Teammate Spotlight – Elise Power

When did you begin employment at Faith Presbyterian Hospice (FPH)?  
I joined Faith in December 2019, and have more than thirty years of experience in the industry.

What is your job title, and would you provide a brief description of your role?  
I am the Jewish Hospice Community Liaison working to educate physicians, patients, families, temples, Rabbis and congregations on the benefits of utilizing the services offered by Faith, which is accredited by the National Institute for Jewish Hospice.

What do you like best about working here?
One of the best things about FPH are my incredible teammates. Working with such a dedicated team is a joy! In addition, the specialized services that we offer, such as music and massage therapy, are wonderful and provide our patients with peace and comfort. Finally, my interaction with patients at the Harold E. Simmons In-Patient Care Center is so meaningful to me. I love working with each patient and making a difference in their life, as well as the lives of their loved ones.

Please share a special “Moment That Mattered” to you.
There are so many special moments, but one stands out. A family member of patient was able to spend several days and nights with their loved one at the Simmons In-patient Center. They shared with me that they could not have gone through their journey without me or our caring and compassionate teammates. That meant the world to me!

Please share a little about yourself personally.
I enjoy staying active through Pilates and attending spin class at the Jewish Community Center of Dallas. In my free time, you can find me cheering on my grandchildren at their many sporting events. Being a grandmother to Jett (age 18), Ava (16), Aiden (13), Max (13), Sydney (13), Griffin (age 11) and Harper (9) is my favorite role! I love spending time with my family and look forward to our annual summer vacations.

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Teammate Spotlight – Alyssa Landa

“In our professional world we were always on the lookout for customer-focused talent. If we were still in that world, we would seriously recruit Alyssa. She is simply outstanding in the area of meeting customer needs! She is personable, knowledgeable and a problem solver. If she cannot answer your question, she makes sure you get an answer. She is a delight to work with and an important member of The Outlook at Windhaven’s team.”  – Lois and Glen Doan, OAW VIPs

When did you begin employment at Forefront Living and what is your job title?  
My first day with Forefront Living was January 11, 2021. I serve as the Sales and Marketing Assistant for The Outlook at Windhaven (OAW), and am responsible for supporting the sales team, planning events, greeting customers, tracking daily reporting and much more.

What do you like best about working at OAW?
It is difficult to pinpoint just one thing I like best about working at OAW. I work with great group of supportive co-workers, and I really enjoy getting to know each VIP (depositor). Working individually with the VIPs is fulfilling for me and gives me a keen sense of purpose. I also like that each day provides variety in my work.

What future OAW event are you most looking forward to?
I look forward to the day we open our doors and physically get to see all of the hard work come to fruition! In the shorter term, I am looking forward to the VIP events leading up to that point, especially groundbreaking.

Would you please share a Moment That Mattered that stands out to you?
A moment that stands out to me is the very first time we brought together all the OAW VIPs. For this special occasion, Rev. Jarod A. Cooper spoke about gratitude. It was fulfilling to hear future residents share stories of thankfulness. This was the inaugural kick-off to many more VIP events. Bringing people together to share a common interest is what makes my job matter the most. 

Please share a little about yourself personally.
I moved to Dallas in January of 2021, shortly after graduating from Colorado State University. I am slowly but surely finding my way around this new city! I was born and raised in a small mountain town outside of Winter Park, Colorado. Before moving to Texas, my hobbies consisted of skiing in the winter and hanging out at the lake during the summer. Since moving to Texas, you can find me exploring new places, walking our dog, Koda, playing golf or hanging out at the best patios around town! During the fall, I enjoy watching football on the weekends. For my favorite football team, it is a toss-up between the Green Bay Packers and the Denver Broncos. Also, I recently became engaged to my fiancé Harrison, and will now be spending my free time planning our wedding!

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FPH’s Child and Family Bereavement Program Makes Memories at Camp

This summer, twelve special families packed up their cars and headed to East Texas to share a memorable camping weekend. However, this camping experience ran deeper than traditional campfires, s’mores, chasing fireflies and stargazing. These families sought solace and joy from the great outdoors after suffering the loss of a loved one.

Forefront Living Foundation and teammates were honored to partner with Eluna, the founding organization for Camp Erin®, the largest national bereavement program for children and teens ages 6-17 who have experienced the death of someone close to them. Led by bereavement professionals and caring volunteers, the camp is offered at no cost to families and provides a safe environment to explore their grief, learn essential coping skills and make friends with peers who are also grieving.

Because of this partnership with Eluna, campers and their family members were able to attend Camp Erin DFW as part of the organization’s first family camp program. Nestled in the Piney Woods of East Texas, Camp Gilmont was the perfect setting for Camp Erin DFW, allowing these extraordinary families to unplug and spend time together while participating in games, ziplining, hiking, canoeing and swimming. The serene backdrop also provided an ideal location for therapeutic group sessions, where families shared their grief and participated in healing experiences.

