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Little extras touch veteran hearts

Vancouver | January 5, 2018
Hospice nurse gives special gifts to honor service

U.S. veterans going into hospice care at PeaceHealth in Vancouver, Washington, receive a special package in honor of their military service. And, according to Susan Curry, the nurse manager, it means the world to them.

The special package includes a U.S. flag pin, a handwritten thank you card and patriotic pillowcase lovingly hand-sewn by Karen Snow, the hospice intake nurse, in her spare time.

It’s something Snow has been doing for years. She estimates she has made more than 300 pillowcases.

And it isn’t only at admission that the honors are extended to these special individuals.

Curry said that every Veterans Day, Snow orders gourmet cupcakes from a local bakery willing to give a “great deal” and schedules staff to deliver the individually boxed cupcakes to every veteran in hospice care along with a certificate personalized with the corresponding military branch of service.

Fellow staff members routinely see the difference these generous gestures make.

“Karen is definitely a hero for our hospice veterans,” said Curry. “We’re grateful to her for this important part of our hospice care. It blesses so many.”

Curry cited an email from a staff member that particularly captured what it meant to one recipient:  “I saw a patient today who can be a little hard to please at times, but he was very pleased today when he showed me the certificate — placed in a prominent place in their very beautiful home — and cupcake and card. He and his wife were so touched by this acknowledgment of his military service.”

Snow said she’s the one who feels blessed. “The response from these men and women is so overwhelmingly touching. It is truly a rewarding project.”

Photo:  Jason Dong, one of the PeaceHealth hospice chaplains and a member of the reserves, helps to deliver packages to veterans on Veterans Day.