March is National Women’s History Month. The month is focused on honoring women who have made a difference and those who have made a mark in their chosen fields.
There are many such women at Delaware Hospice. Those who every day work tirelessly to improve the lives of others. They may work as a nurse delivering incredible care to those living with serious illness, they may be a certified nursing assistant, chaplain, counselor or social worker offering tender, compassionate help to our patients. They might be a volunteer helping a family caregiver. They may even work in our office contributing to the daily operation of our organization. Though their titles and callings may be different, they all have one thing in common: by being here they’ve dedicated their lives to others.
Yes, there are too many to mention each by name. So we’ll talk about a few who’s dedication and actions represent the many.
Like volunteer, Donna Johnson. Donna dedicates one week of her vacation each year to volunteer at Delaware Hospice’s Camp New Hope. At the 4-day camp, Donna works with 13 to 17 year olds who have lost a loved one. Profoundly affected by her own loss, her mother and uncle, Donna has decided to help others living with grief. And by doing so she has helped countless young people find hope in the face of loss.
Midge DiNatale, BA, GC-C, has been an advocate for mental health and the bereaved for over 30 years. It was her own personal experience that led her to the path of grief counseling at Delaware Hospice. Midge suddenly became a single mother after the loss of her husband. But it was the loss of her 23 year old son to suicide that began Midge on her counseling journey. Midge trained to become a Survivor of Suicide group facilitator, a training that would persuade her to pursue grief counseling. Midge decided she wanted to be the person others could lean on along their grief journey. Being a beacon of hope at Delaware Hospice, Midge has helped over 1,000 people who are learning how to reinvest in life after the loss of a loved one.
Manager of Family Support Services, Sondra Satterfield, Msc, oversees adult bereavement and child bereavement at Delaware Hospice. Sondra expresses the impact she and her co-workers have pretty well: “I often remind our counselors how important their work is, especially with child bereavement. I know from my previous experience that often cases of mental health or substance abuse can be traced to issues dealing with the loss of loved ones or the inability to cope with grief. Our counselors have no idea what they are preventing, but we do know that they are having a positive impact on people’s lives.”
Sondra could not be more right. After years with Delaware Hospice I have personally witnessed every day the positive impact Delaware Hospice has on the lives we touch. I would like to personally thank all of our historic women who have dedicated their skill, time and compassion to others. You are truly remarkable.