Our Resources

Our Resources

December 14, 2016

It is human nature to share ideas and opinions with others. At times, it can be difficult to distinguishing the truth from an opinion freely given. Below are resources that may assist you in your personal growth along your grief journey. You determine, from what you learned if the information can assist you in your personal growth or not. The pain of grief comes in many different shades. As unique individuals we feel and respond differently. Discover your healing path with the help of a skilled grief counselor.

“Just as people do not live alike, they do not die alike. Death and dying occur in social context.”

– Cultural Competency in Grief and Loss, by Robin Florelli, MSW, LCSW, and Wanda Jenkins, MHS.

The resources provided below are a variety of recommended readings that may assist you or someone you love in the grieving process.

Community Hospice Recognizes Volunteers

April 28, 2017

For Immediate Release
Contacts:
Kristin Mostowski | Director of Public Relations, Community Hospice | Kristin.Mostowski@hospiceheart.org | 209.578.6301

Community Hospice Recognizes Volunteers

MODESTO, CA (April 27, 2017) – Community Hospice the oldest and largest nonprofit hospice provider in the Central Valley celebrated and recognized their volunteers at their annual A World of Thanks Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon and Award Ceremony on April 12, 2017. All volunteers received a certificate of recognition, several volunteers were recognized for outstanding service and dedication to the mission of Community Hospice and four dedicated volunteers were awarded the 2016 Mary Jean Coeur-Barron Volunteer of the Year Award. Named after the co-founder of Community Hospice, the awards are given each year to four volunteers for their outstanding service and spirit of excellence. One volunteer is chosen from the following: Community Hospice, Friends of Community Hospice, Community Hospice Hope Chest Thrift Stores and Camp Erin® of the Central Valley.

The Mary Jean Couer-Barron Community Hospice Volunteer of the Year Award was presented to Inez Lewis. Ms. Lewis not only provides compassionate support to patients in their homes, facilities, and at the Community Hospice Alexander Cohen Hospice House, she is an outspoken supporter of Community Hospice and has dedicated numerous hours providing education to the community at various community events.

The Mary Jean Couer-Barron Friends of Community Hospice Volunteer of the Year Award was given to Mrs. Claudia Krausnick; current president of the Friends of Community Hospice. Mrs. Krausnick has served in many capacities to support the fundraising efforts of Community Hospice Foundation. She has played a significant role in the success of the silent and live auctions for the Foundation Annual Gala, the Santa Shares Breakfast as well as other events.

Mr. Wayne Burton was awarded the Mary Jean Couer- Barron Hope Chest Thrift Store volunteer of the year. Mr. Burton’s passion is serving in the book department at the Community Hospice Hope Chest Thrift store in Oakdale. He spends many hours keeping the books organized so that customers can easily find particular books or authors. Through his endless efforts and dedication, he has sold more than 8,700 books since January 1, 2017.

The 2016 Mary Jean Coeur-Barron Camp Erin of the Central Valley award was given to Mr. Bob Taylor. Mr. Taylor has served as a cabin buddy for Camp Erin for the Central Valley for the past three years. His dedication to supporting our campers along their grief journey has been a blessing to many in our community.

In 2016, more than 500 volunteers contributed 24,413 hours in support of the Community Hospice mission. “Volunteers are the heart of Community Hospice and we are blessed to have so many community residents give their time and talents to support our mission,” said C. DeSha McLeod, President and CEO of Community Hospice. “We are grateful for all our volunteers that help support our patients and their families, and the programs we provide our communities.”

To learn more about volunteer opportunities or any of Community Hospice’s programs or services, visit hospiceheart.org or call 209.578.6300.

Photo Caption: The 2016 Mary Jean Coeur-Barron Volunteer of the Year Award Winners (From Left to Right) Claudia Krausnick, Wayne Burton and Inez Lewis. (Not pictured: Bob Taylor)

About Community Hospice
Community Hospice is the largest and oldest nonprofit hospice agency in the Central Valley. Serving the community since 1979, Community Hospice has cared for thousands of friends and neighbors offering compassionate and quality care, education and support to terminally ill patients and families, regardless of ability to pay. Care extends to over 200 patients each year in private homes, skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities and at the only inpatient hospice facility serving Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties, the 16-bed inpatient Community Hospice Alexander Cohen Hospice House. Community Hospice also provides bereavement and grief support to anyone in the community. For more information, please call (209) 578-6300 or visit hospiceheart.org.

