All posts by Keith Lee

COVID-19 Loss Support Group Highlights Hospice of Michigan’s Series of Virtual Grief Support Sessions

Not-for-profit’s COVID-19 grief support group will be held third Wednesday of every month; all virtual sessions available for anyone mourning the loss of a loved one

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (April 13, 2021) – Hospice of Michigan is continuing to offer virtual grief support groups throughout the spring and summer months for Michiganders experiencing the loss of a loved one.

The ongoing virtual sessions, highlighted by Hospice of Michigan’s first COVID-19-specific grief support group, offer the same content as in-person sessions – and individuals can join by phone or computer. Virtual sessions also ensure bereaved individuals and families receive uninterrupted emotional support while protecting their physical well-being, as well as that of Hospice of Michigan volunteers and staff.

For more information on individual groups, please visit Hospice of Michigan’s Virtual Touch Programs. The following virtual grief support events are scheduled to take place:

Parental Grief Seminar with Guest Speaker Clifford Denay: Author of Parents’ Grief: Daily Meditations for Healing After the Death of a Child

  • Tuesday, May 4 – 1 until 2 p.m.

Living On Grief Support Groups

  • First and third Friday of the month: April 16, May 7 and 21, June 4 and 18, July 2 and 16 and Aug. 6 and 20 – 10:30 until 11:30 a.m.
  • RSVP to Cynthia Palmer: (248) 334-1323 or cpalmer@hom.org
  • First Wednesday of the month: May 5, June 2, July 7 and Aug. 4 – 2 until 3:30 p.m.
  • Second Wednesday of the month: April 14, May 12, June 9, July 14 and Aug. 11 – 1 until 2 p.m.
  • Second Tuesday of the month: April 13, May 11, June 15, July 13 and Aug. 10 – 6 until 7:30 p.m.
  • Third Tuesday of the month: April 20, May 18, June 22, July 20 and Aug. 17 – 1 until 2:30 p.m.

Living On: Loss from COVID

  • Third Wednesday of the month: April 21, May 19, June 16, July 21 and Aug. 18 – 6 until 7:15 p.m.

Living On: Loss of Adult Child

  • Second Thursday of the month: May 13, June 10, July 8 and Aug. 12 – 6 until 7:15 p.m.

Living On: Loss of a Spouse or Partner

  • Second and fourth Thursday of the month: April 22, May 13 and 27, June 10 and 24, July 8 and 22 and Aug. 12 and 26 – 2 until 3:15 p.m.
  • RSVP to Kjirsten Boeve: (231) 929-1557 or kboeve@hom.org

Living On for Young Adults

  • First Monday of the month: May 3, June 7, July 5 and Aug. 2 – 6 until 7:15 p.m.
  • RSVP to Wes Lawton: (586) 263-8514 or wlawton@hom.org

Men Overcoming Loss

  • First Tuesday of the month: May 4, June 1, July 6, and Aug. 3 – 6 until 7:30 p.m.
  • Third Tuesday of the month: April 20, June 18, July 20 and Aug. 17 – 6 until 7:15 p.m.

“More than a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, Hospice of Michigan is honored to offer families mourning the loss of a loved one with safe and effective grief support services,” said Karen Monts, grief support services director for Hospice of Michigan. “When this pandemic started, we were quick to shift our services to a virtual format, and it has proven to be extremely beneficial for everyone involved. We look forward to continuing to provide these critical bereavement services to anybody who needs them.”

For more information on Hospice of Michigan’s virtual grief support groups across the state, please contact Karen Monts at kmonts@HOM.ORG or (313) 578-6326. You can also visit www.hom.org or call (888) 247-5701.

About Hospice of Michigan

A nationally recognized leader in end-of-life care, Hospice of Michigan (HOM) is the original – and largest – hospice in the state. A founding member of the NorthStar Care Community, the not-for-profit delivers the highest quality of care, raising more than $5 million each year to cover costs for the uninsured and underinsured. HOM offers a broad range of services to enhance the quality of life at the end of life. HOM also provides grief support and counseling, as well as caregiver education and support. A member of the NorthStar Care Community, HOM also provides palliative care through NorthStar Palliative Care, pediatric hospice care and compassionate support services through Jo Elyn Nyman Anchors Programs for Children, and education programs for physicians and health care professionals through the NorthStar Institute. The NorthStar Care Community also includes Arbor Hospice. In total, NorthStar Care Community members serve nearly 5,400 patients annually across Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. For more information, call 888-247-5701 or visit www.hom.org.

