Volume XIII, Issue 28: February 12, 2016

Coming Distractions … 
Feb 20RISE EVENT – Arcata Chamber Membership Dinner
Feb 28RISE EVENT – RCAS Birthday Celebration – 2 to 5 pm in the Plaza View Room!
Mar 12RISE EVENTThe Force Is Strong With This One … Our Spring Fundraiser at the Arcata Community Center!
April ? – RISE EVENT – Rotaract Color Run – More info to follow …
Apr 8-9 – District Training Assembly – Ukiah Fairgrounds
May 6-8 – RISE EVENT -Arts Arcata
May 6-8 – District 5130 Conference – Marriott Napa Valley Resort & Spa
May 29-June 1 – Rotary International Conference in Seoul, South Korea 
June 18 – RISE EVENT – 26th Arcata Oyster Festival
July 4 –  RISE EVENT – Independence Day RCAS Family Comfort Station

Sunriser Shorts

  • President Howard shared some letters written by third graders at Arcata Elementary, thanking our Club for our recent gifts of dictionaries. 
  • Don’t miss our Club’s Big Birthday Bash on February 28th! Romi and Jessica promise that it will be great fun for the whole family. The Arcata Noon Club (our parent Club) will join us for the celebration, and we’re expecting a contingent of Rotaractors as well. The fun begins at 2 pm at the Plaza Grill.
  • President Howard again asked those interested in traveling to the site of our upcoming La Trinidad Project in Costa Rica this spring contact him and fill out a questionnaire. The time is getting close, and so far, only a few Sunrisers have expressed an interest.
  • The Force is definitely with us! We’re ahead of last year in sales, with about half of the available tables sold. But don’t let up – that simply means that there’s another half of the house to fill! Also, please get with your group to put together your prizes – 1 Live Auction item, 3 for the Silent Auction, and 1 Raffle prize. 

Interact and Rotaract News  
President Howard and Craig Newman told us that the Arcata High School Interact Club has been very active lately. Their recent projects include purchasing and collecting warm garb for the Coats for the Cold project, and they helped with cleanup following the recent AHS College & Career Center Pancake Breakfast. They also were involved in cleaning up the Bayside Grange, and they will help us with cleanup following our Spring Fundraiser. 

We also learned that the North Bay Rotaract was involved in our Club’s recent Adopt-A-Highway effort on Samoa Boulevard. They also helped the local Special Olympics program with its recent fundraising dinner, and they assisted the Ferndale Rotary with its Steak and Lobster Dinner. In addition, they are supporting Big Brothers/Big Sisters – they participated in the recent BIG Chili Cook-Off, and they will field a team in the upcoming Bowl For Kids Sake next month. And as we learned the previous week, members of their Club and of the Lost Coast Rotaract participated in a District 5130 Rotaplast project in Bangladesh!

New Sunriser! 
Last Friday we welcomed a new member – Deborah (Deb) Engs! Although Deb is a new Sunriser, she is an experienced Rotarian. She was a member of the Rotary Club of Redding East from November 2009 until her recent relocation to Humboldt County. She grew up “and spent the majority of my adult life in Colorado Springs, Colorado” before moving to Redding in 2008. She is now a manager in the Child and Family Division of the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services. 

Tomas Chavez, Deb Engs, and Terri Clark

Deb is already active in our Club. Membership Co-Chair Tomas Chavez noted that she has already completed over half of the requirements for earning her coveted Blue Badge. “I heard it was a Club of over-achievers,” she explained. Welcome, Deb, and thank to Terri Clark for sponsoring her!!!

Committee Report 
Brandi Easter and Bob Johnson reported on the recent activities of the Mentorship Committee, which helps new Sunrisers transition into the Club. The new member is assigned a Mentor, who assists them move through the “Blue Badge Process”, and helps them engage with the committees that meet their interests. Mentors also encourage participation and attendance, and they are available to help answer questions. 

