Hospice East Bay Stories

  • A Day in the Life of a Music Therapist

    Please join me as we travel through a day in the life of a hospice music therapist.

    Our first visit of the day is with a patient living at home. For over 30 years, this individual and her child performed together on dueling pianos. They held a high caliber ...

  • Veteran Volunteers - Interview with Bob Ellis

    On February 18, 2019, Hospice East Bay Volunteer Bob Ellis was interviewed by Stephen Burchik for the CCC-TV program "Veterans' Voices." This is an edited transcript of that interview.

    Tell us about your military service.

    I ...

  • An Expression of Gratitude

    In February of 2019, the wife of one of our patients addressed the staff at Hospice East Bay to express her gratitude for the care we provided to her husband of over 60 years. This is what she said that day:

    ...

  • Bridge Family Night

    Hospice East Bay’s Bridge program supports children and teens through art, play, talk and peer support. At the end of each year, we invite all the parents, guardians, children, and volunteers from the Bridge to gather for group activities, to acknowledge the ...

  • Giving Tree Delivers Cheer at the Holidays

    It was another successful year for Hospice East Bay’s Giving Tree project! At the holidays, the Giving Tree project amplifies the kindness that Hospice East Bay staff and volunteers spread every day in patient homes and facilities. During the month of November, our ...

  • Hiking Through Grief

    Hospice East Bay has begun a new grief support group for millenial adults that features hiking through the Bay Area’s many beautiful parks.

    Young adults face unique stressors. According to the American Psychological Association, adults aged 18-30 are ...

  • Cindy Hatton, President & CEO

    Note from the CEO, Summer 2018

    We are very pleased to welcome Marlo Johnston as our new Vice President of Human Resources, and Dr. Russ Granich, our new Chief Medical Officer. We are excited about the new energy and ideas they will bring to Hospice East Bay. Meshia Darling, Nurse Practitioner, ...

  • Hospice Poet Wins National Contest

    Our own Spiritual Care Counselor, Bette Birnbaum, submitted the following poem to the National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization creative arts contest and won! We are so proud and honored that’s she’s part of our ...

  • Whatever Will Be, Will Be

    By Bess Chosak, Hospice East Bay Volunteer

    My first glimpse of my newly assigned patient was of a small bundle of a lady—a crown of snow white hair peeking out from a soft grey blanket wrapped around her as she snuggled into a corner of her sofa. I ...

  • People walking their dogs

    Foundation News, Fall 2016

    As a community-based hospice, we rely on the generosity of our donors to help provide the services that set us apart from other hospice organizations. We are fortunate to have many community organizations and companies support us through events and ...

  • Volunteers receiving awards

    An Evening of Very Special Stories

    Forty volunteers were honored with awards for their 5, 10, 15 and 20 years of hospice service at our agency’s annual appreciation gathering in April 2016.

    Over 250 attendees gathered to enjoy wine, a delicious dinner and a program highlighting all Hospice ...

  • Win Haagensen

    How the Tree of Lights Started

    This year, we would like to share our gratitude for Winifred Louise Varco Haagensen, known to friends as “Win.” In 1986, Hospice East Bay (then called Hospice and Palliative Care of Contra Costa County) cared for Win’s husband, Ed Haagensen. She was so grateful for ...

  • Green Leaf Closeup

    The Catalyst

    In biology class, we learn how plants grow. A green plant uses sunlight to turn water and carbon dioxide into sugars that the plant uses as energy. We call this process photosynthesis, and it doesn’t happen without help. It needs a catalyst, something that helps to ...

  • CHAP Logo

    CHAP Impressed with Quality of Care

    Here at Hospice East Bay we utilize national and state benchmarks to measure our patient and family satisfaction. The Community Health Accreditation Program (CHAP), a federally-approved independent organization monitors our quality of care and outcomes. CHAP ...

  • Cindy Hatton, President & CEO

    Note from the CEO, Fall 2016

    November is a time when families gather to celebrate and reflect upon what they are thankful for; it is also National Hospice Month.

    At Hospice East Bay, we reflect on how thankful we are for the patients and families we are honored to serve, our ...

  • Thomas J. Long Foundation

    Long Foundation Funds New Programs

    Hospice East Bay is excited to announce a 3-year grant from the Thomas J. Long Foundation enabling us to fund projects that benefit caregivers, patients, and regional non-profit hospice agencies.

    Respite for caregiving family members provides a much-needed, ...

  • Bereavement Volunteers

    Bereavement Volunteers are an Inspiration

    Our Bereavement Department is committed to providing bereavement services, not only to the families of our patients but to our entire community. We offer traditional group & individual counseling as well as innovative programs for children, teens and adults ...

