Tracy Rosinski, regional veteran liaison for ProMedica Home Health and Hospice agencies in Wisconsin and Northern Illinois, tells her story about a conversation she had with a veteran that helped her realize it is important to have a specific intention behind each "thank you".Show More
Words Of Appreciation
Our agency frequently receives recognition for the care we have provided to a patient or someone’s loved one. Many tell us they don't have the words to describe their appreciation and simply say "Thanks." Below are comments and letters from patients and family members sharing their gratitude.
Each Individual Veteran's Story Matters
Tracy Rosinski, regional veteran liaison for ProMedica Home Health and Hospice agencies in Wisconsin and Northern Illinois, tells her story about a conversation she had with a veteran that helped her realize it is important to have a specific intention behind each "thank you".
“As a civilian whenever I would meet a man or woman who served our country in the military, I would say, 'thank you for your service'. My words were well-intentioned and came from a sincere place.
This was until I met Jim. Jim was introduced to me as a Marine who served in the Korean War; more specifically, the Chosin Reservoir. I instinctively thanked Jim for his service.
I was not familiar with this battle, the Chosin Reservoir. I did not remember learning about it in high school so long ago and I had never met someone who spoke about it. That night I looked up the Chosin Reservoir. I was in tears. My tears were not because of the insane conditions these men were fighting in—and against. My tears came from a place of embarrassment. I thanked Jim without knowing the true service and sacrifice he gave our country. At this point, my thank you felt empty. I had met someone who fought in one of the most savage battles in Marine Corp history. The next day, I was with Jim again and told him about my research the night before. I offered him an apology for my ignorance when I thanked him the day prior. I asked Jim if I could thank him appropriately. I explained that I had no idea of the battle he served in and thanked him for teaching me a very important lesson that I would remember when thanking Veterans in the future. We embraced and from that day began to develop a strong friendship.
When Jim and I would meet, I learned a little more about him as a person, as a father, as a husband. I became friends with someone who served as a frontline machine gunner and a squad leader in 5 major battles, including the battle of the Chosin Reservoir. I learned that Jim was a recipient of several military decorations including the Purple Heart Medal for injuries he received on the battlefield. I learned about Jim’s story.
Those who served in the military have his or her own story surrounding time in service and individual sacrifices were made. Not all stories are the same and not every person has the same experience. The story matters and the individual Veteran matters.
My lesson: Give intention to my thank you. Before I thank an individual Veteran for his or her service, I ask questions so that I may offer an informed thank you. Some questions I ask: What branch did you serve? When did you serve? How long did you serve? What was your job while serving?
Nowadays, I am not thanking a Veteran…I am thanking a 'Jim' who enlisted at age 17 and served four years (1948-1952) in the Marine Corp as a machine gunner in the battle of the Chosin Reservoir in the Korean War.”
"Anything that we can do for our patients during this time is done because we care... and it's done with love."Show More
Heartland Hospice Serving East Central Wisconsin Nurses and Hospice Team Deliver Heartening Message
Heartland Hospice Serving East Central Wisconsin Volunteer Coordinator, Amy Docter, thought it would be a great idea to have employees deliver a message to patients, families and the community using signs: "I thought it was a wonderful way to deliver a message to those feeling isolated and alone during these difficult times. The video shows each of us along with our signs and then together at the end. Even though we are not physically together, we are all experiencing the same feelings and emotions. I also think the nurses really related to this message. Anything we can do for our patients during this time, even simply sending them a card or putting a sign outside their window, is done because we care... and it's done with love."
Pictured in the video: Amanda Floyd (RN Case Manager), Ann Neitzel (RN Case Manager), Stacey Stone (RN Case Manager), Chris Wales (Administrator), Kim Boehnlein (LPN), Terry Gahl (Account Liaison).
