Compass Regional Hospice Grief Counselor Receives Clinical Excellence Award

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Compass Regional Hospice grief counselor Wayne Larrimore is the 2018 winner of the Cynthia L. Nugent Clinical Excellence Award in Hospice and Palliative Care. The award is named in honor of the late Cynthia Nugent, a hospice nurse who dedicated eight years of her life to Hospice of Queen Anne’s, now Compass Regional Hospice.

Following Nugent’s passing in 2009, her husband, Bob, wanted to honor her work as a hospice nurse and recognize the excellent care she received as a patient at the Hospice Center in Centreville. Bob Nugent proposed creating an annual award that would honor Cynthia’s memory by recognizing a staff member whose work meets high levels of excellence.

Larrimore of Millington was nominated by his peers for this award, which recognizes a Compass Regional Hospice clinical care provider who has shown outstanding dedication and excellence in caring for patients with a serious illness and assisting their families.

L-R: Compass Regional Hospice Executive Director Heather Guerieri; grief counselor Wayne Larrimore; and Bob Nugent, husband of the late Cynthia Nugent, a former hospice nurse.

“While I never had the pleasure of knowing Cynthia, I am almost positive that I saw the glow of her face in the many faces gathered during my recognition,” Larrimore said. “Working side by side with other Compass Regional Hospice staff, I see the legend of Cynthia’s dedication living on as they care for the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of our patients and their families.”

Larrimore has been a member of the Compass Regional Hospice bereavement team for four years as a grief counselor. One award nominator wrote, “Since he began working for Compass Regional Hospice in 2014, he has proven to be an outstanding grief counselor and clinician that has helped many people of all ages.”

“He has continued to build the grief support program, primarily in Caroline County,” one award nominator wrote. “He is well-known in the Caroline County Public Schools system and has counseled many children, as well as his role leading the annual remembrance service there.”

In addition to providing school-based grief support services to students in Caroline County Public Schools, Larrimore is a group leader for children at Camp New Dawn, Compass Regional Hospice’s grief support summer camp for children, teens and families; has co-facilitated specialty support groups surrounding loss; provides individual counseling sessions to those suffering following the death of a loved one; facilitates drop-in groups for those suffering from loss due to suicide; and offers a social lunch group on the fourth Tuesday of each month at the Federalsburg branch of the Caroline County Public Library for those suffering any type of loss.

One nominator wrote, “Wayne is willing to help in any way. Recently, in the spur of the moment, he was asked to visit an assisted living facility (on Kent Island) to provide group support to staff and residents following an unexpected and traumatic loss in their community. He went without question and he did outstanding work. That’s how Wayne is: reassuring, humble, honest and skilled in a very soft-spoken way, with a deep commitment to help. Like Cynthia, he is a foot soldier — ready to serve — dedicated and competent. He is most deserving of this award.”

Heather Guerieri, executive director of Compass Regional Hospice, and Bob Nugent presented the award to Larrimore during the staff holiday party on Dec. 13.

L-R: Rhonda Knotts, Sharon Loving, Wayne Larrimore, Bob Nugent, Melissa “Missy” Willis, Sarah Severs, and Melanie Glacken.

“I am inspired and honored to work with our hospice team and to be recognized by my hospice family, which is humbling beyond words,” Larrimore said. “I appreciate and value this recognition as one of the highlights of my life.”

Guerieri said, after acknowledging Larrimore’s dedication to patients, their families and the communities of Queen Anne’s, Kent and Caroline counties, that she appreciated Bob Nugent’s commitment to the annual award, which highlights the selfless work of the staff at Compass Regional Hospice.

Other Compass Regional Hospice staff who have earned the Cynthia L. Nugent Clinical Excellence Award in Hospice and Palliative Care include social worker Michelle Tuttle; hospice nurse and Hospice Center in Centreville Manager Sarah Severs; social worker and Support Services Supervisor Sharon Loving; hospice nurse and Compliance and Quality Manager Melissa “Missy” Willis; bereavement counselor and Grief Support Services Supervisor Rhonda Knotts; and hospice aide Melanie Glacken.

Compass Regional Hospice – Care on your terms

Compass Regional Hospice is a fully licensed, independent, community-based nonprofit organization certified by Medicare and the state of Maryland and accredited by the Joint Commission. Since 1985, Compass Regional Hospice has been dedicated to supporting people of all ages through the challenge of living with a life-limiting illness and learning to live following the death of a loved one. Today, the organization is a regional provider of hospice care and grief support in Queen Anne’s, Kent and Caroline counties. “Care on your terms” is the promise that guides staff and volunteers as they care for patients in private residences, nursing homes, assisted living facilities and the residential hospice centers in Centreville and Chestertown. Grief support services are offered to children, adults and families of patients who died under hospice care, as well as members of the community who are grieving the loss of a loved one, through The Hope and Healing Center. For more information about Compass Regional Hospice, visit compassregionalhospice.org.

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