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Hospice ‘Volunteer of the Year’ Honored for Decades of Service

Posted by on Oct 16, 2017 in Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital | 0 comments

Auburn – Pat Steinhauer is a volunteer unlike any you have ever met. With more than 33 years at the Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital VNA & Hospice, she has all the heart and tenure of one of our employees and she selflessly devotes her time and energy to serve and support our hospice patients and their families.

Pat Steinhauer

Pat was recently recognized by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) as “Volunteer of the Year,” an honor bestowed on only three others in the nation in 2017.

“I am so grateful to the hospital and am honored to receive this award,” said Pat. “As a hospice volunteer, we aren’t in this for the glory, but this feels glorious to me.”

Vanessa Bengston, volunteer coordinator and quality supervisor at SAFH VNA & Hospice, nominated Pat for the award. “This was my first time nominating a volunteer, and I thought about Pat because she embodies the commitment and compassionate care that hospice brings to this community,” said Bengston. “She is so very deserving of this recognition.”

The NHPCO selected Pat for the organizational support award for her longstanding dedication to supporting the families of our patients, and because she reflects the universal concept of volunteerism in its truest sense—serving as an inspiration to others.

Pat began volunteering with hospice in 1984 after her grandmother passed away while in hospice care. She was one of many devoted volunteers who did anything that needed to be done in the early years of the Auburn hospice program, whether that was fundraising, organizing or hosting events. Working alongside pioneer hospice volunteer leaders, Pat graciously contributed her attention to detail and social benefit to the building of a community hospice.

She fondly remembers the local Jeep Club’s annual pancake breakfasts, for which she secured donated supplies from local businesses. When the hospice became Medicare certified and hospital-based, her fundraising work was done but Pat wasn’t. She now spends most of her time volunteering in the office sending thousands of bereavement letters and resources for grief counseling to patients’ families.

Pat receives the “Volunteer of the Year” award in San Diego, CA.

“I provide the support to help the families cope with death,” said Steinhauer, “Dying is difficult process for everyone, but people are the heart of hospice and this team is there for each other and for all those in this community.”

With more than 5,000 hours of volunteer service, Pat has made significant contributions to the SAFH VNA and Hospice program in the areas of care delivery, organizational support and teamwork.

“She demonstrates remarkable commitment, service and compassion to our staff and to our patients and their families,” said Patricia Mandrup, clinical manager at SAFH VNA and Hospice. “After 33 years of loyal volunteer service, Pat shows no sign of slowing down and we look forward to her weekly contributions to our administrative support team for years to come.”

When asked why she continues to give back, Pat looked around the room and smiled, “When I am here, I feel like I’m with family.”

Posted by on Oct 16, 2017 in Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital | 0 comments