isolation may be amplified by the unknowns and restrictions of the present time. When in-person contact is restricted, it is imperative that you seek alternative ways to help yourself on your grief journey. Consider the following suggestions: • Connect with others virtually in an online support group or chat. You don’t have to be tech-savvy to benefit from online support resources. If you don’t have a computer or access to the internet, now may be the time to try something new! • Do something to honor your loved one. Consider a random act of kindness or a donation in his or her memory. • Create a list of safe people to contact when you need to talk or just to hear, “I care.” Keep that list handy and use it! • Start a gratitude journal. Write down five things each day for which you are grateful. This helps reframe your mind into a positive state. • Instead of fighting change, embrace it. Push yourself to work with your current situation. • Create a memory book. Fill it with pictures and stories of your loved one. • Do not be afraid to cry. Tears are good, and tears are healing. Let them flow freely. • Take each day as it comes. Resist the urge to think too far ahead. Grief makes people uncomfortable. You may find yourself frustrated that your closest friends and family do not call or reach out as often as you think they should. More likely than not, this is not done in malice. Rather, they are uncomfortable and are not sure what to say. The best thing to do is to reach out to them yourself, and explain that you want to talk about your loved one, hear their name, and share stories. Open the door and give them “permission” to grieve with you and to share in your memories!

Welcome the present moment as if you had invited it. It is all we ever have so we might as well work with it rather than struggling against it. We might as well make it our friend and teacher rather than our enemy. - Pema Chodron

Dear Hospice of Dubuque Volunteers, Last March, no one could have predicted the impact of COVID-19, or the fact that more than a half a year later, we are still feeling its impact. Within days of March 10, 2020, we went from providing hospice care with our staff and volunteers to placing all our wonderful volunteers on “stand-by” and proceeding with staff alone. Our goal, then and now, is to limit contact to keep our volunteers, and the patients and families we serve, safe. We thank all of you for continuing to “stand-by.” The Hospice of Dubuque staff looks forward to the day when we can welcome you, our dedicated volunteers, to once again join us in serving our tri-state patients and families, who also look forward to your companionship and assistance. Hang in there! COVID-19 will not last forever! Warm regards,

Lavonne Noel

Executive Director, Hospice of Dubuque

Due to COVID-19, the annual Volunteer Holiday Open House that would typically occur in early December has been canceled. Volunteers, please watch for a special mailing from Hospice of Dubuque with a holiday surprise.

Volunteer Spotlight

Don Gibson, Hospice of Dubuque Volunteer Meet Don Gibson, Hospice of Dubuque Volunteer. Don joined us as a volunteer in 2008. Don saw both of his parents go through the hospice program and he recalls, “I knew right away this is what I want to do in retirement. It means so much to help others at the end of life.” Don likes to stay active. After retiring, he started doing yoga and pilates, and he is diligent in doing daily sun salutations. He also likes to golf, bowl, garden, attend sporting events, and do chores on his hobby farm. His great nieces and nephews keep both him and his wife, JoAnne, active. Don also volunteers his time at John Deere as a tour ambassador. Throughout the last 26 years, Don and JoAnne have been billet parents for hockey players with both the Dubuque Thunderbirds and the Dubuque Fighting Saints. Together, they have hosted 43 players and continue to keep in contact with them. Don and JoAnne are currently planning a trip to New Zealand and Australia in 2021 or 2022. Their plans are to travel as long as they are healthy and able. Don states, “Life is a trip; enjoy the ride.” Thank you, Don, for your years of service. We are blessed to have you on our team.

A Hospice of Dubuque quarterly publication Fall 2020 Newsletter Volume 33, Number 3


Hometown Hospice

1670 JFK Road Dubuque, IA 52002

Kwik Care Donation Program

During the month of October, Kwik Stop, Dairy Queen, and Fazoli’s are partnering with Hospice of Dubuque to raise awareness and funds to help meet the mission of providing compassionate care to the terminally ill and their loved ones. Canisters are located at all Kwik Stop, Dairy Queen, and Fazoli’s cash registers and 100% of the money collected will be donated to your local nonprofit hospice.

Profile for Community Relations

Fall 2020 eNewsletter  

Fall 2020 eNewsletter