Teamwork Helps Fulfill Patient's Wish to See the Sea Once More
When VITAS hospice patient realized she was approaching the end of life, a simple wish rose to the top of her list: Go to the beach one more time.
VITAS Volunteers Stitch 20 Memory Bears for Family of WWII Veteran
We provided hospice care to World War II veteran Henry Prosser in 2018 in the Chicago area. After his death on December 29, 2018, volunteers delivered 20 Memory Bears — with an interesting touch — to Henry’s family.
A Victory Lap for a NASCAR Superfan
Ronald Boenitsch worked 20 years working as a race car mechanic, but he’d never before experienced the track from behind the windshield.
Decades Didn’t Diminish VITAS Patient’s Bond With Horses
A VITAS patient got a chance to reignite his connection with horses 50 years later, thanks to a bit of serendipity and a long-standing friendship.
VITAS Veteran Patient Honored for Military Service and Birthday
The last time military personnel in dress uniform appeared unannounced before Jacob Wynn, Jr., they told him to report for active duty, for the second time.
Hospice Team Works Quickly So Mother Can Attend Daughter’s Wedding
Wedding decorations, a cake, and never-to-be-forgotten wedding photos materialized overnight in a VITAS inpatient hospice unit, thanks to the hospice team.
VITAS Honors Vietnam Veterans at Cape Canaveral
Held at the Cape Canaveral National Cemetery, the 50th Commemoration of Vietnam Veterans ceremony is part of a national initiative to honor Vietnam vets.
1,000 Memory Bears, 4,652 Donated Hours and Counting
Ingrid Evans of Orinda, California, recently stitched up her 1,000th Memory Bear for families of VITAS hospice patients in the San Francisco area.
VITAS Plans a Long Overdue Ring Presentation for a Hospice Patient and His Bride
Couples in love traditionally exchange wedding rings as symbols of their commitment and unending love. But what happens when the rings have to be returned?
Pomp, Circumstance and a Diploma Ceremony in a VITAS IPU
Skyler Rupnow’s May 24 graduation from Richland High School in Texas, had all the elements of a traditional diploma-granting ceremony.
Testimonial: ‘I Am Extremely Indebted to VITAS’
Danielle was lost, afraid and overwhelmed when her mother entered hospice care in Chicago in late 2017. Read how VITAS Chicago Northwest supported Danielle.
A ‘Wonderful, Healing Weekend’ for Grieving Children and Families
The VITAS-sponsored bereavement camp helped children and their parents/guardians have fun while exploring creative ways of channeling their grief.
‘Nifty Needles’ Crochet Blanket for 103-Year-Old WWII Veteran
Jerry Leisring, a 103-year-old WWII Navy veteran was presented with a specially labeled, crocheted military blanket during a bedside salute in Cincinnati.
VITAS Volunteer Art Schmall Earns Hall of Fame Recognition
After nearly a decade of volunteer service for VITAS and a growing roster of patients to visit, 80-year-old Art Schmall is being honored in Broward County’s Senior Hall of Fame.
Citrus County Team Grants Dying Man’s Wish to Go Fishing
One last time, 89-year-old David Fletcher cast a fishing line off of a boat, thanks to the Citrus County team, local businesses, Mother Nature…and the fish.
What’s New in Death and Dying?
Books, articles—even an Oscar-nominated documentary—abound about how we live and how we die, about dying well, about having conversations about dying, about the people who care for the dying and about our goals near the end of life.
‘Somebody Helped My Dad, So I’ll Help Someone Else’
Art Dobberstein has lived in Naples, Florida, for 30 years, but his formative years were spent on and around horses in Nebraska and South Dakota.
A Traditional Veteran Salute Near the End of Life
In a moment of quiet respect, a VITAS Healthcare hospice care team in Davie, Florida, gathered at the bedside of US Army veteran Danny Kessler in early January for an emotional bedside salute honoring his 20 years of military service.
VITAS Wears Its Heart on Its Sleeve During National Wear Red Day
On Friday, February 1, 2019, VITAS employees around the country participated in the American Heart Association’s “Go Red for Women” campaign, raising awareness about heart disease and its status as a leading cause of death among women in the US.
