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A quarterly publication of Hope Hospice, Inc.

Fall 2013

Hope Hospice music volunteer discovers the power of giving Ask people why they volunteer and the responses will vary. As a volunteer musician and singer for Hope Hospice’s Comfort through Music program, Ann McChesney-Young said she received satisfaction knowing she could help others and add to the quality of their lives. Her passion for music and for helping others also supported her goal of becoming a Certified Music Practitioner. Ann has played the autoharp and sung for hospice patients. On her first day as a Hope Hospice volunteer, Ann saw what a remarkable difference her music could make in a patient’s life. A retired nurse, Ann is no stranger to healing and healthcare. “Music has been found to be beneficial to people under stress – it promotes healing and relaxation,” says Ann. She notes that music seems to ground patients who suffer with dementia or who are confused. “A familiar tune takes them back to happier times.” As part of her internship for the Music for Healing program based in New York, Ann visited patients in the hospital, but also wanted to work with hospice patients. When she heard that Hope Hospice was looking for a volunteer harpist, she seized the opportunity.

Music promotes healing and relaxation.

One of her first patients as a Hope Hospice volunteer was 88-year-old Yalcin K. Sezen. “Rocky,” as he is affectionately known, was born and raised in Turkey. He earned his master’s degree in chemical engineering there, and came to the United States to study civil engineering. He attended the University of Washington in Seattle where he received a master’s degree in civil engineering and met his late wife Nancy Ann. Rocky designed the Washington Floating Bridge and later, when he moved to California, designed BART and nuclear plants for Bechtel Corporation. Until recently, he was fluent in five languages. His daughter Jenny Khan lovingly describes him as a brilliant man who has a “love, appreciation and intricate recognition of Continued on page 3

TABLE OF CONTENTS Hope Hospice volunteer discovers power of giving.........................1 From the CEO: The spiritual voice...........................................................2 Volunteer News:...............................................................................................3 - Comfort care through music - Volunteer education series The Conversation continues.......................................................................4 Philanthropy News:.........................................................................................5 - Rotary Club of Pleasanton’s generous grant - Blackbaud gives grant to Hope Hospice - City of Dublin continues support with grant

- Spectrum Wealth golf tournament raises funds for Hope Hospice Hope Hospice News:................................................................................. 6, 7 - American Cancer Society honors Peter Wong, MD - Welcome to new board member - Reverend Moana Meadow joins Hope Hospice - Meet new associate medical director - Victoria Emmons appointed to State of California Cemetary and Funeral Bureau advisory committee Grief Support programs and classes......................................................8



Message from the CEO


President Susan Micheletti San Ramon Regional Medical Center Vice President Kirsten Barranti, Esq., JD, RN, BSN Barranti Law Group Secretary James Wark Retired Business Consultant Treasurer Captain Craig Eicher Pleasanton Police Department Gail D. Fishley, CPA The Ardenbrook, Inc. David T. Karlsson, CPA Karlsson & Lane Kathleen Lawrence Human Resources Consultant Melanie Ridley Ridley Consulting Mary Schwind, MS, RN Retired Nurse Executive

The spiritual voice – a key element of hospice care Each week, the clinical team at Hope Hospice gathers in the large, upstairs conference room to talk about the care our hospice patients and their families receive. Each family has special needs, special concerns, and special requirements. No two families are ever the same. Each is unique. Each has its own story to tell.

Victoria A. Emmons


Chair Bobbie Armor Armor Insurance Kathy Conlin Investment Advisor Loren Harper Sterne Agee David Haubert Dublin City Council Anne King Union Bank John Loll Dodge & Cox Richard “Dick” Martin Founder, Hope Hospice Catholic Community of Pleasanton Melanie Sadek Valley Humane Society Desiree Shaw University of San Francisco, Pleasanton Campus Robert Silva Retired Civil Engineer Lynne Waldera, PhD InMomentum, Inc.


