Moffitt Cancer Center Program for Women from Tampa Comes to Polk County!

by Manny P. Hernandez, Public Information Officer

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Above, some of the attendees at the recent Moffitt Cancer Center seminar (seated, l to r): Catherine Price RN, MPH, Haines City Park View Medical; Minerva Alford RN, Clinical Coordinator at Lake Wales Free Clinic; Linda Stokes RN, CCM, LNC, Clinical Director at Winter Haven Haley Center; Sybil Reibling MS, MT, Case Manager, Angels Care Center of Eloise; Patty Strickland, Community Outreach Manager, Clark & Daughtrey Medical Group, Lakeland, and Sister Irma Avila with Farmworker Ministry, Auburndale. Standing (l to r): Vivian Norrell, Clinical Liaison Polk County; Jeanette Palencia, Community Outreach at Moffitt Cancer Center; Myriam Escobar, Community Outreach at Moffitt Cancer Center; Ginny Wolfe, Community Relations Coordinator PHH, and Kathleen Border, Regional Development Director for PHH, Cornerstone Hospice Foundation.



Believing that Cancer knows no boundaries, Tampa-based Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute came to Silver Team in August to provide our staff an overview of their comprehensive services. Jeanette Palencia and Myriam Escobar, community outreach representatives from Moffitt’s Tampa office, spearheaded a morning seminar at our Winter Haven office to spread the word that cancer affects every ethnic background, is fully fluent in every language and can impact people of any age, faith or culture. Yet, health disparities exist due to economic status, access to quality healthcare, discrimination, cultural differences or behaviors that leave some people within our communities at greater risk for diagnosis and death from cancer.


“The purpose of the seminar was to bring cancer awareness to Cornerstone Hospice in an effort to have everyone facing cancer the same hope for survival, including Spanish-speaking women through their “Yo Me Cuido” (I Care for Myself) program in Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas and now Polk counties.  The seminar was possible thanks to a recent grant received to promote the program in Polk. “This program will educate women how to take care of themselves plus the prevention of Breast Cancer by following a good diet and exercise, and we have great expectations for this joint effort throughout Polk County,” indicated our Executive Director Deb Harley during the seminar. This partnering effort between the Moffitt organization and Cornerstone Hospice is in its early stages, according to Silver Team Clinical Liaison Vivian Norrell and Community Relations Coordinator Ginny Wolfe, both of whom can be contacted at our Silver Team office for further developments on this joint partnership since community links throughout the extensive geography of Polk County need to be developed.


Ruby patient at Westminster Towers observes her 102nd birthday!

by Manny P. Hernandez, Public Information Officer

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Surrounded by her Cornerstone Hospice and Westminster Towers care teams and admirers, Ruby patient Eleanor Anderson recently observed her 102nd birthday! Ready to enjoy a cake with Eleanor, left to right: Luis Lopez, Activities Assistant at Westminster Towers; Ancheda Fronda RN, Eleanor's nurse; Amanda Dawkins CNA; Eleanor Anderson; ever smiling Dee Gomez CNA; Ruthie Low LPN and Unit Manager at Westminster Towers, and Laura Mullen, Activities Director at Westminster Towers.



Eleanor Anderson, matriarch of a huge family of Scandinavian heritage, recently observed her 102nd birthday surrounded by her care team from Cornerstone Hospice at Westminster Towers in downtown Orlando. Originally from Norway, Eleanor’s grandparents came to America in 1879, arriving in Ellis Island. Oscar F. Anderson (Eleanor’s husband-to be) was born in 1907 in the small Swedish town of Saffle, located in southern Sweden almost on the border with Norway and closer to Oslo than to Stockholm. At the tender age of four, Oscar arrived with his mother and older brother Carl at Ellis Island in 1911 and soon joined his father John who had emigrated earlier and was already working at the iron ore and coal docks at the Lake Superior port of Duluth, Minnesota and Superior, Wisconsin. By the time he was in his twenties, Oscar was working in Fargo, ND.


It was in Fargo that Oscar met a young lady of Norwegian descent, Eleanor B. Fiskum, born July 24, 1910 in Twin Valley, Minnesota. Young Eleanor had grown up in Minnesota and North Dakota and graduated from Fargo Central High School. After a brief courtship, Oscar and Eleanor married on May 31, 1935 in Pelican Rapids, Minnesota, a marriage that would last 66 years. The great new joys in the autumn of Oscar and Eleanor’s life were the marriages of their four children and arrival of their grandchildren. There are nine grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.


