What It Means To Be A Hospice Nurse…Rebecca Hunter, RN Case Manager

What It Means To Be A Hospice Nurse…Rebecca Hunter, RN Case Manager

Growing up I never wanted to be a nurse. I thought all they did was sit in doctors’ offices and spend most of the day on the phone talking to patients.  To say that was a misconception is an understatement! Born and raised in the western suburbs of Chicago, I began my career in the health care field in 1998. As years passed, I found my self gaining experience in every spectrum of the health care continuum (M.D. offices, X-ray, MRI, ER, Surgery, to name a few). Throughout this time, I was able to see nurses in various roles and with just as varied responsibilities. My view of the nursing field changed, and as many have done and will continue to do, I put myself through school while working nights as a tech in the ER. In the last 12 years as a nurse, my specialty focus had been ICU. I was even blessed to have helped coordinate organ donations. I can’t begin to imagine the number of patients I’ve helped care for over the years who have been in the last moments of their lives. But it is only in the last couple of years did I truly awaken and realize my place not only in nursing, but on this Earth.  Moving to Central Illinois two years ago was a tremendous change.  A leap of Faith, not knowing a soul down here…a new job opportunity for me and and a good school district for my son.  While working ICU for the last two years, I have helped more patients pass away with dignity and provided genuine support for...
Social Work Spotlight: Leslie Kula-Leitner

Social Work Spotlight: Leslie Kula-Leitner

Leslie Kula-Leitner, MSW, LCSW, ACM-SW Bereavement Counselor Transitions Hospice Education: Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Benedictine University MSW, University of Illinois Urbana Champaign Professional Background: Post grad school, I worked for a year at Lexington of Bloomindale, a skilled nursing facility, as the Admissions & Social Services Director. After that, I was a Medical Social Worker in several departments at Alexian Brothers Medical Center. The last eight years, I was the Social Worker for the Palliative Care team at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. I have also had multiple internship experiences and part-time jobs, including working with kids who have autism spectrum disorder; a halfway house helping women with addictions; and a county community health center. I also have experience for about a year as a therapist in private practice. Why did you become a social worker? Why did you become a hospice social worker? I became a social worker because working with people and helping people was my interest. I am not a person who does well with routine, so I enjoy the unique situation that every person presents and the unknown of each day. I chose to pursue hospice work after my job in palliative care and some of my personal experiences with hospice. I always viewed hospice workers as very special and truly see the honor of being a part of peoples’ end-of-life stage. How would you describe your experience as a hospice social worker? I have enjoyed the quality time I spend with patients, families and co-workers. I have been able to be a supportive force for patients and families during some of their darkest times. Most...

Transitions, Community Tee Up to Honor Dr. Paul Kinsinger

For the third year in a row, the Washington, IL community and Transitions Hospice came together to celebrate the life of Dr. Paul Kinsinger, in an outing that combined what he loved most…family, golf and giving back to the community. The third annual Dr. Paul Kinsinger Memorial Golf Outing was held on Wednesday, September 26, 2018, at Pine Lakes Golf Club in Washington. Over 100 golfers, volunteers and friends lent their support to the event, which raised over $6,000 for the Dr. Paul Kinsinger Memorial Scholarship Fund, which awards a scholarship annually to a Washington Community High School senior interested in pursing a degree in health care. “Paul was passionate about many things,” shared Amy Kinsinger, his wife. “It’s his passion for golf, his alma mater, Washington Community High School (WCHS), health care and the students that brought us together at the outing, to honor his memory by raising money for the scholarship.” As with the two previous outings, all golfers were given balloons on which they could write a message to Kinsinger. Everyone released their balloons into the sky together before teeing off, let by Jim Palazzo, Transitions CEO, and the Kinsinger family. “It’s been an honor for Transitions to host this outing since the beginning,” said Palazzo. “Paul made such a tremendous impact on this community, and this is such a great opportunity to help pave the way for the future of health care.” A beloved family doctor and former Transitions Medical Director, “Dr. Paul” passed away in 2016, after a courageous one-year battle with brain cancer. He was known for the compassionate care and support he...