National Volunteer Week Spotlight: Volunteers Make a Difference at Hospice of Michigan and Arbor Hospice

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (April 9, 2021) – Hospice of Michigan and Arbor Hospice, both members of the NorthStar Care Community, are celebrating its dedicated team of statewide volunteers during National Volunteer Week, April 18 – 24, 2021.

The not-for-profits rely on volunteers every day across the state to deliver compassionate care to patients during what is arguably the toughest time of their lives. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, volunteering sustained by shifting from in-person to virtual volunteer visits to safely continue providing socialization and companionship to patients, and relief for their caregivers. This crucial role continues to evolve as in-person volunteer opportunities reemerge in select communities.

Hospice volunteers are courageous and compassionate. Hospice of Michigan and Arbor Hospice are proud to celebrate those who generously give their time and talents to help others. While no two volunteers have the same experience, all volunteers offer countless benefits to the patients, families and not-for-profits they serve. Some examples of this include:

  • Listening to patients during virtual and in-person companionship visits
  • Engaging with patients through music – both live performance and watching videos together
  • Providing crucial moments of relief for caregivers and family members
  • Bringing joy to patients with fun and relaxing pet visits
  • Handwriting cards during the pandemic to remind patients they are not alone
  • Delivering cheer to homebound patients in the form of colorful floral arrangements
  • Helping with office work virtually to support the mission of Every Person, Every Time

“Volunteers make a real difference in the lives of patients and families,” said Alison Wagner, Director of Volunteer Services and Complementary Therapies for Hospice of Michigan and Arbor Hospice. “We are truly thankful for their endless generosity, compassionate support and unyielding dedication to our mission and our communities – not only during National Volunteer Week, but every day.”

To learn more about becoming a volunteer with Hospice of Michigan, visit hom.org. To learn more about becoming a volunteer with Arbor Hospice, visit arborhospice.org. No special experience is required to volunteer. For those who have experienced a loss, the organizations encourage a waiting period of one year before becoming a hospice volunteer to allow for the processing of grief.

About NorthStar Care Community

NorthStar Care Community (NSCC) was created to preserve and promote the mission of nonprofit hospice and palliative care – to deliver expert, compassionate care to patients of any age, no matter their diagnoses, complexity of care, place of residence or ability to pay. NorthStar Care Community was formed in 2017 by two legacy nonprofit hospice agencies – Hospice of Michigan and Arbor Hospice – and also includes NorthStar Palliative Care, the NorthStar Institute and Jo Elyn Nyman Anchors Programs for Children. As members of the NSCC family, the organizations combine operational resources in order to maximize support at each patient’s bedside, delivering the highest standards of care to those who are seriously ill. In total, NorthStar Care Community members serve nearly 6,500 patients annually across Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. For more information about NorthStar Care Community, visit www.northstarcarecommunity.org.

Hospice of Michigan to Host Virtual Training for New Volunteers

Not-for-profit seeks individuals to assist patients and families in Holland, Muskegon, Grand Rapids, Big Rapids and Ludington

 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., (March 12, 2021)Hospice of Michigan is looking for compassionate volunteers to help patients and families dealing with life-limiting illnesses in communities throughout west Michigan. Residents interested in donating their time can virtually attend a new volunteer orientation from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, March 26.

Hospice of Michigan has a specific need for volunteers in Holland, Muskegon, Grand Rapids, Big Rapids and Ludington who can make a real difference in the lives of others:

  • Veteran volunteers to visit with veteran patients and participate in veteran pinning ceremonies.
  • Pet volunteers to visit patients with their four-legged companions to provide interaction, entertainment and enjoyment.

West Michigan native Pam Mohrhardt always wanted to volunteer, but never seemed to have the time. When she retired as a nurse and administrator for Christian Care Assisted Living in Muskegon, she wanted to fill her days with purpose. Working with seniors in a care facility showed Mohrhardt, firsthand, the excellent care Hospice of Michigan provides patients and families and inspired her to make a difference through volunteering. Now she encourages her community to ‘just try it.’

“Ask yourself what you can offer to others,” said Mohrhardt. “Whether it’s reading to a patient or just talking to them, you form a relationship with those you visit. You’re giving them a better quality of life through your time together.”

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the not-for-profit shifted from in-person to virtual volunteer visits to safely continue providing socialization and companionship to patients, and relief for their caregivers.

