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For release: November 22, 2013

Amy Kilgore 330.344.6014,
Kelly Ward-Smith 330.344.1681,

Hospice of VNS volunteer wins statewide award
Inspirational volunteer recognized for her dedication to Hospice

Akron General Hospice of Visiting Nurse Service (VNS) volunteer Mary Ellen Yeager, a resident of Stow, was honored with the Volunteers are the Heart of Hospice Award at the Midwest Care Alliance’s (MCA) Annual Conference Award Luncheon in Columbus on November 7. The award recognizes hospice and palliative care volunteers who have promoted or championed Hospice in their community and who have demonstrated considerable commitment to Hospice, as well as serving as an inspiration to others. MCA is the Ohio association for home, hospice and palliative care.

Yeager has accumulated over 4,000 hours of service during her more than eight years volunteering for Hospice of VNS. Every Tuesday she can be found in the halls of the Hospice of VNS Care Center, in Copley, serving ice cream and sundaes to patients, families, friends and staff, alongside her friends and fellow volunteers Mary Beth Palmer and Wayne Matuch. Yeager also volunteers for Hospice of VNS’ annual Joyful Tastes of Life and Light Up a Life fundraisers, as well as assisting with clerical work in the Hospice Care Center, on top of baking 13 dozen of her famous cake balls each week for the Family Kitchen at the Hospice Care Center. Her cake balls are so famous that her friends presented her with a personalized apron embroidered with "Cookie Queen."

Yeager teaches third grade at Holy Family Catholic School and includes her students in her volunteer work at Hospice of VNS – they make favors to brighten patient meal trays. She also volunteers as a craft coordinator at Camp Quality. She is a past WAKR “Good Neighbor of the Week” for making our community a better place to live through selfless acts of giving.

“We are so fortunate to have Mary Ellen as a member of our Hospice Team and congratulate her on being recognized by our state organization for her outstanding contributions to Hospice,” says Chris Hinman, Manager of Volunteer Services, Hospice of VNS.

Hospice volunteers enhance the lives of patients and their families by providing companionship and support. They are a crucial part of the hospice team that provides care for every hospice patient. For information on volunteering for Hospice of VNS, please call Chris Hinman, Manager of Volunteer Services, at 330-668-4650.

About Akron General Hospice of Visiting Nurse Service (VNS)
Akron General Hospice of Visiting Nurse Service is a nonprofit agency providing compassionate support for individuals facing serious or life-limiting illnesses and their families. Care is provided in-home, at nursing facilities or assisted living residences, and at the area's first freestanding Hospice Care Center, the renowned Justin T. Rogers Care Center on Ridgewood Road in Copley Township. Hospice of VNS is an affiliate of Visiting Nurse Service and Affiliates (comprised of Advanced Infusion Services, Hospice of VNS, VNS Equipment & Supplies and Visiting Nurse Service). A member of the Akron General Health System, VNSA serves Medina, Portage, Stark, Summit and Wayne counties. For more information, visit

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