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Community headlines

Every day, Hospice of the Valley strives to make a positive difference in the lives of our patients and families. Learn more about agency, our staff and our 40 year commitment to exceptional care in these recent stories by the news media.

August 02, 2018
Fake pets give real love to dementia patients

“A lot of times dementia patients will be very stoic and quiet and kind of lost in their own little world, but you bring one of these mechanical pets and put it in front of them, put it in their lap and it starts moving, maybe it’s meowing or purring, and they just come alive,” explained Lin Sue Cooney, director of community engagement at Hospice of the Valley. “Their faces light up. Their hands start to stroke the fur. They cuddle. They hug. It makes all the difference in their life and there is nothing like that beautiful joy.”

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July 21, 2018
The pets may be fake, but the joy they bring to dementia patients is real

To experience the love of a pet is to know unconditional love. They don’t judge, play mind games or hold a grudge. Your dog is as happy to see you today, as he was yesterday. Your cat purrs contentedly every time she commandeers your lap.

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June 20, 2018
Young people learn about care by giving

As a high school student, Sandra Villalobos didn’t think she could handle hospice work emotionally when she first heard about a Teens in Nursing volunteer program offered by Hospice of the Valley. But she decided to give it a try.

“After the experience, I knew I really, really, really wanted to do this,” Villalobos said. “I don’t see myself doing anything else. I love it.”

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June 11, 2018
Pilot Program Allowing Hospice Of The Valley Patients To Continue Curative Care

Under Medicare’s current rules, a person who goes on hospice has to stop any curative care they might be receiving, like dialysis or chemotherapy. But now, a nationwide pilot program is looking to see if the old way of doing things really works.

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May 08, 2018
Phoenix First Responders Learning To Work With 2 Unique Populations

First responders often find themselves in situations involving people with dementia or people with disabilities. These encounters can sometimes end poorly, like in the case of a teenager with autism whose run in with police made headlines.

Two Phoenix agencies are learning how to work with these diverse populations.

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April 28, 2018
Girl from Minnesota crosses the country to visit last child of the Orphan Train in Arizona

At Hospice of the Valley, we are privileged to serve some pretty amazing people. Every patient has a story, but the tale of 106-year-old Victoria Moe is truly remarkable.

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April 25, 2018
New ASU class aims to break the stigma surrounding dementia

ASU now offers two classes that focus on dementia, Alzheimer's and hospice and palliative care. The classes aim to break the stigma surrounding dementia and will give students firsthand experience in specialized healthcare.

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April 19, 2018
The Term 'Comfort Care' Changing How We View End Of Life

Days before former First Lady Barbara Bush passed away, her spokesman made the announcement she would no longer seek additional medical treatment and will instead focus on comfort care."

We wanted to learn more about that term, "comfort care."

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April 03, 2018
Hospice of the Valley Honors Military Veterans, First Responders

Hospice of the Valley celebrates the lives of military veterans and first responders through volunteer programs that match volunteers with those experiences with patients who have served on the front lines.

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March 27, 2018
Improving Counseling For End of Life Care

Some of the most difficult decisions for patients, their families and their providers involve end-of-life care, especially the decision to forego aggressive medical treatment and focus on palliative care. Patients with complex and multiple chronic conditions typically have many healthcare providers and specialists so it can be time consuming to obtain a complete medical history. Having a single source for patient information through Health Current simplifies the process tremendously for Arizona Palliative Home Care (AZPHC).

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March 11, 2018
AAHA! Raises Record-Breaking $350K for Hospice of the Valley

AAHA! An Auction of Heirlooms and Art, raised a record-breaking amount of more than $350,000 for Hospice of the Valley at its event on March 3 at the Arizona Biltmore. More than 350 guests attended, bidding on art and one-of-a-kind experiences through the silent and live auctions.

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February 24, 2018
Lin Sue Cooney: Hospice of the Valley provides culturally sensitive care

Imagine being very ill. Then imagine being unable to communicate with doctors and nurses who are caring for you. How frightening would that be?

Many of our elderly who speak little or no English know exactly how that feels. Without a translator, they can’t ask about troubling new symptoms. They don’t understand the purpose of a new medication.

