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Compassionate Professional Chace Griffin

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Chace Griffin is a Funeral Director at our SW Denver/Lakewood location.  He has worked at Horan & McConaty for 2 years.

Why did you choose this career?

I was inspired to enter funeral service after watching my uncle, John Horan, serve families and saw what a huge difference it made in their lives.  I decided to pursue a degree in mortuary science after graduating from CSU.

Why did you choose Horan & McConaty?

I enjoy working at Horan & McConaty because we are family owned and operated and it truly feels that way. The management and staff that work here care for each other.

What is fulfilling about your work?

I feel fulfilled when I get the chance to help a family construct a ceremony that honors their loved one.  I have the opportunity to make a positive impact in people’s lives every day that I come to work.

Caregiver of the Month – Lorraine Cecil

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Lorraine Cecil is the winner of the Hospice Caregiver Award presented by Horan & McConaty.  She was nominated by Shannon Kilrow from Hospice Care of the Rockies.

Lorraine Cecil has been a volunteer with Hospice Care of the Rockies since 2014. Lorraine demonstrates considerable and consistent commitment in terms of time, amount of responsibility and longevity. Lorraine has made an incredible impact on our hospice patients over the years, always willing to take on the more ‘difficult’ patients. Lorraine has a calming and peaceful presence and is able to easily share space and provide comforting presence to our patients, while also has the personality and willingness to engage with patients in conversation and life review. Lorraine goes above and beyond as a hospice volunteer. For example – Lorraine visited with a hospice patient in her home who was primarily bed bound and had not left her home in many years. Lorraine recognized boredom and need for stimulation for this particular patient and therefore took it upon herself to check out library books for the patient regularly, which they discuss during their visits.

Lorraine is also very crafty in knitting and sewing and shares these gifts selflessly with our patients. Whenever I have a volunteer request Lorraine is one of the first volunteers I turn to, as she is prompt, responsive, and always willing to go the extra mile for our patients. Lorraine has taken on multiple patients at a time with the intention to “ease stress, pain and fear of death”. Lorraine does this in a spectacular manner. Lorraine does not limit herself to direct patient care, she is also an excellent asset to events held by Hospice Care of the Rockies. Lorraine jumped at the opportunity to help with a Vow Renewal Ceremony at a local nursing home. Lorraine shared her skill of photography and photographed the many elderly couples who came to renew their vows on Valentines Day. in addition to this, she had no problem (in fact, was extremely helpful) in setting up and then cleaning up the event. Lorraine helped the event to run smoothly – and added a special element, taking photos for the couples.

Lorraine provides immense amounts of her own time to our patients, in 2015 and 2016 Lorraine provided the most volunteer hours to our volunteer program throughout both years. She is consistent about her visits and recognizes the importance of commitment to our patients. I cannot think of anyone more suited to receive extra special recognition for her unwavering commitment to hospice patients and their families.

Sincerely,

Shannon Kilrow

Hospice Care of the Rockies

 

Each monthly Caregiver Award winner will receive a gift card that can be used for whatever the recipient decides and an award.

At the end of twelve months the review committee will select the Caregiver of the Year to be revealed at a banquet honoring the twelve finalists. The Caregiver of the Year will win a trip for two within Colorado.

Caregiver Award

Do you know a Caregiver? Nominate them today!

Colorado Fallen Hero Foundation presents plaque to Horan & McConaty

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On April 14th, members of the Colorado Fallen Hero Foundation and the Aurora Police Department presented the staff of Horan and McConaty Funeral Service with a plaque thanking them for their continued support of fallen officers in Colorado.  When we gathered our staff for this presentation we were surprised to learn that Lt. Steven Redfearn is the man who saved the life of the daughter of our co-worker and Advance Planner Heidi Soudani. Heidi came to the presentation not knowing that Lt. Redfearn would be there and was deeply moved that the man who saved her daughter’s life had come to present an expression of appreciation to Horan & McConaty. Lt. Redfearn made the courageous call on the night of the Aurora Theater shootings to take injured to hospitals in Aurora police vehicles when there were no more ambulances available. Heidi spoke to our staff about what happened that night and her certainty that had Lt. Redfearn not made the courageous call to immediately transport her daughter, she would have died. Michael Wellensiek, my partners Jennifer Sutter McBride and Daren Forbes , our entire team, and I appreciate Lt. Redfearn, Commander Ernie Ortiz, and the important mission of the Colorado Fallen Hero Foundation.  www.coloradofallenheroesmemorial.org

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Caregiver of the Month – Chaplain Rosalee Blake

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Chaplain Rosalee Blake is the winner of the Hospice Caregiver Award presented by Horan & McConaty. She was nominated by Laura Bodmer from Agape Hospice.

