Sparrow Hospice honors three Volunteers for outstanding service

Published: Jan. 5, 2015

Three area residents have been honored by Sparrow Hospice Services for their outstanding volunteer service during 2014.

Liz Vrancheff of Delta Township, Karen Dailey of DeWitt, and Paulette Piirainen of East Lansing gave selflessly of their time to aid hospice Patients and their families.

Liz Vrancheff of Delta Township

Vrancheff is the recipient of the 2014 Hospice House Volunteer of the Year Award for her drive to connect with Patients, always taking the extra step to engage them in conversation and activities.

“Liz is cheerful and always maintains a positive attitude,” said Karen Ketola, Volunteer Coordinator for Sparrow Hospice Services. “Difficult situations do not deter her, and, with support from other Caregivers, she is eager to learn more so she can offer the very best care to our Patients.”

Vrancheff also serves as a mentor to new volunteers at Hospice House, a 21-bed facility on Sparrow’s St. Lawrence campus.

Karen Dailey of DeWitt

Dailey is the recipient of the 2014 Home Hospice House Volunteer of the Year Award for her conscientiousness and dedication to Patients and their Caregivers.

“Karen has a kind heart and is willing to accept multiple assignments so our Patients can benefit from the gentle massage she provides,” says Ketola. “She communicates effectively with our nurses to determine the best care.”

Dailey also sews memory pillows for bereaved family members and, when the seasons allow, brings vases of cut flowers to Patients to brighten their days.

Each year, Sparrow Hospice Services also presents the Betty Geller Award Celebrating the Spirit of Hospice Care. Piirainen, the 2014 recipient, is being honored for her wholehearted dedication to the philosophy of hospice care. Her nomination letter notes that she takes the initiative in all of her Volunteer work and is a constant source of support to both Patients and other Caregivers.

Paulette Piirainen of East Lansing

Piirainen provides hands-on care to Patients, assists with chapel services, makes beds and helps at meal times.

“Recently, Paulette has accepted Home Hospice assignments, offering much need respite for families,” Ketola said. “But by far her most valuable contribution is her work with our Vigil Companion program. She offers support to Patients who are dying and to their families during overnight hours and early mornings. She has a unique ability to bring peace to both Patient and family. It is our great pleasure and privilege to honor Paulette, who has such a devoted and loving heart.”

Sparrow Hospice Services provides compassionate care to relieve physical, mental and spiritual pain. Our comprehensive approach to hospice offers in-home care, as well as the inpatient Hospice House. We also provide care to many nursing homes and assisted living facilities throughout mid-Michigan.

Those interested in volunteering for hospice may complete the online application at

Choose Wisely. Choose Sparrow.