"Our team wanted to deliver a message to those feeling isolated and alone during these difficult times."Show More
Heartland Hospice Serving East Central Wisconsin Delivers Encouraging Message
Heartland Hospice Serving East Central Wisconsin Volunteer Coordinator, Amy Docter, thought it would be a great idea to have employees deliver a message to patients, families and the community using signs: "I thought it was a wonderful way to deliver a message to those feeling isolated and alone during these difficult times. The video shows each of us along with our signs and then together at the end. Even though we are not physically together, we are all experiencing the same feelings and emotions. Anything we can do for our patients during this time, even simply sending them a card or putting a sign outside their window, is done because we care... and it's done with love."
Pictured in the video: Shiloh Jones (Social Worker), Linda Wein (Bereavement Coordinator), Pao Yang (Social Worker), Owen Priepke (Patient Care Manager), Kayln Hungerford (Social Worker), Amy Docter (Volunteer Coordinator)
At Heartland, our Veteran volunteers are essential to the delivery of quality hospice care for our Veteran patients.Show More
Veteran-to-Veteran Volunteer Honors Heartland Hospice
Heartland Hospice is dedicated to serving those who have served our country. Taking the time and making the effort to care for and honor our Veterans when they reach end of life is the goal of our We Honor Veterans program. This program is a collaborative effort with the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization to help caregivers be better equipped to understand the unique needs of dying Veterans.
The Veteran-to-Veteran volunteer initiative plays an important role in the success of any We Honor Veterans program. At Heartland, our Veteran volunteers are essential to the delivery of quality hospice care for our Veteran patients. These volunteers have the ability to relate and connect with our patients who have served and help them to tell their stories through life review.
Master Sergeant Jake Kowalski, one of Heartland’s Vet-to-Vet volunteers, recently returned from his 4th deployment in Southwest Asia. Master Sergeant Kowalski is an Air Force National Guard, 128th Air Refueling Wing and has been in the military for 18 years. After he returned to the states and started to adjust to life back home, Master Sergeant Kowalski stopped by the Heartland Hospice Serving East Central Wisconsin office to deliver a gift.
It was with great humility and gratitude that he accepted the flag that had been flown on a combat mission over Southwest Asia in an F-22 Raptor, in honor of Heartland Hospice. When asked why he chose to honor us in this way, Master Sergeant Kowalski said, “Because of Heartland’s dedication in providing excellent care to local Veterans.”
Master Sergeant Kowalski also presented Heartland with a challenge coin that his unit designed. “These coins are a way to show appreciation and are presented to people for a job well done” he explained. “Collections of challenge coins are often displayed at desks or on a wall so others can observe them as a roadmap of where the coin holder has been.”
In order to properly display the flag, it was taken to the local American Legion Trier-Puddy Post #75 in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Greg Teichmiller, Vietnam Army Veteran and member of the Executive Board for the Legion, offered to fold the flag in the traditional triangle. Greg described the meaning behind the folding of the flag as representing the tri-cornered hat worn by the soldiers who served under George Washington. Greg has a wealth of knowledge about the history of the American Legion and Veteran activities in the area.
The flag and certificate are now proudly displayed in the front entryway at Heartland’s office. It serves as a reminder that Heartland Hospice is truly honored to care for Veterans and their families.
Heartland Home Health and Hospice has been selected as the 2018 Veteran Friendly Business of the Year by the Wisconsin Veterans Chamber of Commerce and their nearly 200 members.Show More
Heartland Hospice Committed to Veteran Patients, Employees and Community
Heartland Home Health and Hospice has been selected as the 2018 Veteran Friendly Business of the Year by the Wisconsin Veterans Chamber of Commerce and their nearly 200 members. The Wisconsin Veterans Chamber of Commerce is a membership-based business organization serving veterans and military families by supporting veteran-owned and veteran-friendly businesses across Wisconsin.
“Heartland Home Health and Hospice has helped to grow and support Wisconsin’s veteran business community.” said Saul Newton, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Veterans Chamber of Commerce. “Our economy, our communities, and our state are stronger when veterans succeed. We are proud to recognize them and the work they’ve done to expand economic opportunity for military veterans, military service members, and military families.”
