Recently, I received an email from Kathryn Grigsby, CEO of the Hospice of Baton Rouge in Louisiana. Reflecting on the 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Kathryn was reaching out to thank the hospice teams who had responded to her request for immediate on-site assistance.
At the time, I was the director of Patient Care Services at Hospice Partners and worked with the support of the then-administrator, Janet Jeffery, to quickly send a team of five hospice staff members to Baton Rouge. They worked very hard to provide comfort and care to patients and families dealing with end-of-life care, while in the midst of chaos.
Kathryn spoke of being humbled by the outpouring of support received from over 25 states.
Those who went to help from here were Sue Cikowski, registered nurse; Miriam Hetsler, RN; Susan Dodd, LCSW (licensed clinical social worker); and bereavement counselors Claire Aagaard and Dianne Thompson (all now either retired or working elsewhere).
Our community is very fortunate to have in our midst these five individuals who unselfishly stepped forward to help those in need during the Katrina tragedy.