75 attendees at Monumental Piggy Tournament by Pearl Team in Lake Placid!


by Autumn Egan, Clinical Liaison, Pearl Team

     Manny P. Hernandez, Public Information Officer


Some of the 75 residents and other participants at Southern Lifestyle ALF in Lake Placid cheer on their favorite piggy entry during the Monumental Piggy Tournament recently held in cooperation with Cornerstone Hospice, provider of the porcine racing contestants.  Autumn Egan, Clinical Liaison (extreme right) adds to the racing enthusiasm of the day.



Southern Lifestyle ALF in Lake Placid, southern Highlands County, recently set the stage for a Monumental Piggy Tournament. Thanks to Jan Russell and the Lake County liaisons for allowing the now famous Party Pigs and their race track venture to visit the more southern regions of our service area and advance to the Tournament phase.  


Residents of the ALF were able to enjoy whooping and cheering for their favorite toy piggies to make it to the finish line. Over 75 residents, family members and visitors attended this March 24 event. Smitten by the enthusiasm of the day’s proceedings, even the owner of Southern Lifestyle, Chuck Oaks, had a turn racing our Cornerstone Pigs.  Although somewhat disappointed that his pig Bacon did not win, he was very appreciative of the time and energy that went into this event.  Southern Lifestyle Administrator Donna Pontious was also very grateful for our participation and personally congratulated the porcine winners.


One of the speediest piggies on the track was Lou named after Clinical Liaison Manager Lou Acuff RN who personally helped decorate this oinky specimen. Garnished in a fluffy purple and pink boa with glittery butterfly earrings and a shiny silver tiara, racing contestant Miss Eva the Diva was all about glamour as she made her way down the track. We also had Bubba Ray sporting a rope lasso and red neck kerchief. Being a boy, Bubba was not as deep into looks and fashions as Eva, but he knew how to win one of the races. And last, when we saw Miss Daisy striding down the track, one would think “Driving” should precede her name! Again, thanks go to Jan Russell and Dana Ikensaa for providing some of the porcine racing contestants from Lake County for these Highlands races.   As we hear, Porky and Petunia are on a fast-track regimen of Olympic-level strenuous training awaiting the next races! In a last-minute news development, all contestants advised attendees through their public relations officer against the consumption of bacon, pork chops, pork loin and ham during the Tournament’s proceedings… out of respect for the contestants.



Gold Team’s Annual Volunteer Luncheon in Clermont

by Lisa Gray, Volunteer Services Manager


Jan Russell



Ann Sheridan, Sandy Acht, Volunteer Jim Hays


The annual Volunteer Luncheon was held on March 22, 2012 for the area covered by the Gold Team, Mike Conley Hospice House and office volunteers.


The theme was the yearly calendar. Each table was decorated with flowers that corresponded to that month. The volunteer gifts were also themed to a particular holiday.

We had 95 volunteers and staff in attendance. Our chaplain Larry Stephens gave the blessing and the hilarious Jan Russell and her wonderful assistant Dana Ikensaa entertained us with fun, humor, and red noses! The food was great and the hall looked beautiful. Volunteer Claudia Harrison had the most office hours and Elaine Kirchner had the most patient care hours Marywynn Shattuck had the most overall hours at the Mike Conley Hospice House .We awarded 15 one-year pins, 14 five-year pins, and three 10-year pins. There were some fun and special awards also. The Leadership award went to Lois Ketay, the Do or Die went to Bernice Garbaravage, Above and Beyond to Jim Hayes, Recycle King to Bob Bucker, and to finish up the Double Whammy award went to Bob and Barbara Buckert.


It was a great day and I am sure it was enjoyed by all.




Congratulations to Lane Purcell Hospice House Housekeeper Al Lohr!