Heartland was selected not only for their commitment and contributions to the Veterans Chamber of Commerce but also for their commitment to their veteran employees, patients and the veteran community. Tracy Rosinski, Heartland Manager of Business Development was presented with the award for 2018 Veteran Friendly Business of the Year at the Wisconsin Veterans Business Conference this past spring at the Potawatomi Hotel and Casino.
“We have a unique responsibility to offer our patients a chance to heal emotionally at the end of life; especially our veterans. I am humbled at the opportunity to educate the community on the needs that dying veterans have at the end of life and increase awareness of the care Heartland provides to our veteran patients, their families and our communities,” explained Tracy.
"As a hospice volunteer, Jake has been an integral part of our Veteran-to-Veteran program, upon hearing of his deployment we knew we had to do something for him and his unit."Show More
Heartland Team Collects Care Packages for Deployed Volunteer
To volunteer one’s time and talent to help others is truly a gift. At Heartland Hospice serving East Central Wisconsin, we treasure our volunteers for the difference they make in the lives of our patients and their families every day.
Jake Kowalski is one of those rare people who not only volunteers his time for our hospice patients, but also serves our country as a Master Sergeant in the Air Force National Guard, 128th Air Refueling Wing. Jake has been in the military for about 18 years.
When asked why he volunteers, Jake replied, “I got my feet wet in volunteering by becoming a bell ringer with the Salvation Army, but I wanted to do more. I decided to search for volunteer work that would impact Veterans.” After seeing an ad for Hospice Volunteers, particularly Heartland’s Veteran-to-Veteran program, Jake knew it would be a good match for him.
Jake reflected, “Over the last couple years, the program has been just as beneficial to me as it is to our older Veterans. I feel honored when they open up and share their experiences with me. There seems to be a natural bond between us that makes it feel like old friends swapping war stories. It’s amazing that although decades have passed between their wars and mine, we share a strong connection having experienced similar fears, emotions, and sacrifices.”
“Jake has been an integral part of our Veteran-to-Veteran volunteer program,” commented Brooke Vis, Heartland Volunteer Coordinator. Recently, Jake informed Brooke that he would have to suspend his volunteering as he was going to be deployed for his 4th time to Southwest Asia. After hearing about Jake’s deployment, Brooke explained, “I knew we had to do something for him and his unit.”
As word got out about Jake’s deployment, donations came pouring in. Heartland collected: socks, books, DVD’s, candy, jerky, games, lip balm, Kleenex, hand sanitizer, body wash, shampoo, sun screen, wet wipes, and water flavoring packets and more for Jake and his unit. Two local businesses generously donated also…Taco Bell gave a case of hot sauces and Midwest Dental gave toothbrushes, toothpaste, and floss. In all, Heartland shipped out four large boxes!
Every birthday is special, but when someone lives through an entire century, that birthday truly is a celebration of life!Show More
Heartland Hospice Celebrates a 100 Year Journey of an Amazing Life
Every birthday is special, but when someone lives through an entire century, that birthday truly is a celebration of life. This past April, Dorothy Maxwell, of Brookdale Assisted Living in Oshkosh, was surrounded by her family, friends, volunteers and caregivers as she celebrated her 100th birthday. Over 80 people, including the red hat society, attended her party which included German chocolate cake…Dorothy’s favorite dessert.
Besides being a loving wife, mother to four children and grandmother to many; Dorothy has been an artist, poet and world traveler. She collects antiques and paints with watercolors. Her pictures are proudly displayed in her room and in the homes of her family and friends. She has also written six poetry books.
“Dorothy is a beaming ray of sunshine that brightens my every visit!” said Deb Miller, Heartland Hospice Aide. “I am blessed to have her as my patient and my friend.” Deb, who has been a caregiver to Dorothy for the past several months, said that Dorothy has a great sense of humor and a wonderful laugh. In fact, when asked what the secret to her long life is, Dorothy chuckled and said, “I laughed!”
