Hospice Volunteers: Treasured Heroes to Those They Assist


Homeland Volunteers Care!From running an errand for a grieving family to providing assistance at bereavement support group meetings, volunteers are an integral part of Homeland Hospice.

They graciously share their time and compassion. They are deeply committed to making sure hospice patient and their families have a network of support. They are always quick to smile and give a reassuring hug when it’s needed most.

They come from diverse parts of our community. Homeland Hospice volunteers are teens, working adults, retirees and veterans – all dedicated to helping patients and families make the most of every precious moment together.

“Our volunteers are treasured heroes to those they assist and to the entire Homeland family,” says Leanne Porterfield, Coordinator of Volunteers at Homeland Hospice. “They go above and beyond in service to grieving families. This includes personal support and behind-the-scenes activities. Their actions speak louder than words.”

Homeland Hospice and Homeland Center recently honored volunteers at the Volunteer Appreciation luncheon.”

“We deeply appreciate your commitment to choosing to use the most valuable commodity you have – your time – in the interest of serving others,” Homeland Center President and CEO Barry S. Ramper II told volunteers at the event.

Homeland, which has a 150-year tradition of caring for patients like family, is growing – and so is its need for hospice volunteers.

Homeland is seeking volunteers to support patients and families in Dauphin, Cumberland, Perry, York, Lebanon and Lancaster counties.

Eighteen individuals joined Homeland’s volunteer team last year to help support more patients and families across Central Pennsylvania, bringing the total number of volunteers to 54. They generously provided 2,407 hours of service.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer for Homeland Hospice, please call us at 717-221-7980.

A Career of Compassion


Brian croppedEmployee Spotlight on Brian Medkeff-Rose

Brian Medkeff-Rose, M.Div., M.A., Bereavement Counselor at Homeland Hospice, found his true calling 26 years ago while attending a spiritual retreat in Washington, D.C.

“I was called to full-time ministry,” Brian says. “That became my career path and I never looked back.”

Brian graduated from the Methodist Theological School in Delaware, Ohio. He was ordained by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and obtained his clinical pastoral education from Bethesda Hospital in Ohio, which prepared him to work in acute care, outpatient care and long-term care, as well as elder services, home health and hospice care.

Brian’s clinical pastoral work led him to Harrisburg and, ultimately, to Homeland Hospice.

“Homeland is where I belong,” Brian says. “I value our team approach to care. Social workers, physicians, nurses’ aides, volunteers – we all work together to help those in need.”

As a bereavement and spiritual counselor, Brian often finds that an “out-of-the-box” approach is what helps create a path forward for individuals experiencing loss. Discovering that approach involves truly getting to know the people he supports – and the ways in which their loss is affecting them.

When counseling a husband who lost his wife, for example, Brian learned the man was struggling to bring himself to go grocery shopping and cook meals for his family.

“Preparing meals was a constant reminder of his grief,” Brian says.

Seeking a creative approach to help his client, and others in mourning who are facing similar challenges, Brian collaborated with a dietician at Homeland Hospice to develop a workshop on healthy eating during the grieving process. Participants received cooking ideas for one and tips on preparing meals for children. The workshop was such a success that future sessions are being planned.

While Brian enjoys counseling adults, he holds a special place in his heart for children.

Brian was 15 years old when his mother died. He has a personal appreciation for the care and attention children and teens need – not only after a loved one dies, but before an expected loss as well.

“Homeland offers pre-bereavement counseling especially for children and teens,” Brian says. “For young people, this service can be just as important as grief counseling after the death of a loved one.”

Homeland Hospice’s bereavement support programs are available to the bereaved of Homeland’s patients as well as anyone in the community who is experiencing grief. Group meetings are held on a rotating schedule throughout the year.

If you have questions, please contact Brian Medkeff-Rose at Homeland Hospice at (717) 221-7890.