Annual Silver Team Olympics Sets Records:

Staff wins the annual Cornerstone Hospice Chili Contest 2012

Submitted by Jinho Hwang, Silver Team Volunteer


On Tuesday, January 10, 2012, the Silver Team kicked off the first New Year meeting in causal mode but with a serious agenda.


After the meeting the Silver Team Olympics began with “get the cracker to the mouth.”  The second picture for the finish could not be taken because of the lightning fast world setting record. 


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Barbara Cobb plays cracker game

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The Clear Winner!



The Silver Team Olympics air was tense as arch rivals approached the playing table.  The wife on one team and husband on the other team competed in the “battle of the macaroni.” When the losing husband was interviewed he said, “I didn’t want to be in the dog house.”


The Silver Team Olympics was followed by the Annual Winter Haven Cornerstone Hospice Chili Contest.  The tasting was led by Chaplain Willie and the competition was fierce as judges counted the votes.  The whole event was literally gastronomical! 


After a rigoruos manual count, the winners of the Annual Winter Haven Cornerstone Hospice Chili Contest 2012 were announced.  First place:  Pam Beasley, Staff Nurse; second place: Lisa Gray, Volunteer Manager; and third place: Pat Ludemann, Silver Regional Team Manager.  Staff take the contest by a landslide. 


Seeking All Staff Who Speak a Second Language

By Ellen Bristol, VP Access


To better serve our patients in all areas, Cornerstone Hospice is developing

a list of all staff, who speak another language than English.  Whether you work in

the office or in the field, you may be able to help our patients and families

or even with a phone call that we are unable to understand.  The list is being

developed according to our different service areas.  For patient families, field staff will be

asked to assist before we would ask someone from the office.  If you are speak a

language other than English, we need your help.  Please let your team manager

know, so we can add you to the master list.  On behalf of our patients and

families, thanks so much for your assistance. 


Night of Joy

By Isaac Deas, Interfaith Chaplain and Cornerstone Hospice Choir Director


Just a note to say thank you to all staff members who participated in the Clerbrook Resorts – Night of Joy. The organizers at Clerbrook were very appreciative of the choir participating.  This year, Clerbrook raised nearly $40,000 for Cornerstone.


I know we all had long days and busy lives but thank you for going above and beyond the call of duty.  Please have a good day and may God bless you.


Wellness Committee - Stroke Facts: The Third leading cause of death in U.S.

Submitted by Tammy Holt, Benefits Specialist


February is Heart Awareness month!  Do you know what the number one cause of serious, long term disability is in the United States and is the third leading cause of death killing 160,000 people each year?  If you guessed strokes, you’re correct.  Here are some interesting facts:


*      Every 45 seconds someone in the U.S. will experience a stroke. 

*      Over the course of a lifetime, four out of every five families will be touched by stroke. 

*      There are 4 million Americans living with the effects of stroke and nearly 30% of those are under the age of 65.

*      For people over the age of 55, the incident of stroke more than doubles in each success decade.

*      Women over age 30 who smoke and take high-estrogen oral contraceptives have a stroke risk 22 times higher than average.

*      People with diabetes, especially those who have high blood pressure, are at increased risk for stroke.  Women with diabetes are at a greater risk than men.

*      Approximately 1/3 of all stroke survivors will have another stroke within five years.  About 14% will have another within one year.

*      Stroke costs the U.S. $30 billion dollars annually in medical expenses and lost productivity.


It’s important to know the warning signs of a stroke.  There are 5 distinctive signs to memorize:

§      Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body.

§      Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding.

§      Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.

§      Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.

§      Sudden sever headache with no known cause.

If you experience these symptoms, call 911 immediately.


To learn more about stroke and heart diseases, visit American Hearth Association at

Community Relations Corner

Busy Lady

By Ginny Wolfe, Community Relations Coordinator-PHH


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Lake Alfred Chamber of Commerce Presidents Past, Present, and Future

Left to Right:  Ginny wolfe, Vice-President/President Elect; Audra Kosensky,

President; Judy Gay, Immediate Past President


Ginny Wolfe, Community Relations Coordinator for the Silver and Pearl Teams (Polk, Highlands and Hardee Counties) was recently elected to the position of Vice-President for the Lake Alfred Chamber of Commerce.  She has been a member of the board for two years.  Her installation in office took place at their annual meeting on January 26. 