Victoria A. Emmons, MPA, CFRE Chief Executive Officer Peter P. Wong, MD Chief Medical Officer Michael Abdel-Malek, MD Associate Medical Director Jatinder Pal Singh Marwaha, MD Associate Medical Director Kuljeet K. Multani, MD Associate Medical Director Bill Ballas, CFRE Chief of Development and Marketing Marci Crothers, RN, BSN, PHN Chief of Patient Care Services/DPC Doug House, MBA Chief Financial Officer/Chief Operations Officer Craig Reimers Chief of Human Resources Jill Biggs, RN Director of Volunteer Services Ann Felter, LCSW Director of Social Work and Spiritual Care Lee Ann Morgan, LMFT Director of Grief Support Center Kathy Nouri, RN, BSN, MPH Director of Quality

As I listen to those stories, I am reminded how the Hope Hospice patient care team works together, much like a symphony. Each person plays his or her part in assuring the utmost care of people in pain, people suffering a loss to come, people trying to make sense of what is happening to them.

At the outset of each Tuesday morning meeting, a special time is devoted to remembering the souls who have departed … people who were in our care, sometimes for months and often for only days. Our spiritual care staff leads us through that special remembrance of patients who we come to know, people who become part of our lives, too. I am always struck by the beauty of what the spiritual care team brings to our meetings … the insightful poems, the thoughtful words, and the brief quiet moments where we can be one within ourselves to ponder life in its entirety. The leadership of our spiritual care team is so critical to hospice care, not only for our patients and families, but for our staff and volunteers, as well. We all benefit from the beauty of their presence in our lives. We are so fortunate to have these wonderful people in our midst. In October, we celebrated National Pastoral Care Providers Week. We honored those who provide the spiritual side of hospice care. We thank most gratefully the Rev. Pamela Cranston, the Rev. Jonathan Leavy, and the Rev. Moana Meadow – our amazing hospice spiritual care team – and we thank Ann Felter, director of social work, for her continued leadership of the spiritual care service. We also recognize the many faith leaders throughout Alameda and Contra Costa Counties who serve hospice patients with spiritual guidance, serve their congregations with end-of-life planning and counsel, and continue to educate the community about the joy of discovering inner peace. We are grateful for your service to community. Victoria Emmons HOPE HOSPICE INC. 6377 Clark Avenue, Suite 100 Dublin, CA 94568-3024 Phone: (925) 829-8770 (510) 439-4917 | 1 (800) HOSPICE

Hope Hospice is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in the San Francisco Bay Area and founded by its local community. Medicare/Medi-Cal and most insurances accepted. Accredited by The Joint Commission Victoria A. Emmons, MPA, CFRE, Chief Executive Officer Patty Hefner, Editor ©2013 Hope Hospice Inc.


FALL 2013

Volunteer News

Comfort care through music

Hope Hospice music volunteer discovers the power of giving – Continued from page 1

Personalized music therapy for Hope Hospice patients “Life seems to go on without effort when I am filled with music.” – George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss

Scientific studies have shown that music helps patients cope with their illness by promoting a sense of well-being and distracting them from pain. At Hope Hospice, each patient is assessed to see if they find comfort, peace and strength through music. We learn what music genres or artists patients enjoy and provide them with CDs and necessary equipment so that they may receive music’s therapeutic benefit. Hope Hospice Volunteers provide comfort to patients through music in several ways. Our choir, Voices of Hope, is composed of six volunteers who bring music to the bedside of patients providing a soothing and unique experience. We also have harpists, a pianist and a ukulele player who perform bedside as well. Most often, Hope Hospice nurses, social workers and spiritual care providers sing or hum to the patient, perform live music, or play a recording/CD if the appropriate musical device is available. And thanks to grants like the one from the Rotary Club of Pleasanton this year, our music program gets community support.

Volunteer education series

music.” She attributes this to the fact that his father was a royal cellist and his uncle a royal flutist for the Turkish Orchestra. Jenny says she believes that connecting through music is a positive healing reinforcement. When Rocky was first admitted into the hospice program, he was quite active and interactive, according to his Hope Hospice nurse Sandra Jackson, RN. “One time he met me at the door, singing,” Sandra recalls. “He raised his arms up as if he wanted to dance, so I danced with him and we both laughed.” All of this changed when Rocky seemed to shut down for no apparent reason. “It was quite noticeable,” notes Sandra. “He became quiet, almost despondent.” Instead of trying to talk, he just stared into space. Recorded music, which once brought him enjoyment, seemed to do nothing. Then, a wonderful new volunteer arrived with her autoharp and harp.

If you are interested in learning more about end-oflife issues and hospice care or considering becoming a volunteer at Hope Hospice, we are offering a four-week Hospice Education Series on Thursday evenings, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. starting March 6, 2014.

