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Thursday, January 05, 2012 - Munson Hospice Honors Four Area Volunteers
Munson Hospice Honors Four Area Volunteers
Honorees live in Grand Traverse, Benzie, Kalkaska counties, and on Beaver Island
 
Four residents from the region have been honored by Munson Hospice for their dedicated service to the program.

Grand Traverse County resident Jane Johnson, Benzie County resident Susan Griffiths, and Beaver Island resident Lois Williams were selected as the Hospice Volunteers of the Year for their service and dedication to the hospice program. Alice Babcock from Kalkaska was presented with the Peter M. Strom Outstanding Volunteer Award.
 
Johnson began with Munson Hospice in 2000 and has served as an office volunteer, respite volunteer, and friendly visitor in the home setting. After taking computer classes, she started doing data entry for the bereavement program. She continues to recruit other individuals to assist with the bereavement mailing. Learning to play the harp and offer therapeutic music at the bedside has been her great love for the past seven years while continuing to lead the Munson Hospice bereavement mailing program. She has volunteered more than 3,000 hours during the past 11 years and has also discovered a gift for acting. She appears in Munson Hospice’s Boundaries video with her husband at her side.
 
“We are truly grateful for her dedication and commitment she makes to our hospice program. She’s always here when we need her and is very reliable and dependable,” said Judy Goodrich, Volunteer Coordinator for Munson Hospice.
 
Griffiths completed training in April 2009 and volunteers at Hospice House where she handles a variety of responsibilities providing direct care to the patient, cleaning the patients’ rooms or the main areas, doing laundry, or picking up meal trays. She is greatly appreciated by the staff.
 
“Susan is a great individual, very compassionate and dedicated to helping make a positive difference in another person’s life,” Goodrich said. “Her compassion for Hospice House residents and the friendliness and willingness to be involved where ever needed has made her special to all our residents and their families. She has driven more than 6,000 miles during the two-and-a-half years she has volunteered for us.”

Griffiths has presented at a state volunteer symposium and also for volunteers at education meetings in Beulah, Traverse City, and Beaver Island. She is always requested back.
 
After sensing the need to have a hospice program on Beaver Island, Williams assisted in recruiting other individuals to comprise Munson Hospice’s first volunteer training in her area in July 2008. Since then, she has continued to recruit others and recently gave a talk on the island about the benefits of hospice care. “Lois is a true believer that hospice is not giving up, it is about changing tactics,” Goodrich said. “It’s about living.”

She has broadened the scope of reading interests by submitting book reviews for our newsletter. When volunteers leave the organization, they request to stay on the newsletter mailing list to continue to hear about the books that she shares with others.
 
Babcock was presented with the Peter M. Strom Volunteer Recognition Award. This award is presented annually to a volunteer who demonstrates commitment to the organization by furthering the mission of Munson Hospice.
 
Babcock has been a member of the Munson Hospice team for many years through its affiliation with North Country Hospice as a patient care coordinator since 1985. She has set up education meetings and trainings, made phone calls, offered assistance to the family and the patient, recruited volunteers, creates schedules for volunteers for respite care, and offers support to other volunteers and people in her community.
 
“Her dedication, compassion, leadership, energy, enthusiasm and spirit have made her an exceptional and cherished volunteer,” Goodrich said. “Alice goes that extra mile caring for what she believes in and wears many hats in the process.”
 
For more information about the Munson Hospice Volunteer Program, contact Goodrich at (231) 935-8485 or jgoodrich@mhc.net.