Hospice of Michigan volunteers are vital in helping to deliver exceptional, compassionate support to patients and families according to its mission of caring for patients wherever they call home, right in the same community in which its volunteers live. No special experience is required to volunteer.

Those interested in volunteering can contact Megan Cadle at 616-356-5233 or mcadle@hom.org to register for March training. To learn more about Hospice of Michigan and becoming a volunteer, visit www.hom.org.

About Hospice of Michigan

A nationally recognized leader in end-of-life care, Hospice of Michigan (HOM) is the original – and largest – hospice in the state. A founding member of the NorthStar Care Community, the not-for-profit delivers the highest quality of care, raising more than $5 million each year to cover costs for the uninsured and underinsured. HOM offers a broad range of services to enhance the quality of life at the end of life. HOM also provides grief support and counseling, as well as caregiver education and support. A member of the NorthStar Care Community, HOM also provides palliative care through NorthStar Palliative Care, pediatric hospice care and compassionate support services through Jo Elyn Nyman Anchors Programs for Children, and education programs for physicians and health care professionals through the NorthStar Institute. The NorthStar Care Community also includes Arbor Hospice. In total, NorthStar Care Community members serve nearly 5,400 patients annually across Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. For more information, call 888-247-5701 or visit www.hom.org.

Hospice of Michigan Seeks Sewers to Create Memory Bears to Comfort Grieving Families

ANN ARBOR, Mich., (March 10, 2021)Hospice of Michigan is currently seeking volunteers with sewing experience to create ‘Memory Bears’ to help comfort families who have lost loved ones.

The Memory Bear program was created in June 2014 by the not-for-profit’s grief support services department to help bereaved Hospice of Michigan families capture and preserve aspects of their loved ones within one-of-a-kind stuffed animals. As the initiative continues to gain popularity among bereaved families, more volunteers are needed to meet sewing demands.

Memory Bears are approximately eight inches in height, and made with compassion and love by skilled volunteers. Families are encouraged to bring clothing of a loved one for sewers to use in creating a commemorative teddy bear. Hospice of Michigan patient families may receive one uniquely designed memory bear per each family.

“Memories can last a lifetime. Often, patient families choose a favorite shirt or color to make the bear even more characteristic of their loved one,” said Karen Monts, director of grief support services for Hospice of Michigan. “Hospice of Michigan’s Memory Bear program gives families a special keepsake to cherish even after their loved one has passed.”

For those who have experienced a loss, Hospice of Michigan encourages a waiting period of one year before becoming a hospice volunteer to allow for the processing of grief.

If you or someone you know is interested in donating time to the Memory Bear program, contact the grief support manager in your community:

For more information about Hospice of Michigan, visit www.hom.org.

About Hospice of Michigan

A nationally recognized leader in end-of-life care, Hospice of Michigan (HOM) is the original – and largest – hospice in the state. A founding member of the NorthStar Care Community, the not-for-profit delivers the highest quality of care, raising more than $5 million each year to cover costs for the uninsured and underinsured. HOM offers a broad range of services to enhance the quality of life at the end of life. HOM also provides grief support and counseling, as well as caregiver education and support. A member of the NorthStar Care Community, HOM also provides palliative care through NorthStar Palliative Care, pediatric hospice care and compassionate support services through Jo Elyn Nyman Anchors Programs for Children, and education programs for physicians and health care professionals through the NorthStar Institute. The NorthStar Care Community also includes Arbor Hospice. In total, NorthStar Care Community members serve nearly 5,400 patients annually across Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. For more information, call 888-247-5701 or visit www.hom.org.

Hospice of Michigan, Arbor Hospice to Host Virtual Music Therapy Sessions for Children and Adults Coping with Grief

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (Feb. 4, 2020) – Hospice of Michigan and Arbor Hospice, members of the NorthStar Care Community, will host virtual music therapy grief support sessions for children and adults who are coping with grief after experiencing the death of a loved one.

The groups will meet via Zoom on Saturday, Feb. 20 beginning at 11 a.m. with “Mini Music Arts Camp for Kids: Coping with Grief and Loss.” Music supplies in the form of egg shakers will be delivered to all children who sign up for the event. A second virtual session, “Resilience: Exploring Grief and Loss through Music for Adults,” will begin at noon and focus on adults going through the grieving process. Both events are free of charge and will feature Hospice of Michigan and Arbor Hospice’s specially trained music therapists – allowing individuals who are not under hospice care to experience how music therapists use the profound power of music to comfort their patients.