Now observing her 102nd birthday, Eleanor receives care by her Cornerstone Hospice team at Westminster Towers, Gary Lehman MD; Ancheda Fronda RN; Michelle Rose LPN; Nathalie Valcarcel SW; Dee Gomez CNA; Amanda Dawkins CNA and Westminster Towers staff Ruthie Low LPN; Laura Mullen, Activities Director and Luis Lopez, Activities Assistant, all participants in the recent party in observance of Eleanor’s 102nd! May the birthday gal herself see many more years!




United Way of Lake & Sumter awards $20,000 grant to Cornerstone Hospice

By Susan Bennett, Regional Development Director, Cornerstone Hospice Foundation

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United Way of Lake and Sumter recently awarded a community investment grant of $20,000 to the Charity Fund which insures hospice care is available for uninsured and under-insured patients throughout Lake and Sumter counties. Above (l to r): Terry Kracht, Campaign/Marketing Director with United Way of Lake & Sumter; Nick Buchholz, Executive Director, Cornerstone Hospice Foundation and Susan Bennett, Regional Development Director, Cornerstone Hospice Foundation.


United Way of Lake and Sumter recently awarded a community investment grant of $20,000 to the Charity Fund which insures hospice care is available for uninsured and under-insured patients throughout Lake and Sumter counties. Above (l to r): Terry Kracht, Campaign/Marketing Director with United Way of Lake & Sumter; Nick Buchholz, Executive Director, Cornerstone Hospice Foundation and Susan Bennett, Regional Development Director, Cornerstone Hospice Foundation.



Community Relations Corner


Community Relations 

By Claire Gaynor, Community Relations Coordinator-Orange/Osceola

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At the recent Walt Disney World Resort's "Golden Ears" Retiree Luncheon, our Ruby and Coral teams' Community Relations Coordinator Claire Gaynor and Volunteer Specialist Diane Klebanow gave a presentation about Hospice services. From left to right: Golden Ear's Steve Kehr; Diane Klebanow and Claire Gaynor



Labor Day weekend reminds us that summer is ending, vacations are over, school is back in session and there is hope for cooler weather.  At the beginning of August, Cornerstone Hospice was invited to the Walt Disney World Golden Ears Retirees luncheon to talk about Cornerstone hospice.  A wonderful group of retirees attended and had many questions with regard to hospice.  They were eager to learn about our services.  It also gave us the opportunity to promote our volunteer program with our new volunteer coordinator, Diane Kiebanow, who talked to them about volunteering. 


Cornerstone Hospice was one of the sponsors for the Catholic Diocese Pastoral Care Conference held at Sts. Peter and Paul Church in Winter Park with 400 bereavement ministers.  This event gave us the opportunity to present our services to all attendees speaking to the entire group as well as one-on-one at our table.  Ending the month Cornerstone Hospice engaged in the 50+ Senior Expo held at St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church in Ocoee where approximately 400 attendees learned about senior services. 

Hardee County employees learn first-hand about Hospice

by Ginny Wolfe, Community Relations Coordinator, PHH


On Wednesday, August 29th the Hardee County Board of County Commissioners hosted its annual benefit program for their employees at the Hardee County Agri-Civic Center in Wauchula.  Along with several other health-related businesses and agencies, I had the opportunity to present information about Cornerstone Hospice and Palliative Care to over 200 Hardee County employees.  Topics covered in the informal program included general information about hospice care, information about bereavement services and support, and the importance of end-of-life advance planning.  According to Laticia Wilkins, who coordinated the event, this was the first time hospice services were included in the program, and the response was overwhelmingly positive. 


Questions ranged from ‘what exactly is hospice’ to ‘who and what qualify for hospice care’ to ‘where are you located’, etc.  My favorite question was ‘can I pre-register now?’  Sadly, I had to tell her that as much as I would like to see us offer our services to everyone, that’s not how it works! 


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Armed with displays and brochures about our various programs, PHH Community Relations Coordinator Ginny Wolfe stands ready by our display and table to talk to approaching Hardee County employees about Cornerstone Hospice and our various programs at the Hardee County Agri-Civic Center in Wauchula.