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Community Hospice named one of the Best Places to Work: Central Valley

April 28, 2017

For Immediate Release
Contacts:
Kristin Mostowski | Director of Public Relations, Community Hospice | Kristin.Mostowski@hospiceheart.org | 209.578.6301

Community Hospice named one of the Best Places to Work: Central Valley

MODESTO, CA (April 28, 2017) – Community Hospice the oldest and largest nonprofit hospice provider in the Central Valley was recognized in April at the Dust Bowl Brewery and named alongside nine other organizations as one of the Best Places to Work in the Central Valley.

Best Places to Work: Central Valley is a program that surveys companies that are eligible and wish to participate. Companies must be located in Merced, San Joaquin or Stanislaus counties, have been in business for at least a year and have no less than 15 full- or part-time permanent employees.

“Community Hospice is honored to have earned the distinction of being one of the Best Places to Work in the Central Valley,” said C. DeSha McLeod, President/CEO of Community Hospice. “Our employees are the vessel for our mission and we strive to maintain a healthy and nourishing environment for staff to flourish in and enjoy. We would not be able to provide compassionate and quality care to our community without our amazing staff. Our dedication to our patients, families and to one another is what makes Community Hospice one of the Best Places to Work.”

All companies that participated in the 2017 Best Places to Work: Central Valley program receive an in-depth evaluation identifying strengths and weaknesses according to their employees. In turn, this report can be used in developing or enhancing employee retention and recruitment programs.

Best Places to Work: Central Valley is brought to you by Opportunity Stanislaus, Prime Shine Car Wash, and the Modesto Chamber of Commerce.

About Community Hospice
Community Hospice is the largest and oldest nonprofit hospice agency in the Central Valley. Serving the community since 1979, Community Hospice has cared for thousands of friends and neighbors offering compassionate and quality care, education and support to terminally ill patients and families, regardless of ability to pay. Care extends to over 200 patients each year in private homes, skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities and at the only inpatient hospice facility serving Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties, the 16-bed inpatient Community Hospice Alexander Cohen Hospice House. Community Hospice also provides bereavement and grief support to anyone in the community. For more information, please call (209) 578-6300 or visit hospiceheart.org.
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Rankings Released for Best Places to Work: Central Valley

April 20, 2017

April 10, 2017 (Modesto)—Central Valley organizations with a strong workplace environment were recognized on Wednesday, April 19 at Dustbowl Brewery in Turlock. In front of a crowd of elite local businesses, the companies receiving the award for Best Places to Work: Central Valley were named.

The complete list of recipients is as follows:
• Ambeck Mortgage Associates
• Community Hospice
• DeHart Plumbing Heating and Air
• Grimbleby Coleman CPAs
• Huff Construction Company, Inc.
• Opportunity Stanislaus
• PMZ Real Estate
• Prime Shine Car Wash
• Warden’s Office Products

Best Places to Work: Central Valley is in its first year of program participation and expects double digit growth for the 2018 program, which will begin in November. “The organizations selected for this designation are leaders in their field without exception,” said David White, Chief Executive Officer of Opportunity Stanislaus. “Their cultures and emphasis on employee satisfaction are evident in their employee response and evidence shows prospective employees will look favorably on these rankings as they search for their next position.”

All companies that participated in the 2017 Best Places to Work: Central Valley program receive an in-depth evaluation identifying strengths and weaknesses according to their employees. In turn, this report can be used in developing or enhancing employee retention and recruitment
programs.

Best Places to Work: Central Valley is brought to you by Opportunity Stanislaus, Prime Shine Car Wash, and the Modesto Chamber of Commerce.

For more information on Best Places to Work: Central Valley visit //bestplacestoworkcentralvalley.com/.

LOCAL NONPROFIT RECEIVES A $100,000 GRIEF REACH GRANT FROM THE NEW YORK LIFE FOUNDATION

April 19, 2017

Contact: Kristin Mostowski, Director of Public Relations | Community Hospice | Kristin.Mostowski@hospiceheart.org | 209.578.6301

PHOTO CAPTION: LOCAL NONPROFIT RECEIVES A $100,000 GRIEF REACH GRANT FROM THE NEW YORK LIFE FOUNDATION

STOCKTON, CA (April 19, 2017) — Community Hospice Foundation today announced it received a $100,000 Grief Reach grant from the New York Life Foundation, which will enable the organization to expand their school based Grief Relief Program in Stanislaus and San Joaquin Counties. The New York Life Foundation created the Grief Reach grant to help providers overcome barriers to bringing grief support services to youth not served by existing bereavement programs.