The benefits of music therapy are widely recognized in the healthcare field as having both immediate and long-term effects in addressing the physical, emotional, cognitive and social needs of individuals of all ages. With the universal power to affect emotions, the right kind of music can enhance relaxation to ease pain and anxiety – bringing comfort to patients physically, emotionally and spiritually to help in ways that other forms of treatment or therapy cannot.

“Research has shown the effectiveness of music therapy even in patients who are resistant to other treatment approaches,” said Rachael Lawrence-Lupton, MA, MT-BC and music therapy supervisor for NorthStar Care Community. “Our music therapists engage patients with music in ways best suited for their needs and preferences, allowing them to feel heard and validated. The music brings them back to themselves and opens them up to connection with others.”

Individuals who wish to participate in either music therapy grief support session must RSVP by Friday, Feb. 12 to Lawrence-Lupton at (734) 846-7638 or rlawrence-lupton@arborhospice.org.  A Zoom link will be provided upon registration.

The sessions are accessible to anyone across the state, regardless of whether their loved one was under Hospice of Michigan or Arbor Hospice’s care. For more information about Hospice of Michigan and Arbor Hospice’s music therapy programs, please visit www.hom.org/music-therapy or www.arborhospice.org/our-care-services/therapies/music-therapy.

About NorthStar Care Community

NorthStar Care Community (NSCC) was created to preserve and promote the mission of nonprofit hospice and palliative care – to deliver expert, compassionate care to patients of any age, no matter their diagnoses, complexity of care, place of residence or ability to pay. NorthStar Care Community was formed in 2017 by two legacy nonprofit hospice agencies – Hospice of Michigan and Arbor Hospice – and also includes NorthStar Palliative Care, the NorthStar Institute and Jo Elyn Nyman Anchors Programs for Children. As members of the NSCC family, the organizations combine operational resources in order to maximize support at each patient’s bedside, delivering the highest standards of care to those who are seriously ill. In total, NorthStar Care Community members serve nearly 6,500 patients annually across Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. For more information about NorthStar Care Community, visit www.northstarcarecommunity.org.

Hospice of Michigan Welcomes Kjirsten Boeve as Grief Support Services Manager in Traverse City

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (Dec. 16, 2020) Hospice of Michigan announces Kjirsten Boeve, MA, LPC as grief support services manager in Traverse City, Michigan. Boeve’s primary responsibilities include development and implementation of grief support service and educational programs for bereaved individuals including Hospice of Michigan families and community members.

Her previous experience includes counseling, grief support and support specialist positions at Michael’s Place and Post Adoption Resource Center, both in Traverse City.

Boeve received her Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois and a Master of Arts in counseling from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She is a Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC) by the National Board for Certified Counselors, Inc. and is currently seeking recertification in thanatology through the Association of Death Education and Counseling.

She currently resides in Traverse City with her husband and four children.

About Hospice of Michigan

A nationally recognized leader in end-of-life care, Hospice of Michigan (HOM) is the original – and largest – hospice in the state. A founding member of the NorthStar Care Community, the not-for-profit delivers the highest quality of care, raising more than $5 million each year to cover costs for the uninsured and underinsured. HOM offers a broad range of services to enhance the quality of life at the end of life. HOM also provides grief support and counseling, as well as caregiver education and support. A member of the NorthStar Care Community, HOM also provides palliative care through NorthStar Palliative Care, pediatric hospice care and compassionate support services through Jo Elyn Nyman Anchors Programs for Children, and education programs for physicians and health care professionals through the NorthStar Institute. The NorthStar Care Community also includes Arbor Hospice. In total, NorthStar Care Community members serve nearly 5,400 patients annually across Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. For more information, call 888.247.5701 or visit www.hom.org.

Hospice of Michigan Receives $2,500 Grant From Community Foundation for Muskegon County

Funds provided from Youth Advisory Council Fund will benefit not-for-profit’s grief support programs

MUSKEGON, Mich. (Dec. 11, 2020) Hospice of Michigan, the state’s original and largest not-for-profit hospice provider, has received a $2,500 grant from the Community Foundation for Muskegon County, a 501(c)(3) that provides grants to churches, schools, agencies and other organizations in greater Muskegon County. This project is made possible by a grant from the Youth Advisory Council Fund of the Community Foundation for Muskegon County, and will benefit Hospice of Michigan’s grief support programs that serve Muskegon and its surrounding communities.