“I shook his hand and told him I was here to play for him,” says Ann. “By the end of our session he was smiling and laughing.” Although his speech was a bit difficult for her to understand, Ann said that Rocky started talking to her.

Participants will learn about the holistic, team approach of hospice care and hear from guest speakers on endof-life care topics from a clinical and legal perspective. Presentations will address pain and symptom control, pre-death crisis intervention, spiritual care, and the difference between adult grief and children’s grief.

His nurse Sandra says, “I was thrilled when this happened. In a way, I’m not surprised because of his love for music.” Sandra wonders if seeing the instrument and hearing Ann play live music is what made the difference for Rocky.

There is a $50 fee for materials. Registration deadline is February 21, 2014. For more information visit www. Licensed nurses, social workers and therapists may obtain 12 hours of Continuing Education Units for a fee of $75.

“It makes me feel good to see that what I do helps patients like Rocky,” says Ann. “It’s been a wonderful opportunity to work with Hope Hospice patients,” Ann says. “I am impressed with everyone at Hope Hospice – the staff, patients and families are all wonderful.”



Don’t Wait to Talk About Your Wishes

The Conversation continues • Was there an article in the newspaper or something that happened to a loved one that made you think about it? • What is motivating you to take these actions now? Sometimes sharing your concerns, your values, spiritual beliefs, or views about what is important in your life can be as helpful as talking about specific treatments and circumstances. For example: • What aspects of your life give it the most meaning?

Since 2012, Hope Hospice has actively participated in The Conversation Project, a nationwide campaign whose goal is “to have every person’s end-of-life wishes expressed and respected.” Even before that, Hope Hospice has worked to inform community members about the importance of completing an Advance Healthcare Directive or POLST form. As part of these efforts, we encourage you to begin these conversations now, around the kitchen table, rather than when a medical crisis occurs.

How to talk with your loved ones You have the power to take the first step and express your wishes. Don’t wait for your family or loved ones to raise the issue for you. Talking about end-of-life issues can be difficult for anyone. There are several ways to approach the subject. One way is to talk about why you have decided to talk about these issues. For example: • Did a particular event cause you to make the decision?

• How do your religious or spiritual beliefs affect your attitudes toward dying and death? • What is your attitude towards death? By sharing your end-of-life care decisions with your family and those close to you, you help them ensure your wishes are followed. Decisions may include answers to the following questions: • How important is it to you to be physically independent and stay in your own home? • Would you want your healthcare agent to take into account the effect your illness has on any other people? • Would you prefer to die at home if possible? As your health and circumstances change over time, it’s important to review your decisions periodically. Use the free tools that help you start the conversation with your loved ones. To find your free starter kit, get more information about The Conversation Project and learn about opportunities to attend Hope Hospicesponsored Consider the Conversation events, visit


FALL 2013

Philanthropy News

Rotary Club of Pleasanton’s generous grant Hope Hospice patients will benefit from the generosity of the Rotary Club of Pleasanton’s $1,670 grant to our Comfort through Music program. The funds will be used to purchase an iPad mini, computer speakers and a portable stereo. “Our Comfort Through Music program has demonstrated that music has a calming and soothing effect on hospice patients,” says Hope Hospice CEO Victoria Emmons. “We are grateful to the Pleasanton Rotary for helping our patients feel reduced anxiety, pain and agitation toward the end of their lives.”

Blackbaud gives grant to Hope Hospice A big thanks to Hope Hospice volunteer Stephanie Sandbergen who was recently honored for her service at Hope Hospice by her employer, Blackbaud. For her commitment to Hope Hospice, Blackbaud honored Stephanie with a $500 unrestricted grant to our organization. We appreciate Stephanie taking time to apply for this grant on behalf of Hope Hospice. “At Blackbaud, we believe that service to others makes the world a better place,” said Sally Ehrenfried, community relations and philanthropy at Blackbaud. “Hope Hospice clearly shares in that belief.” Blackbaud is the parent company of the Raiser’s Edge software that is used by our Development team for fundraising donations. The company launched the “Reward Your Passion Fund” in 2008 in honor of their employees’ service to nonprofits in their communities. They encourage employees to apply for these grants and share their stories on passion and commitment with their colleagues throughout the world.

