Why did you become a Board member?
My mother was a long-term home hospice volunteer. In her final days in January of 2005, my family experienced the stress, frustration, and pain in trying to piece together home hospice care to enable her to die with dignity and comfort at home. Thank God for VNA home hospice nurse Ruth Collins who coordinated with other hospice volunteers and set up my mother’s bedroom to keep her comfortable until she passed. Through this experience, my wife became a hospice volunteer, and it was the genesis for my interest in hospice. When Rick Duncan and Mike MacPherson approached me about joining the AHOC Board, I didn’t hesitate and jumped at the opportunity to help with this beautiful hospice house that finally provides a vital hospice services to the residents of the County.
What are some of your skills that have helped AHOC and AHF?
40 years of experience in management, accounting, finance, budgeting, human resources, risk management, and corporate governance. Also, a compassionate and caring attitude.
How long have you been a AHF Board member?
Although I can’t remember specifically, I believe in 2015 or 2016.
What is special about AHOC?
Aroostook County residents are used to being told that “it can’t be done.” We were told the same thing when Rick Duncan’s vision of a hospice house in Aroostook County was born in 2009. In 2018, through prayers, divine intervention, dedication, teamwork, and financial support of people throughout the County, Rick’s dream became a reality. Not only is AHOC a success, but it is also arguably the best hospice facility in the State of Maine. AHOC is supported by a network of dedicated volunteers, staff, and board members, all who share their own stories with working to enable their loved ones to die with comfort and dignity. This patchwork of human experiences formed the foundational underpinnings of the successful AHOC story. The love, compassion, and feelings of family are apparent when passing through the doors at the House of Comfort to begin their end-of-life journey.
What is most rewarding about being part of AHOC and their Board?
Witnessing families being able to be with their loved ones in their final days in a warm and loving environment without having to deal with the burden and stress of being their caregiver. The testimonials are gratifying and reinforce the mission of AHOC and AHF.