Marion, OH Lodge News

District No. 6840


MARION, OH (March, 2005) – Laura Gaskins, RN, MSN Program Director Home Health and Quality of Life Hospice at Marion General Hospital, has had her eye on several ways to expand and improve the local hospice program. Now, thanks in part to the Marion Elks Lodge No. 32 donations in excess of $2,000 over the past year, she has been able to make several great growth strides.

“Thanks to the generous donations from several sources including the Elks, we have been able to increase our volunteer training and recognition, expand our bereavement program, and hire an intern chaplain that we keep very busy one day a week,” said Gaskins. “I just can’t begin to say how excited we are about growing these programs that touch and help so many, many people in the community.”

Hospice depends heavily on volunteers, but the challenging work they do is preceded by a comprehensive training program. Donations helped fund a new binder that houses the training materials each volunteer receives during the course of the annual six weekly training sessions. “We now have 42 volunteers who provide over 1,200 hours of service a year- often at all hours of the day and on weekends. Not only can we provide better training for our volunteers, but now we also have the available funds to provide greater recognition for a job that only special people can perform,” said Gaskins.

The Quality of Life Hospice offers bereavement group sessions that are free and open to the community. The group sessions meet weekly for six weeks. Because of new donations, hospice has been able to double the number of sessions they can provide. They now offer four sessions per year for kids, and four per year for adults, plus a special shorter holiday session. “These sessions offer a wonderful opportunity for open and frank discussions about a tough subject - personal grief” said Gaskins. “Donations have also allowed hospice to purchase additional educational materials for the program, and to increase staff training in this area” she added.

Elk donations have also made it possible for the hospice to hire an intern chaplain, Arlene Webb. She works for Quality of Life Hospice one day a week, assisting Reverend Dan Kiger with an ever increasing demand for religious assistance and services.

“We never deny care,” said Gaskins, “and it is donations like this from caring organizations in our community that make it much easier to concentrate on proving the services, not funding them. For that we are very thankful.”

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