The Lake Alfred Chamber is one of twelve chambers that Ginny is involved in representing Cornerstone Hospice.  Through networking in chambers and other community organizations, community members not only come to know Cornerstone Hospice but also develop relationships with our staff to produce future referrals.  Other community involvement includes InnerAct Alliance, the Lakeland Downtown Chapter of the American Business Women’s Association, the Alzheimer’s Association, and the Leadership Winter Haven Alumni Association, among other organizations.


Busy in Lake-Sumter

By Cheryl Rumbley, Community Relations Coordinator-Lake/Sumter



The holidays are over and the snow birds are back.  Health Fairs are a great venue for providing information to the community and Cornerstone participates in as many as possible.  In January we were in Sumter County at Blueberry Hill and Florida Grande Motor Coach resorts.  Lake County provided opportunities at Pennbrook, Holiday RV, Lake Receptions Senior Expo, Highland Lakes, Waterman Village, The Taste of Wellness in Leesburg, New Beginnings Expo at 1st United Methodist Church in Clermont, and Clerbrook.  We also were invited to speak to several communities and churches around the area.  Cornerstone also participated in the Martin Luther King Day Parade in Leesburg.  Approximately 25 of our staff marched in the parade.  Thanks to everyone who was able to join in the event. 


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Getting ready to march.

Busy Orange & Osceola

Claire Gaynor – Community Relations Coordinator - Orange & Osceola


January started off with our annual Orange County Commission on Aging meeting to determine what project we will create to work on for the betterment of those of us who service our seniors.  I presented to a wonderful group of ladies at Resurrection Church in Winter Garden who were interested in hospice and volunteering.  For Osceola Council on Aging, we co-sponsored an in service training for 75 employees.  Education on our services included meeting with executives of organizations including Easter Seals, Lighthouse for the Blind, Share the Care to name a few. 


 Claudia Swonger Bereavement Counselor for Ruby and Coral Team appeared on KFYI Access TV. This is a 30-minute show produced by the City of Kissimmee Public Information Office. The show consists of various 4-minute segments covering City projects, City issues, health issues, special events and more. During the 15 minute taping, Claudia Swonger discussed the topic “Children and Bereavement”.


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Claudia with Carla Banks


Our local Chambers have had many networking events as well as quarterly luncheons and after hour events including Apopka Florida Hospital After Hours.


Our Foundation Chili Cooks-Off Second Annual Hospice Fundraiser!

by Susan Bennett, Regional Development Director, Cornerstone Hospice Foundation

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Kim Crter, LPHH Volunteer Specialist, and Belinda Maitre "cook it up" with their own flavors!

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Susan Noell, Sumter Co. Advisory Board Volunteer, presents Frist Place "Peoples Choice" Award to Dina Martinez from the Sumter Co. Health Education Dept.


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The First Baptist Chruch of Webster with lead chili chef Brother Gene Bohner took the Judges Choice, fondly referred to as "Perky's Award" -- a favorite word of Lane Percell.  The award is sponsored by his widow, Cheryl Purcell, who was in attendance.



Chili enthusiasts calmed their appetites with healthy portions of different varieties of chili dishes while servers hoped their secret recipes would turn out to be a winner during the second annual “Spice it up for Hospice” Chili Cook-Off held on January 28th in Bushnell.  It was a great success, raising over $3,600 for the Lane Purcell Hospice House.  The Chili extravaganza took place at the Kenny Dixon Sports Complex in Bushnell. About a dozen booths were set up around the picnic pavilion, all booths offering participants their masterful Chili sampling. As participants enjoyed the various Chili recipes, Todd Brown and the River Junction Band performed for the huge crowd. Special thanks to our staff participants who represented Cornerstone Hospice very well.  Also a very special thanks to Sumter County Advisory Committee star Susan K. Noell for going above and beyond the call of duty on this activity!



Pet Peace of Mind Program

Submitted by Lisa Gray, Volunteer Manager

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Lisa with two of her babies, Faith and Rowdy.



I have been working diligently on getting our Pet Peace of Mind (PPOM) Program up and running.  We currently have Pet Peace of Mind volunteers trained in The Villages and Gold Team area.  


We have filled requests for volunteer dog walkers and provided food and flea control. 

I have met with several pet groups.  South Lake Animal League has generously offered to assist us with pets that are adoptable and whose owners have died without having had prior arrangements made.   We have been included in the Green K-9’s monthly fundraising event in Tavares.  Pups on the Patio will be held on the first Saturday starting March 3rd.   We will need PPOM volunteers to assist with set up at 5 p.m. and man our information booth from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.  It is a great way to have fun and meet fellow pet lovers!  We are also looking for sponsors and vendors for this event. 