Pictured l to r: Employees from New York Life’s Stockton General Office including Administrative Manager Nathaniel Moore, Managing Partner Mychael Nguyen and Agent Lars Willerup present a $100,000 Grief Reach grant check to Monica Ojcius, Executive Director of Community Hospice Foundation (third from left) in support of the organization’s Children’s Grief Relief program. Please visit the organization’s website at www.hospiceheart.org for more information.

Community Hospice Awarded BETA Healthcare Group Participant of the Year

March 28, 2017

For Immediate Release
Contacts:
Kristin Mostowski, Director of Public Relations | Community Hospice | Kristin.Mostowski@hospiceheart.org | 209.578.6301

Community Hospice Awarded BETA Healthcare Group Participant of the Year

MODESTO, CA (March 28, 2017) – Community Hospice, the community’s oldest and largest nonprofit hospice provider serving the Central Valley, was awarded Participant of the Year by BETA Healthcare Group-Worker’s Compensation on February 23, 2017 at the Annual Participants’ Meeting held in Newport Beach, CA. BETA Healthcare Group formerly known as Alpha Fund, is the largest professional liability insurer of hospitals in California. Additionally, BETA provides workers’ compensation coverage for over 40,000 healthcare workers in the state.

Community Hospice takes pride in the Culture of Safety it has developed over the past years. Recognizing that culture isn’t built overnight, Community Hospice acknowledged that lacking this Culture of Safety would negatively impact its ability to deliver on the company mission of providing compassionate and quality care, education and support to terminally ill patients and their families, regardless of ability to pay. “Our staff is our most important asset in delivering our mission,” mentions Community Hospice’s Director of Human Resources, Jennifer Dunn. “If we were unable to provide a safe atmosphere for our staff to work in, we could not provide the education, support, training and patient care to our patients and families.”

With the leadership of President/CEO, C. DeSha McLeod and her team, Community Hospice has put into place measures to ensure employee and patient safety remain at the forefront of employees’ minds. “We take safety very seriously and upon ourselves and hold each other accountable to see safety risks and make corrections on our own to avoid potential problems” explained C. DeSha McLeod. From day one of employment, Community Hospice demonstrates to staff their commitment to this culture through extensive training, education and supportive programs all focused on health and safety. But the message doesn’t stop there; safety is woven into the fabric of their operations. Whether it be a vibrant and effective safety committee with members from every level of the organization, quarterly safety inspections of each facility, monthly safety presentations at all-employee meetings, or putting all employees through an extensive defensive driver training program, Community Hospice continually reminds employees of the importance of safety and how it fits into their daily tasks.

Community Hospice, Inc. serves as an outstanding example of what Commitment, Accountability, Responsibility and Engagement in a Culture of Safety can achieve. BETA Healthcare Group is proud to present this well-deserved award to Community Hospice, Inc.

About Community Hospice
Community Hospice is the largest and oldest nonprofit hospice agency in the Central Valley. Serving the community since 1979, Community Hospice has cared for thousands of friends and neighbors offering compassionate and quality care, education and support to terminally ill patients and families, regardless of ability to pay. Care extends to over 2000 patients each year in private homes, skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities and at the 16-bed inpatient Community Hospice Alexander Cohen Hospice House. Community Hospice also provides bereavement and grief support to anyone in the community. For more information, please call (209) 578-6300 or visit hospiceheart.org.

About BETA Healthcare Group
BETA Healthcare Group is the largest professional liability insurer of hospitals in California, providing coverage to more than 200 hospitals and healthcare facilities. In addition, BETA provides workers’ compensation coverage for over 40,000 healthcare workers in the state. BETA also has a long-established and growing commitment to physicians with BETA providing medical professional liability coverage to nearly 6,000 physicians and more than 50 medical groups. Beyond primary liability and workers’ compensation coverage, BETA provides an entire suite of alternative risk and insurance services, including excess liability coverage, excess workers’ compensation coverage, third-party claims administration services, risk management consulting services and claims management consulting services. Whether with hospitals, medical groups, clinics or hospices, BETA has earned a reputation for financial strength, rate stability, quality service and breadth of coverage that is unparalleled in the industry. For more information, please visit www.betahg.com.
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Manteca Bulletin’s Readers Choice Award

March 20, 2017

The Community Hospice Hope Chest Thrift Store in Manteca has been awarded First Place by the Manteca Bulletin for being the best Bargain/Discount Store in the area!