While the weekend was filled with many wonderful moments, the memorial activities sprinkled throughout the camping experience were especially unforgettable. An introductory Memory Board Ceremony provided campers with a unique platform to share memories and a favorite photo of those they wanted to remember. During group therapy sessions, children and adults decorated luminaries honoring their lost loved ones. On Saturday evening, as the sun was setting and silence encompassed the wooded retreat, campers observed a solemn event in which they took turns releasing their luminaries over the lake near their campsite. As part of the weekend’s closing ceremony, participants hiked to the “Chapel in the Sky,” where they enjoyed a magnificent view of the entire campground and beyond. There, families tied a piece of colorful, torn fabric with their loved one’s name written on it, to a camp “memory catcher.” These moving and emotional activities directed by trained professionals, helped to normalize the grief experience for the children, reminding them that they are not alone.

Faith Presbyterian Hospice Child Life Specialist, Erica Smith, shared that watching the relationship transformation between campers was uplifting. “Friday evening began with a quiet, nervous energy as everyone settled in. By Sunday, the energy was BIG and joyful. Families were exchanging contact information and campers were signing each other’s t-shirts.” Families can look forward to reconnecting at an August reunion, potentially planned at a Texas Rangers game.

Forefront Living is grateful to the generous organizations and volunteers who provided comfort kits to each Camp Erin DFW family. Comfort kits included personalized camper blankets donated by Project Linus, stuffed bears, hand-crafted by Presbyterian Village North’s sewing group, the Sew ‘N Sews, pop-its, a grief book called My Favorite Color is Blue, donated by the author Roger Hutchison, journals and glow in the dark bracelets. Additionally, New York Life – Frisco branch, donated snacks and drinks to families to enjoy on the ride home from camp. To learn more about Eluna or register for programs, click here.

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PVN and OAW support Alzheimer’s awareness

On the day with the most light is the day we fight.

On June 21, residents and teammates from Presbyterian Village North (PVN) and The Outlook at Windhaven (OAW) gathered at two locations to participate in fundraising walks, while also raising awareness for the care, support and research efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association on The Longest Day. The Longest Day, also known as summer solstice, is the day with the most light in the calendar year.

In Plano, OAW VIPs gathered at Windhaven Meadows Park, located across the street from the OAW construction site, to stretch, walk and mingle with their future neighbors. After the walk, participants refueled with donuts and breakfast tacos under a shaded park pavilion. At PVN, residents and teammates walked the campus and then enjoyed a fundraising continental breakfast and bake sale. Several furry friends made appearances at both locations to support the worthwhile cause.  

Forefront Living is pleased to announce that more than $1,600 was raised for the Alzheimer’s Association, thanks to the combined efforts of dedicated residents and teammates! Click here to learn how you can join the fight against Alzheimer’s disease.

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DementiaLive® Teammate Training

Recently, twelve teammates became certified coaches following an interactive training session for DementiaLive®, a specialized program featuring unique dementia simulation as well as offering awareness training. DementiaLive® provides an inside-out understanding of dementia and the aging process by offering participants an impactful immersion experience to increase awareness of the challenges associated with living with dementia. The program also delivers valuable tips and tools designed to improve communication and connection between patients and caregivers by heightening understanding, deepening empathy and elevating care. The first Forefront Living DementiaLive® orientation occurred this past week.

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Caregiver Burnout

Caregivers have a challenging job and burnout among caregivers is a genuine problem. The following insightful article from aginginplace.org offers a closer examination into the causes of caregiver burnout, guidelines for coping and prevention as well as tips for self-care. Ultimately, the article reminds readers that the best way to care for others is to take care of yourself. To read the full article, please click here.

Caregiver photo from aginginplace.org
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Teammate Spotlight – Melora Hartman

When did you begin employment at Faith Presbyterian Hospice (FPH/Faith) and what was your job title when you began?

I was a Registered Nurse (RN) Case Manager when I joined Faith in May of 2013, almost nine years ago!

What is your current job title?

I am the Patient Care Manager for the Simmons Inpatient Unit.

Can you share a little about your professional growth within the organization? What has helped you advance in your career? What has kept you at Forefront Living?

I believe in positivity, having a strong sense of integrity and being an advocate for patients and teammates. I love my teammates and believe Forefront Living does good work for the community – this has kept me here for nine years. 

What do you like best about working here?

I love to help people! If I can leave work at the end of the day and feel like I have helped someone, then it has been a great day.

Please share a special “Moment That Mattered” to you.