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February 07, 2018
Hospice of the Valley Plans Dementia Care Campus

Hospice of the Valley plans to establish a Dementia Care and Education Campus in east Phoenix at the former site of the Scottsdale Unified School District Office. The campus will provide care for people at all stages of dementia and feature an intergenerational adult and child-care center and an education venue that will bring people together to share best practices in dementia care.

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January 30, 2018
At Circle the City, end-of-life care also serves as hopeful beginning

Circle the City has 50 beds to care for the homeless, and several are reserved for hospice patients. James Martz was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2017 and hit rock bottom before getting help.

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January 27, 2018
Lin Sue Cooney: Our community makes Hospice of the Valley unique

A family needing hospice care for a loved one can be overwhelmed by all the options — there are 80-plus hospices in Arizona!

Although it’s true that many deliver compassionate care, it’s also true that all hospices are not the same.

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January 26, 2018
End-of-life care is a new beginning for some Valley homeless patients

As the homeless population of Maricopa County grows, it includes more aging Americans who have a unique set of concerns, particularly when it comes to terminal illness and end of life issues. Since 2012, the non-profit Circle the City organization has been providing medical respite care for the homeless and is now providing hospice care.

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January 14, 2018
Hospice of the Valley To Build New Dementia Care and Education Campus

Dementia is one of the leading causes of death in Arizona, and Hospice of the Valley is planning a new Dementia Care and Education Campus.

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December 30, 2017
Lin Sue Cooney: New program offers curative and hospice care at same time

In the time I’ve been privileged to serve with Hospice of the Valley, I’ve had countless conversations with patients and family members. It’s not uncommon to hear how reluctant they were to sign up for hospice. Yet in the next breath, they confide they would have done it sooner, had they known how wonderful the care was.

Here’s the dilemma: In order to receive beautiful care from your hospice team, you must forgo more aggressive treatments such as chemo and radiation and in some cases, rehab services.

But what if you didn’t have to choose?

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December 14, 2017
Coping with grief during the holidays

There are beautiful sights of the season that help bring joy to our lives: the lights, the bells, the music, but in the midst of it all, it can be afflictive.

"She just wanted her daddy back," said Cherie Myohanen.

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December 02, 2017
Lin Sue Cooney: Give your family the gift of advance directives

This is the season of frantic shopping, dashing around the mall, scouring for deals online — checking things off our list — trying to find the perfect gift and not break the bank.

Not to be morbid, but I’d like to suggest a gift that definitely isn’t on your radar. It’s something everyone needs. Even better, it doesn’t cost a penny.

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November 28, 2017
A thrifty, gifty season: Charity resale stores offer unique value, holiday cheer

With Black Friday in the rear-view and two-dozen retail days remaining, some West Valley residents are seeking colorful, clever alternatives to finish filling their carefully hung Christmas stockings.

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November 20, 2017
Thousands come together to celebrate lost loved ones in 'Light Up a Life' event

Thanksgiving and the holidays are usually a time to be with family and that can be tough for families who have recently lost loved ones.

Thousands gathered Sunday to celebrate those loved ones at an event called "Light Up a Life."

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November 01, 2017
HOV celebrates 40 years of service

Hospice of the Valley, which celebrated its 40th anniversary in September, originated serendipitously—or in theological terms, providentially.

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October 28, 2017
Lin Sue Cooney: How to cope with grief during the holidays

Losing someone you love isn’t a one-time hurt.

Grief has a way of sneaking up on us. Just when things seem to be getting better a familiar song, a whiff of perfume, an old photograph can innocently trigger a memory. Instantly, we’re pierced with pain.

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October 25, 2017
Off the Vine Vintage Wine Auction Nets $113K

Nearly 200 guests attended Hospice of the Valley’s 16th annual Off the Vine Vintage Wine Auction on Oct. 13. For the first time, the event was held at Mountain Shadows Resort in Paradise Valley.

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October 20, 2017
Program brings youthful energy to the field of dementia care

One of the most wonderful experiences of my career happened this fall, as I was brainstorming with two colleagues. It was a passionate discussion about inspiring the next generation of young people to care about people with Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias.