Our Manteca location was also the runner up in the Accessories/Women category!

Thank you for all of those who voted!

Recommended Readings and Online Resources

November 17, 2016

Recommended Grief Readings

Byock MD, Ira, The Four Things That Matter Most

Doka, K. editor (2009) Living with Grief: Diversity and the End-of life Care, Hospice Foundation of America.

Floyd, Maita, Caretakers the Forgotten People

Ginshurg, Genevieve Davis, Widow to Widow: Thoughtful, Practical ideas for rebuilding your life

Kuebelbeck, Amy, Waiting with Gabriel: A story of Cherishing a baby’s brief life.

Kushner, Harold S., When Bad things Happen to Bad People

Levang, Ph.D, Elizabeth, When Men Grieve: Why men grieve differently & how you can help.

Rutter, Phillip A. and Emil Soucar, Youth Suicide and Sexual Orientation, Journal of Adolescence, Vol 37 (146) Sum.2002, 289-299.

Staudacher, Carol, A Time to Grieve: Meditation for healing after the death of a loved One.

Tatelbaum, Judy, The Courage to Grieve: Creating Living, Recover & Growth through grief.

Wrobeskie, Adena, Suicide: A Guide for those Left Behind

Child and Teen Grief Readings

Buscaglia, Leo, The Fall of Freddy the Leaf

De Paola, Tomie, Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs

Varley, Susan, Badger’s Parting Gifts

Viorst, Judith, The Tenth good Thing About Barney

Grollman, Earl, Straight Talk about Death for Teenagers.

Online Resources for Child Grief

Dougy Center

National Alliance for Grieving Children

New York Life Foundation

National Center for School Crisis & Bereavement

Child Grief Awareness Day

Moyer Foundation

Recommended Reading for all Ages

Exupery, Antoine de Saint, The Little Prince, Harcourt Brace, Javanovich

Hague, Michael, The Velveteen Rabbit, Holt, Rinehart, Winston

Lewis, C. S., Chronicles of Narnia, Macmillan (set of seven books)

Mandino, Og and Kaye, Buddy, The Gift of Acabar, Bantam Books

Paulus, Trina, Hope For The Flowers, Paulist Press

Prepared to Respond

November 17, 2016

by Jeremy Brown, Bereavement Specialist

We live in a world where the potential of traumatic incidents and crisis is becoming an ever increasing reality. Each day we watch in disbelief as news outlets deliver information about the latest mass shooting, freak accident, or tragic death of a young child. It seems as though the news of these types of situations is inescapable. Everywhere we turn we are faced with the reality that there is no corner of our world which is exempt from crisis and trauma. The days of thinking and hoping that tragedy will somehow bypass our community are gone. This is why our community needs to be prepared to respond and support one another when a critical incident does occur.

Recently, several members of the Community Hospice Bereavement team attended a training which was focused on equipping people with the skills needed to respond to a variety of critical incidents in our community. The Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) training was held at the Turlock Unified School District office, and was led by David Williams, M.A., B.C.C.C. Williams has over 20 years of experience in working alongside emergency services personnel, and is a Board Certified Crisis Chaplain with the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress. Williams also holds several other certifications related to providing support and crisis intervention. During the three-day certification training, members of the Community Hospice Bereavement team were trained in both Group Crisis Intervention as well as Individual Peer Support.

As the training began, special attention was given to clarifying what a “critical incident” is. After all, in our fast paced social media driven world, words are powerful and can have a significant impact on people. For this reason, it is important to understand that critical incidents are defined as “unusually challenging events that have the potential to create significant human distress and can overwhelm one’s coping mechanisms.”(1) Upon hearing this definition, it is not uncommon to think, “Geez, I feel like I experience unusually challenging events that stress me out and overwhelm me all the time!” To some degree this is true. Life is indeed full of challenges that can feel overwhelming and cause a significant amount of stress. However, one of the keys to determining if a CISM response is needed is assessing whether or not a person affected by a crisis or traumatic event is able to respond and recover from the situation by using their normal coping mechanisms. With this in mind, we can see that CISM is more focused on a person’s response to a traumatic event rather than actual event itself. Some reactions following a trauma or crisis which may warrant a response from someone trained in CISM may include, but are not limited to: confusion or difficulty in decision making, anxiety, anger, panic, substance abuse, sleep disturbance, lack of appetite, withdrawal from normal social or workplace interactions, headaches, and even distorted vision.(2) In addition, a person in need of a CISM intervention is often unable to return to work, school, or other normal daily activities.