Spectrum Wealth Golf Tournament raises $1,620 for Hope Hospice A beautiful day on the links at the Presidio in San Francisco on October 24 resulted in a presentation of a $1,620 donation to Hope Hospice. The golf outing was a private gathering sponsored by Spectrum Wealth Partners based in San Ramon. Robert J. Waldron, Jr. and partners James R. Westermeyer, Paul Solorzano, and Peter T. Waldron selected Hope Hospice as their company’s charity for this year’s event. “We are delighted to support Hope Hospice’s mission, and committed to helping families in the communities we serve achieve and preserve wealth.”

City of Dublin continues support with $10,000 grant Hope Hospice recently received a $10,000 grant from the City of Dublin for our Grief Support Center which provides 13 months of counseling to Hope Hospice families and community members. Grants like this enable Hope Hospice to continue providing specialized, high quality grief support to everyone – whether or not they have the ability to pay. “We are very grateful to the City of Dublin for its continued support to Hope Hospice’s Grief Support program,” says Lee Ann Morgan, LFMT, Hope Hospice director of Grief Support Services. “This grant enables us to provide grief support services to the Dublin community,” she adds.



Hope Hospice News

American Cancer Society honors Peter Wong, MD at annual event The American Cancer Society recently recognized the lifelong medical contributions of Hope Hospice Chief Medical Officer Peter Wong, MD, at their annual Jewel Ball fundraiser. Honored at the event along with Dr. Wong was the Honorable Ellen Tauscher, a former member of the United States House of Representatives and a cancer survivor. Dr. Wong was honored for his many years of dedication to helping cancer patients in our community. We are proud to say that Dr. Wong has been a medical leader with Hope Hospice for more than 30 years. He is also the founder of Valley Medical Oncology Consultants (VMOC), which is celebrating its 35th year of caring for cancer patients in the Bay Area. Among the first to be certified as a specialist in palliative care, Dr. Wong says what attracted him to this rather new development in medicine is the belief that, “Each patient is an individual and needs to be treated as such without stock or glib answers.” He explains that it’s more important to treat the patient who has an illness rather than to treat an illness that’s in a patient. “There are now studies showing that patients who receive simultaneous palliative care along with standard treatment for their cancer are more satisfied, less depressed and live longer than those who do not receive palliative care,” he adds. Our patients and our organization have benefitted from Dr. Wong’s dedication, compassion and expertise. Congratulations and thank you for your service to so many cancer and hospice patients over the years.

Hope Hospice welcomes new board member Kathleen Lawrence has been elected to the Hope Hospice Board of Directors. She joins a 15-member board, each of whom is elected to a two-year term, up to three consecutive two-year terms. A Pleasanton resident, Kathleen has had a long career in the human resources field. She has more than 25 years of experience in global HR management for the semiconductor industry. Kathleen specializes in management coaching, employee relations, and compensation and benefits planning. Most recently she served as the Vice President of Global Human Resources with Magnum Semiconductor in Milpitas. Previously, at LSI Corporation she held the position of Senior Director of Human Resources managing HR operations for sites in 14 countries. “Kathleen’s knowledge and understanding of our community plus her extensive expertise in human resources management of policies, procedures, practices and compliance will be valuable to our organization and the greater community,” says David Karlsson, CPA, Hope Hospice board president. “We are very pleased to have her as a member of the Hope Hospice family.” Kathleen holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in human resources with a minor in psychology and a Master of Business Administration from California State University, Sacramento. She has traveled extensively, is an active golfer and a member of the Ladies Golf League at Castlewood Country Club. She and her husband David Thayer reside in Pleasanton.

HOSPICE FACTS Did you know . . . At any time during a life-limiting illness, it’s appropriate to discuss all of an individual’s care options, including hospice. Making the choice to discontinue medical treatment is often made when all curative measures have been exhausted and the patient wants the comfort and dignity offered by hospice care. Hospice staff members are highly sensitive to these concerns and are always available to discuss them with the patient, family and physician.


FALL 2013

Hope Hospice News (Continued)

Reverend Moana Meadow joins Hope Hospice as chaplain

New associate medical director will help improve patients’ quality of life

Hope Hospice welcomes the Rev. Moana Meadow, who joined its spiritual care team as chaplain. She joins Hope Hospice’s other two chaplains in assisting patients and their families with spiritual issues regarding life and death and helping to promote their well-being, comfort and dignity throughout the dying process.

