Care and services for older adults now has two brand new faces as Kim De Rosa joins Hospicare and Cheryl Jewell joins Love Living at Home as the new executive directors.
Kim De Rosa De Rosa was looking to make the move back to Central New York from North Carolina to be closer to family when the opportunity to apply at Hospicare presented itself. She had been working in hospice and palliative care for several years already and knew it was what she wanted to continue to do.
“It’s a very humbling, gratifying job to be in,” De Rosa said. “It’s very inspiring. You see people at the worst time in their life and they have a smile on their face, or you’re able to be part of their journey.”
Her passion for end of life care came as a surprise and a happy accident. She was working in palliative care when her boss asked her to oversee operations at the input unit unexpectedly. At the time, De Rosa said she didn’t really understand what hospice even was. But the second she walked through the doors she felt a sense of calm.
“I literally stumbled upon it accidentally, but then it became my passion after I stumbled upon it,” she said.
Her official start date was April 22 and it’s been a busy month ever since. She’s been working with her strategic leadership team on some new initiatives that can’t be revealed just yet. For the first couple of weeks, she was also working on her MBA in Business Administration. Now that she’s finished that degree she’s eager to get out into the community and spread the word about Hospicare.
“There’s definitely a lot of community education that we want to do and there’s a lot of the population that isn’t being served just because they don’t understand what hospice is,” she said.
Since starting she’s been job shadowing some of the people at Hospicare to better understand their jobs. She wanted to know what it’s like to do home visits, and all the other aspects of what Hospicare provides, on a personal level. She wants to offer the same support to her staff that she sees reflected in the community.
“This community is very invested in Hospicare,” she said. “I came from a community that was probably well over 100,00 people. There were businesses that were a mile from us that didn’t even know who we were.”
She’s looking forward to getting more involved in the community and exploring the area to discover what there is. She wants people to know that she’s here to stay and she’s invested in the organization.
Cheryl JewellJewell grew up in southeast Ohio. Much of her career has been in higher education, a good portion of that at SUNY Cortland. She went back to school to get her second masters in health care administration because she wanted to do more for people. She did that for three years before looking for a new opportunity, which is when she found the opening at Love Living at Home, a local organization dedicated to helping older adults stay in their own homes for as long as they can.
“It’s wonderful,” Jewell said. “I feel like this is where I belong, helping the aging population.”
She doesn’t think that there are enough resources for the aging population in general and Love Living at Home helps fill the gap for those that want to continue to live in their home as they get older. The organization is specifically for people 62 years old and older. Along with offering programs for its members, Love Living at Home helps members with transportation, home maintenance, and a variety of other activities that keep them independent. Volunteers with the organization go to visit members on a consistent basis to make sure they have everything they need and socialize.
“The main thing is neighbors helping neighbors,” Jewell said. “You don’t know your neighbors as much. So, people are connecting with their neighbors that live across the street through this organization.”
Looking to the future, Jewell wants to increase membership and volunteer opportunities. She also wants to spread the word about the organization and what it offers even more to educate the community.
Jewell’s start date was May 6. Since then she’s been meeting the people she’ll be working with and has been speaking with other executive directors of non-profits to create more community connections. Many of them she already knew through her years volunteering in various places including Hospicare, Cancer Resource Center, and the SPCA.
She wants people to know that she wants to lead the organization into the future and keep it growing. She’s excited to get to work with her board and all of her volunteers and the various committees that are dedicated to keeping Love Living at Home a vibrant organization.
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