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Northeast Ohio Caregivers Recognized for Compassion and Kindness

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“Caregiving often calls us to lean into love we didn’t know possible.” –Tia Walker

Busch Funeral and Crematory Services is proud to recognize the compassionate work of individuals in the Northeast Ohio community that have taken on the responsibility of caregiving. 

And as a way to thank those who provide comfort and hope for those in need, we developed a recognition program to award such individuals. From hospice professionals and social workers to physicians and nurses, Busch awarded one caregiver and one volunteer monthly throughout 2017 that were unsung heroes and beacons of comfort for those they care for in the community.

Below, we highlight this year’s award winners across Northeast Ohio, and share updates to our program come 2018.

To the winners, nominees and caregivers throughout the Cleveland area: From all of us at Busch, thank you for your dedication and commitment to serving others. It certainly doesn’t go unnoticed by your peers, patients and families.

January

The Staff Caregiver of the Month Award was given to Sue Johnson, a registered parish nurse at Bay Presbyterian Church in Bay Village. Jo Ellen Bovard nominated Sue for her selflessness and leadership, saying, “She has touched the lives of so many people.”

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Pictured above: Sue Johnson, Rev. Dan Edgerly, Mark Busch

The Volunteer Caregiver of the Month Award was awarded to Martin McBride, a volunteer with Adult Guardianship Services Lutheran Metropolitan Ministries for 17 years. His nominator, Megan Tellalian says Martin “is one of the most involved volunteer guardians at AGS. 

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Pictured above: Kendra Daniel, Cathy Nichols, Jude Troha, Martin McBride, Megan Tellalian, Mark Busch

February 

The Staff Caregiver of the Month Award was given to Maudie Murray, a nurse manager at Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center in Cleveland. Her nominator, Jill Dunmire Siddiq, praises her for all of her accomplishments throughout her career saying, “She’s a resource to many of her colleagues and an advocate for her residents.” 

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Pictured above: Mark Busch and Maudie Murray 

The Volunteer Caregiver of the Month Award was awarded to Lois Muraco, bereavement volunteer for the Visiting Nurse Association of Ohio. Her nominator, Taissa Kutsar, says, “Lois is the most kind, genuine and caring person … a truly selfless caregiver.”

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Pictured above:  Bob Solich, Taissa Kutsar, Lois Muraco, Sheila Horowitz, Jim Busch, Dora Harper

March 

The Staff Caregiver of the Month Award was given to Loretta Cross, who has served as Divinity Lutheran's "Visitation Minister" for the past 15 years in Cleveland. “Loretta's office door is always open to anyone needing a great-grandmother's listening ear or words of wisdom. She’s certainly deserving of recognition for her caregiving and selfless acts of ministry,” says her nominator, Doug Gunkelman.

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Pictured above: Leslie Crowe, Pastor Doug Gunkelman, Loretta Cross, Mark Busch

The Volunteer Caregiver of the Month Award was awarded to Cathy Mutnick and her therapy dog, Chelsea. Cathy and Chelsea visit residents weekly at Hospice of the Western Reserve, David Simpson Hospice House in Cleveland. Her nominator, Nancy Guder says Cathy and Chelsea “exemplify hope and comfort to hospice patients, families and staff during weekly visits. 

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Pictured above: Cathy Mutnick, therapy dog Chelsea, Mark Busch 

April

The Staff Caregiver of the Month Award was given to Cheryl Updegraff, who serves as a parish nurse at Avon Lake United Church of Christ. Cheryl’s nominator, Kelly Brill, says, “she’s the embodiment of the word caregiver." 

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Pictured above: Cheryl Updegraff, Mark Busch, Pastor Rev. Kelly Brill 

The Volunteer Caregiver of the Month Award was awarded to Nancy Mueller, a volunteer for Hospice of the Western Reserve Bereavement Center. Nancy’s nominator, Kathryn Harrison Brown, says Nancy is “kind and compassionate to the people with whom she works with.”

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Pictured above: Nancy Mueller, Mark Busch

May

The Staff Caregiver of the Month Award was given to Susan Kirby with Angels in Waiting Home Care in Willoughby. "Susan is the epitome of the company name, a real angel in waiting," says her nominator, Reina McKay.

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Pictured above: Cathy Nichols, Cynthia Turk, Susan Kirby, Reina McKay

The Volunteer Caregiver of the Month Award was awarded to Mary Anne Duncan, who volunteers at Hospice of the Western Reserve, Ames Family Hospice House in Westlake. "She has enabled many patients to continue living independently in their home, which is the heart of what so many patients want," says her nominator, Nancy Guder.

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Pictured above: Cathy Nichols, Jeff Hogan, Mary Anne Duncan, Michele Gillum 

June

The Staff Caregiver of the Month Award was given to Joanmarie Button, Family Services Manager at The Ronald McDonald House in Cleveland for 15 years. Joanmarie's nominator, Alisa Powell, says her passion for others is a blessing, and describes her work with families, volunteers and staff as anticipated and consistent, with an understanding that each situation is unique. 

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Pictured above: Craig Wilson, Alisa Powell, Joanmarie Button, Cathy Nichols, Mark Busch 

The Volunteer Caregiver of the Month Award was awarded to Linda Tighe, who has been a volunteer with Adult Guardianship Services for 10 years. Her nominator, Megan Tellalian, says,"She’s a responsible, conscientious guardian who is thorough when it comes to making sure her client's needs are met." 

