Sheri St.Germain, Hospice Hawaii
“The work, to me, is all about being there with a smile,” says Sheri St.Germain about her volunteer work with Hospice Hawaii.
Hospice Hawaii is an organization that provides end-of-life care and support for people who have six months or less to live. As its mission statement says, Hospice strives to “bring hope, reduce fears and impact lives.” It offers a comprehensive support system that serves both physical and emotional needs of patients and families. Each care team is comprised of a group that includes a physician, a social worker and nurses. Plus, Hospice Hawaii also has volunteers such as St.Germain who help patients with everything from taking patients to doctor’s appointments to cleaning.
Mostly, though, St.Germain says that her work involves a lot of “love and understanding ... We’ll often just talk story, or if the patient is tired, I’ll just be there.” St.Germain, a long-time Oahu resident who hails from Massachusetts, retired from a career in advertising sales a few years ago, and wanted to get involved with Hospice after experiencing the range of services that it provides. “I had gotten to experience first-hand what a comfort the Hospice organization was when my mother was dying,” St. Germain says.
“With the patient, how can I comfort them?” St.Germain often asks herself as a volunteer. “With the family, how can I reduce their anxiety? Maybe I can’t. But I enter a home with the hope that I can.”
On Saturday, Hospice Hawaii hosts its annual wine dinner gala, Na Hoa Malama or The Caring Friends, from 6 to 10 p.m. at Waialae Country Club. The event honors some of the people whom Hospice Hawaii has served. The theme for this year’s event is “A Journey to Spain” and will feature award-winning wines from Spain, dinner, a silent auction and an awards presentation for Hospice honorees. The Hall of Heroes inductees are Curtis Lee, who brought Sports Car Club of America to Hawaii, and Walter Davis, an attorney and author. The event also will recognize Bank of Hawaii as the Philanthropist of the Year, Dr. Jared Acoba as the Healthcare Professional of the Year, Tesoro as the Community Supporter of the Year, and University Health Alliance as the Healthcare Organization of the Year. All proceeds benefit Hospice Hawaii. For more information about the event, visit hospicehawaii.org.
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