  • Thrift Shoppes Partner with Local Groups

    Hospice East Bay is fortunate to partner with six organizations that assist adults with disabilities to gain life and work skills. Every week participants from ARC Inroads, George Miller Center, On Track, RES for Success, Toolworks and Futures Explored volunteer at ...

  • Hospice in the Community, Spring 2016

    As a community-based hospice, we rely on the generosity of our donors to help provide the services that set us apart from other hospice organizations. We are blessed to have many community organizations and companies support us through events and ...

  • Notes from the CEO, Spring 2016

    Yes, 2015 was another successful year for the organization, and we look forward to an even stronger 2016! We continue to be known for the top quality hospice and palliative care we provide.

    Our 2015 Celebration of Care honored long-time volunteer and ...

  • A History of Dedication

    Hospice East Bay is fortunate to have numerous community groups that believe in our mission and are passionate about raising funds on our behalf. One such group is the Friends of Hospice Rossmoor, led by the dynamic Trish Dickson. Every year, her organization is ...

  • Art & Wine the Rossmoor Way

    Residents returned to the Event Center in a festive mood for the Second Annual Art & Wine gathering on October 5th. Attendees enjoyed the eclectic collection of art, photography, ceramics, sculpture, jewelry, hand-painted silk scarves, while sampling an ...

  • John’s Compassion Earns Gratitude

    We’d like to share a letter from one of our patient family members which we recently received.

    Dear Hospice East Bay,

    We would like to take the time to formally express our gratitude for John Marksbury, RN, who cared for our father, ...

  • Foundation News, Fall 2015

    As a community-based hospice we rely on the generosity of our donors to help provide the services that set us apart from other hospice organizations. We are blessed to have many community organizations and companies support us through events and ...

  • Autumn Tree

    Note from the CEO, Fall 2015

    November is not only National Hospice Month, but also the month we reflect on things we are thankful for. As a not-for-profit, we rely on the generosity of our donors and volunteers. We are fortunate to have many community groups that give their time and share ...

  • Kaune Family

    Celebration of Care Transports Guests

    Over 250 attendees celebrated “A Night in Paris” on Saturday, May 16 at the Diablo Country Club, and helped to raise $180,000 in net proceeds for Hospice East Bay’s programs and services.

    The Parisian-themed evening at Diablo Country Club included French ...

  • Mary Lou and Pat Baratta

    Two Special Volunteers Honored

    On a warm evening in April, hundreds of individuals gathered for the Appreciation Dinner in tribute to our volunteers who contributed over 45,000 hours in 2014 for Hospice East Bay. These hours were generously provided to our Thrift Shoppes, Tree of Lights and ...

  • Bags of Cookies for Caregivers

    Foundation News, Spring 2015

    As a community-based hospice we rely on the generosity of our donors to provide the services that set us apart from other hospice organizations. We are blessed to have many community organizations and companies support us through events and sponsorships ...

  • Spring Tree

    Note from the CEO, Spring 2015

    Spring symbolizes new beginnings and here at Hospice East Bay we are experiencing a fresh look. Our Pleasant Hill office is under construction as we make room for our growing staff needs. We have remodeled the old warehouse in the back of the building with ...

  • One of our Bridge families at an Open House.

    Bridge Program Moving to Larger Space

    Due to a phenomenal year of growth, our Bridge Program is moving to a new location. The Bridge, Hospice East Bay’s bereavement support program for children and teens, was launched in 2012. Since then, attendance has more than doubled.

    There are many ...

  • Noemi Mitzel, Medical Social Worker

    Social Workers Making a Difference

    Noemi Mitzel is one of Hospice East Bay’s dedicated team of medical social workers. She believes that her first responsibility is to support her patients and their family’s wishes. She stays aware of any special concerns a family may have, be they financial, ...

  • Trish Dickson and Kathy Kavanagh

    Foundation News, Fall 2014

    As a community-based hospice, we rely on the generosity of our donors to provide the services that set us apart from other hospice organizations. We are blessed to have many community organizations and companies support us through events and ...

  • Theresa Caygill

    The Simple Gift of a Ring

    In June, one of our steadfast supporters, Theresa (Teri) Caygill, became a patient of Hospice East Bay. Like many people in our care, she received support from a number of our staff, including a case manager, social worker, chaplain, and home health aide. ...

  • Lori and Slim

    Lori & Slim

    Slim is 1600 pounds, has a blond mane and is an unlikely candidate to be a hospice volunteer. He stands in the hot sun, nuzzling hospice patient Lori Michaels, as she wipes away tears from her eyes. Visiting a horse was her dying wish, and today that wish is ...

