OLP staff members express how they carry out our mission
Providing gentle, compassionate care with dignity, regardless of circumstance is the mission of Our Lady of Peace Hospice & Home Health Care. From admissions to patient care, fundraising, marketing, and beyond, our staff is called and committed to serve. How do they live this mission in their daily work? Let’s find out.
Mary Tillman, Admissions
Most of my interactions are with referrers and families prior to admission. I try to answer all of the family’s questions and try to alleviate anxiety the family may have regarding having their loved ones come to an unknown place and to start an unknown journey. My most important job is to meet the patients at the door as they come into OLP with a warm smile and welcome into the facility.
Meg Pospisil, Admissions/Development
In Admissions, we contact the family the day before patients come to the home so that we can answer any questions and concerns that they may have about the transfer. I always try to reassure them that we will take amazing care of their loved one and that it is our privilege and pleasure to have them send their loved one to us for their final days.
Matthew Stafford, Residential Hospice Director of Nursing
A couple of months ago, I walked past the room of a patient who was unable to speak due to their terminal illness, and I saw a staff member sitting by their bedside simply holding their hand — no words spoken, only quiet compassion.
Debbie Swanson, Development Associate
I have been blessed for nearly 20 years to be involved in Hospice care. I am currently in a “Development” Role, in other words, “Fundraising”! While some might find that difficult, I find it inspiring and exciting. I can’t wait to tell people about the important work being done at Our Lady of Peace! It is an amazing place, and the work being done here on a daily basis is nothing short of beautiful. Who wouldn’t want to support all the good being done here!
John Henry Hullsiek, Director Marketing & Communications
Each Monday we start at 9 am with a group meditation, centered around gratitude. Chaplain Kate Wagner is the organizer of this.
I start my daily planning with a 5-minute gratitude each day, followed by a meditation. I then look at my personal goals for work and review them on a weekly basis; how can we help others in their time of need? I am always reminded that I am not selling, just telling stories that will help others who are going through an experience, getting better from an injury, or gathering around a loved one in hospice. What can we do to help them?
Kathy Wedemeyer, Outreach Advocate
I think – it is in my tone; my words are filled with passion knowing that our care teams are the best in the business and both patients & families will be served with love & dignity.
Kim Perez, Volunteer & Environmental Services Director
The beneficiaries of our mission (patients and their loved ones) are in the forefront of my mind in all that I do. I try to say “yes” as much as possible to anything that may benefit them and to support our staff that care for them.
Carole Joncas, Staffing + HR & Nursing Depts. Assistant
Every day that I am at Our Lady of Peace begins the same… in the chapel in prayer. Because I believe in the word of God and His love, I am faithful and humble. I pray every morning for the patients in our care and their loved ones. I also pray that God uses me as a vehicle of His love so that others know Him through me. I am so richly blessed — with so much more than I deserve — and find true joy in my work at Our Lady of Peace.
Nancy Larson, Hospice & Home Health Care Director of Nursing
I immediately think of some of the patients and families that we have cared for, several of whom I made “On Call” visits to or dropped off supplies to. I found that even in homes where chaos or clutter (hoarding) existed, I was amazed at how my nursing staff was able to provide care – even setting up small Oasis type areas for patient supplies, medications, etc in the midst of even dramatic living situations, without judgment.
In addition, I am constantly impressed by our Social Workers and Chaplains who can navigate complicated family dynamics – many of which are years in the making and are compassionate, impartial and allow a safe space of communication. They are truly remarkable!
Kelly Pietrzak, Hospice Social Worker
We are all made in God’s image. God doesn’t make mistakes, even though we sometimes do. We are charged with being the hand and feet of God while we are caring for others. Any mistakes that someone makes is between the individual and God; we don’t have to waste our time/energy on judging…God’s got it. We are asked to walk beside people at one of the most sacred times of their lives. We hopefully get to know what is important to them so we can emphasize this and avoid what is not valued. We listen and care. We try to make things work even if sometimes we may disagree. We honor the person and let them know that they matter, the world would have and will be different without them. They matter.
Heather Zenk, Development Assistant
My office is located near the entrance to the Hospice Home, so I often see family members and visitors coming and going. I know I may only see them once, but I try to greet each person with warmth and kindness. I want them to feel welcome and know their loved one is in a place where people are caring.
Judy Oberhauser, OLP Chaplain
I don’t “THINK” about our mission so much, but I do see it reflected in the other staff. (Or when it is NOT there it is very evident). So, it is the milieu in which we work and serve and talk to one another. There is so much genuine kindness and care among the staff that you would have to be robotic to not see it and absorb it. Having said that, I would just add that I am continually struck by the dark beauty of those who suffer, whether it is the patient, the family, or/and the staff. It is this humble open spirit that invites us/me into their pain and trust that I find so sacred. Our mission is to reverence and respond in gentle comfort to this space they hold open.
Joe Stanislav, President & CEO
My most important role is to hire, retain, and support our wonderful managers. Hopefully, I can model, respect and compassion to them by supporting their efforts to create a work environment for their staff that fosters gentle, compassionate care.
Michelle Buron, Volunteer Manager
Communication is so important, whether keeping volunteers informed or making sure they feel part of the team. I work with the volunteers and staff to keep the communication lines open for everyone and recognize the importance of our volunteers in the overall mission of Our Lady of Peace.
Kathryn Capouch, Supervisor/OLP Home Care
The home care nurses and I are very dedicated to the love that we give our patients. I feel we all go above and beyond to make sure not only our patients, but the families feel the gentle care and comfort that we give them.
Lisa Solterman, Residential Hospice Social Worker
I believe everyone deserves to be treated with kindness and dignity at the end of their life. It is a journey we will all face at some point. Families also are going through the toughest time in their lives when they are grieving. It is my hope that both patients and families feel heard, cared for and know that they are not alone.
Rossana Ackerman, Food Service Director
The kitchen staff and I work as a team to fulfill all requests from patients for their favorite foods. We do our part for the mission of compassionate care by providing comfort food to patients. This gives us great joy and satisfaction every day!
Tom Cassidy, Hospice Nurse
I try to emulate the devotion, compassion, and spirit of the founding Dominican Sisters of Hawthorne’s mission at Our Lady of Peace in my daily work. Their inspiration is felt in our present-day community. I am humbled to be a part of this legacy.
To all who entrust the care of your loved one to us, it is an honor and privilege to serve your family.