By Susan Bennett, Regional Development Director


Al Lohr wasted no time in setting up his new tool chest in his garage.  Wonder what project he

will work on first!  (Photo taken by Mrs. Lohr)



The winner of the Tool Chest chance drawing, held on March 9th, was our very own Al Lohr, the Lane Purcell Hospice House housekeeper.  Al wants to thank the donors of the chest and tools and is very appreciative of his luck.   According to Al, “When Mike Reed from Evans Ace Hardware called me I thought he was calling about my account there which I knew I’d paid off the week before (he does maintenance at his Bushnell Church.)  What a surprise to learn I had won the tool chest!”  Included in the prize is a $100 gift card to Evans Ace Hardware in Bushnell.  “I am so grateful for Cornerstone Hospice that I donated the gift card back to the Lane Purcell House…because we are always in need of something from the hardware store.”  The foundation and Advisory Board thank the many Cornerstone staff that purchased tickets.  This is the second year in a row that one of our employees won the prize.  With your help and that of the Sumter County Community, the proceeds of the tool chest drawing were $2,600 which brought the grand total proceeds of the Chili Cook Off to $4,500 benefitting the Lane Purcell Hospice House. 



Shady Brook Residents Donate to the Lane Purcell Hospice House

By Susan Bennett, Regional Development Director


Carey and Judy Reese, residents of Shady Brook RV Resort;

and Kim Carter, Volunteer Specialist for the Lane Purcell

Hospice House.




            The residents of Shady Brook Golf and RV Resort in Sumterville recently donated $3,310 to Cornerstone Hospice’s Lane Purcell House.  The proceeds were from a series of events with the biggest being the February 18th all-day silent auction.  The residents donated many prizes as well as a large number of gift certificates from local restaurants and other merchants.  Over the years, the residents of Shady Brook have been very devoted to the hospice mission and have donated over $15,000 for patient care for Sumter County residents. We are most grateful for this group’s on-going support.



Risks of Driving and Talking

By Carol Lane, Telecommunication Analyst-Information Technology Group



Mobile Phone use while driving is common, but dangerous. Due to the number of accidents that are related to cell phone use while driving, some jurisdictions have made the use of a cell phone while driving illegal. Others have enacted laws to ban handheld mobile phone use, but allow use of a hands-free device. In some cases restrictions are only directed to minors or those who are newly qualified license holders.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 73% of drivers who own cell phones admit to using them when driving. The various types of cell phone use pose different risks, but the risks are consistent between both male and female drivers. In addition, age is not a factor in calculating the risk. Of the accidents caused by cell phone use, the Highway Safety reported that 89% involved other cars.  In 2009 in the U.S. there was a reported 5,474 people killed by distracted drivers. Of those 995 were considered to be killed by drivers distracted by cell phones.

Talking on a cell phone increases the risk of an accident four times. The National Safety Council found that the influence of talking on a cell phone makes drivers twice as likely to miss a traffic light, and their reactions to those lights are slower. In addition, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety finds that hands-free devices do not decrease the risk of talking.

Texting has become a social norm fairly quickly since the year 2000, as most cell phone plans include a text messaging package. There has been a significant rise in smart phone sales which allows people to communicate while they are doing practically anything.  Text messaging and other forms of text communication on mobile phones offer a level of convenience that cannot be matched. The dilemma is at what point do we chose safety over convenience.  Many studies have linked texting while driving to the cause of life-threatening accidents due to driver distraction. The International Telecommunication Union states that “texting, making calls, and other interaction with in-vehicle information and communication systems while driving is a serious source of driver distraction and increases the risk of traffic accidents”

Cornerstone Hospice policy prohibits answering or making calls while driving during working hours.  Cell Phone / PDA / Pager Use Policy is covered under policy IT-02. 



Cornerstone Hospice Foundation



 Upcoming Foundation Events

Check out the diverse events coming up in the next few months that support Cornerstone Hospice. Staff, family, friends, and neighbors are invited to sign up to play at some of Central Florida’s finest golf courses or to enjoy live music and a glass of local wine from Lakeridge Winery at the harvest festival. We’re regularly adding events, and we hope to see you at some this year!



  • Harbor Hills for Hospice “Talents” Fundraiser


Neighbors sell their “specialty” such as homemade scarves, fresh scones, photography, poetry, etc. to each other and then donate the money to Cornerstone Hospice.  “Talents” is an on-going year-round fundraising activity.


  • Women for Hospice Monthly Luncheon

Held the 4th Friday of every month except August and November, and the annual Christmas Luncheon on the 1st Friday of December, at varying Lake County Locations

11 am to noon:  Social Time

Noon to 1:30 pm Lunch, Style Show and Raffle

Tickets:  $24

Contact Susan Bennett for more information

  • South Lake Moose Lodge Golf Association Tournament

Saturday, April 28th

Clerbrook Resort

8:30 am shotgun start

$45 per person

  • Leesburg Bike Fest

Saturday, April 28th and Sunday, April 29th

Parking lot at Page Theus Funeral Home designated for Cornerstone Hospice

Clermont Harley Owners Group (HOG) members have volunteered to manage for us this year.