Whether a critical incident happens at or affects a school, business, hospital, church, sporting event, or any neighborhood here in Modesto, we want to be a support and come alongside those people who are most affected. As we look back through history we see convincing evidence “that many disorders could be nipped in the bud if prompt attention could be given.”(3) In addition, Critical Incident Stress Management is proactive in that it aims to promote “the resolution, repair, reconstruction, restoration, and rebuilding of the human spirit, mind, and body after sustaining the damages incurred by prolonged, extreme or overwhelming distress.”(4) This is why members of the Community Hospice Bereavement team attended the recent CISM training. We are committed to our neighbors here in our local and surrounding community, and we want to offer the highest level of compassionate and quality care to everyone we come in contact with. Regardless of what challenges someone may face, they can count on Community Hospice. Our team is so grateful for the opportunity we had to attend the recent certification training in Crisis Stress Management, and we are prepared to respond.

(1) George S. Everly, Jr., PhD, ABPP, FAPA, Assisting Individuals in Crisis, (International Critical Incident Stress Foundation, Inc., Ellicott, MD, 2015), 6.

(2) Jeffrey T. Mitchell, PhD., Group Crisis Intervention, (International Critical Incident Stress Foundation, Inc., Ellicott, MD, 2015), 41-43.

(3) Ibid.

(4) Ibid, 17

The First Call

November 17, 2016

“I am good.” Those are three of the most commonly used words. We use them when we see an acquaintance at the grocery store. We use them when we walk past a coworker at our job. We use them when we are greeted by a waitress at a restaurant. However, the reality is that those three simple words are often a major misrepresentation of how we are actually feeling, especially when someone we love has died.

When we spend so much time in life telling others that we are “good” or “doing ok”, we can actually begin to isolate ourselves from other people in an attempt to avoid dealing with the real pain of grief that we are experiencing. As a result, we don’t naturally tend to let other people know that we need support. We don’t ask for help. This is why making the first call to ask for grief support can be so difficult. When we make the choice to physically pick up the phone, make the call, and speak the words “I need help dealing with the grief I’m experiencing”, we are taking a step to let other people know that, in all actuality, we are not “ok.” In fact, when someone we love dies it can feel as though our heart is being broken and torn apart. The grief we experience when someone dies can leave us feeling devastated.

Each day we receive phone calls from people who are experiencing the pain and challenges of grief. Many of these calls come from people who are picking up the phone to ask for help for the first time. We know that this can feel like one of the most difficult tasks in life. Sometimes, when people call us for the first time they are unable to even speak because they are sobbing from the weight of their grief. That is ok. One time, I talked to someone who was literally sitting in their closet because they didn’t want anyone else in their house to hear them cry or know the depth of their grief. To call a stranger and let them know that someone you deeply love has died is a very personal thing. We understand that completely. It is feel vulnerable risky to make the choice to share your thoughts and feelings with a stranger. However, regardless of how difficult or even impossible it may seem to make that first phone call to ask for grief support, it is also one of the best choices you can ever make. Time and time again, I have heard people share with me about how grateful they are that they decided to call Community Hospice and ask for grief support. Time and time again, I have heard people tell me that their first phone conversation with us gave them true hope.

When someone makes the decision to call us, they often realize that they are not alone. The person who reaches out to us for support will quickly discover that there is another human being who genuinely cares about what they are going through. In fact, there is an entire team of people here at Community Hospice who deeply cares about them.

We are here because we want to walk alongside you during one of the most difficult times of your life. We are here to listen and if you would like, we can give you some helpful tools to use on your journey of grief. The first call may be one of hardest things you do, but I assure you, you will not regret it. It is one of the best choices you can make. It is a choice that will help you to take another step down the road. We are here to take that step with you.

Jeremy Brown, Community Hospice Bereavement Specialist