Oswego County Public Information Office, 46 East Bridge St., Oswego, NY 13126

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March 25, 2005

Oswego County Hospice Begins Spring Training Program

Oswego County Hospice will offer a 6-week volunteer training program beginning April 20. Most of the classes will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesdays at the County Health Department, 70 Bunner St., Oswego.

Oswego County Hospice provides emotional support and practical assistance to individuals and families faced with a terminal illness. The 36-hour training program includes classroom instruction on grief and bereavement issues to help volunteers serve Hospice patients and their families.

The first session will be held at Oswego County BOCES in Mexico so that volunteers can attend an appreciation luncheon and participate in a national teleconference sponsored by Hospice Foundation of America.

The topic of this year’s teleconference is very timely,” said Michelle Dowd, Hospice volunteer coordinator for the Oswego County Health Department. “The program will address “Living with Grief – Ethical Dilemmas at the End of Life.”

Experienced Hospice volunteers will participate by sharing their experiences with the new students. Other Hospice instructors include Dr. Dennis Norfleet, Medical Director of Oswego County Hospice, and the Rev. Bill King, Volunteer Pastoral Care Coordinator.

“The unique aspect of Hospice is how volunteers with different experiences and backgrounds come together to fit the needs of the patient,” said Dowd. “Volunteers act as an extension of the patients’ family. They help out physically, emotionally and spiritually, whatever it takes to bring comfort to the patient.”

Volunteers help with transportation, shopping and household tasks, and assist in the Hospice program office in Oswego. They also help organize Camp Rainbow for Hope, a unique bereavement program at Camp Hollis for Oswego County children who have experienced the death of a loved one.

For more information or to register for the volunteer training program, call 349-8259 or (800) 596-3200, ext. 8259.

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