Covid 19 Protocol practiced by the Athena Institute Pre-Med Hospice Volunteer Program
Student and patient safety continue to be priority one! Due to COVID 19, Hospices, universities, colleges, and care facilities are limiting student volunteer interaction with patients to insure the safety of patients, students and their communities. Only if expressly allowed by their college or university, a limited number of students may be permitted to visit some patients in-person. Presently, many Pre-Med students are completing remote training.
Rev. Dr. Graham S. Robinson -September 30, 2020
National Director; Athena Institute Pre-Med Hospice Volunteer Program
Winnifred Cutler, PhD, President
Athena Institute for Women’s Wellness
The overall mission of the Program has been to instill in pre-med students a sense of humanity and understanding towards the geriatric patient and 'end-of-life' care through hospice service... and to provide patients an opportunity to educate these young students in how to listen to their needs." --Dr. Cutler
Rev. Eric R. Andræ; Campus Pastor of First Trinity Lutheran Church; Pre-Med Hospice Chaplain for University of Pittsburgh
Rev. Lori Kosinski; Pastor of Norriton Presbyterian Church; Pre-Med Hospice Chaplain for Villanova University
Rev. Kurt Nelson; Director of Religious & Spiritual Life and Chaplain for the Protestant Community, Bucknell University; Pre-Med Hospice Chaplain for Bucknell University
Rev. Kurt Nelson is Bucknell’s Director of Religious & Spiritual Life and Chaplain for the Protestant Community. He advises Bucknell’s multi-faith and interfaith initiatives; supervises Bucknell’s stellar team of chaplains, coordinators, and liaisons; and leads and coordinates Ecumenical worship in Rooke Chapel on Sunday mornings during the academic term. He is ordained in the United Church of Christ.
Kurt comes to Bucknell from Colby College (Waterville, ME) where he spent 6.5 years as Dean of Religious & Spiritual Life. Prior, he served as Assistant Chaplain at Dartmouth College (Hanover, NH). He is a graduate of Yale Divinity School – where he fell in love with Chaplaincy - and St. Olaf College – where he fell in love with Religious Studies. A convert from the Pre-med track at St. Olaf, Kurt will be of limited help in tutoring Organic Chemistry, but is brimming with empathy for all walks of academic life.
Kurt is the 5th-most-likable member of his family, following – in no particular order – his wife and partner, Joanna; their children, Lillian (6) and Elliott (soon-to-be 2); and their dog, Grover (10). You can meet all but Grover in Rooke Chapel most Sunday mornings.
Bucknell’s Office of Religious & Spiritual Life seeks to provide for the religious and spiritual well-being of the entire Bucknell community through pastoral care, multi-faith partnership, creation of communities of sustained belonging, and exploration of meaning and purpose. If any of life’s big questions (or some of the small ones) interest you, we will find a place for you. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Kurt directly with questions, concerns, or interests – email@example.com, or call to set up an appointment – 570 577 1592.
Rev. Joanne Epply-Schmidt; Associate Rector for Pastoral, Family and Youth, and Justice Ministries, Trinity Church, Princeton; Pre-Med Hospice Chaplain for Princeton University
Reverend Joanne Epply-Schmidt; Associate Rector for Pastoral, Family and Youth, and Justice Ministries, Trinity Church, Princeton; Pre-Med Hospice Chaplain for Princeton University
Joanne was baptized at ECP while an undergraduate at Princeton University (’82). Prior to joining the staff at Trinity, Joanne served for many years as both a long and short term supply priest to over 40 parishes in the Diocese. She served for 11 years as a priest at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Pennington, NJ before joining the staff of Storytelling Arts of Princeton, a non-profit literacy and arts program.
For over a decade, she has shared the art of storytelling with adolescent males in the NJ Juvenile Justice System. In the Diocese of New Jersey, she chairs the Campus Ministry Commission and serves as vice president of the Campus Ministry Foundation. Having served as a Chaplain at Yale-New Haven Hospital, and through Parish pastoral care ministry, she has extensive experience in Hospital settings. Joanne continues to be devoted to the traditional art of storytelling, teaching workshops and leading conferences in the US and Canada.
