Nine Midcoast residents receive certificates as Hospice Volunteers

Thu, 05/25/2023 - 8:00am

Following a 20-hour training course, nine Midcoast residents recently received certificates as Hospice Volunteers.

During their final session, an orientation at the Sussman Hospice House in Rockport, Coastal Family Hospice Executive Director Rebecca JangDhari Brandes provided an overview and introduced each of the new volunteers. Then Mary Therese Kelly-Onoshko, Sussman House Director, and Rev. Ken Dale, Hospice Chaplain, welcomed the new recruits, thanking them for their willingness to help and explaining the crucial role of this special facility for end-of-life care.

“We’re thrilled to have Hospice Volunteers,” said Kelly-Onoshko.

Rev. Dale, who has been involved with Hospice for 30 years, noted, “The biggest part of my job is listening”. . . likewise a key role for the volunteers, according to the release.

Following a tour of the building—with seven private rooms surrounded by individual patios, bird feeders, and gardens—several of the new volunteers shared their motivations for wanting to be part of the organization. Many had already had personal experience with Hospice care, typically for parents, siblings, or friends. Others had talked with volunteers and felt they wanted to help; one said, “I have family members who are volunteers.” Another, whose husband had been a patient at Sussman, said, “As soon as I left the Sussman House, I knew I wanted to volunteer.”


Coastal Family Hospice Volunteers is a 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1979 to provide volunteer support to MaineHealth Care at Home’s hospice patients and their families in Knox and Lincoln counties and at the Sussman Hospice House. At the center of their mission is the belief that no one should die or grieve alone. For more information on becoming a volunteer, joining the Board of Directors, or donating to support their services to hospice patients and their families, visit; call 207-230-0042; or email