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September 30, 2017
Lin Sue Cooney: Hospice program honors first responders

Say the word hero and what comes to mind?

Soldiers risking their lives to protect us.

Police officers, firefighters and other first responders rushing headlong into danger as the rest of us are fleeing it.

Yet these public servants don’t consider themselves heroic at all

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September 12, 2017
Why Working in Hospice is the Right Career for Me

For me, 2007 began like any other year. I was working in an acute care setting that included ER, trauma, adult ICU, medsurg and OR responsibilities when I had the opportunity to care for a family member who was under hospice care.

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September 05, 2017
Pet Connections

We became a certified pet therapy team just over two years ago, intending to do something fun and service-oriented for Hospice of the Valley patients. We had no earthly idea how rewarding it would be.

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August 26, 2017
Lin Sue Cooney: Soothing the heartbreak of dementia

For the past year, I've witnessed two dear friends struggle with the same heavy burden.

One spends hours each day coaxing her 91-year-old aunt to wake up and have a bite to eat. Showers have become a battle of wills. My friend smiles, makes cheerful conversation, doles out morsels of chocolate, gets a friendly dog (mine) to visit — anything to bring a little joy into Darlynne's life.

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July 25, 2017
Lin Sue Cooney: One of the best things about hospice is making dreams come true

It’s not surprising that some of the most compassionate people in the world choose a career in hospice care. It takes a special kind of heart to support people on their final journey and I feel privileged to serve alongside them.

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June 28, 2017
Lin Sue Cooney: When hospice care is needed for newborn babies

It’s only natural to associate the word “hospice” with end of life—to envision a patient who is elderly and frail—someone who has lived a long, full life.

But what happens when care is needed before a baby draws its first breath—before life even begins?

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May 27, 2017
Pets are the best medicine

My dog thinks he’s a person.

Probably because I treat him like one. I say “please” when I ask him to sit. I say “thank you” when he pauses at the door to let me go first. He sits patiently when I brush his teeth — and dings a hotel bell with his paw to indicate he’d like to go outdoors.

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May 08, 2017
Valle del Sol celebrates Lin Sue Cooney: 2017 Mom of the Year honoree

Lin Sue Cooney became director of community engagement for Hospice of the Valley after 31 years as a newscaster at 12News. She may have changed professions, but her passion to serve is stronger than ever. Instead of connecting our community to the latest headlines, she now connects families to tender and compassionate care.

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April 29, 2017
Lin Sue Cooney: 6 Myths of Hospice Care

As I walk through the cereal aisle at Safeway, someone taps me on the shoulder. I already know what’s coming. A lovely compliment about missing me on the news… and a question: How do you like working for Hospice of the Valley?

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April 28, 2017
Library talk takes the fear out of hospice

Although not everyone is comfortable talking about death, Patsy Pearce of Mesa doesn’t mind; she can discuss it without any discomfort at all. She’s a volunteer with Hospice of the Valley and will be in town to give a two-part talk. The first, “Hospice and Palliative Care,” begins at 2 p.m. Thursday and the second, “Advance Care Planning,” will be at 2 p.m. May 18 at the Coolidge Public Library, 160 W. Central Ave.

It turns out there’s a lot of misinformation about hospice.

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April 23, 2017
Gold Canyon resident Larry Bargren volunteers in community

Larry Bargren sees a growing need for community volunteers to step in as society becomes more mobile and families become more dispersed.

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April 20, 2017
Helping your doctor with a difficult conversation

Our guest blog today comes to us from Dr. Ned Stolzberg, executive medical director at Hospice of the Valley. As National Healthcare Decisions Day/Week draws to a close, Dr. Stolzberg shares his thoughts on the importance of that conversation so many of us struggle to have regarding advance directives and end of life care.

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April 04, 2017
Record $320K Raised to Boost Hospice of the Valley

Hospice of the Valley raised a record $320,000 at its annual fundraiser in February.

Proceeds from “AAHA! An Auction of Heirlooms and Art,” benefited Hospice of the Valley patients and families from the early stages of care to hospice to grief counseling.