8th Annual Music-Thon Proceeds Send Children to VITAS Bereavement Camp
South Florida students sang, played instruments and made beautiful music for 12 straight hours on a busy shopping day to raise funds for grieving children to attend Camp VITAS in March.
Christmas Comes Early to VA Patients Thanks to VITAS and VSOs
VITAS helped bring an early dose of Christmas to the veterans at the Cincinnati VA during the annual Christmas Volunteer Evening.
VITAS Volunteer Judith Mathewson Recognized for Outstanding Work With Veterans
Living by the VITAS values is inherently rewarding, but sometimes it can even land you an award.
Chicago Volunteer Larry Rybak: 2018 NHPCO Volunteer Award Winner
When he received the news of winning the 2018 NHPCO Volunteer Award, Larry Rybak was floored. “I was speechless,” says the 75-year-old volunteer for VITAS in Chicago-Lombard. “I had to sit down.”
VIDEO: VITAS Feels Like Family
“Family” is an ideal description for hospice care. Hospice is family members and a hospice team working together to provide compassionate end-of-life care.
Senator Tom Carper Visits Local WWII Veteran and Hospice Patient
Malcom “Mac” Impink, a local World War II veteran and hospice patient being cared for at his home in Frankford by VITAS Healthcare, received a Sept. 28 visit from Sen. Tom Carper, who took the opportunity to thank Impink for his service.
VITAS Patients Celebrate 77th Wedding Anniversary
For some, 77 years is a lifetime. But for VITAS hospice patients Everett and "Tiny" Rittenhouse of Chicago, 77 years was just one chapter in their life together.
"The Best Day of My Life"
On August 12, 2018, the US Navy veteran & Pearl Harbor survivor was front and center during a “Spirit of ‘45” event for veterans at an Atlanta Braves game.
Passion for Fiery Occupation Never Cooled
"I couldn't be more complete," said patient Ed Moore after VITAS helped his local fire department, where he worked for many years, arrange a procession to honor him.
100-Year-Old Veteran Receives Honorary Flag in Full Honor Guard Ceremony
Herbert, a VITAS patient who turned 100 in April of this year, fed U.S. soldiers through some of America’s most difficult, drawn-out wars: World War II.
A Touching Hospice Wedding
Molly Nadolski’s wedding was so close, but time was running out. All Molly wanted was for her mother to see her walk down the aisle and marry the man of her dreams.
WWII Veteran Helen Bachman: Pioneer and Trailblazer
Helen Bachman, a VITAS patient, shares her story about serving in the U.S. Navy during WWII. Watch the video and read more here.
40 Ohio-area Veterans Enjoy “Flightless” D.C. War Memorial Experience
Without ever leaving the ground, 40 Cincinnati-area veterans experienced the pageantry, memories and closure of a visit to iconic Washington, D.C., read more.
Volunteering: It Is Better to Give Than to Receive
Veterans volunteers comprise a crucial component of the VITAS hospice team. Read David Peden's story here about how volunteering for a VITAS patient changed his life forever.
Tuskegee Airman: Veteran Supports VITAS Patients
VITAS’ specially trained staff and volunteers work to honor veterans’ wishes & ensure they receive the respect, comfort, compassion & tributes they deserve.
Applying Hospice Skills and VITAS Values to the 2017 Hurricanes
The way VITAS brings calm and dignity to the end of life is the same way we approached the challenges and devastation of hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
The Pulse Nightclub Attack: A Year Later, VITAS Continues to Support Orlando Communities
It’s been more than a year since the Pulse nightclub attack in Orlando. VITAS Chaplain Felix Montanez remembers that day, June 12, 2016, with chilling clarity.
Dear VITAS: “You Left Beautiful Footprints on my Heavy Heart”
Patient testimonials reaffirm the value of what VITAS employees do every day.
Hospice Testimonial: VITAS Helps Jacquelyn Durant Jenkins Care for 2 Loved Ones
Ms. Jenkins needed help when her husband and her mother were approaching the end of their lives at the same time, so she called VITAS.
VITAS Hosts "Being Mortal" Video Screening to Discuss End-of-Life Care Planning
VITAS Healthcare recently hosted a free, community screening of the documentary film “Being Mortal,” spotlighting the importance of end-of-life planning.
