Mildred Parlatore, LCSW, and Ann Decker, RN,University Hospice
Before she had to contend with Superstorm Sandy and the aftermath of losing her home to it, a Staten Island woman had to deal with caring for her dying brother. Through both crises, her situation was made easier with the help of SIUH's Hospice program.
In early fall of 2012, the woman turned to Hospice for her brother who had stage 4 kidney cancer which had metastasized throughout much of his body.
So pleased with the care and compassion they received from Hospice's Ann Decker, RN, and licensed clinical social worker Mildred Parlatore that she wrote a letter to our hospital administration praising them.
"When Ann walked into our lives it was like an angel came through the door. She treated both of us as if we were her own family," wrote the grateful woman. "She held my hand when I cried, and she held his hand when she spoke to my brother. She brought another angel into our home, your social worker, Mildred."
Because the siblings lived in a flood zone, they had to be relocated prior to the hurricane. Ann and Mildred managed the logistics of the move that included the family dog and the brother's hospice bed, oxygen and other equipment to another family member's home.
But, cramped quarters and tensions at their new residence necessitated yet another move – again coordinated by the Hospice duo.
As Mildred helped the woman quell conflicts with other family members upset by the decision to move, Anne forged a bond with the patient over a shared interest in sports.
"When I first started with him, he was very quiet. Communication was just a "yes" or "no" answer to my medical questions," explained Ann. "As the weeks went on we were able to have more of a conversation. You build this relationship with the patient where the patient trusts you and is comfortable with you."
Ann and Mildred are among 205 SIUH employees who earned a Service Excellence Award for the 1st quarter of 2013. The award is given to employees based on letters and emails sent to the hospital from patients and patients' families.
Ann began her career as a staff nurse with the hospital 30 years ago, going on to work in the ED and then Endoscopy AMB Surgery. For the last two years she has worked as a Hospice nurse.
Mildred has been a social worker with SIUH's Hospice program for 19 years.