Hope Hospice has appointed Jatinder Pal Singh Marwaha, MD, FACP, as associate medical director. Dr. Marwaha will work with a variety of hospice team members including registered nurses, social workers, chaplains, pharmacists and volunteers to ensure care that covers all aspects of a patient’s life.

“I approach each patient and family as unique individuals, without assumptions about what their faith means to them, or what their life values are,” says Meadow. She explains how she focuses on the integration of her patients’ beliefs and experiences with what is happening in their bodies. “If we have pain or fear or sadness, there are many ways to ease and heal that, including prayer, speaking from the heart with those we love, massage or movement, and medication or other solutions.”

“Dr. Marwaha is very committed to the concept of palliative care and hospice,” says Peter Wong, MD, Hope Hospice’s chief medical officer. “He joins our other associate medical directors Michael Abdel-Malek, MD; and Kuljeet Multani, MD, to provide symptom care to our patients and help improve their quality of life.”

Meadow earned a Master of Divinity from Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA. She completed her residency at John Muir Medical Center, Concord. “I look forward to collaborating with Hope Hospice’s nurses, physicians, social workers, musicians, acupuncturists and healing touch providers to bring peace and comfort to our patients and their families,” adds Meadow.

Board certified in internal medicine, hospice, palliative care and sleep medicine, Dr. Marwaha is currently a hospitalist at San Ramon Regional Medical Center. He is on staff there and at ValleyCare Medical Center. Dr. Marwaha received a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, and completed a residency in internal medicine at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana, Panjab, India; internship in internal medical from the University of Nevada School of Medicine Affiliated Hospitals; and a residency in internal medicine at San Joaquin General Hospital.

Victoria Emmons appointed to State of California Cemetary and Funeral Bureau advisory committee Victoria Emmons, Hope Hospice CEO, has been selected to serve a two-year term, from 2013 to 2015, on the California Department of Consumer Affairs’ Cemetery and Funeral Bureau’s Advisory Committee. “Consumer oversight of the industry is critical to assuring families receive the best possible counsel as they plan for end-of-life needs,” says Ms. Emmons. “I am pleased to be representing consumers on this important advisory group.” The Cemetery and Funeral Bureau advocates for consumer protection and licensee compliance

through proactive education and enforcement of laws and regulations of the death care industry. The focus of the Advisory Committee is to advise the Bureau as a whole, based on each member’s diverse experience and education, concerning the Bureau’s administration, regulation, licensing and enforcement functions. Advisory Committee members provide important professional and technical assistance to the Bureau on issues related to the regulation of licensed funeral establishments, cemeteries and crematories in California.

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(925) 829-8770 (510) 439-4917 1 (800) HOSPICE


Remember Hope Hospice in your will.

Grief Support Center groups You do not have to face your grief alone. Our grief support groups offer the opportunity to join others who have a similar experience to yours. The trained facilitators provide a safe place to share your thoughts and feelings, to learn about the grief process and discover effective coping strategies. Prior to joining our support groups you will meet with a Grief Support provider to determine whether our services can meet your needs. It is not necessary to be a Hope Hospice family member to participate. Our Grief Support programs are open to the community.

To register or learn more about our Grief Support programs, call (925) 829-8770 or visit Grief Journeys – Child Loss Mondays, February 3 through March 31, 2014 (off February 17) Grief Journeys – Parent Loss Wednesdays, February 5 through March 26, 2014 Grief Journeys – Spousal/Partner Loss Thursdays, February 6 through March 27, 2014 Pet Loss Drop-in Group Every 2nd and 4th Monday

Special classes for adults: Handling the Holidays Choose one of these four sessions: Tuesday, November 12, 2 to 4 p.m. OR 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, December 10, 2 to 4 p.m. OR 7 to 9 p.m. A Path to Peace Stress reduction for grievers November 19, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Space is limited. Call early to register.

Children’s Grief Support: Healing Tree Workshop November 18, 6 to 8 p.m. Making Memories for the Holidays December 16, 6 to 8 p.m.

To learn more about any of these groups, please call: 1 (800) HOSPICE (467-7423) Hope Hospice is a 501(c)(3) non-profit healthcare organization serving patients and families facing a life-threatening illness and the bereaved in the eastern portion of the San Francisco Bay Area. It is accredited by the Joint Commission and licensed by the State of California Department of Health Services.

Hope Hospice VOICES