“They’ll bring a lifetime of warm and happy memories to snuggle up with!"Show More
Heartland Hospice Volunteer Makes Memory Blankets for Family
When a loved one dies, the family is often left with the daunting task of sorting through the personal items that the recently departed left behind. It’s impossible to hang on to everything, but it’s painful to get rid of those everyday things that remind us of the person we lost.
Molly Kavanagh was faced with this very situation after her father, Michael Kavanagh, passed away while a patient of Heartland Hospice serving East Central Wisconsin. She wanted to do something meaningful with her father’s clothing, so she reached out to Heartland Hospice.
Originally, Molly asked for pillows to be made from the shirts and fleece sweatshirts that her father wore. “My mother passed away five years ago, and a volunteer from the Heartland Hospice in Milwaukee made pillows from her clothing,” recalls Kavanagh. “Would you be able to do the same for my dad?” she asked.
Kathy Mieritz, Heartland volunteer, offered to make blankets for the Smith/Kavanagh family. “Kathy is a special project volunteer with us,” said Brooke Vis, Heartland Volunteer Coordinator. “She makes prayer shawls for patients and community members who might benefit from them,” commented Brooke.
In total, Kathy made four blankets for Michael Kavanagh’s grandchildren. “They’re fabulous!” exclaimed Molly. The blankets included their grandfather’s favorite shirts and fleece sweatshirts. “It was so amazing to watch Henry and Jacob put their little hands into the pockets that Kathy had sewn into the blankets,” said Bereavement Coordinator, Linda Wein, who delivered the blankets to the family. Just before Linda left, the family sat together for a photo with their new blankets. “They’ll bring a lifetime of warm and happy memories to snuggle up with!”
Rita Cappert, 85, patient with Heartland Hospice serving East Central Wisconsin, wanted to leave a legacy for her family. Thanks to Heartland Volunteer, Tim Guiden, she now has a 30-page “history book” that her family can always enjoy.Show More
Heartland Hospice Volunteer Documents Personal History of Patient
Rita Cappert, 85, patient with Heartland Hospice serving East Central Wisconsin, wanted to leave a legacy for her family. Thanks to Heartland Volunteer, Tim Guiden, she now has a 30-page “history book” that her family can always enjoy.
Mrs. Cappert, raised in Green Bay, Wisconsin by her grandparents after her mother’s passing, shared the story of her life with Tim. For several months they met multiple times each week as Tim recorded her personal history as well as Rita’s perspective on topics such as the role of women, religion and her life’s philosophy. Adding Rita’s personal photos to illustrate her story, Tim produced a family tree. “For me it was a logical coming together of two things I love: hospice and history,” said Tim. “I have always found listening to people's stories to be very educational, as I can apply their life lessons to my own life. I have a 90-year-old mom in Indiana who sits home alone most days and would love to have someone stop by regularly and talk to her. I'm just doing what I would hope someone else would do for my mom.”
With Rita mentioning to a Heartland staff member that she would like to document her life history, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to match her and Tim. A retired military attorney,Tim has been volunteering with Heartland Hospice since February of 2016; he visits hospice patients and sits bedside to provide comfort and support. Rita herself was a committed volunteer, which she addresses in her personal history. “It is important that we all help each other, and that’s why I did so much volunteer work, especially at my kids’ schools,” said Rita. “My husband, Jim, used to call me a ‘professional volunteer.’ When you get involved, you not only meet and help others, but you make friends as well.”
Heartland Hospice hosted a reception for Rita to celebrate her 85th birthday and to share the finished history project with her family. The reception was held at Waterford of Oshkosh, where Rita currently resides.