  • World War Two veteran Leo

    Another Extraordinary WWII Veteran

    Through volunteering for Hospice East Bay, I have had the honor of meeting many WWII veterans of the Army, Navy and Air Force. They all told stories that would be worthy of movie scripts, though they are decidedly matter-of-fact and humble about their ...

  • Cindy presents Kay with award.

    Volunteer Dinner, 2014

    Every year, Hospice East Bay has the honor of celebrating over 300 volunteers who support our agency. This years' dinner was held in the Pleasant Hill Senior Center and was emceed by Christopher Joyce, Vice President of Human Resources. President and CEO ...

  • Untimely Loss of a Favorite Pet Pal

    We are deeply saddened by the unexpected passing of Belle, our dear and devoted Pet Pal, who passed away on Saturday, April 26th from a toxic reaction to macadamia nuts. Belle, a two and a half year old miniature Australian Shepherd, was a faithful, loving and ...

  • Hospital Gowns Designed With Love

    Two years ago, Betty Wass found that she could no longer provide care for her husband, Mohamed El Wakil, at home. After much consideration he was admitted to a local board and care facility.

    Due to Mohamed's declining health and mobility, the simple task of ...

  • Flowers being delivered.

    Foundation News, Spring 2014

    Valentine Flowers

    For the second year in a row, the Clayton Valley Garden Club delivered beautiful plants to our Pleasant Hill office to be delivered to our patients. This year our nurses, social workers, spiritual care counselors and ...

  • Spring Tree

    Note from the CEO, Spring 2014

    Spring symbolizes new life and new beginnings, and at Hospice East Bay we are introducing a fresh look. We have undergone a rebranding process that has resulted in a new logo and an updated website. This is an exciting time at our agency as we are averaging ...

  • The books of Bill Burke, Author & Hospice Patient

    Bill Burke, Author & Hospice Patient

    Bill Burke, a Hospice East Bay patient, is living life to the fullest despite his terminal diagnosis. When Bill Burke's doctor first recommended that he begin using hospice services, Bill was reluctant—he still has a lot of living to do and saw hospice as ...

  • Quilting Fabric Comes Full Circle

    Pleasant Hill, CA - Every few weeks, during the fall and winter months, we receive large bags stuffed full of quilts. These quilts have been lovingly made by the Scrappy Quilters, a group that has been meeting regularly since 1993 at the Mt. Diablo ...

  • Founders Share History

    Pleasant Hill, CA - One day in 1975, three women met for lunch. Evelyn Radford, (aka “Peggy”) was a historian and instructor at Diablo Valley College who remembered and sought to apply the slogan, “If you want it done right, you just have to do ...

  • Photo of Legacy Society member Dottie Boyd with her mom, Naomi Graves

    Meet Legacy Supporter Dottie Boyd

    Dottie Boyd learned about Hospice East Bay long before she needed our help. She and her late husband Charlie were longtime donors and good friends of Hospice East Bay over the years. In 2000, they notified us that we are a beneficiary of their estate ...

  • Rabbi Mintz – Pioneer and Mentor

    When Rabbi Charles (Chuck) Mintz became seriously ill, his wife Adele felt hesitant about leaving him alone for any length of time. She wanted to be there in case he needed her. “Then, on the very first day that Chuck was admitted to Hospice East Bay, ...

  • Photo of Legacy Society member Millie Day

    Mildred A. Day: Legacy Supporter

    Millie Day was quite surprised to find out that she has been one of Hospice East Bay’s most generous supporters for more than twenty years. She lives a comfortable life of modest means, but has nevertheless created a legacy of generosity during her lifetime ...

  • Photo of Legacy Society members Anne Steinmann and Stan Lowenberg

    You Can't Spoil People With Love

    One of the first things you notice about Anne Steinmann and Stan Lowenberg is how comfortable they are in each others’ company. When you get to know them, you realize it makes perfect sense, because it’s apparent that they share core a philosophy: caring for ...

  • Reunited Through Music & Technology

    Alamo, CA - The seemingly impossible was made possible by Hospice East Bay staff this past April. Lorice French, a Bruns House patient, and her family were “transported” through technology 800 miles to Chandler, Arizona where her dear ...

  • Angel Flight West Flies a Family in Need

    In February, volunteer Joyce Olkiewicz had the pleasure of escorting a patient’s family from Buchanan Air Field to Ygnacio Valley Care Center where they could visit with their loved one. This wonderful family was granted a trip on Angel Flight West with the help ...

  • Social Worker Uses Social Media

    On one home visit to her patient George’s home in early January, Hospice East Bay Social Worker Kim Mantch was alarmed to find George’s daughter Lorraine in an emotional state. Lorraine told Kim that when her father had become too weak to care for his ...