Volunteers give so much to our community, our world. We salute and thank all our volunteers for devoting their energy, skills and hearts to our mission of life-changing health care.
Recently we had the pleasure of honoring our Volunteer of the Year Award winners and longtime-service volunteers at our volunteer appreciation luncheon at Innisbrook in Palm Harbor. We’re inspired by these outstanding individuals and the many ways they help others enjoy a better quality of life.
Volunteer of the Year Honorees
Miriam “Bunny” Flarsheim Award –Patient/Family Support Volunteer
Began October 2009
North Pinellas Care Center & Mid-Pinellas Care Center – Transitions Companion, Welcome Desk & Mealtime Assistance
In any capacity Floretta serves, she’s always a quiet and reliable presence for our patients and families. It wouldn’t be unusual to see her holding a patient’s hand at the bedside, watching a movie with a patient or playing cards with a family member. Floretta’s the epitome of compassionate care. From her warm smiles, welcomes and hugs to her kind words for those who are grieving to her hand holding with those who are close to death, she provides such precious and special support.
Samuel “Sam” Levine
Organizational Support Volunteer Award
Began May 2008
Welcome Center – Clearwater Office & Suncoast Hospice Foundation Office
Sam provides superb and compassionate customer service to guests, staff and fellow volunteers. The best example is his role in the welcome center. He puts all our guests at ease whether they are there to talk with someone about a hospice admission or there to see a bereavement counselor. Noticed most often is Sam’s way of welcoming every person with his full presence. He’s sensitive and perceptive enough to determine the kind of attention each visitor needs. His dedication is humbling.
Clay Favell, III
Outstanding Student Volunteer Award
Began July 2012
Suncoast Hospice Teen Volunteer – Clearwater & IT Department
Clay’s very self confident and he has matured into a young man who’s not only knowledgeable of technology but an outstanding example of what customer service is all about. He provides computer instruction to staff in a patient and easy-to-understand way, creating a pleasant learning experience for those receiving his assistance. Clay’s commitment to volunteering is remarkable and shows great promise for his future involvement helping others through volunteer service.
Specialty Volunteer Service Award
Began May 2010
North Pinellas Care Center, Care Teams & Integrative Medicine Clinic – Reiki, Aromatherapy & Transitions Companion
Izabel began volunteering at the care center, however during her training she was surprised and pleased to learn about our palliative arts program as she had recently become a Reiki practitioner. She learned how our patients could receive Reiki treatments to help ease their anxiety and increase their comfort. Izabel was inspired to talk about these needs during meetings and she soon began offering Reiki sessions to any patient or family member in need. She also has provided Reiki to patients in various other hospice care settings as well as to pediatric clients.
Susan “Sue” DePass
Empath Health Member Award
Began February 2009
AIDS Service Association of Pinellas (ASAP) – Certified HIV Tester, Food and Personal Needs Pantry, Ambassador, Front Desk Reception & Special Events
Sue’s extraordinary empathy and welcoming demeanor is perfect for ASAP clients and guests to encounter as they enter the office or call in for information. She provides individual attention to everyone she serves, always wanting to go the extra step to meet their needs. Sue demonstrates the shared desire to help each client leave with a sense of being more than a statistic but rather a person who has found a home-away-from-home and often a lighter burden. Many describe her as a great motivator and a bundle of positive energy. She has a deep commitment to treat everyone with respect, dignity and the true human connection we all need.
Kelli Hanley Crabb
Mary J. Labyak Award
Chair of Empath Health Board of Directors – Past Chair of Suncoast Hospice Board of Directors and Past member of Suncoast Hospice Foundation Board of Directors
Kelli Hanley Crabb is a shareholder in the law firm of Weber, Crabb and Wein, P.A. Kelli’s a highly-active and passionate community leader and advocate. She has made a big impact serving on several boards and committees of Empath Health as well as volunteering with her church, St. Anthony’s Hospital and many other community and professional organizations. She also has devoted much of her pro bono practice to acting as a guardian ad litem for children. Kelli sets the bar high in enriching so many lives in the community.
Join Our Cause
Get involved and make a difference as an Empath Health volunteer. We offer many types of daytime, evening and weekend volunteer opportunities. Sign up for free training.