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March 30, 2017
Hospice of the Valley and ASU team up to offer new class

In an effort to get more students involved with caretaking for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients, ASU and Hospice of the Valley have partnered to form a new class through the College of Health Solutions.

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March 22, 2017
Living wills important for all ages

It’s been quite a month. A coworker was in a car accident and spent days in the ICU, a family member was in a serious trauma and spent weeks in the hospital, and I caught the flu and ended up with a bronchitis that lasted five weeks and made me appreciate how I take breathing for granted. In each of these situations, the person in question was in the prime of life; all three of us had a reasonable expectation of a long life ahead. And yet, with each, it could have ended differently.

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March 01, 2017
AAHA! Draws Art Lovers to Fundraiser

AAHA! An Auction of Heirlooms and Art netted $320,000 for Hospice of the Valley, with proceeds benefitting patients and families. It was a record-breaking amount raised in celebration of the not-for-profit agency’s 40th anniversary, up from $300,000 last year.

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February 21, 2017
Volunteers enriching patients' lives at Hospice of the Valley

Hospice of the Valley’s volunteers were the topic of a story aired Tuesday by FOX 10 Phoenix. Susan Rose, our longest-tenured volunteer who started with the agency’s founding in 1977, dances and puts a puzzle together with a patient at Gardiner Home. Volunteer Ann Kendall and her dog Snickers bring smiles and giggles to kids at Ryan House.

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February 17, 2017
Catching Up With Lin Sue Cooney on Life After News and the 40th Anniversary of HOV

A few days ago I had the chance to catch up with my most influential mentor in journalism, one of the most well-known and well-loved TV news anchors in the state of Arizona for over 30 years: Lin Sue Cooney.

Lin Sue and I first met when I began my career as an ASU journalism intern at 12 News, KPNX-TV Channel 12 back in 1989. I was a sophomore in college.

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November 24, 2016
Thrift stores offer way to shop local, save money

The convenience of online shopping has fewer people visiting local stores, instead opting to buy from brand names with one click of a button.

Forrester Research Inc. found that consumers spent $335 billion in online sales; a number that they predict will jump to $523 billion by 2020.

With the option of buying all major brands online, why shop locally?

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November 12, 2016
My Turn: End-of-life care a tough but necessary conversation

November is National Hospice and Palliative Care month—a time for people to enhance their understanding of end-of-life care and to encourage conversations around that topic.

For many families, it’s a tough subject to discuss.

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August 24, 2016
More Than Medication: Hospice Care Expands

Hospice care has become much more common across the country, and Arizona is no exception.

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July 06, 2016
Hospice of the Valley’s Leadership Transition

Susan Levine retired as Hospice of the Valley’s executive director July 1 after 23 years leading one of the nation’s largest and most highly regarded not-for-profit hospices. Debbie Shumway, senior vice president, assumes the top leadership position.

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July 05, 2016
Debbie Shumway leads Hospice of the Valley

Debbie Shumway is the new executive director of Hospice of the Valley, one of the nation’s largest and most highly regarded not-for-profit hospices.

She assumed the position July 1, when Susan Levine retired from the organization she led for 23 years with Shumway by her side. Shumway most recently served as senior vice president, overseeing clinical operations, finance, volunteers, fund development, information services and the agency’s thrift store operations.

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June 12, 2016
Hospice of the Valley executive director to retire

Susan Levine will retire as Hospice of the Valley’s executive director July 1 after 23 years leading one of the nation’s largest and most highly regarded not-for-profit hospices. Debbie Shumway, senior vice president, assumes the top leadership position.

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March 15, 2016
Hospice of the Valley awarded $30,000 grant by Season for Sharing

Season for Sharing has awarded a $30,000 grant to Hospice of the Valley to support the not-for-profit agency’s Palliative Care for Dementia program, serving people with all stages of dementia and their family caregivers.

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February 16, 2016
AAHA! nets record donations for Hospice of the Valley

AAHA! An Auction of Heirlooms and Art netted $310,000 for Hospice of the Valley, with proceeds benefitting the not-for-profit agency’s patients and families.

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