A Hospice Advocate reflects on Rep. Giffords

Hospice Advocates, in the wake of the shootings in Arizona, we would like to share an email we received from Carol Clark, the Director of Volunteers at Casa De La Luz Hospice in Tuscon, Arizona. Please read on for Carol’s thoughts on Rep. Giffords wonderful public service.

“I started an email to you Monday, but was too stunned, words hard to come by. I thought you may be wondering. All seemed surreal. The horrible shooting took place in NW Tucson, within one mile from our Casa de la Luz Hospice in Oro Valley, at a place we all regularly frequent, and 4 miles from my home. The sense of loss here is palpable. Individually and collectively, we are coming to grips with tragic loss, reflecting on life, heroes among us, mysteries, finding ways to help the victims, and attend funerals and memorials.

Seeing the moment of silence in D.C. on TV, visiting outside Gabby’s office, and now seeing on TV and hearing our President share such healing words, among the others yesterday, helped me greatly and everyone else I have spoken with. Hopefully, so will many others in our community, Arizona, and our country.

Gabby and her staff epitomize constituent service. She was the sole federal elected official to sit down with our AZ delegation at Hill Day 2010 on a very busy day for her, with committee meetings she was darting in and out between to allow for 15 minutes with us personally. We were already afforded time with her aide, Lauren, who listened well, communicated with Gabby, then went the extra mile ushering us along the many passageways to get to Gabby’s committee location!

I have known Gabby, Ron Barber and Pam Simon here since City Council days, and Gabe was my local contact who helped our hospice get information from CMS when we couldn’t get a response from them regarding supply of their 2010 updated Medicare Hospice Benefit booklet.

Had I known prior to a commitment I made with other officers in my Toastmasters Club that morning for training at the U of A, I would have been at her ‘Congress on the Corner.’ I learned about the shooting at noon.

Like many others, I try not to miss her ‘Corner’ events. They are always fun, and it’s a great way to reconnect for even 3 minutes, thank her for her service, ask her continued support for hospice, and promise to keep in touch.

We are coming together as a community, something Tucson has always done well as a big small town. Stories, stories, and more stories…

Warmest regards,

Carol

Carol Clark

Casa de la Luz Hospice”

Carol Clark is an active Hospice Advocate and a Member of NHPCO’s Public Policy Committee.