Sweet Wars 2012 to be a Culinary Treat!

by Kathleen Border, Regional Director of Development, P-H-H

 Cornerstone Hospice Foundation


Sebring - There are fierce competitors with unmatched culinary excellence hiding, tucked away in assisted living facilities throughout the county – until now. The chefs of Highlands County’s prominent facilities will face off at the Agri-Civic Center on Friday, September 21 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for Sweet Wars 2012 showcasing their best dessert creations.


The public is invited to choose the best creation by purchasing a $5 ballot and testing their sweet tooth on great desserts while eating their way through the event. The winning chef will receive a plaque to display with pride in his or her assisted living facility and bragging rights for an entire year. Ballots can be purchased in advance at the Cornerstone Hospice office at 2906 Sparta Road in Sebring or at the offices of Michael L. Keiber, PA, 129 South Commerce Ave in Sebring. Ballots can also be purchased at the Agri-Civic Center the day of the event.


All monies collected will go to the Cornerstone Hospice Foundation to benefit hospice services in Highlands County. Since 1984, Cornerstone Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc., a not-for-profit, community-based healthcare organization, has provided care and services to central Florida residents experiencing life-limiting illnesses.


A special thank you to the event’s official sponsor and legal counsel, Michael L. Keiber, P.A. Michael grew up in Highlands County and proudly serves our residents in the areas of estate planning, elder law, real estate and various civil litigation services.


To learn more, in Highlands County call 863-382-4563 or toll-free 800-503-5756 or visit as well as


United Way and PUBLIX Tour Mike Conley Hospice House

by Cheryl Rumbley, Community Relations Coordinator

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During the recent tour of MCHH, United Way and Publix managers paused for a group photo at our Clermont facility. Above, at extreme left, Curtis Hancock, Publix Store Manager; to his immediate left, our Jack Schiavi RN, Patient Care Supervisor at MCHH, and at front row extreme right, Terri Kracht from United Way.



September starts the campaign season for The United Way and once again Cornerstone Hospice is privileged to be one of the recipients of their funding.  Publix Supermarkets is a huge supporter of the United Way in Lake and Sumter Counties.  Recently the store and department managers from Store #1357 on Highway 27 south of Kings Ridge in Clermont requested tours of the Mike Conley Hospice House.   The tours were coordinated through Terri Kracht, United Way Campaign/Marketing Director and Curtis Hancock, Store Manager and were hosted by Jack Schiavi, RN, MCHH Supervisor.  The store is hosting Cornerstone Hospice on September 1st for a presentation to their entire associate staff.


Additional August community activities included a health fair at the Minneola Alliance Church, the YMCA Doc Talk, and a presentation to the Kiwanis Club of Clermont.  There are many activities starting in September as the snowbirds return and the more casual days of summer fade.



Wellness Corner  - Ovarian and Prostate Cancer Awareness Month – September 2012

By Sandra S. Kenny, H.I.M. Supervisor



Ovarian Cancer is the 5th leading cause of cancer related-death in women age 35 to 74.  It is estimated that one in 71 women will develop ovarian cancer during her lifetime.  The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be over 22,000 new cases of ovarian cancer diagnosed this year and more than 15,000 women will die from ovarian cancer this year.


When one is diagnosed and treated in the earliest stages, the 5-year survival rate is over 90%.  However due to the non-specific symptoms and the lack of early detection tests only 19% of all cases are found at this early stage.


Be aware of potential signs to look for:

  • Bloating
  • Pelvic/abdominal pain
  • Trouble eating or feeling full quickly
  • Feeling the need to urinate urgently or often

In addition fatigue, upset stomach or heartburn, back pain, pain during sex, constipation and menstrual changes can be a warning sign.  If any of these are persistent or are not corrected with appropriate intervention you should consult your doctor.


Prostate Cancer has seen a reduction in the number of cancer-related deaths since the mid-1990s and 90% of all prostate cancers are now discovered before they spread outside the gland.  The survival rate is nearly 100% when detected early.


Symptoms do not usually manifest early in prostate cancer.  Testing and education are the keys in beating prostate cancer.


Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) is a protein made in the prostate gland.  Usually very little should be found in the blood.  Rising levels indicate a problem (cancer or enlarged prostate).  Although a number of new and far more accurate prostate cancer tests are being developed the PSA is still the best method to determine if there is a problem.



Quote of the Month

Vivian Norrell, RN, Polk County Clinical Liaison



“He who knows, does not speak. He who speaks, does not know.” -Lao Tzu, Chinese philosopher