Hospice Testimonial: Heidi Called VITAS to Help Her Mother
Heidi Shipley, a city council member in Palm Coast, Florida, relied on VITAS to help when her mother was nearing the end of her life. "I wanted her to have her dignity," Heidi says.
VITAS of St. Louis, Missouri: A Jewish-Accredited Hospice
Receiving NIJH accreditation enables VITAS programs to receive on-site training that deepens staff knowledge and understanding of Jewish rituals around death and mourning.
VITAS Helps Children Deal with the Loss of a Loved One
VITAS hospice programs host multiple “bereavement camps” across the nation to help children cope with the death of a loved one. These camps offer children and their parents or guardians unique resources, including healthy methods of living with grief.
VITAS 'Acts Up' for UNICEF Kid Power Program
VITAS of San Fernando-Ventura’s Admissions Liaison Danielle Bryan and Volunteer Coordinator Lori Netzen are the program’s very-active wellness champions. The dynamic duo is always looking for wellness challenges that would engage their colleagues.
Hospice is More Than Medicine
Too often a patient begins hospice services in the last days of life, too sick to receive the many services comfort care can offer. This family did it differently, and is benefitting from far more than medicine at the end of life.
VITAS Welcomes Home Vietnam Veterans
At VITAS, “Every day is Veterans Day.” We are proud to honor and care for our military veterans and support their families.
VITAS Honors Battle of the Bulge Veteran with Military Salute
VITAS Healthcare paid tribute to its veteran patient, Private First Class Paul Moore, 97, with a military salute at his home in Fountain Valley.
How VITAS Music Therapy Inspired a Filmmaker
Professional filmmaker David Tinsley was compelled to create a film about VITAS music therapy after a close family experience. When the film was complete, he donated it to VITAS so others could learn about the values of music therapy.
VITAS Takes Care of Orlando Families and Each Other In Crisis
VITAS professionals bring their expertise where it is needed, for as long as it is needed, with no expectation of recognition or even sleep.
VITAS Healthcare General Manager Recognized as Caribbean American Heritage Award Honoree
VITAS General Manager, Donna Borland, was recognized for her ongoing support and commitment to serving hospice patients in Jamaica.
VITAS Honors World War II Veteran During His 6,000-Mile Cross-Country Motorcycle Ride
VITAS Healthcare celebrated the arrival of Dr. E. Bruce Heilman, 90, a World War II veteran on Sunday, May 22, as he neared the end of his cross-country journey to commemorate the 2,000 Americans that died in Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.
VITAS Healthcare's Kids Camp Brings Joy to Grieving South Florida Children
VITAS Healthcare was proud to host a large group of grieving children and teens for the fifth consecutive year at Camp VITAS on April 8-9, 2016.
VITAS Proudly Supported a Very Special Veteran Honor Flight in South Florida
VITAS worked side-by-side with Honor Flight South Florida to celebrate veterans’ contributions to our nation.
VITAS Healthcare Senior Vice President of Operations Honored By The Children's Bereavement Center
Through its six-year partnership with the CBC, VITAS’ specially trained bereavement specialists, also called facilitators, lead peer support groups for children, parents and caregivers.
Teddy Bears Sewn with Love by VITAS Healthcare Volunteers Gifted to Grieving Families
VITAS in Chicago hosted its quarterly memorial service supper for grieving families of VITAS patients, which included a special ceremony for families who were gifted a hand-sewn "Memory Bear."
Wall of Honor: Celebrating Veterans’ Bravery and Sacrifice
VITAS Veterans Liaison Jim Denicola—a Navy veteran—is a Wall of Honor expert. He has been a part of more than 15 Connecticut-based Wall of Honor dedications in the last four years.
VITAS Brings ELNEC-Geriatric Training to Dallas Nurses
VITAS and Texas Woman’s University partnered to bring a national nursing education initiative, administered by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and City of Hope, to Dallas nurses and other healthcare professionals.
Hospice Patient Donates WWII Combat Sword to the Military Museum of Fort Worth
VITAS recently honored their deserving patient, Colonel William Stapleton (Ret.) of the US Air Force, by facilitating the donation of his WWII combat sword to the Military Museum of Fort Worth.
VITAS Takes National Wear Red Day to ‘Heart’
VITAS employees across the country wholeheartedly embraced the “Go Red for Women” campaign to support the AHA’s National Wear Red Day campaign.
