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Hospice volunteer Dorothy Harris makes a difference

Hospital news | Tuesday, June 26, 2012

“Volunteers are a vital part of Prairie du Chien Hospice, and we’re proud to recognize Dorothy Harris of Prairie du Chien for serving as a volunteer for 25 years,” announces Marsha Konichek, RN, Hospice Director at Prairie du Chien Memorial Hospital. “She has made a valuable contribution to our program helping patients and their families lead a fuller, more meaningful life. She has also been actively involved in helping with our fundraising activities, bereavement program, pastoral care support program and clerical work.”

Dorothy is passionate about Hospice and her volunteerism with Hospice. She shares, “It is very rewarding to give back to this program. When my husband Allen was sick, I don’t know what I would have done without the assistance of Hospice. I was in the dual role of trying to care for him, as well as keeping the farming operation going. I know first-hand the challenges that face patients and their families. Being a Hospice volunteer is something I like to do; sometimes it is simply sitting and visiting, running errands or taking someone for an outing. I have also coordinated clergy visits. My religious background has given me strength to visit with patients and families, and it is comforting for people to share their feelings, their concerns and their wishes with someone. I am also glad to help with the fundraisers for Hospice. I know the value of keeping the program viable, and folks have dug deeply into their pockets to support the important work of Hospice.”

Each year Prairie du Chien Hospice serves an average of 125 families in Crawford and Grant Counties in Southwest Wisconsin and Allamakee and Clayton Counties in Northeast Iowa. Prairie du Chien Hospice staff includes nine Registered Nurses, two Social Workers, four Home Health Aides, an Administrative Assistant, an Administrative Secretary, as well as 40 active volunteers.

Individuals wanting to learn more about being a Hospice volunteer are encouraged to call Mary Mara, Volunteer Coordinator, at Prairie du Chien Memorial Hospital, (608) 357-2295. Training for new volunteers is scheduled in July.