OSKALOOSA — Patty Elscott of Oskaloosa was recently named the 2013 Volunteer of the Year for Mahaska Health Partnership Hospice Services in Mahaska County.
According to MHP Hospice Volunteer Coordinator Lisa McNulty, the award was presented by the Hospice & Palliative Care Association of Iowa. Elscott has been a faithful hospice volunteer since 2009.
“Patty was chosen for her compassion, warmth and dedication to visiting hospice patients and bereaved family members,” McNulty said. “Patty has a way of quickly making a meaningful and lasting connection with everyone she visits.
“As a bereavement volunteer, Patty logged many hours taking a very energetic 87-year-old on numerous day trips to neighboring towns to eat lunch, go bargain shopping and visit old hangouts. Patty listened intently to her reminisce about the past, saw homes where her new friend had lived with her husband and went with her to the cemetery.”
McNulty said that as a patient care volunteer, MHP Hospice staff witnessed Elscott’s uncanny ability to connect with an Alzheimer’s patient that often challenged caregivers but frequently offered a hand, hug or a kiss to Elscott.
“The patient was simply comforted by her presence, sometimes napping in her chair while holding Patty’s hand. “It is that strength of character, unselfishness and ability to be at peace with herself and offer it to others that makes us very proud and honored to have Patty in our volunteer program.”
McNulty said that hospice volunteers are always needed for a variety of functions, including patient care, bereavement and office support at the MHP Hospice Services in Oskaloosa and at the MHP Hospice Serenity House. Volunteers must successfully complete the Hospice Volunteer training courses, pass criminal, child abuse and dependent adult abuse background checks, consent to a TB (tuberculosis) test and influenza vaccination and adhere to strict confidentiality. Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer can contact McNulty at 641-672-3266.