The Community Foundation for Muskegon County has various grantmaking committees comprised of community stakeholders – namely volunteers in the community who align their personal passions with a specific focus area. Hospice of Michigan’s funding source was issued by the Youth Advisory Council grantmaking committee, a group with the goal of aiding mental health needs for youth.

“This grant from the Community Foundation for Muskegon County is a major blessing for us,” said Karen Monts, director of grief support services for Hospice of Michigan. “2020 has been hard on so many families and individuals, especially those who’ve lost a loved one. People across the entire state, including in the Muskegon area, rely on our grief support programs to guide them through the grieving process. Grants like this allow Hospice of Michigan to continue providing these essential programs to the people who need them.”

Hospice of Michigan has been offering virtual grief support groups across the state since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The not-for-profit is sensitive to the continuing impact of COVID-19 and the anxiety felt by those grieving the loss of a loved one during these uncertain times. Virtual sessions ensure bereaved individuals and families receive uninterrupted emotional support while protecting their physical well-being, as well as that of Hospice of Michigan’s volunteers and staff.

Virtual grief support sessions offer the same content as in-person sessions as well. Attendees can join by phone or computer and may register for as many sessions as they would like. For more information on Hospice of Michigan’s virtual grief support groups and sessions, please visit the not-for-profit’s Virtual Touch Programs website or www.hom.org.

About Hospice of Michigan

A nationally recognized leader in end-of-life care, Hospice of Michigan (HOM) is the original – and largest – hospice in the state. A founding member of the NorthStar Care Community, the not-for-profit delivers the highest quality of care, raising more than $5 million each year to cover costs for the uninsured and underinsured. HOM offers a broad range of services to enhance the quality of life at the end of life. HOM also provides grief support and counseling, as well as caregiver education and support. A member of the NorthStar Care Community, HOM also provides palliative care through NorthStar Palliative Care, pediatric hospice care and compassionate support services through Jo Elyn Nyman Anchors Programs for Children, and education programs for physicians and health care professionals through the NorthStar Institute. The NorthStar Care Community also includes Arbor Hospice. In total, NorthStar Care Community members serve nearly 5,400 patients annually across Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. For more information, call 888.247.5701 or visit www.hom.org.

Hospice of Michigan to Host ‘A Time of Remembrance’ Virtual Grief Support Event

Online memorial to be held on November 10 to honor and remember lost loved ones

LUDINGTON Mich. (Oct. 28, 2020) – Hospice of Michigan, the state’s original and largest not-for-profit hospice provider, will host an online ‘Time of Remembrance’ grief support event via Zoom on Tuesday, Nov. 10 from 7 until 8:30 p.m. Any individuals or families who have lost a loved one, regardless of whether they received care from Hospice of Michigan, are welcome to attend the free program.

Attendees will take the time to honor and reflect upon the loved ones they have lost in their lives through readings and reflections. Participants are also encouraged to share photos of their friends or family members during the hour and a half event.

Hospice of Michigan is sensitive to the continuing impact of COVID-19 and the anxiety felt by those grieving the loss of a loved one during these uncertain times. Virtual sessions ensure bereaved individuals and families receive uninterrupted emotional support while protecting their physical well-being, as well as that of Hospice of Michigan’s volunteers and staff.

To sign up for the ‘Time of Remembrance’ event, please contact Katie Gedraitis at (231) 845-3423 or email kgedrait@hom.org. A Zoom link will be provided upon registration.

Virtual grief support sessions offer the same content as in-person sessions as well. Attendees can join by phone or computer and may register for as many sessions as they would like. For more information on Hospice of Michigan’s virtual grief support groups and sessions, please visit the not-for-profit’s Virtual Touch Programs website or www.hom.org.

About Hospice of Michigan

A nationally recognized leader in end-of-life care, Hospice of Michigan (HOM) is the original – and largest – hospice in the state. A founding member of the NorthStar Care Community, the not-for-profit delivers the highest quality of care, raising more than $5 million each year to cover costs for the uninsured and underinsured. HOM offers a broad range of services to enhance the quality of life at the end of life. HOM also provides grief support and counseling, as well as caregiver education and support. A member of the NorthStar Care Community, HOM also provides palliative care through NorthStar Palliative Care, pediatric hospice care and compassionate support services through Jo Elyn Nyman Anchors Programs for Children, and education programs for physicians and health care professionals through the NorthStar Institute. The NorthStar Care Community also includes Arbor Hospice. In total, NorthStar Care Community members serve nearly 5,400 patients annually across Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. For more information, call 888.247.5701 or visit www.hom.org.

