After serving for 30 years as manager of Volunteer Services at Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare, Rebecca McCurdy will retire on July 1. Elisa Stoyle, who has served as the volunteer coordinator under McCurdy, has been named manager of Volunteer Services.
“We’re grateful to Rebecca for her service to Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare. We appreciate her dedication and support of our mission,” said Kurt Holmes, executive director of Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare. “Because of Rebecca’s efforts, our volunteer team is an integral part of our organization. We are pleased to announce that Elisa has accepted the position of manager of Volunteer Services and will continue to build upon the program that Rebecca has developed.”
Throughout her career, McCurdy was honored to work alongside the not-for-profit organization’s volunteers. “What I enjoyed most about my role was the privilege of sitting between all the patients we serve in the last season of their lives and all the incredible people of our communities who are willing to provide support to those patients and their families,” McCurdy said. “So many patients’ lives have been enhanced by our gifted volunteers.”
She is grateful to all the volunteers who have donated their time and talents volunteering as a part of the Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare direct care team, bereavement program, delivering supplies to patients, offering animal-assisted therapy, music, and spiritual support. She is also grateful for the Veteran volunteers who have volunteered with the American Pride® Veteran Care by Ohio’s Hospice program, providing Vet-to-Vet support and performing Veteran recognition ceremonies to honor the service of Veteran patients.
She found extraordinary joy in her hospice work every day. She treasured the moments when a perfect match had been made between a specific patient need and a volunteer. “Almost always, volunteers find ways to enhance the quality of life of the patients to whom they are assigned more than I, or the social worker who made the request, could have imagined,” she said. “There is nothing like being part of a very committed and talented team that is focusing all of its skill, experience and knowledge on bringing the best quality of life possible to people in such a poignant part of life.”
One important highlight of her career with Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare was the establishment of the Being There Team, a volunteer team tasked with providing bedside presence to patients in the last hours of life. The program has been in place for about 15 years and is now a part of a team-wide response to the special needs of a patient and family in the last seven days of life.
McCurdy is grateful that Stoyle has been named manager of Volunteer Services. “We are extremely fortunate here at Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare to have Elisa Stoyle step into this position,” she said. “She is a deeply compassionate and capable person, and the volunteers love working with her. I cannot image a better person to lead our volunteer team.”
Stoyle began her career with Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare as a volunteer in 2001, offering respite and companionship to patients and families. In April 2009, she joined the staff as assistant to the volunteer coordinator. She held several roles in Volunteer Services, most recently volunteer coordinator.
Stoyle said that she has great respect for the Volunteer Services program that McCurdy built throughout the years. “So many things work well in the program,” Stoyle said. “I look forward to enhancing what already exists, including the recruitment and training of volunteers and offering education, listening and encouragement.”
She is grateful for the opportunity to continue working alongside Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare’s volunteers. “Being in the Volunteer Services office involves working alongside people from all sorts of backgrounds and life experiences who help our patients and families,” she said. “I often get to watch the volunteer being transformed by such interactions. When this happens, you get to see real joy, courage and gratitude.”
For more information about volunteering with Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare, visit: https://www.OhiosHospiceLifecare.org/WaysToGive/Volunteer-Program/ or call 330.264.4899.
Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare,a not-for-profit organization established in 1982, is an affiliate of Ohio’s Hospice that serves communities in northeast Ohio. It embodies the spirit of neighbors caring for neighbors with a commitment to relieve suffering, ease fears, and provide companionship along life’s last journey. Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare addresses patient and family needs wherever the patient calls home. Services also include access to the Stanley C. and Flo K. Gault Inpatient Pavilion, providing short-term patient care to manage acute symptoms, adjust medications, or stabilize patient condition.