Fulton County Express:
Thursday, November 12, 2015
By JOHN BORGOLINI
Fulton County Express
MAYFIELD — Mountain Valley Hospice’s 28th Annual Appreciation Celebration changed its program a little bit Friday night as all 10 candidates elected for the Gregory R. Hoye Award received the honor.
Anne Marie Hoye, Gregory’s sister-in-law, said the committee decided that each nominee would receive the award in honor of the 10th Anniversary of the Nancy Dowd Home.
“We gather this evening to celebrate and honor this year’s Hoye Award Winner — a caregiver who has demonstrated compassion and understanding, has given hope, support, encouragement in those in time of need,” Hoye said. “[These are] qualities that are so essential in providing end-of-life care.”
Honorees included: Anita Allen of the Community Health Center; Ashley Duross of St. Mary’s Healthcare Center; Debra Henry of Nathan Littauer Hospital; Tammy Merendo of Nathan Littauer Hospital and Nursing Home; Melissa Stock of St. Mary’s Healthcare; Victor Giulianelli of St. Mary’s Healthcare; Julie Douglas, Stephanie Hathaway and Amanda Hershey of New York Oncology Hematology; Lynn Pawolski of the Adirondack Stretcher and Ambulette; Dr. James Vacek and Dr. Michael Schwartzman.
Fulton County Sheriff-elect Richard Giardino welcomed everyone to the Paul Nigra Center for the Arts for the event where Nancy Buyce was posthumously honored with the Excellence Award and Jeanne Wilkinson was presented with the Community Partnership Award.
Giardino also read a letter from Congresswoman Elise Stefanik who extended her gratitude for the efforts of everyone at Mountain Valley Hospice and everyone being honored Friday.
Mountain Valley Board Chairman Jack Scott presented Buyce’s award to her family.
“More than a job, Nancy’s career was her passion,” Scott said. “She devoted her labor to the dignity of those least able to exert those rights for themselves — the ill, the poor, the addicted, the bereaved, the abused, the dying. She undertook this endeavor from no high station in life.”
He said Buyce played an important role in the local healthcare community and specifically with Mountain Valley Hospice, where she began Kidz Cope Camp, the Bereavement Volunteers and the Social Butterflies.
Buyce was also honored with the Gregory R. Hoye award in 1994.
Scott then spoke about Wilkinson and her achievements in hospice care.
“She became a member of the board of Mountain Valley Hospice in January 2004 and continued helping where needed in the Hospice House as a family support volunteer,” Scott said. “She said she feels a sense of love and caring each time she enters the Hospice Home. We feel that love every time she comes here too.
“She never comes empty handed, always bringing restaurant gift certificates to donate for our next event, or offering her time as a volunteer. Even though she is not on the board any longer she is still engaged as a volunteer and participating in the happenings of the organization, offering to help in any way,” he said.
Wilkinson who was unable to attend the event, joined the celebration via telephone and thanked everyone for the recognition.
In addition to the honorees, nine employees and volunteers were recognized at the event and given commemorative pins. Those honored included: Toni Bartholomew, Sally Christman, Bethany Condit, Shannon Davis, Jolene Klaas, Helen Myzal, Anne Marie LaVallee, Judy Pepper and Debra Szumoski.