The process for transitioning from a Red Badge to a Blue Badge is:

  • Attend two Board Meetings,
  • Do two make-ups at other Clubs (this requirement is waived for Rotarians transferring from another Club),
  • Serve with the Sergeant-At-Arms Committee four times,  and …
  • Give a Craft Talk at a Friday meeting

New Campus for Hospice of Humboldt
Our Featured Speaker was Joe Rogers, the Executive Director of Hospice of Humboldt. Joe was born and raised in Eureka, and he attended Oregon State University, where he received a degree in pharmacy. He worked for 36 years at St. Joseph and Redwood Memorial Hospitals, moving from his initial position as the Director of Pharmacy to become the Vice-President/Chief Operating Officer at Redwood Memorial.  A year ago, he moved to his current position with Hospice. He has two children in college, he is a member of the Eureka Rotary, he is on the Board of Directors for the Sequoia Park Zoo Foundation, and he also serves on the board of St. Bernard Academy.

Joe said that Hospice of Humboldt got its start in the late 1970s, following a model that began about a decade earlier in Great Britain. The movement emerged from the realization that we weren’t doing a good job helping patients with terminal illnesses, particularly cancer. Five people in Humboldt County started the local Hospice – Dr. Larry Hill, Jay Rezzonico, Dr. Elmer Larsen, Arlene Brazeau, RN and Margaret Soderberg, RN. For its first decade, Hospice was an all-volunteer organization, and it struggled to pay its Medical Director and its one nurse.

Joe Rogers

In 1989, it achieved certification as a Medicare and Medi-Cal provider, which allowed the organization to be reimbursed for its services. Hospice is paid a flat rate by Medicare for each patient, which covers nurses’ visits to that patient and all his or her medical care, including medications and supplies.  

The Hospice service area comprises a 50-mile radius around Eureka. Their patients are those who have received a diagnosis that they are terminally ill, with up to six months to live. Hospice serves about 100 patients at any given time, and they accept patients with any disease. Staff members serve their patients in their homes, in hospitals, and soon in the new Ida Emmerson Hospice House. “Hospice is about serving patients where they want to be,” said Joe. Hospice staff also helps family members and friends deal with the difficult issues surrounding the terminal diagnosis of a loved one.

Joe and his staff focus on the mind, body, and spirit of their patients, and they believe that “dying is a human experience, not a medical experience”. They hope to help their patients maintain dignity and comfort. Their counselors, chaplains, volunteers, nurses, social workers, and doctors work together to meet each patient’s needs. Joe said that his staff currently numbers about 80, and he expects that number to grow to nearly 100 in the next few months.

Joe dispelled some “myths” about hospice care. For example, some people believe that it is only for patients with only a few weeks to live (or even less time). Joe told us, “We like to help the families earlier than later.” It’s true that there are circumstances where the time for help is very short, but those cases tend to be the exceptions. 

Hospice is not expensive, in fact it is almost always free. And the service is not limited to those who have cancer. A doctor’s referral is not required by Hospice of Humboldt, and patients are not discouraged from seeing their own medical practitioners. 

“Hospice is really about what we call ‘comfort care'”, Joe emphasized.”It’s palliative care. It’s about pain control, it’s about reducing anxiety, it’s about helping the patients with their needs or their decisions or their issues that maybe they have put off.” It’s not curative care and it’s not for those aggressively fighting to overcome a disease. “Hospice is about … making your last days, weeks, or months the best possible.”

A big part of the program is grief support. Hospice has three counselors who provide grief support for families, friends, and other loved ones. This may continue for up to a year after the patient dies. The sessions may be individual or group meetings, whichever is more helpful to those seeking help.

The coming opening of the Ida Emmerson Hospice House will allow the organization to provide in-patient hospice care in a beautiful, serene setting. The late Marylee Bytheriver (a former Sunriser) had a vision of the campus, located in a wooded setting, and that would include the Hospice offices, a chapel, and the Hospice House. In 2014, Marylee helped break ground for the new facility, which is located near Harris Street on Timber Fall Court – easily accessible yet quiet and serene. There are walking trails, gazebos, and a labyrinth for meditative walking.