Heartland Hospice Serving East Central Wisconsin has achieved Level Four status with the “We Honor Veterans” program for their continued care and support of the veteran population.Show More
Heartland Hospice Earns Highest Status for 'We Honor Veterans'
Heartland Hospice Serving East Central Wisconsin has achieved Level Four status with the “We Honor Veterans” program for their continued care and support of the veteran population. Level Four is the highest status level for “We Honor Veterans.”
All wars are different and provide unique experiences and often difficulties for the Veterans who served in them. “We Honor Veterans” was launched by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to help improve the care veterans receive from hospice and palliative care providers.
“We Honor Veterans” provides four levels of recognition to organizations that demonstrate a commitment to improving care for veterans. In order to reach Level Four, Heartland was tasked with conducting community education presentations on topics relevant to veterans, updating organization policies and procedures to assist veteran patients and their families in accessing benefits and developing its Veteran-to-Veteran Volunteer Program.
Heartland honors every veteran on their service with a certificate of appreciation and commemorative pin. Heartland also hosts education and recognition events throughout their service area to recognize the service and sacrifice of local veterans. The newly developed Veteran-to-Veteran Volunteer Program matches active duty or veteran volunteers with veteran hospice patients to provide companionship and record stories.
“Our veteran volunteers are able to make special connections with our veteran patients,” says Volunteer Coordinator Brooke Vis.
To learn more about the We Honor Veterans initiative, the steps that our agencies have taken to receive this acknowledgement or to see where other Heartland agencies are at in the process of achieving this honor, click here.
Owen is a Patient Care Coordinator with Heartland Hospice Serving East Central Wisconsin. Heartland was honored to be able to care for Owen’s grandmother. To express his appreciation and gratitude for the care provided to his grandmother by his fellow employees, Owen sent them a heartfelt letter.Show More
Heartland Employee Expresses Appreciation for Hospice Services
Owen is a Patient Care Coordinator with Heartland Hospice Serving East Central Wisconsin. Heartland was honored to be able to care for Owen’s grandmother. To express his appreciation and gratitude for the care provided to his grandmother by his fellow employees, Owen sent them a heartfelt letter.
“I am writing this letter in regards to one of your patients who recently passed away: Margot. To you, she was an 88-year-old female on hospice services for end-stage dementia. To me, she was simply referred to as Grandma. When my grandfather passed away, we promised her that we would care for her until she met him again. This was a worry for her, but we assured her more than once that for all she did for us, we would give back to her.
“Due to dementia, she moved in with us and we cared for her for five years until she moved to ManorCare Health Services in Fond du Lac, WI. She was compassionately cared for there and when her condition further deteriorated, Heartland Hospice was called. With the staff at Heartland Hospice, my greatest fears and anxieties about caring for my grandmother were quickly relieved. I never had to worry that her needs wouldn’t be met. In fact, Heartland Hospice always exceeded my expectations. Quickly and easily, the care team became a family and not just paid caregivers. Not only did they care for Grandma, but they also supported my mother and I on the journey of hospice. Words will never express my appreciation for the kind and compassionate care given to Grandma and our family. I know that I was able to honor my grandmother’s wishes and give care that was dignified, professional and loving.
“What’s even more important is that I work for Heartland Hospice and I was given the permission and grace to step out of my role as an RN and caregiver and be a grandson who only wanted what’s best for his grandma, a woman who always put her own needs aside to care for her family. Thank you, Heartland, for allowing me to give her the greatest gift I could. I know I couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you for continuing to be a blessing to all those you meet on their journey.”
ProMedica Hospice Patient's Heart's Desire Fulfilled with Helicopter Ride
ProMedica Hospice serving Northwest Ohio worked with ProMedica Air and Mobile to help make their terminally ill patient, Nathan Herb’s, Heart’s Desire come true.Read the Full Story On Our Blog
The power of the individual, the importance of relationships and the value of respect and dignity to everyone at every stage of life are the backbone of our philosophy. We would love to work with you to help grant the wishes of your loved one. See some of the ways we have fulfilled our patients' heart's desires.Read On Our Blog