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Pictured above: Megan Tellalian, Doug Tapp, Linda Tighe, Cathy Nichols, Jude Troha, Kendra Daniel 

July

The Staff Caregiver of the Month Award was given to Fr. Ronald Wearsch, pastor of both St. Joseph Parish and Holy Spirit Parish in Avon Lake. Fr. Ronald cares for the congregations of both parishes, and according to his nominator, John Shook, "Under his care, the church has never looked better. Those present for services can truly rejoice in the Lord." 

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Pictured above: Dave Napoli, Bill Burmeister, Fr. Ronald Wearsch, John Shook, Heidi Thimke 

The Volunteer Caregiver of the Month Award was awarded to Dave Faehnrich, a volunteer at Cornerstone of Hope. Dave has taken on the volunteer role of maintenance director and selflessly gives his time, sometimes as frequently as a staff member, to helping keep the facility well maintained. "We cannot express our gratitude to Dave enough for his dedication, commitment and reliability," says Dave's nominator, Debbie Galland.

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Pictured above: Julia Ellifritt, Debbie Galland, Mark Busch, Dave Faehnrich, Francine Artiste, Susan Karas, Cathy Nichols

August

The Staff Caregiver of the Month Award was given to LaVoncia Cabbil, a staff member at Our Lady of the Wayside. “She uses her Christian patience and love of people to extend gentleness, and sacrificial service as she senses the spiritual needs of all humans,” says LaVoncia’s nominee, Dorothy Martin. 

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Pictured above: LaVoncia Cabbil, Dorothy Martin, Mark Busch, Bonnie Perez, Mary Jamison 

The Volunteer Caregiver of the Month Award was awarded to Phyllis Schoenberger, a volunteer at Linking Individuals and Families Through Education and Engagement (LIFE), a dementia-friendly foundation in Vermilion. Nominated by Valerie McKitrick, Phyllis "supports patients and their caregivers by encouraging a reduction in falls through exercises and activities.”  

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Pictured above: Mary Ann Jaworski, Heidi Thimke, Carole Klingler, Valerie McKitrick, Phyllis Schoenberger

September

The Staff Caregiver of the Month Award was given to Ellen Kolman, a pediatric nurse at the Cleveland Clinic. Ellen was nominated by her supervisor Heidi Bretz who praised her for "going above and beyond, organizing free immunizations for children and bike safety helmet events, teaching families, and volunteering at her church." 

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Pictured above: Ellen Kolman (n Halloween costume!), Mark Busch, Heidi Bretz 

The Volunteer Caregiver of the Month Award was awarded to Mary Levtzow, a volunteer at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and School located in Westlake. Mary was nominated by her Pastor Ron Young for her many hours helping others at St. Paul’s. Pastor Ron thanked Mary for “feeding the hungry, putting smiles on faces, tutoring, teaching Sunday school and caring for the homebound, as well as reaching, teaching and caring for all people.“  

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Pictured above: Cathy Nichols, Mary Levtzow

October

The Staff Caregiver of the Month Award was given to Pamela Mann, a hospice nursing assistant at Hospice of the Western Reserve, Ames Family Hospice House. Nominated by Amber Smith, “Pamela upholds dignity, respect, laugher and legacy with her patients.” 

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Pictured above: Amber Smith, Pamela Mann, Mark Busch 

The Volunteer Caregiver of the Month Award was awarded to Judith Gresho, a volunteer at St. Charles Borromeo Church in Parma. Judith was nominated by Karen Glahn, head of the St. Charles Ladies Guild, who praised her for going out of her way to pick up ladies for church or doctor’s appointments, while “never accepting anything in return.” 

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Pictured above: Karen Glahn, Mark Busch, Judith Gresho, Father John Carlin 

Caregiver of the Year 

At the annual Caregiver Awards luncheon, Busch Funeral and Crematory Services presented the Staff Caregiver Award to February recipient, Maudie Murray, and the Volunteer Caregiver Award to March recipient Cathy Mutnick.

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Maudie is a nurse manager at Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center in Cleveland. At the center, she attends to the veteran’s physical needs, as well as their emotional and spiritual concerns. Maudie’s nominator praised her by saying, “She’s an expert in palliative care.”

Cathy is a volunteer at Hospice of the Western Reserve, David Simpson Hospice House in Cleveland, where she visits residents weekly with her therapy dog, Chelsea. Her nominator said, “We value Cathy and Chelsea for their ability to provide smiles and peace at bedside.”

We’re pleased and privileged to congratulate these two outstanding caregivers. Thank you all for your dedication and generosity!

Nominate a Caregiver!

With the new year in sight, Busch Funeral and Crematory Services encourages you to nominate someone you know for his or her selfless work as a caregiver 

Please note: Beginning in 2018, Busch will be selecting one recipient monthly for the Caregiver Award. There’s no longer a staff or volunteer designation.

Nominate a Caregiver

Cathy Nichols
Cathy Nichols
Considers it an honor as a Certified Celebrant to listen to life stories, and then design and conduct meaningful tributes. Cathy also trains celebrants nationally, equipping them to share those legacies in ways that comfort and enlighten. Honorably serving Busch families since 2004.
 

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