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Resident Honored as Role Model for Hospice Volunteers

Helen Oster receives Hospice Volunteer of the Year Award

Helen Oster of Toms River, NJ, a volunteer with Van Dyke Hospice and Palliative Care Center at Community Medical Center, a Barnabas Health facility, was the recipient of the Hospice Volunteer of the Year Award given by the New Jersey Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NJHPCO) at the Fifteenth Annual Awards Program. Each year the NJHPCO presents Hospice Team Awards to recognize outstanding hospice professionals as role models for their counterparts statewide.

In nominating Helen, Volunteer Coordinator for Van Dyke Hospice and Palliative Care Center at Community Medical Center, Lee Polese, applauded her commitment to hospice, noting that she visits patients, provides transportation, helps with seminars and training, works in the office and uses her creative flair to make remembrance quilts and fresh flower tea cup arrangements for nurses to take to their patients. One of those nurses, Valerie Reso, RN, describes Helen as “the embodiment of what it means to be a hospice volunteer. Over the 17 years that Helen has been a hospice volunteer, I have watched her give of herself tirelessly and with an enthusiasm that is equal to none.” According to Jeanne Stout, BSN, Director of Patient Care for Van Dyke Hospice and Palliative Care Center, “Helen is totally dedicated to hospice and embraces every idea and project with enthusiasm and joy. Each and every task is lovingly completed. Our office is a happier place because of the smiles and hugs she doles out with a generous heart.”

Barnabas Heath’s Hospice and Palliative Care Centers have five professionals honored with Hospice Team Awards this year. “Each winner conveys the mission of excellence that our hospice strives to provide to patients and families every day,” said Lorraine Sciara, RN, FACHE, President and Chief Executive Officer, BHHPCC and winner of the NJHPCO’s Lifetime Achievement Award.    

Founded in 1979, the New Jersey Hospice and Palliative Care Organization educates professionals and consumers about hospice and palliative care.  Its membership includes over 90 percent of the state’s licensed hospices, which together serve over 20,000 patients with end-stage illness and their families each year.

The NJHPCO’s Hospice Team Awards were presented on Wednesday, June 6, at the Sheraton Hotel in Eatontown, NJ.


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