You may have noticed in local press and on social media that Home Hospice North Lanark has been looking for some new board members and a new relief RN for our Coordinator of Visiting Volunteers. Once again, the community has come forward. It is so validating to the organization that people with strong and impressive résumés have stepped forward to join our team.

We have five new Directors:

• Michelle Kay, MPNL, CPA-CMA, ACMA(UK), takes over the position of Treasurer. She enjoys the challenge of creating order from chaos, particularly when it removes the stress of that chaos from others and frees them to focus on what they do best. When 100+ Women Who Care Lanark selected Home Hospice North Lanark as the Fall 2020 recipient, Michelle noticed that HHNL were looking to recruit a new Treasurer. The opportunity to serve on the HHNL Board where both her accounting experience and master’s learning could be utilized was serendipitous.

• Deanna Barry brings a wide range of experience as a long-time volunteer in the areas of recreation and social services, both at the Board of Directors and frontline program delivery levels. Strong communications and organizational skills are other skills Deanna brings to the Board.

• Kelly Smith is a returning member, having had to cut short her first term for personal reasons. She has held many different roles within both the private and not-for-profit sectors of business throughout her career. Her 18 years with Community Care Access Centres, followed by work with The Ottawa Hospital on the Electronic Health Record project CNEO/NER are strong assets for HHNL.

• Esther Houle’s registered nursing background in many areas of nursing will be much appreciated. Her passion is to help and care for people and with the recent passing of her mom she longed to be more involved in her community. So when the opportunity of director came up on the Board of Home Hospice she readily applied.

• Ruth Dubois’ background in palliative care stems from over 42 years of work as an RN and nurse educator in a variety of areas including geriatrics, surgery, medicine, mental health, and community home care. This wealth of knowledge will help make us a stronger organization.

We are also pleased to welcome to the team Sidney Thomson R.N. who is our relief R.N., giving Coordinator Allison Griffith support. Sidney comes to us with many years of nursing experience at the Carleton Place and District Memorial Hospital. Sidney has experience and palliative care training through her role as an RN.

Nancy Deschenes and Jan Watson both change position, following their 2-year terms as Chair and Vice Chair. Nancy becomes Past Chair and Jan will take the helm as Chair. Nancy brought a lot of valuable knowledge, expertise and commitment to palliative care to the table, and her humour during her term as Chair has been wonderful, particularly as the organization navigated the choppy waters of a global pandemic.

Jan is a very familiar face in the community through her work with Carebridge Community Support (formerly Mills Community Support) for 25 years in the Developmental Services program and in Seniors Home Support supporting seniors and adults with disabilities. She is also a Board Director for the Almonte Civitan Club, and the Linn Bower Seniors Residence in Clayton. Jan volunteers for Carebridge, the Canadian Cancer Society and is on the fundraising committee for the Almonte General Hospital’s Run for Women’s Health. She has been on the Board of HHNL for five years.

We say goodbye and thank you to two amazing women.

Cathy Cochran has served as Treasurer for four years. She has been a terrific addition to the Board, keeping us on track financially. Cathy is a woman who is never idle. When asked how she got involved with HHNL, this very busy woman replied, “I was looking for something to do to help out in the community and heard Jane Henderson speak about the Hospice and its work and thought immediately that this was where I wanted to get involved. Their Treasurer quit and I was in!” We thank Cathy sincerely for her service.

Jane Henderson’s participation in the development of home-based end-of-life services in the community with Hub Hospice Palliative Care, later Home Hospice North Lanark, has been a Godsend. Her vast knowledge and calm confidence has been a large factor in the success of our programs. We know that she will continue to support HHNL in any way she can. Jane has served on the Board of HHNL since 2012.

We sincerely thank every single one of these amazing women for stepping up and committing their experience, time and energy to ensuring that HHNL continues to grow. Without the dedication from these people, we would not be able to serve the people in our community when they most need the support.