I nominate Rosalee Blake, Chaplain with Agape Hospice for the Caregiver Award. I have had such privilege in working with Rosalee as our team chaplain.

Often in this work we find ourselves going from one urgent need to another and this can cause great anxiety. Despite the hustle and bustle of maintaining high caseloads and high patient, family and facility needs, Rosalee always brings with her a calm and calming presence. She is able to sit with the patients and their families during high stress moments offering such compassion, warmth and empathy for their experiences. She truly honors where the patient is in his or her end of life journey.

On countless occasions I have been lucky enough to witness just how much support she brings to patients and their families even as they might feel their worlds are crashing down around them, Rosalee brings love and light to them and holds space for them to process their life, experiences, and losses. Each time Rosalee offers prayer for a patient, I have seen immediate relief. Rosalee’s ability to offer gentle, and patient focused prayer is really something special to be present for. I see the patient and/or families relax, and a look of calm sweeps over their faces, and their bodies. No other discipline is able to do this so remarkably. Rosalee, our chaplain offers such beautiful care to our patients and families at times of existential crisis, acceptance and peace.

Sincerely,

Laura Bodmer

Agape Social Worker

 

Each monthly Caregiver Award winner will receive a gift card that can be used for whatever the recipient decides and an award.

At the end of twelve months the review committee will select the Caregiver of the Year to be revealed at a banquet honoring the twelve finalists. The Caregiver of the Year will win a trip for two within Colorado.

Caregiver Award

Do you know a Caregiver? Nominate them today!

 

Caregiver of the Month – Chaplain Tom Simbo

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Chaplain Tom Simbo is the winner of the Hospice Caregiver Award presented by Horan & McConaty. Tom was nominated by Julie King.

I am recognizing and honoring Chaplain Tom Simbo for his kindness and attentiveness during the time before my husband was in hospice, during hospice, on the day of his death and that evening. He also assisted my family and prepared a most beautiful eulogy, with sincerity and love.

He is a caring, loving and patient hospice caregiver… always there for me… always kind.

Sincerely,

Julie King

Each monthly Caregiver Award winner will receive a gift card that can be used for whatever the recipient decides and an award.

At the end of twelve months the review committee will select the Caregiver of the Year to be revealed at a banquet honoring the twelve finalists. The Caregiver of the Year will win a trip for two within Colorado.

Caregiver Award

Do you know a Caregiver? Nominate them today!

Learn about Queen Victoria’s Funeral

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Queen Victoria ruled the British Empire for nearly sixty four years, the second longest reign in British history. She reigned over 450 million people, a quarter of the world’s population at the time, during a period of great industrial, cultural, political, scientific, and military change, and she was instrumental in reshaping the role of the British monarchy. She escaped death many times, surviving at least six assassination attempts, before passing away in 1901, at eighty one years of age. As you’d expect from someone who’d been accustomed to being in charge for so long, she had her funeral planned out in great detail. Here are some interesting facts you may not know about that funeral:

  • Queen Victoria died at Osborne House, on the Isle of Wight, and her body was transported to the mainland aboard the royal yacht Alberta.
  • She requested a military funeral, appropriate for a soldier’s daughter, and was the first monarch to have her coffin transported via gun carriage.
  • Inspired by Lord Tennyson to have a “white funeral”, she requested eight white horses to pull her funeral carriage, and a white pall over the coffin. This was extremely innovative, as funerals had previously been traditionally outfitted in black.
  • As her funeral procession traveled through London, crowds thronged the street, silently paying their respects to their beloved queen.
  • At Windsor, the horses broke harness, and as a result, sailors from the Royal Navy pulled her coffin the rest of the way to the chapel. This was, of course, unintended, but became a very moving part of the procession.
  • The queen was interred beside her beloved husband, Prince Albert, and at her request, she was buried with his dressing gown and a plaster cast of his hand. She also asked for a lock of hair from her servant and companion John Brown, and for his photograph to be placed in her hand.

Not every passing is an international event, but at Horan and McConaty, we believe every life deserves to be honored. We came to Denver back in 1890, and set out to start a funeral home that would meet the needs and expectations of families coping with end of life decisions. While Queen Victoria was being honored with an elaborate and historical funeral procession, we were giving the families of Denver the support and care they needed to honor their loved ones in a manner befitting the lives they’d lived.

