Uniontown, Ohio: Upon his retirement more than three years ago, Uniontown resident, John Schorr, began looking for something fulfilling to do with his time. Originally he wanted to transport cancer patients to chemotherapy appointments, however, fate had different plans for him, and he was directed to Mercy Hospice.
Schorr was instantly captivated by the “family” atmosphere of the Hospice staff and volunteers, “From the first day, I truly enjoyed the people, and they really seemed to love their work – I wanted to become involved with the patients.” Schorr began visiting patients (and their family members) who were in respite care through Hospice, and truly felt blessed for being part of such a personal and spiritual aspect of their lives, especially for veterans.
“I have a special affinity for veterans, we find it easy to talk to one another,” explained Schorr, who, as a Vietnam Veteran, took it upon himself to purchase veteran hats for each Hospice patient who has served the country. These hats have meant so much to the patients and their families, that they have been prominently displayed at funerals and calling hours.
Kim Lieb, also a Uniontown resident, has volunteered her time in the Hospice’s office and for its fundraising efforts for the past year and a half, “I put the FUN in fundraising,” joked Lieb, who helps coordinate the Annual Hospice Fashion Show. While Lieb does not visit patients herself, she feels the sense of family as well as the compassion Mercy Hospice has for its patients and their families, “They (Hospice volunteers) are absolutely wonderful,” explained an emotional Lieb, who wished her family would have utilized Hospice services for her father and brother-in-law when they fell ill, “The respect I have for these volunteers I can’t put into words, they are just wonderful – it is so important to have a ‘presence’ to bring the family together and support them as well as the patient.” Lieb’s daughter, Alyssa, a sophomore at Lake High School, also volunteers her time to Hospice year-round in the office and with the Hospice Fashion Show.
“Hospice is a program not a place – it’s a program to live, not a place to die,” stated, Schorr, “We can do so much for people – we try to be their lifeline, their joy – we do everything from holding their hand and visiting with their families to changing light bulbs and washing dishes; each patient is so special to me.”
More than 4,000 hospice care providers and their 550,000 volunteers provide care to over a million terminally ill patients in the United States. Volunteers like those at Mercy Hospice do more than perform a service. They have a passion and a calling to care for the physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs of terminally ill patients and their families.
Schorr and Lieb are two of the 65 volunteers who make Mercy Hospice the caring and compassionate program it is today. The Mercy Hospice program is dedicated to helping patients with a life-limiting illness achieve the best quality of life possible while offering respite and comfort to their caregivers and loved ones. Serving adults and children with a terminal illness, hospice gives patients the opportunity to remain at home, or in a home-like setting, with the people and things they cherish most. For more information about Mercy Hospice, or to learn about volunteering opportunities, please call 330-649-4380 or visit cantonmercy.org.
Mercy Medical Center, a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System, operates a 476-bed hospital serving Stark, Carroll, Wayne, Holmes and Tuscarawas Counties and parts of Southeastern Ohio. It has 620 members on its Medical Staff and employs 2,500 people. Mercy operates outpatient health centers in Carrollton, Jackson Township, Lake Township, Louisville, North Canton, Plain Township and Tuscarawas County. A Catholic hospital, Mercy Medical Center upholds the mission and philosophy of the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine and continues to be responsive to the needs of the community. For more information, see cantonmercy.org.
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