Recently Gray/Robinson Law Attorneys promoted Pet Peace of Mind during one of their casual day fundraisers.  They raised $420.00!


Please let me hear about some of your personal funny or touching pet stories. 

Yours, Mine and Ours – A Couple’s Guide to Retirement Planning

Submitted by Michael E. Metcalf, PHR, Human Resources Director


While the reasons for earning two incomes may vary from couple to couple, these families often face a similar financial challenge: participation in separate retirement programs.


As a couple, your combined retirement assets are not just limited to what you may have accumulated in your current employers' retirement plans. You also need to consider any older accounts that are still sitting in former employers' plans, or assets that have been moved to rollover IRAs. After inventorying your various retirement assets, consider some areas where a joint planning effort may help enhance your investment outcome.


Setting a Mutual Goal


Pursuing the goal of retiring together requires a long-term approach. Start by determining how large a combined nest egg you will need. This will depend on how much you have already saved and when you hope to retire, as well as your retirement lifestyle choices - where you plan to live, whether you plan to maintain more than one residence and what you plan to do with your time. All of these factors will affect your retirement income needs.


Keep in mind that Americans are living longer and that one or both of you could spend 20 or more years in retirement. Also carefully review the potential financial benefits of delaying retirement. Working for an extra few years could enable you to continue making contributions to your IRA or employer-sponsored retirement plan and delay taking withdrawals.


Asset Allocation

As with any investment portfolio, your retirement accounts should work in unison to pursue a single accumulation goal. Ask yourselves whether your overall asset allocation is appropriate for your combined objectives and risk tolerance. Are the portfolios adequately diversified? Are they over weighted in anyone-asset class or individual security? Also consider how your retirement portfolios complement your other assets, such as taxable investment accounts and real estate.



For couples in or near retirement, an equally important part of the planning process is determining when and how to withdraw money from retirement accounts. Consider which accounts (i.e., taxable vs. tax-deferred) to tap first. It may be better to liquidate assets in taxable accounts, allowing assets in IRAs and qualified retirement plans to continue growing tax-deferred. Remember, however, that with few exceptions, the IRS requires individuals to begin withdrawing money from tax-deferred accounts no later than age 701/2, at which point you may want to rethink your distribution strategy. For instance, might it make sense to convert a Traditional IRA to a Roth IRA to avoid taking distributions altogether? Your tax advisor can help you consider the tax consequences of conversion, as well as the potential benefits of a Roth IRA.


These are just a few of the issues dual-earner couples need to consider when managing their individual retirement plan accounts. Since no two couples' financial situations are alike, the best course of action is to make an appointment today so that we can begin devising a coordinated plan for meeting your future financial needs.



Speaking of 403(b)s …

Submitted By Michael E. Metcalf, PHR, Human Resources Director



Is taking a loan from my 403(b) plan account a good idea?


While some 403(b) plans offer the option to borrow from your account, which can be very helpful in some circumstances,  it’s an option to use sparingly. When you take money from your account, even temporarily, you lose the benefit of that money compounding. Over the long term, the loss of compound earnings could add up. It’s also difficult to contribute to your retirement plan while repaying the loan, and if you leave your job before repaying the loan in full, you’ll have to pay income tax and possibly penalties on the balance. So, avoid taking a plan loan if you can.


You’re moving on. Should your money move too?

If you're changing jobs or thinking about the best way to consolidate your retirement savings you have a lot to consider when deciding what's next for your retirement savings.

Remember, all the money you contribute to your retirement plan, and the money it earns, belongs to you. If your employer also makes contributions to your account, your employer's vesting policies will determine whether you may keep employer contributions and the earnings they generate.

If you are changing jobs, you may be able to leave your retirement savings in your previous plan account. Or you may be able to roll it directly into your new employer's retirement plan, or into an IRA that you select.


Tool Chest Drawing for a 4-drawer tool chest valued at over $1,000.

Sponsored by The Foundation

Click here to see the Tool Chest Drawing Flyer



Quote of the Month

By Vivian Norrell, RN, Clinical Liaison-Polk


“You’re just thankful for what you’ve been given, even if it’s not what you wanted.”--Jessica Lynch-Army POW