A memorable and successful “Evening”
Family Hospice & Palliative Care 50 Moffett Street Pittsburgh, PA 15243
Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage Paid Pittsburgh, PA Permit No. 02743
2015 SPRING NEWSLETTER
The day of the event began auspiciously when news broke that Roz Chast, the guest of honor at Family Hospice and Palliative Care’s April fundraiser, had been named a recipient of the Heinz Award in Arts and Humanities for her “uncompromising body of work” bringing “wry humor and wit to some of our most profound every day anxieties, unspoken fears and dilemmas,” according to the statement released by the Heinz Family Foundation. So, anticipation was high by the time Ms. Chast entered the meet-and-greet reception later that evening at Rodef Shalom in Oakland, and the honoree did not disappoint. Ms. Chast navigated graciously through the crowd of selfie-snapping fans, one of whom remarked that she could now check meeting Roz Chast off her bucket list. The event moved to the lecture hall where Ms. Chast spoke to a packed house of more than 250 guests about her life’s work, including her award-winning graphic memoir, “Can’t We Talk About Something
More Pleasant?” The book, which remains on the New York Times best-seller list, details her parents’ aging and dying as well as the challenges common to adult children adjusting to meet their evolving needs. Elder law experts Julian Gray Associates served as lead sponsor for the occasion. “For over 20 years in my practice, I have witnessed the challenges that families encounter when it concerns medical, social and financial issues related to aging - and dying,” said firm owner Julian Gray. “So, naturally, I was eager to support this event and join with Family Hospice in celebrating Roz Chast and her important work in this area.” When asked if she predicted the memoir’s success, Ms. Chast paused, “No. Initially I just wanted to remember what they looked like, how they spoke.” But having experienced the scope of its impact, Ms. Chast acknowledges, “There are more people caring for elderly parents than I knew, but there’s also another aspect: that while we go through it, and even more afterwards, we know that unless something unusual happens, that’s where we are going, too.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette cartoonist Rob Rogers closed the formal proceedings by surprising Ms. Chast and the audience with the reveal of a cartoon he penned as part of her nomination for the Heinz Award. Mr. Rogers then presented Ms. Chast with a framed copy of the piece which brilliantly mimics Ms. Chast’s style. All this unfolded to the delight of both the guest of honor and the audience. Proceeds from the evening exceed $30,000 and benefit patient and family services, including bereavement support and uncompensated care.
Volunteers bring harmony to the bedside “In the quiet of the moment, all is well. I am at peace.” Repeat this to yourself. Now imagine this refrain, sung in rounds of gentle harmony. Imagine further that it is sung softly at bedside in the intimate calm of our inpatient centers in Lawrenceville and Mt. Lebanon. This experience is made possible for our patients and guests by the members of the Pittsburgh Threshold Choir (PTC). The mission of the Threshold Choir is to bring music to those on the threshold of life, the imminently dying. Two to three singers gather at bedside; a visit typically lasts about 20 minutes. The choir blends harmonically in a series of short songs; repetition is intended to soothe and induce rest.
Donations needed! Friends of Family Hospice need gentlyused, good-quality items for our Family Treasures Sale II on October 10. Last year’s sale raised more than $10,000 for patient and family needs Learn more at FamilyHospicePA.org
Threshold Choirs exist world-wide. PTC was birthed in 2007 by Cindy Harris, who Family Hospice volunteer and choir member Judie Spiegel describes as “the driving, teaching and organizing force” behind the Pittsburgh initiative. With Cindy’s guidance, Judie launched a group in the South Hills two years ago. Judie hopes to grow the current group further so as to improve its ability to meet emergent requests. She emphasizes that no previous singing experience is required and that membership is very fluid. “We are just looking for people who can carry a tune and who are comfortable with being at bedside.” The group has recently branched out to long-term care environments where Family Hospice patients reside. PTC member Mary Paine described a recent visit that turned into an impromptu concert, complete with an audience and applause. “It was a very different experience than we’d ever had before,” Mary laughed. “We felt blessed by the opportunity.” Judie concurs, “You have to be open to the possibility that it may not unfold as you expect, but it’s a very meaningful way to connect with individuals, families and staff and a joyful experience for you as a singer.” For more information about this unique volunteer opportunity, contact Family Hospice’s Manager of Volunteers, Nick Petti, at 412-572-8806 or via email, npetti@FamilyHospicePA.org.
Family Hospice partners with UPMC and Presbyterian SeniorCare
amily Hospice and Palliative Care has taken a significant and exciting step towards securing its long-term future and perpetuating its mission of quality, compassionate care for individuals with life-limiting illness and their families. In March of this year, Family Hospice announced that it is entering into a new partnership with UPMC and Presbyterian SeniorCare, organizations that share a common interest in providing the highest standard of end-of-life care to the people of Western Pennsylvania. Pending the completion of the standard processes of due diligence and regulatory approval, the partnership may take effect as early as mid-year. Already the region’s largest non-profit hospice provider, Family Hospice will grow substantially in both the number of patients it serves and the scope of its service area as a result of this new enterprise. It will Left to right are Bob Butter, Board Chair, Family be aligned under UPMC Community Hospice; Deborah Brodine, President, UPMC Community Provider Services; Philip Freeman, Provider Services President, UPMC Home Nursing Agency; Barbara and be integrated Ivanko, President and CEO, Family Hospice; Paul with UPMC Winkler, President and CEO, Presbyterian SeniorCare Home Nursing Agency hospice (HNA), a leading hospice provider in Central Pennsylvania. Family Hospice will keep its name and extend the strength of its brand to HNA’s hospice program; the emerging Family Hospice will serve 23 counties and create the largest hospice organization in Pennsylvania. Family Hospice employees will become employees of UPMC, and its President and CEO, Barbara Ivanko, will continue to serve in this capacity and have oversight for the larger, combined organization.
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Mission Statement The Mission of Family Hospice and Palliative Care is to provide compassionate, quality comfort care that enhances the lives of people with life-limiting illness and their families.
Board of Directors Robert E. Butter, Chair Deborah Brodine, Vice Chair Bruce Austin, Secretary Paul Winkler, Immediate Past Chair Kathi R. Boyle Kimberly Ward Burns
David Friedland, MD Joseph E. Kennedy Barry C. Lembersky, MD Lisa Turbeville Markowski Sandra Tomlinson G. Alan Yeasted, MD Barbara Ivanko, President and CEO
Institutional Advancement Committee Lisa Turbeville Markowski, Chair Robert E. Butter Ruth G. Foltz
Nancy F. Gannon Jane D. Johnson Joseph E. Kennedy Christine McMahon Tumpson