Hospice of Santa Barbara Presents Fourth Annual Heroes of Hospice Awards and this Year’s Recipients

Santa Barbara, CA, August 12, 2016 — Hospice of Santa Barbara will recognize its 2016 Heroes of Hospice in three categories: Partnership, Legacy and Volunteer.

Each year, HSB honors the outstanding community volunteers and supporters who play a vital role in its mission to provide care for anyone experiencing the impact of life-threatening illness or grieving the death of a loved one. The Heroes of Hospice luncheon recognizes the incredible people who have demonstrated compassionate dedication to the service of HSB’s clients.

HSB invites the community to join them at the luncheon 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Sept. 7 at The Fess Parker, 633 E Cabrillo Blvd, Santa Barbara, in recognition of the “Heroes.”

Call (805) 563-8820 or email info@hospiceofsb.org for more info.

As of September 7th, tickets will only be available at the door. 


Partnership Award: DASH (Doctors Assisting Seniors At Home)

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Back row, L to R: Dr. Michael Bordofsky, DASH co-founder; Dr. Eric Trautwein, DASH co-founder; Dr. Dennis Baker, DASH co-founder.

Front row, L to R: Tara Sanchez, Medical Assistant; Jeanne West, Enrollment Coordinator; Ellie Melton, Nurse Practitioner; Carolynn Allen, Nurse.

Offering on-call, rapid response medical care throughout Santa Barbara and Goleta, DASH (Doctors Assisting Seniors at Home) has cut the number of costly emergency room visits and hospitalizations for its nearly 2,000 clients by more than 30 percent.

DASH’s team of nurses and physicians is available Monday through Saturday to respond to the homes of seniors from Santa Barbara to Goleta, usually arriving within hours. These seniors are often too ill to wait for an office visit or appointment or too weak to get there. DASH team members will also communicate closely with a client’s primary care providers.

DASH is offered for a modest monthly fee, or free-of-charge for seniors living in low-income housing or receiving Medi-Cal or Section 8 housing assistance, putting it within reach of the most vulnerable residents. For more information, call 805-617-0049.

Legacy Award: Dana VanderMey

Over her 17 years at Hospice of Santa Barbara, Dana VanderMey co-created the now instrumental Patient Care Services department from scratch, trained more than 400 volunteers and cared for patients and families experiencing terminal illness.

Dana’s father Malcolm Peattie, the HSB Board of Directors President in the early ‘80s, introduced her to the organization and told her about an open position. As HSB’s RN Case Manager, Dana supported terminally ill patients and their families. It’s here she learned about the important role families play in a patient’s support system and cherished being invited into these bonds.

She worked at Hospice of Santa Barbara until 1989, only to return in 2001 as the director of volunteers. Dana used her experience as a nurse to train hundreds of volunteers over the years. Today, the Patient Care Services program has multiple divisions and is a key to delivering clients with the care they need.

Dana retired from Hospice of Santa Barbara in 2013 and is currently working on her life book, “No, But Thanks for Asking.”

Volunteer Award: Muriel Ross, Joe Jowell, Ann Smithcors

Joe Jowell

Joe began volunteering at Hospice of Santa Barbara in 1981. Having experienced the death of his wife in 1974, he felt a strong connection with clients and has learned many things about pain, loss and acceptance. 

He sees HSB as a way to open the door for the taboo subject of death and grieving, as well as encouraging terminally ill people to seek assistance and not shy away from others due to their condition.

Muriel Ross

Having volunteered at Hospice of Santa Barbara for 37 years, Muriel Ross can’t imagine anything else she’d rather do. She truly enjoys caring for her patients by taking them to run errands and have fun.

Originally from Canada, Muriel studied Registered Nursing. She later attended graduate school and earned a post-graduate degree in Psychiatry. As a nurse, she worked at a hospital in Montreal, Quebec, Canada for the majority of her career. Moving with her husband to Santa Barbara in 1964, Muriel spent time volunteering in home care as well as Serenity House.

Ann Smithcors

Caring for others is sewn into Ann Smithcors’ DNA. The daughter of a nurse, Ann helped her grandfather -- a doctor -- treat patients while growing up in England. Ann went on to become a nurse and midwife, and she continued her nursing career after moving to America in 1960.

After retiring in the early 1980s, Ann started volunteering at Hospice of Santa Barbara. Volunteering allowed her to do something she had always wanted: to spend time with patients and their families. She has been volunteering for 34 years, doing anything with clients from caroling around the holidays, preparing tea or simply sitting with them to hold hands.

Hospice of Santa Barbara (HSB) offers compassionate, professional counseling, support groups and care management free of charge for those experiencing the impact of a life-threatening illness or grieving the death of a loved one. HSB provides a wide range of bereavement services, wherever and whenever they’re needed, to patients, children, families and Spanish speakers. For more information about HSB’s programs and community education efforts, call (805) 563-8820 or visit hospiceofsantabarbara.org