Rabbi Nora Woods; Interfaith Chaplain, Bryn Mawr College; Pre-Med Hospice Chaplain for Bryn Mawr College
As the Interfaith Chaplain, Rabbi Nora Woods provides spiritual care for the Bryn Mawr community, supports religious life on campus, and helps to facilitate interfaith community building. In her role as chaplain, Rabbi Nora strives to create a safe, accepting, warm environment in which students can explore their spiritual identity, place in the community, and moral convictions. She believes that spiritual health is a significant component of wellness and is achieved when one’s beliefs match one’s day to day actions. Rabbi Nora seeks to help students discern their highest ideals and figure out how best to live according to them.
Rabbi Nora was ordained as a Reconstructionist Rabbi at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in June 2020. She graduated with a B.A. in Religion from Earlham College and received a certificate in Leading Spiritual Diversity in Higher Education from New York University’s Of Many Institute. From 2016-2019 she served as the Rabbinic Intern and Jewish Advisor for Bryn Mawr’s Hillel. Prior to coming to Bryn Mawr she served as the rabbinic intern at Georgetown University. She has also been a T’ruah Fellow, working with survivors of human trafficking in New York City, and a chaplain for seniors at Abrahamson Center for Jewish Life in North Wales, Pa., and at Hebrew Senior Life in Boston, Mass.
Aside from issues of faith and identity, Rabbi Nora loves to talk about farming, musical theatre, and food. When not at work or school, she can often be found supporting the work of community organizers, watching sports, and playing outside.
Walter Hjelt Sullivan; Director of Quaker Affairs, Haverford College; Pre-Med Hospice Chaplain for Haverford College
Walter Hjelt Sullivan as the Director of Quaker Affairs coordinates religious and spiritual life programming for Haverford College. From 2006 – 2010, Walter served as faculty and Dean of Students at Pendle Hill, a Quaker adult study center in Wallingford, PA. Working for Earth Quaker Action Team (EQAT), he mentored emergent climate-change activists at the University of Pennsylvania and Temple University.
Walter is a trained Alternatives to Violence Project facilitator (AVP), a certified Breema® Bodywork instructor, and leads workshops on spiritual discernment and embodied spirituality. Born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, he has lived and studied in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Sierra Leone. Walter is a member of Green Street Friends Meeting in the Germantown section of Philadelphia.
Diane Smith; Director of Ministry Engagement, Angela Hospice; Pre-Med Hospice Chaplain for University of Michigan
As Director of Ministry Engagement, Diane Smith is charged with ensuring Angela Hospice’s ministry maintains its Catholic identity by staying true to the Felician Sisters’ core values. Her role includes directing the African American Church Empowerment Project, providing support for staff and volunteers as they embody the Angela Hospice mission, and serving as a member of the Executive Leadership Team. Formerly a missionary in Japan, Diane is an ordained minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). She holds a Master of Divinity from Claremont School of Theology, and is a Board Certified Chaplain with the Association of Professional Chaplains.
Prior to coming to Angela Hospice in May of 2018, Diane served as Lead Spiritual Care Advisor for Arbor Hospice. Before that, she worked as an English lecturer at Osaka Women’s Junior College in Japan, and was a chaplain at Community Hospice Care in southern California. Diane currently serves on the board of the Ann Arbor-based Housing Bureau for Seniors at Michigan Medicine, and is a member of Journey of Faith Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
Rev. Dr. Alison (Ali) DeLeo; Lead Pastor at Swarthmore UMC; Pre-Med Hospice Chaplain for Swarthmore College
Reverend DeLeo is an ordained elder in the Baltimore Washington Conference. She currently serves as Lead Pastor at Swarthmore UMC. Pastor Ali previously served at National UMC (a three-campus church) as the Pastor of Congregational Care & Preaching Pastor @ Wesley Campus (Washington, DC) and at Community UMC/Faith-Community Cooperative Parish as Lead Pastor (Pasadena, MD).