Hospice of Michigan, Arbor Hospice Launch $1 Million Statewide Van Allsburg Pediatric Hospice Art Program

Virtual experience provides fun, educational and creative opportunities for pediatric patients and their families to express themselves artistically

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (Oct. 22, 2020) – Two clay owl sculptures crafted in an elementary school art class decades ago by Lisa and Chris (author, The Polar Express, Jumanji) Van Allsburg’s daughters are the inspiration behind the $1 million Van Allsburg Pediatric Hospice Art Program recently created by Hospice of Michigan (HOM) and Arbor Hospice.

Part of Jo Elyn Nyman Anchors Programs for Children, the initiative provides expressive art sessions to pediatric hospice patients and their families across Michigan’s lower peninsula. Children participate in a variety of art mediums which take them on journeys exploring animals, nature, distant lands or wherever their imaginations lead them – all in a virtual setting from inside the comfort of their own home.

Anne Krenselewski of Grand Rapids, a retired art teacher specially trained to work with seriously ill children, teaches these special one-on-one sessions at least twice a week on a volunteer basis. Families are mailed the necessary art supplies prior to their first session, and once each household receives the items, the virtual programs can begin.

“These art sessions have provided a nice time for us to do something relaxing and fun together as a family,” said Lisa Bozeman, a Dexter, Michigan mother whose five-year-old son had been served by the Anchors Programs’ care. “Anne and the entire Anchors team have been extremely supportive through all of this, and the art program was the perfect thing that came along at the perfect time. We’ve been able to do this at home where we’re relaxed and comfortable, and that’s been very reassuring.”

The Van Allsburg Pediatric Hospice Art Program is designed to cater to and support an entire family – not just the patient. In fact, Lisa and her older son, who is nine, get the most out of this experience.

“My nine-year-old really wasn’t into art during school,” added Lisa. “But these virtual sessions and the special time he gets to spend with his brother have made him feel good – and that makes me happy.”

Lisa Van Allsburg, a former schoolteacher herself, single-handedly inspired several prominently generous Michigan philanthropists to join her and her husband, Chris, in establishing the program. The Steve and Amy Van Andel Foundation, The Towsley Foundation, Richard and Norma Sarns and an anonymous donor responded to the Van Allsburgs’ appeal, quadrupling their $250,000 donation into the program’s $1 million funding milestone.

“Art is a big part of our family’s life,” said Lisa. “It fills our home and the precious owls our daughters made are more valuable to Chris and me than anything we’ve collected. There’s nothing more pure or meaningful than a child’s masterpiece, and we’re thankful to our friends in the community who share that belief and have joined us in taking the program from a dream to a reality. Art is healing, and through this program, Hospice of Michigan and Arbor Hospice can bring additional comfort to pediatric patients and their families.”

When the nonprofits started exploring ways to launch the Van Allsburg Pediatric Hospice Art Program, they discovered Krenselewski, a recently retired teacher who had the time and resources available to teach these sessions. Krenselewski taught for 45 years, 20 of which were spent as an art teacher.

“I get so much out of this; teaching and providing these art sessions for pediatric patients and their families is arguably the most meaningful thing I’ve ever done in my life,” Krenselewski said. “With this virtual environment, it’s much more intimate because you’re doing the classes one-on-one, and everything doesn’t have to be perfect – and that’s the beauty in all of this. The kids have more choices and opportunities to thrive in the comfort of their own homes, surrounded by their families.”

These lessons offer much more than creative expression. The home-based sessions provide pediatric patients and their families an enjoyable respite from the pressures and realities surrounding end-of-life.

“We don’t focus on the child’s medical issues during these lessons. We focus on the family unit,” said Nicole Johanson, an Anchors pediatric social worker. “A lot of love and joy has been brought to our patients and families who have been able to access program. Anne is amazing, and you can tell how incredibly talented she is and how much she enjoys teaching these art lessons. Our families love working with her.”

Pediatric social workers like Johanson offer the Van Allsburg Pediatric Hospice Art Program to families with children who are under HOM and Arbor Hospice’s care, and so far, clients have been very receptive and willing to give it a try. Once families are signed up, they can participate in the weekly sessions, which last between 45 to 60 minutes.

