Six hospice volunteers honored at statewide ceremony

     Six Care Initiatives Hospice volunteers were recognized and honored at the 2018 Hospice and Palliative Care Association of Iowa’s Volunteer Luncheon. Those honored are the following, also pictured, left to right. 

     Joan Godbersen joined the Sioux City Hospice Volunteer Team in 2014. She is a Eucharistic minister and provides spiritual support to our patients and she also serves as an 11th Hour Volunteer. “Joan has the ability to connect immediately with patients,” said Volunteer Coordinator Deb Poss. “She is calming and a great comfort in the transitioning phase of life.” Joan visits patients in Oldebolt and Holstein. “Everyone knows that with Joan as support for the patient and family, the experience will be very special,” Poss said.

     John Gary joined the Cedar Falls/Waterloo Hospice Volunteer Team in 2016. A native of Waterloo, John worked at Viking Pump for 22 years until injury required and inspired change. He was the primary caregiver for his wife, father and mother as they went through life-ending illnesses.  “His experience created within him a heart for helping people,” said Volunteer Coordinator Kristie Sents. John visits patients and often brings items they need. He’s also been a big help in the office. “He’s given over 1,050 hours of service to our patients since he started volunteering,” Sents adds.

     Ken Sarver of Rose Hill, Iowa, joined the Albia Hospice Volunteer Team in 2016. After a long career in farming, he says finds joy and purpose in ministering to the sick and dying and bringing a ray of hope to those who may have none. “He goes above and beyond his call as a volunteer on a regular basis,” said Volunteer Coordinator Daniel Smith. “No matter what the need, Ken has always been willing to serve. He is a valuable part of the Albia Hospice Team.”

     Sue Hathaway joined the Cedar Rapids Care Initiatives Hospice Volunteer Team in 2016. She visits patients at Belle Plaine Specialty Care. “Sue has long valued the importance of helping others,” said Volunteer Coordinator Cindi McKee. “She’s friendly, warm, caring and always has a smile.” Sue often brings her cat, Pretty Boy, to visit and she says she is always touched by the special memories people share with her.  

     Nancy Clark joined the Des Moines Hospice Volunteer Team in 2016. Nancy is a most gracious volunteer having adapted her availability to accommodate each individual patient and their family’s needs. She has volunteered at many locations. “Nancy goes out of her way to make sure the goals and needs are met for each of her patients,” said Volunteer Coordinator Mimi Leonard. 

     Becky Kneip joined the Greenfield Hospice Volunteer Team in 2017. She had personally witnessed the power of Hospice and that motivated her to pursue volunteering. She visits several patients and often refers families to our services. “Becky has been a great asset to our team,” said Volunteer Coordinator Todd Daily. “She steps up to new situations and learns how she can be of assistance. She has never refused an assignment and has always excelled.”