Amy Rein, special events manager, left, joins Walk team S&P's Heart and Soul to celebrate the 34th Walk for Hospice.
When hospice becomes a family experience it inspires togetherness and dedication to the Care Dimensions mission. Working at Care Dimensions strengthens that commitment to support patients and their families. Six Care Dimensions employees explain why they support the Walk for Hospice, why they believe in the mission and why their commitment has never waned.
Diane Gokas, S&P’s Heart and Soul Team Captain
Diane’s experience with hospice compelled her to become a Care Dimensions employee and she continues to demonstrate her commitment by avidly supporting the Walk for Hospice.
“My mom and dad passed two days apart at the Kaplan Family Hospice House in 2015,” says Diane, Physician Services coordinator. “They had been in separate rooms but Dr. Nancy Otovic arranged for them to be together, to hold hands. It just meant so much for my family.”
Admiring the hospice staff for the work they do, Diane wanted to work at Care Dimensions. She was hired in 2018 and, as fate would have it, started her new job in Physician Services right outside Dr. Otovic’s office. Diane has served on the Walk for Hospice Leadership Committee for the past two years and is regarded as the conscience in addition to captain of SP’s Heart and Soul, a team of 11 that already has exceeded their fundraising goal of $1,000.
“I remind everyone mercilessly and I send out Walk emails to staff every few weeks,” says Diane, who also designed an artful Walk display wall at the entrance to her department. “My uncle was cared for at Kaplan House, too, so it means a lot to me and my whole family to support the Walk for Hospice.”
- Andrea Fellows, S&P’s Heart and Soul Team
Andrea started her new job as Physician Services administrative assistant in April 2021 and already has her Walk shoes on. “I walk around my husband ‘s business, the Goodfellows Food Truck, on South Main in Middleton. I have a friend whose brother was at Kaplan a year ago and his sticker is on our truck. I’m walking for him.”
- Lynda Evangelista, S&P’s Heart and Soul Team
Lynda, Physician Services credentialing coordinator, walks in memory of her mom, who was not on hospice care, but believes in the mission. "Working here is so meaningful for me."
- Misty Hall, S&P's Heart and Soul Team
"I'm inspired by the work of the medical staff," says Misty, Palliative Care practice coordinator. "This is my third Walk for Hospice – we’re walking on Plum Island again this year. My inspiration comes from Diane rallying us all. I just think it’s a great cause and I believe in the work.”
Maura Santos, Bad Assets Team Captain
A 13-year veteran at Care Dimensions, Maura worked in the Development office for three years before transferring to Finance. Her fundraising experience introduced her to the Walk for Hospice and planted the seed for her continued support. Now payroll manager, she captains the Bad Assets, a Finance team with Angelina Collins, Maryann Linquata and Allison Williams.
“We fundraise as a group,” Santos says. “We are encouraging the Finance department to participate, to walk or support the team; we’re all doing Facebook fundraisers; and we’re asking family members to walk or donate to support the team.
“This is my 14th Walk,” she continues. “My father-in-law was in hospice care with Care Dimensions. In 2013, he fell and hit his head and was a patient at the Kaplan House. It was for only six or eight hours, but what a wonderful experience it was.
“I believe in the good work we do and the many people I know who are dedicated,” Maura says. “Whether it’s a friend’s parent or a sister or a relative of mine, I participate in the Walk to make sure people who need hospice care can get it, regardless of their ability to pay.”
Jane Byrne, The Byrne Bunch Team Captain
“In 2006, I joined Care Dimensions and immediately became dedicated to the Walk for Hospice,” says Jane Byrne, Referral Center manager. “I first inspired the younger kids in my family to join in, which is how The Byrne Bunch came to be. I’ve always been very competitive and so I wanted us to be the best – I believe in our mission and this company.”
In the past 15 years, Jane has led her team’s fundraising campaign with voicemails to the Referral Center staff, reminders to donate and sign up to form a team.
“I ask Admissions nurses to sponsor me and encourage the staff to participate in some way,” she says. “I send emails to family and friends, post on Facebook every couple of weeks and remind everyone they still time to contribute. Many times, for people we’ve helped, it resonates. My siblings never fail, they always support me.”
Jane’s making plans for another virtual Walk this year; last year she walked with her daughter, Mary, at John George Park in Danversport.
“We need to keep all the programs going,” Jane says. “Just because we can’t be together at a Walk doesn’t mean we still don’t need to raise funds for services to all patients and families. It’s more important than ever.”
You, too, can walk, run, or do whatever fun activity you choose to get moving in support of compassionate care for patients and families, when and where it is convenient for you. Register for or donate to the Walk for Hospice: https://www.caredimensions.org/walk
About the author
Robin Ellington is a Communications Specialist for Care Dimensions.