The Mountain States Hospice Program needs more volunteers to serve Washington, Sulllivan, Carter, and Greene Counties. A new training program, like the one that got me involved, will be held on February 27-28, 8:30-12-30, at the hospice office, 101 Med Tech Park, Suite 100. (This is just off Knob Creek across from People’s Drive).
I wholeheartedly recommend the training program and am glad that I decided to volunteer. It has been a rewarding and interesting experience, and I feel good about being able to be of some use to families needing some relief, help and comfort in difficult times. I’m not a nurse, so I just read, visit, and do what I can to give family members some time to get away from home.
Others have different talents, and the needs, personalities and situations vary widely. The emphasis is not on “dying” but on living as they choose as they face the end of life, making them comfortable and serving them in whatever way one can. The nurses provide more professional care, with emphasis on compassion.
This was something I’d thought about for a long time, and I got the final impetus when I sold a home to the family of the director of Mountain States Hospice when they moved to this area.
Another special friend there is Lena Onks, who coordinates the training and is a valuable resource. One of the people who trained with me provided another serendipity for my collection. When Patricia Nicely mentioned to her father, Dr. Richard Skalko, that Mary Sheridan was in the program with her, he recognized me as the wife of Michael Sheridan, who had taught with him in the Anatomy Department at Quillen College of Medicine. Unexpected connections pop up frequently.
Come get involved. They can use people who visit, or people who want to work in the office. Lena can give more information at 431-7608 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
My current hospice friend is a retired Ob/Gyn who spent his whole professional life in this area and who seems to know just about everyone. His stories are fascinating and we both enjoy what he chooses for me to read. He’s to be the object of a TV interview about Mountain States Hospice to be filmed this morning. I can imagine that many, many people will remember with affection and gratitude what he did for their families. He remembers many of them, and a lot of interesting details of a life well lived.
More information about Mountain States Hospice is in a recent post by Jeff Lemming, Assistant City Manager for Development for Kingsport, which is also one of the areas served by MSHospice. A similar article appeared in the Johnson City Press..