$5 per bike

  • Kings Ridge Golf Tournament

Monday, April 30th

8:30 am shotgun start

$60 per person

  • Mother’s Day Remembrance Ceremony

Thursday, May 10th

5:30 pm

Winter Haven Office



  • Clermont HOG Hospice Run for Angels


June 3rd

Poker Run/Luncheon/Auction

Starts at Stormy Hill Harley Davidson in Clermont

Ends at Minneola City Hall


All are welcome


  • Father’s Day Remembrance Ceremony


June 14th

5:30 pm

Winter Haven Office


  • Lakeridge Winery and Vineyards 2012 Annual Harvest Festival

Lakeridge Winery and Vineyards  22nd Annual Harvest Festival


Fri. June 22nd  10 am - 5:00 pm

Sat. June 23rd   10:00 am. - 5:00 pm

Sun. June 24th 11:00 am to 5 pm


Come stomp the grapes!!!  Enjoy great live music all day, wine, tour the winery, and wander the tents of the arts and crafts vendors.  $2 donation per person benefiting Cornerstone Hospice and Clermont High School Football Program.


To volunteer contact Susan Bennett 352-742-6807


  • Royal Highlands Monarch Women’s Golf Association’s Annual Memorial Golf Benefit

October 11, 2012.  All day event includes golf tournament, raffle, silent and live auctions plus hole sponsorships and lunch.  Contact Susan Bennett 352-742-6807

  • Kings Ridge Women’s Club Gala

October 2012

  • Bushnell Fall Festival

October 20, 2012

9 am to 7 pm- Booth run by Sumter County Advisory Committee volunteers.  Call Susan Bennett 352-742-6807 for more information




Community Relations Spring Activities

By Cheryl Rumbley, Community Relations Coordinator-Lake/Sumter




Elaine Kirchner and Barry Wright volunteering at the New Vision Living

Well Expo at LSCC in Leesburg.                    





The Community Foundation of South Lake has established the Community Leadership Council for organizations, agencies, civic groups and anyone interested in improving the community.  The goal is to identify and discuss current issues facing the community and to create a forum to exchange information, provide education, establish networking, increased communication and build collaborations.  The kick-off meeting was held on March 8th and over 60 agencies were present.  There was discussion on how agencies can help each other, recommend services and work together to enhance each others efforts.  Quite often it is known that “someone is out there who can do that” but we do not always have the specifics of where to find them.  A list of participating agencies and not-for-profits is being compiled and will be shared with HR and our Social Workers.

Health Fairs and expos in March included Rotary of The Villages, The Savannah Center in The Villages, New Vision Living Well expo at LSCC, the Mt. Dora/Tavares Chamber Business Expo, YMCA Largest Zumbathon in Mt. Dora, Junteenth Gem of the Hills Health Fair in Clermont, Women’s Expo in Clermont and Royal Highlands Health Fair in Leesburg.



Community Relations

By Claire Gaynor, Community Relations Coordinator-Orange & Osceola


"Seeing" what it is like to have glaucoma or cataracts.



Spring is here and everyone wants to be outside in this glorious weather!  And it started with the Osceola Sheriff’s Department annual Community Education and Health fair that was held outside where the department was able to show off all of the sheriff’s departments including the horse mounted volunteer department.  It was well attended by young and old with lots of fun activities as well as education from vendors. 


Orange County Commission on Aging offered training to individuals wanting to train individuals to be aware of the changes that can and often do take place as our bodies’ age.  The program was created to increase the participants’ knowledge base and enhance their understanding of impairments due to the aging program.    This class also helps people learn what is true and not true about aging and older people.  One of the tasks is putting on different glasses that show what it is like to have glaucoma or cataracts and how hard it can be for the person with eye problems.  The class has interactive tasks so that participants are engaged so that hopefully they will leave with a better understanding of why an elder has challenges in a youthful environment.  So if you have a group that you feel might want to go through senior sensitivity training, please call Claire Gaynor. 


