Edwin Oley, CEO of Mercy Lorain and Vice President for Mercy Health, congratulates Mercy New Life Hospice employees Kathy Furnas, Clinical Nurse II, and Mary Deucher, Bereavement Counselor, on being selected as Mercy’s Caring Hands Winners of the Year. 

Each year, Mercy celebrates the dedication and value that our employees, physicians and volunteers bring to our facilities each day. To recognize the amazing care that is delivered to families, Mercy acknowledges their extraordinary efforts through the Caring Hands program. The yearly honoree is selected from quarterly winners who have extended not only a helping hand, but have delivered Mercy’s sacred Mission and values to patients, families and coworkers.

The Caring Hands Award for 2016 went to two employees who bestowed the ultimate act of compassion for a dying patient and her young family. Mercy New Life Hospice employees – Kathy Furnas, Clinical Nurse II, and Mary Deucher, Bereavement Counselor, were honored as Caring Hands Winners for 2016 at Mercy’s recent employee recognition dinner for their resolve and determination to ensure that a family could stay together.  

While it is heartbreaking to care for a young woman who is dying, knowing that her three children will be left without a mother was equally upsetting. Kathy learned that the children would be unable to stay together after their mother’s death, so she contact Mary. Using their resources, they worked together on a plan.

“Kathy and Mary contacted family members and coordinated meetings between the patient, the children and their relatives,” explained Jeff Zink, Executive Director, Mercy New Life Hospice. “Thanks to their efforts, a plan was developed that allowed the children to stay together as a family unit.

“They recognized the woman’s sadness for having to leave her family and her extreme grief over her children growing up in separate homes. Kathy and Mary knew that they had to do everything in their power to ensure that the patient’s children grew up with each other. By doing so, they saw the human dignity in her wishes and saw the lives of the children as sacred.”

The patient passed away shortly after the plans were finalized that ensured her children would be able to live together.

Kathy’s and Mary’s actions – which were above and beyond their job responsibilities – were a true reflection of our Mercy mission and values in action. They could have simply comforted the patient and family throughout their time at Mercy New Life Hospice, but they found that by working together, they could also provide a solid foundation for the children who were already grieving over the impending loss of their mother.

“While the children may never know the extent that these women went to in order to make this possible, their hearts can rest assure that our patient was able to let go due to the peace they provided her soul,” continued Jeff.

Mercy New Life Hospice provides in-home and inpatient care that focuses on what matters - peace, comfort and the courage to face this sacred journey- not only for those with a life-limiting illness, but for their loved ones, as well. Our mission at Mercy New Life Hospice is to provide the best possible care to patients and their families who are dealing with the realities of terminal illness. For more information on services available, please call 440-934-1458 or visit us online at Mercy.com.