Avow recognized employees with Heart of Avow awards in December. The employees are nominated by coworkers for personal and professional conduct that exemplifies the compassion of hospice care. This year, more than 25 nominations were received for the annual award.
“Working for an organization that cares for people during some of the most difficult times of life is not always easy,” said Rebecca Gatian, Avow’s chief clinical officer. “It takes employees who can be compassionate, understanding, and professional every day, even in challenging situations. It’s a meaningful award, one that inspires employees to bring their best selves to this work every day.”
• Denise Lucas works at Avow’s central welcome desk, handling thousands of calls, often from people who are distraught and need her calm demeanor. She joined Avow in 2020 during the pandemic to help with COVID-19 screening and quickly moved into new roles due to her skills. When coworkers are in need, she quietly and humbly responds, without taking credit.
• Linda Harris, hospice house chef, has worked for Avow for more than 18 years and was among the first group hired to staff Avow’s hospice house. Because she knows that families can be reluctant to leave patients, she reaches out to them, supplying sandwiches and snacks, preparing special meals for families based on their culture or preferences and checking in on coworkers because she knows the compassion fatigue they may be facing.
• CNA/HHA Veronica Madrigal, who works in the hospice house, caring for vulnerable patients since 2018. Madrigal was recently recognized by the Florida Hospice and Palliative Care Association for helping a family that did not speak English navigate the loss of their newborn. Madrigal stayed with them after her shift to comfort them and even drove them home when they did not have transportation.
• Nurse Cindy Moon has been an Avow employee for 12 years and a nurse for 54 years and is described by employees as the nurse they would choose to care for themselves or their loved ones. She is recognized for her skill in training clinical team members in all aspects of patient care and proper documentation.
“The dedication and unwavering perseverance of our staff makes possible the care that hospice and palliative care organizations like Avow provide,” said Jaysen Roa, president and CEO. “Our team uses state-of-the-art software, tools and techniques, but they never take their focus off the empathetic, heart-centered nature of their work. We witness many silent stories of compassionate care and are privileged to be honor employees each year.”
Avow was founded in 1983 as Collier County’s original, non-profit hospice. Today, Avow’s non-profit companies provide palliative care consultations for adults facing chronic or serious illness and hospice care and bereavement support services for children and adults. To learn more about the scope of services provided by Avow, call 239-261-4404 or visit www.avowcares.org.