ASHLAND — At Hospice of North Central Ohio (HNCO)’s Annual Volunteer Recognition Breakfast, Ruth Lindsey took top honors as the 2018 Sandra J. Rule Dauch Volunteer of the Year.
“Hospice of North Central Ohio would not be in existence if it weren’t for Ruth Lindsey. As the founder of our organization, she has spent her life contributing graciously toward our mission, and she continues to do so as an active volunteer,” said Bill Kahl, Executive Director of HNCO. “What a perfect honor for her.”
In 1988, Ruth Lindsey was named the first executive director of the newly formed Hospice of Ashland County. Working without pay for the first year, Lindsey wrote policies and care plans at her kitchen table. The organization served its first patient and family in January 1989, and by the end of that year, the staff of three had served 29 patients and families.
The organization continued to grow throughout Lindsey’s tenure and the name was changed to Hospice of North Central Ohio. Lindsey retired in 2009 and has remained an active member of HNCO family by volunteering at What Goes ‘Round Thrift Shoppe in Mansfield, Hospice House in Ashland, the annual golf benefits, one of which is named in her honor, and as an Emeritus Member of the HNCO Board of Directors. She is known for her coveted homemade apple dumplings that are auctioned at HNCO’s Community Corn Roast each year.
“I am honored to receive this award,” Lindsey stated. “There are so many other volunteers who I respect—especially those who were trained before our hospice organization was officially formed!”
Lindsey continued, “I have seen so many changes through the years, most of which are just signs of the times in healthcare. But Hospice of North Central Ohio is still the same organization doing the same great work and giving the same love and care that we did in 1988. Whether working out of my house, the Presbyterian Church, the offices on North Main Street or County Road 1095, our current building, or somewhere else, HNCO’s mission remains, and I am proud to be a part of it.”
A grant received by The Richard & Sandra Dauch Foundation in 2015 established the award which is presented each November in honor of National Hospice and Palliative Month to a HNCO volunteer who exhibits extraordinary commitment, impact, personal growth, and inspiration to others.
Nominations were submitted by supervisors and peers and reviewed by a selection committee. The name of each Volunteer of the Year is permanently displayed on plaques at the hospice offices in Ashland, Mount Vernon, and Ontario, and at What Goes ‘Round Thrift Shoppe in downtown Mansfield.
HNCO boasts more than 200 loyal volunteers who provide companion and vigil care for patients, help with administrative duties, water plants, assist at special events, operate What Goes ‘Round Thrift Shoppe in Mansfield, and more. Several volunteers were recognized for milestones in their years of service, including Robert Bennett, Marcia McCoy, and Marie Poe who have volunteered for HNCO for 35 years.
For information about becoming an HNCO volunteer, please contact Volunteer Coordinator Danielle Sutton at 419-685-4232.
Headquartered at 1050 Dauch Drive in Ashland, Hospice of North Central Ohio serves more than 200 patients daily in Ashland, Crawford, Huron, Knox, Morrow, and Richland counties with palliative and hospice care. Additionally, free bereavement services are provided for hundreds of families of hospice patients and anyone in the community experiencing grief. Call 800-952-2207 for more information. HNCO is a community partner of United Way.