“Every child we care for has a unique story to tell,” said Jim Fahner, M.D., founder and pediatric medical director for Jo Elyn Nyman Anchors Programs for Children. “The Van Allsburg Pediatric Hospice Art Program will help them tell it. We are grateful to the Van Allsburgs for spearheading this transformative program and to our other philanthropic supporters for their continued generosity.”

“As a hospice nurse for 15 years, one of the things I’ve learned is that there is no one as wise as a child who’s living with a terminal illness,” added Amy Van Andel, co-founder of the Steve and Amy Van Andel Foundation and supporter of HOM’s Van Allsburg Pediatric Hospice Art Program. “Being able to see this launch from the ground up has been a pleasure to see and be part of – and it speaks volumes of the dedication and commitment of our communities for patients loved ones.”

HOM and Arbor Hospice welcome additional donations to the Van Allsburg Pediatric Hospice Art by contacting Senior Vice President, Chief Development Officer Marcie Hillary at mhillary@hom.org or 616-356-5256. Funding will also support the nonprofits’ existing plaster mold art therapy program, which captures three-dimensional hand keepsakes for patients and families.

For more information about HOM’s services, please visit www.hom.org. For information about Arbor Hospice, visit www.arborhospice.org. Details about the Jo Elyn Nyman Anchors Programs for Children can be found at www.anchors4children.org.

About Hospice of Michigan

A nationally recognized leader in end-of-life care, Hospice of Michigan (HOM) is the original – and largest – hospice in the state. A founding member of the NorthStar Care Community, the not-for-profit delivers the highest quality of care, raising more than $5 million each year to cover costs for the uninsured and underinsured. HOM offers a broad range of services to enhance the quality of life at the end of life. HOM also provides grief support and counseling, as well as caregiver education and support. A member of the NorthStar Care Community, HOM also provides palliative care through NorthStar Palliative Care, pediatric hospice care and compassionate support services through Jo Elyn Nyman Anchors Programs for Children, and education programs for physicians and health care professionals through the NorthStar Institute. The NorthStar Care Community also includes Arbor Hospice. In total, NorthStar Care Community members serve nearly 5,400 patients annually across Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. For more information, call 888.247.5701 or visit www.hom.org.

Hospice of Michigan Welcomes New Volunteer Program Coordinator

Breanna Rodwell is responsible for coordination of volunteers to meet patient and family needs

FREMONT, Mich. (Oct. 16, 2020) – Hospice of Michigan is pleased to announce Breanna Rodwell as its new volunteer program coordinator in West Michigan, serving the Big Rapids, Fremont and Ludington communities.

In this position, Rodwell is responsible for identifying and recruiting patient care volunteers for Hospice of Michigan’s robust volunteer program, which uses the gifts of people from across the state to give comfort and care to patients at end-of-life.

Rodwell comes to Hospice of Michigan from the Emmet County Sheriff’s Office, where she spent eight years as the office manager for the department. Her experience also includes positions at the Little Traverse Bay Bands Police Department, serving as a dispatcher and the dispatch manager. She earned an Associate of Arts in business from North Central Michigan College in Petoskey, as well as certificates in business management and supervision from Ferris State University in Big Rapids. Rodwell currently resides in Fremont.

“Hospice of Michigan is made up of a wonderful, caring, loving group of people that make a positive impact on people’s lives in our communities across Michigan,” said Rodwell. “In the short time I’ve been here, I have learned that hospice care is about love and compassion. I am proud to be part of a team of individuals doing everything they can to provide the best care and comfort for our patients.”

About Hospice of Michigan

A nationally recognized leader in end-of-life care, Hospice of Michigan (HOM) is the original – and largest – hospice in the state. A founding member of the NorthStar Care Community, the not-for-profit delivers the highest quality of care, raising more than $5 million each year to cover costs for the uninsured and underinsured. HOM offers a broad range of services to enhance the quality of life at the end of life. HOM also provides grief support and counseling, as well as caregiver education and support. A member of the NorthStar Care Community, HOM also provides palliative care through NorthStar Palliative Care, pediatric hospice care and compassionate support services through Jo Elyn Nyman Anchors Programs for Children, and education programs for physicians and health care professionals through the NorthStar Institute. The NorthStar Care Community also includes Arbor Hospice. In total, NorthStar Care Community members serve nearly 5,400 patients annually across Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. For more information, call 888.247.5701 or visit www.hom.org.