Spring also is a time for health fairs in our community including Zellwood Station, Alzheimer’s Resource & Dementia Center, Mt. Olive AME Church, Orlando Baptist and Apopka Senior Center. 


National Association of Social Workers Holds Annual Breakfast & Workshop

By Ginny Wolfe, Community Relations Coordinator-Polk, Hardee, Highlands


Silver Team Clinical Liaison Vaughn Hopson shares conversation on

Cornerstone Hospice with visiting social worker.



The Heartland Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers held their 18th annual ‘Social Worker Appreciation Breakfast’ on Thursday, March 22, and once again Cornerstone Hospice was an active part of the event.  This is the sixth year we have been a table sponsor for the event, which had over 200 attendees.  Social Workers from all over central Florida attend the breakfast, and then have a morning of educational workshops.  Social Workers in attendance represented several hospitals, the Polk County Schools, not-for-profit agencies, those in private practice, and students at local colleges who are majoring in social work.  The theme for this year’s event was “Social Work Matters”.


Clinical Liaison Vaughn Hopson and Community Relations Coordinator Ginny Wolfe worked together to coordinate the display and sponsorship.  A special thank you goes to Clinical Liaison Manager Lou Acuff and Clinical Liaison Vivian Norrell for their assistance.


I would also like to give my thanks to all of our Cornerstone Social Workers – you are our ‘unsung heroes’ and I appreciate your hard work and dedication!  Thanks for everything you do for our patients and their families.


Let’s support StandUP Polk, Coalition for a drug free Polk.  Take unwanted or expired Human and Pet Medications to any of the following locations for safe disposal on April 28 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.:

Haines City Police Department – 35400 Highway 27, Haines City, FL
Lake Alfred Police Department – 190 North Seminole Avenue, Lake Alfred, FL

Lake Wales Police Department - 133 East Tillman Avenue, Lake Wales, FL

Lakeland Police Department – 219 N. Massachusetts Avenue, Lakeland, FL Winter Haven Police Department – 125 North Lake Silver Drive NW, Winter Haven, FL

Please secure all medications in a clear air-tight sealed plastic bag.

For more information, please call StandUP Polk Coalition at (863) 802-0777



HR News …
by Mike E. Metcalf PHR, Human Resources Director
   Teressa S. Brunson PPC, Ed Holder and Associates

1.  Retirement Reality Check

To emphasize and clarify last month's article, Retirement Reality Check, the following information in that article is very important and requires repeating:


"Keep in mind that the IRS requires most retirement savers to begin taking withdrawals known as required minimum distributions (RMDs) from employer-sponsored retirement accounts and traditional IRAs after reaching age 70 1/2.  If  you don't take your RMDs, you could be forced to pay substantial tax penalties.  RMD rules recently became less complex, but it's still important that you understand them and implement an appropriate strategy."

2.  Bad Times for Surprises

Life, as the saying goes, is full of surprises.  Some are pleasant, like getting a present when you weren’t expecting one.   Others are not, like running out of money in retirement.  Fortunately, with some planning, that’s one surprise you can take steps to avoid.


Anticipate Your Income


Unless you keep working, your paychecks will stop when retirement starts.  Where will your income come from then?   One source of retirement income is Social Security.  The way the system currently works, Social Security retirement benefits continue, regardless of how long your retirement lasts.  However, the payments provide only a portion of the income most retiree’s need.


Monthly benefits from an employer’s pension plan can provide another relatively reliable income source, but fewer employers offer pension plans.


Even if you get pension benefits, the rest of the money you need will have to come from your own savings and your other personal assets.


Predict Your Expenses


How long your retirement savings will last depends in large part on your retirement lifestyle.  If you plan to a lot of travelling, for example, it may cost quite a bit.  The more income you’re going to need, the more money you need to save.


Check Your Time Frame


The best way to avoid running out of money in retirement is to start saving as early as you can and contribute as much as you can.  If your career is just beginning, you should have time to build a healthy nest egg if you stick to it.


If you don’t have decades of life to save, increase the amount you’re contributing to your plan as often as possible during the time you have left.  If retirement is very close, you might consider working a few extra years so you have more time to build up your savings.


No Surprise Here


Wherever you are in your career, contributing as much as you can to your plan now can help ensure that you don’t outlive your savings later.



Quote of the Month:

Submitted by Vivian Norrell, RN, Polk County


“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”       ---Winston Churchill---