Family Caregivers Share Stories, Top Entries Announced
What's it like to be a family caregiver? We asked caregivers to share their personal experiences, and they did. The knowledge and advice they offer could be helpful for others, so we're sharing it here. We've published 13 caregiver stories and named the top three entries.
VITAS Nurses Help Establish Broward Chapter of National Black Nurses Association
A long-time supporter of the National Black Nurses Association (NBNA), VITAS led a successful effort to establish the Greater Fort Lauderdale Broward Chapter (GFLBC) of the organization.
First All-Female Honor Flight: VITAS Helps Make History
VITAS of Cincinnati Veterans Liaison Carole Quackenbush helped make history. Carole accompanied Donna Cunagin, a 10-year U.S. Navy and Vietnam veteran, on a momentous All-Female Honor Flight from Cincinnati to Washington, D.C.
Rosa Sanders Moore, a WWII Veteran
Rosa served in the Women's Army Corps during World War II. VITAS recently recognized Rosa's military service by inviting her on the first all-women Honor Flight. We sat down and talked to her about her experience as a woman in the military.
Helping a Husband Survive His Wife's Huntington's Disease
Terry chose VITAS for his young wife Jenny, who had Huntington's Disease, a fatal, inherited disease that affects nerve cells in the brain. VITAS helped care for Jenny while VITAS Community Connection helped Terry, Jenny, and their two children with financial needs.
The Perfect Pairing: VITAS and Meals on Wheels
Wanya Moorer greets Atlanta seniors in their homes every week with meals prepared by Meals on Wheels. It’s part of her outreach as a community liaison with VITAS Healthcare.
VITAS Patient’s Brother ‘Saddles Up’ for VCC
Bob LaRosa was so impressed with the care that his younger brother, Victor, received at the VITAS Inpatient Unit at St. Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury, Connecticut, he decided to donate money to VITAS Community Connection (VCC) in his brother’s memory. But he didn’t just write a check.
Honoring his ‘Papa’: A Perfect Pitch for the Padres
Adrian S. throws the ceremonial first pitch at a Padres game to honor his grandfather, Kenneth L., a VITAS patient who had worked for the Padres for more than 30 years.
Keeping Love Alive: A Wedding Wish Comes True
VITAS patient Alexandra “Aley” B. married her high school sweetheart, Richard W., at a wedding put together by VITAS of Inland Empire with help from the VITAS Community Connection and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
A Writer Exercises Her Volunteer Skills
Diana Gould has been a VITAS patient care volunteer since 2010. She is also an award-winning writer and television producer whose work has captivated millions of people worldwide. In January of 2013, she published her first novel, a mystery thriller entitled “Coldwater,” which won the Independent Book Publishers Association Silver Award for “Best First Book” for 2013.
The Reluctant Hospice Family
When hospital physicians told Michael Y. that he should consider hospice care for his wife, Cheryl, who was dying from complications due to multiple sclerosis, he at first declined. No one could take care of his wife the way he and his family had for 20 years.
Hearts and the Arts: Guiding Children Through Grief and Loss
"Don't stop the music, it brings hope and strength to our spirit!" These song lyrics were written by a 12-year-old boy whose brother had died a few months earlier. The young lyricist was a participant in “Hearts for the Arts,” a four-week VITAS children’s bereavement support group in its sixth year in Chicago.
Letter: Serenity in San Francisco Bay
To Phillip P. and his family, “hospice was synonymous with death.” So when physicians suggested hospice for his mother, Stella, who had advanced Alzheimer’s disease and whose health was rapidly declining, Phillip was unsure of what to do, especially since his brother, who had diabetes, had died—alone, in his car—just a month earlier while on a fishing trip.
What to Say to a Veteran
VITAS Healthcare is proud to honor and care for military veterans every day of the year, but naturally, Veterans Day is especially poignant. To commemorate the bravery of our outstanding veterans, VITAS has produced a video entitled “What to Say to a Veteran: Hospice Care for Heroes.” The video features VITAS Veterans Liaison Larry Robert from our Atlanta location.
Care Where You Need It
Hospice isn't a place. The VITAS interdisciplinary hospice team delivers care to wherever you call home:
- a private residence
- assisted living community
- nursing home