Barbara Shirland has been a part of our Hospice Hawaii 'ohana for 25 years. She began as a volunteer when Hospice Hawaii had only four employees. "I've watched Hospice Hawaii grow up from a small 'mom and pop' to a viable, well-respected community organization that's very mainstream," said Barbara.
Barbara is retiring as our Quality Improvement/ Education Coordinator/ Compliance Officer, but has held many positions during her years of service. "My joke is that I've done every job in the clinical department," said Barbara.
Barbara was introduced to Hospice Hawaii by her teacher, the late professor Rev. Mitsuo Aoki, who was a religion professor at the University of Hawaii, Founder/President of The Foundation for Holistic Healing, and co-founder of Hospice Hawaii. "I would like to express gratitude to Dr. Mitsuo Aoki for his part and helping guide me on this path," said Barbara. "Working with the dying all these years has taught me how to live. I get to retire knowing I've been a part of an organization that has made a serious contribution to the community."
Kim Hanson, Clarence Liu, and Barbara Shirland
For more photos from Barbara's retirement party, visit our Facebook page.
Happy Friendship Day
In honor of National Friendship Day, celebrated the first Sunday in August, we're recognizing the many Hospice Hawaii employees who go the extra mile for patients and their families, offering comfort, care and sometimes just a kind word - all the things that you would expect from a friend.
Yumiko, a certified nursing assistant, has formed friendships with many of her patients and their families. Yumiko recently made a special connection with the wife of one of her patients. The two women would often talk and eat lunch together. A friendship soon formed. "We'd talk about everything - about her husband, what she's doing, what her beliefs are," recalled Yumiko. "But half the time she'd be listening to me."
When Yumiko senses her patients or families are feeling overwhelmed, she tries to ease their stress. "I'll help them forget what's going on, and get them to talk about something they like. Eventually, you'll see that little smile," she said. "All I can say is I love what I do, and I put myself in their place: what would I want me to do if I were them?"