Empath Health Volunteers Receive Leading Hospice Industry Award for Helping, Healing and Offering Hope

Volunteers awarded in three of four categories, a first time achievement by any hospice

CLEARWATER, Fla. – Nov. 2, 2016 – Empath Health is proud to announce three of its volunteers have earned one of the most coveted awards in the hospice industry, winning in three out of four categories, a first-ever achievement by any hospice organization. Ingrid Watt, a Reiki Master who calms the most anxious of patients; Karen Jackson, a doula who comforts soon-to-be parents who are about to suffer from unbearable loss; and, Ryan Regan, a teenager with unlimited generosity who befriends patients in most need of a friend, received the 2016 Volunteers Are the Foundation of Hospice Award given by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO). The three earned scores higher than nearly 200 other nominees.

“We want to congratulate Ingrid, Karen and Ryan for their selfless dedication, commitment and love for our patients and families and our organization,” says Rafael Sciullo, CEO of Empath Health, a nonprofit integrated network of care. “Our volunteers support patients and their families by giving them comfort, friendship and support, and we couldn’t exist without them. We are especially proud of these three; they truly are a guiding light to others,” Sciullo added.

The Award recognizes hospice volunteers who best reflect the universal concept of volunteerism in its truest sense – serving as inspiration to others.

Ingrid Watt, Patient and Family Support Award winner, is a holistic healer who supports patients until the very end of their lives, oftentimes rearranging her schedule to be present with them at their time of need. She is known to go above and beyond. One patient did not have any local family so she phoned Germany, at her own expense, and spoke with the family many times to keep them updated on their loved one’s status.

Karen Jackson, Specialized Volunteer Service Award winner, is a doula with endless compassion for parents who will deal with the loss of a child during or soon after birth. Her dedication doesn’t end there. She also provides bereavement follow-up, which allows parents to bond with their baby and create loving positive memories in what is a very difficult and traumatic situation.

Ryan Regan, Young Leader Award winner, is a regular visitor, a welcome sight and adored friend to patients, many of whom have no family living nearby. He regularly visits nursing home patients delivering a small craft and the gift of conversation. He is also a leader and mentor to other teens who volunteer.

About Empath Health
Empath Health is a nonprofit integrated network of care that provides expert, life-changing health care to those with chronic and advanced illnesses. Empath Health includes hospice, home health and physician services, independent living assistance and day care for seniors, HIV services and advance care planning.



Editor’s Note: Photos of the award recipients are attached. Interviews with the recipients and / or with Empath Health are available upon request.