Today, we continue that tradition of honor and care, and we believe that the best way to make sure your funeral meets your expectations is to plan ahead of time. You may not want eight white horses, but that doesn’t make pre-planning any less important, as a way to ensure that your final services honor your life without burdening your loved ones with difficult decisions. Visit HoranCares.com today, to learn more about what we have to offer, and to request your free pre-planning kit.

 

 

Caregiver of the Month – Mary Duah

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Mary Duah from The Denver Hospice is the winner of the Hospice Caregiver Award presented by Horan & McConaty.  Mary was nominated by Kristin Lyons from The Denver Hospice.

Mary Duah has worked with The Denver Hospice for 20+ years as a dedicated CNA. Mary’s bigger than life personality shines though as she consistently goes above and beyond to advocate for her patients. She leads by example with her excellent role model behaviors which were honored by her acceptance in the preceptor role. She brings humor and laughter in the most difficult of moments to buildup team morale and lift the sprits of our families. Her heart is hospice, through and through. She is a role model for all of us.

Kristin Lyons, RN, BSN

Clinical Manager- Southeast Team

The Denver Hospice

 

Each monthly Caregiver Award winner will receive a gift card that can be used for whatever the recipient decides and an award.

At the end of twelve months the review committee will select the Caregiver of the Year to be revealed at a banquet honoring the twelve finalists. The Caregiver of the Year will win a trip for two within Colorado.

Caregiver Award

Do you know a Caregiver? Nominate them today!

Caregiver of the Month – Gretchen Norman

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Gretchen Norman from Porter Hospice/St. Anthony Hospice is the winner of the Hospice Caregiver Award presented by Horan & McConaty.  Gretchen was nominated by Joan Hummel from Porter Hospice & St. Anthony Hospice.

Gretchen Norman is the consummate hospice grief counselor and resource in the Denver community for people from all walks of life accessing bereavement support. I’ve known her for over seven years (or is eight?), have done grief groups with her and been side-by-side with Gretchen as she’s provided loving, compassionate and in-depth support to so many families of both St. Anthony and Porter Hospice.

It dawned on me today that in addition to Gretchen’s amazing clinical caregiving, she makes incredible linkages for so many people in so many settings. In the last week alone, Gretchen was on deck doing the following activities in addition to her grief work with hospice families: she advocated as a volunteer before a hospital foundation on behalf of a community organization that supports equine assisted therapy, participated in volunteer support for the Alzheimer’s Association which has benefited from her art therapy expertise over the years, served as an inspiration for self-care opportunities for a multi-disciplinary group of bereavement professionals in the community whom she helps organize education and networking support for, and outreached two different hospitals in the community at which she’ll be providing no-cost education about hospice for newly minted nurses starting their healthcare careers. None of these things are in Gretchen’s hospice job description, most of them are done on her own volunteer time, and all of them are a tremendous resource to the community at large for receiving quality professional support, complimentary therapies and hospice education.

Hospice asks its workers to sometimes wear multiple hats. I’ve known Gretchen to style the hats she wears in such a fashion that her work goes beyond the ordinary into the extraordinary. The majority of the clinical work she does, as it’s confidential and private in nature, goes unrecognized most of the time as her work requires her to touch upon the intimate suffering that grief brings about. Many people are not in a position to share their innermost therapeutic experiences with the outside world after they’ve experienced grief counseling. However, I get the benefit of having Gretchen’s clients in my grief groups from time to time. The way they speak of Gretchen’s insights, ability to help them with their problem solving and amazing connection to what really matters as they move forward in their healing is absolutely something I recognize firsthand. This is because, as my colleague, Gretchen has performed these very same roles for me on a personal support level, especially after my experience of several personal losses and life transitions over the last two years. I truly do not feel I would be the functioning professional in my work at the level I am able to be at if it weren’t for Gretchen’s continual support, loving grace and optimism about all that we can accomplish if we just take care of ourselves as we do this work. Gretchen Norman is an inspiration to me every single day, to our hospice families in every way, and to our larger caregiving community ongoing!

Joan Hummel, LCSW

Grief Counselor

Porter Hospice & St. Anthony Hospice

 

Each monthly Caregiver Award winner will receive a gift card that can be used for whatever the recipient decides and an award.

At the end of twelve months the review committee will select the Caregiver of the Year to be revealed at a banquet honoring the twelve finalists. The Caregiver of the Year will win a trip for two within Colorado.

Caregiver Award

Do you know a Caregiver? Nominate them today!

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