November 1st, 2012

Great River Hospice volunteers Mary Logan and Irene Martin, both of Burlington, recently were named 2012 Honored Hospice Volunteers by the Hospice and Palliative Care Association of Iowa (HPCAI), a voluntary organization that works to enhance end-of-life care.


Logan has served patients and their families in private homes, nursing homes and assisted-living facilities for four years. Martin, who has been a volunteer for more than five years, works at the reception desk and bakes cookies at Great River Hospice House.


For many years, volunteers have been vital to health care in the U.S., especially when caring for people at the end of their lives. Dealing with death can be very uncomfortable, but volunteers provide patients and families with the nonmedical care and comfort they need, and they do so out of the goodness of their hearts.


November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month. “This month, we celebrate the work done by hospice and palliative-care teams as they assist those who are living with serious or life-limiting illnesses,” said HPCAI Board President Margo Nixon.  “We honor every hospice and palliative care-staff person and volunteer in Iowa for their commitment to ensuring comfort for their patients and family members.”


Hospice volunteers statewide were recognized in September in Altoona. From July 2011 to July 2012, 35 Iowa hospices had 3,740 active volunteers. They contributed a total of 63,430 hours of direct care and 60,491 hours of indirect care to patients, families and hospice organizations. They traveled 362,444 miles to serve others.


Great River Hospice has been a community provider of comfort, care and compassion since 2002. Over 300 local volunteers support Great River Hospice patients and their families by providing companionship, running errands, doing light housekeeping, making quilts and helping with other meaningful activities. Great River Hospice holds volunteer training sessions twice each year. For more information on Great River Hospice, or becoming a hospice volunteer, please call 319-768-3350 or toll-free 877-404-4766.