There are so many! When I see the Certified Nursing Aides (CNA) I work with providing gentle care during a patient’s last moments, when I hear the Chaplain praying with loved ones at a patient’s bedside, when I see the Social Worker being a supportive shoulder to cry on for a grieving spouse, when I see children smiling with the Child Life Therapist, when I hear “Amazing Grace” sung by the Music Therapist during a patient’s final moments, when I see the Massage Therapists working their magic and bringing peace to patients, when I see RNs and Nurse Practitioners giving their all to the patients and families day in and day out – these are the Moments that Matter!

Please share a little about yourself personally.

I love to bake and try new recipes. I enjoy walking my dog, Tippy. Tippy is almost 80lbs now! She was only 3lbs when we rescued her as a puppy. I am married to a wonderful man, Jordan! We have two sons, Elijah (age 9) and Isaac (age 8). They are my world!

The Hartman Family: Melora and Jordan with sons Isaac and Elijah
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Each Moment Matters Luncheon Kickoff Party

On the evening of May 10, Each Moment Matters Host Committee Members gathered at the beautiful home of Jennifer and Richard Dix to kick-off the upcoming Each Moment Matters Luncheon.

This signature fundraising event, to be held Sept. 23, at the Hilton Anatole Hotel, benefits The Faith Caring Fund at Faith Presbyterian Hospice. Guests mingled and enjoyed cocktails and delicious bites while learning more about The Faith Caring Fund, providing benevolent care for those who do not have the financial resources or insurance coverage for end-of-life services.

Guests mingled and enjoyed cocktails and delicious bites while learning more about The Faith Caring Fund, providing benevolent care for those who do not have the financial resources or insurance coverage for end-of-life services.

Through generous donor support, more than $650,000 was raised at last year’s luncheon. Forefront Living is grateful for the wonderful volunteers serving on this year’s Host Committee including:

April Abney

Barbara W. Bancroft

Christy Berry

Michele Bobadilla

Dr. Michael M. Bond & Mrs. Karen Bond

Thella Bowen

Pamela Busbee

Christie Carter

Russ & Marty Coleman

Robyn & Don Conlon

Lisa Cooley

Cathy & Bill Davis

Leslie & Bryan Diers

Tiffany Divis

Jennifer & Richard Dix

Alison C. Doherty

Laura Downing

Ann Dyer

Claire & Dwight Emanuelson

Liz Fannin

Susan Farris

Patti Flowers

Elizabeth Gambrell

Louise Spence Griffeth

Kathy Gudmundsson

Pat Harloe

Kim Hext

Cyndy & Bob Hudgins

Barbara Hunt Crow

Carolyn Jefferson

Cheryl Joyner

Angie Kadesky

Caren Kline

Dianne LaRoe

Rev. Dr. Cynthia W. Logan

Sarah Losinger

Kay & Gene Lunceford

Lynn McBee

Stacey McCord

Pat McEvoy

Wendy & Boyd Messmann

Susan & Bill Montgomery

Dian Moore

Sammye & Mike Myers

Laura & Robert Neely Sr.

Daffan Nettle

Debbie & Nickey Oates

Connie O’Neill

Pam & Vin Perella

Mary Martha Pickens

Elise Power

Aileen Pratt

Kim Quinn

Debbie & Alan Raynor

Lisa Rocchio

Amanda Shufeldt

Shelle & Michael Sills

Jill & Bob Smith

Mary Ann H. Till

Gloria Eulich Varel

Dee Velvin

Jr. Villanueva

Stacey Walker

Kristina & Phil Whitcomb

Marnie & Kern Wildenthal

Candace Winslow

Laura & Randy Wright

Visit eachmomentmatters.org for more information.

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PVN Celebrates Home Front Heroes Day

On Monday, May 9, city and government dignitaries joined residents of Presbyterian Village North (PVN) to celebrate and formally acknowledge Home Front Heroes Day, a day honoring the many Americans who worked on the home front supporting the war effort, during World War II and beyond. PVN resident and World War II veteran John “Lucky” Luckadoo spearheaded this effort to establish a day recognizing the support, work and sacrifice of everyone on the home front, during times of war.

After the Presentation of Colors by Dallas Lutheran School’s Eagle Scouts, the patriotic program included remarks from Council Member Adam McGough, who declared May 9, as Home Front Heroes Day in Dallas through a mayoral proclamation. WFAA’s Jason Whitely introduced Congressman Colin Allred who announced that together with Congressman Jake Ellzey, a bipartisan resolution was presented to Congress last week expressing their support for designating May 9, as Home Front Heroes Day, nationally. The Village Singers closed the program with the beautiful rendition of “God Bless America.” A special reception immediately followed the program. 

We are thankful for our Home Front Heroes today and every day!

See media coverage: WFAA | KXAS | KDFW | Colin Allred’s Newsletter | LeadingAge | National Calendar | House of Congress

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