Pastor Ali earned a Master of Divinity from Duke Divinity School and completed fellowships in Spirituality & Healthcare (Duke University School of Medicine & Theology) and Health Ministry (Wesley Seminary). She has lectured at Duke Divinity, Virginia Theological Seminary and co-taught the Duke Chapel Scholar course “Responsible Mission in the Church” with an extended mission trip to San Isidro de General, Costa Rica.
Ali’s ministry formation included serving on the pastoral staff at Pleasant Green UMC (Durham NC) as Director of Christian Education and Youth & Family Ministries, internships at North UMC (Indianapolis, Indiana) and Hillcrest Methodist Church & Clerpine Circuit (Kwa Zulu-Natal, South Africa), and chaplaincy at Duke Medical Center (Durham, NC). Ali is certified in the Godly Play method of Biblical storytelling and serves on the BWC Disaster Emergency Mission Team.
A Welcome to Active Hospice Volunteers
From Dr. Winnifred Cutler
Ask a Question About the Athena Institute Pre-Med Hospice Voulnteer Program
Student volunteers complete a Reflection Essay at the end of their year of service. This is the final step towards earning their certificate of completion.
Elaina (Bryn Mawr College)
From the reflection sessions we had I got the chance to stop and think about grief. Personally it made me realize that grief is a process, not only for those who lose their loved ones, but also for those in Hospice as they are about to pass on…
Yudita L. (Princeton University)
On my first visit to a nursing home as a hospice volunteer, I saw a small woman lying silently on a bed along a wall in the hallway. She was curled in a fetal position with her eyes closed and hands slightly shaking. When she realized that I was standing beside her bed, she reached for my hand and raised it to kiss it. At first, I was shocked and …
The 5 high school students who provided the Premed Hospice survey as a focus group designed to gain feedback from the volunteers in order to improve the program
Comments from Advisors
Volunteer Coordinator for the Anova Hospice, working with University of Pittsburgh Students (April Wolf) writes:
“I LOVE being part of this program!! Working with these students has been an amazing experience for me as well.
I'm honored to have been chosen to make sure these future doctors learn about end-of-life care and help teach them the compassion and empathy they will need in their future endeavors.”
Bucknell University Pre-health Professions Advisor (Alison Patterson) sends a note to the Director.
“The hospice program initially offered my pre-health students an opportunity to gain some clinical contact hours for their applications. As it turned out, they gained so much more than that; they gained a glimpse into the dying process that many had not experienced before. They are more compassionate, mature and well-rounded following the experience and I don't think any of them will forget it anytime soon! Thank you for allowing Bucknell students to have this opportunity!.”
Haverford College's Coordinator of Health Professions (Jodi Domsky) comments on the program
“Haverford students have been involved with this volunteer program for the past 9 years, and it is one of the best programs I have seen. Students have the privilege of working with patients and their families at a sensitive time in their lives while learning about end-of-life issues. In addition, they get quality training, supportive mentoring and a built-in support network with the other volunteers.”
Swarthmore College's Volunteer Coordinator (Ruthanne Morris) shares note from grateful family of hospice patient
“I wanted to share this Thank You note that we received from a grateful family that expresses their appreciation for the team and specifically calls out “the young volunteers” who visited with JM (name redacted to protect patient privacy, but the students know who this is from). This note beautifully illustrates how your actions support not only the patient, but the entire family. Thank you for being part of the Pre-med Hospice Volunteer program and companioning with our patients on this journey. Ruthanne”
Convocation from Ardmore Presbyterian Church Pastor Hodsden
Ardmore Presb Church Pastor Hodsden, from the pulpit, 11/19/17 Announcing Pre-Med Hospice Volunteer Program and Inviting the Congregation to Lunch Honoring the Student Volunteers
Read his Speech