Fairhaven Blog

Things of interest around Fairhaven.

Western Medical Center Administrator Named First Honoree of Our 4th Annual Oliver Halsell Care Awards

Charity Gallardo - Friday, January 30, 2015

Theresa Jamieson, staffing coordinator at Western Medical Center in Santa Ana, is the January 2015 recipient of our Oliver Halsell Care Award.

For many years, Theresa wanted to follow in her mother’s footsteps by pursuing a career in nursing. After obtaining her Associate of Science in Human Biology from Santa Ana College, she began working as a medical assistant at Planned Parenthood during a time when HIV was a relatively new disease. Theresa was responsible for educating patients about HIV, providing them with testing and guidance. It was there that she learned her true calling was education.

“During her four decades in the care industry, Theresa has provided exceptional education and direction for her patients and staff,” said Marla Noel, president of Fairhaven. “Her positive attitude is an inspiring trait in her line of work – a characteristic we honor with the Oliver Halsell Care Award.”

As staffing coordinator, Theresa wears many hats. In addition to assigning nurses to patients and ensuring quality care, she also helps educate nursing staff, acts as a liaison between floors, handles decedent affairs and assists patients and families with filling out necessary paperwork.

“Theresa is constantly going above and beyond her job duties,” said Sandra Moreno, Director of Nursing at Western Medical Center. “She’s always more than willing to help and does so with a kind and loving heart.”

Theresa will be honored at Fairhaven’s Oliver Halsell Care Awards banquet in November at Fairhaven’s Mission Viejo location. The banquet honors a year’s worth of achievements within the local community. Additionally, Fairhaven will make a donation on her behalf to her selected charity, Alzheimer’s Association, Orange County – in honor of Theresa’s grandmother who passed away from the disease.

We are currently accepting nominations for the 2015 Oliver Halsell Care Awards. For more information and to nominate a deserving candidate, click here or send us an email

Fairhaven Memorial Park Honors Ten Orange County Residents

Cynthia Adair - Wednesday, November 19, 2014

On Nov. 12, we honored 10 inspirational caregivers at our third annual Oliver Halsell Care Awards, at our Mission Viejo location. The individuals – from throughout Orange County – were recognized for dedicating their lives to serving with the utmost care and compassion and improving the lives and spirits of those they help.

Photo of 2014 Oliver Halsell Care Awards: (clockwise from top left) Fairhaven Memorial President Marla Noel, Phyllis Straight, Amy Sorenby, Fredy Dominguez, Ginger Thomas, Linda Armas, Fairhaven Memorial Manager Michael Alarcon, Kari Buist-Baker, Leslie McSparran, Pratibha Seth and Micki Souter.  

2014 Oliver Halsell Care Award Winners: (clockwise from top left) Fairhaven Memorial President Marla Noel, Phyllis Straight, Amy Sorenby, Fredy Dominguez, Ginger Thomas, Linda Armas, Fairhaven Memorial Manager Michael Alarcon, Kari Buist-Baker, Leslie McSparran, Pratibha Seth and Micki Souter. 

Honorees, joined by their family and friends, enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres as they mingled before dinner. Each Care Award winner was presented a crystal statue by Marla Noel, president of Fairhaven, and Michael Alarcon, manager of Fairhaven Memorial Services, during a special program. Mission Viejo Councilmember Rhonda Reardon attended to congratulate each of the honorees.

We created the Oliver Halsell Care Awards in 2012 to pay monthly tribute to Orange County caregivers who have demonstrated exceptional care in their profession and community. The award was named in recognition of Oliver Halsell, who founded Fairhaven in 1911 to provide a peaceful and comforting place for families to honor their loved ones.

“Our Care Award winners were carefully selected throughout the year for their dedication to serving others,” said Noel. “We are proud to honor local caregivers who have made serving from the heart a way of life, as our founder Mr. Halsell did so many years ago.”

The 2014 Care Award honorees include:

  • David Nakashima volunteers with OC Hospice to give back to the community.

  • Micki Souter (Trabuco Canyon) volunteers with Silverado Hospice as a tribute to the care her husband received during his final hours.

  • Ginger Thomas (Mission Viejo), employer relations specialist at Mission Hospital, was motivated to work in the care industry by her mother, who worked as a Registered Nurse for many years.

  • Pratibha Seth (Anaheim), nurse at St. Joseph Hospital, enrolled at Santa Ana College to pursue a career as a nurse after she immigrated to the United States from India to be with her husband.

  • Kari Buist-Baker (Mission Viejo), founder & CEO of Senior Life Management, Inc., began her career as an obstetrics nurse; after her mother was diagnosed with dementia, she resigned from her job to pursue her passion of helping others find care for their senior relatives.

  • Linda Armas (Fullerton), president & certified senior advisor at Clear Choice Senior Services, was faced with the challenging task of finding her parents a home, which inspired her to start her own business to help others.

  • Phyllis Straight (Capistrano Beach), president of BrightStar Care, opted out of retirement and dove headfirst into her dream of working with people.

  • Leslie McSparran (Orange), volunteer with St. Joseph Hospice, helped care for her father when he was diagnosed with cancer; a former aerospace engineer, McSparran now volunteers for the No One Dies Alone program, which provides patients with a volunteer companion as they transition to a peaceful and reassuring atmosphere during their final hours.

  • Fredy Dominguez (Huntington Beach), community relations director at Attentive Home Care, created a unique networking group for professionals in the care industry to gather monthly to share experiences and educate each other.

  • Amy Sorenby (Orange), certified nursing assistant for Cross Country Per Diem, is pursuing a nursing career in honor of her two-year-old daughter who spent most of her life in the hospital before she passed in 2003.

For more information and to nominate a deserving candidate, visit click here or email CareAwards@FairhavenMemorial.com.

Fairhaven Memorial Park Honors Orange Resident

Cynthia Adair - Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Amy Sorenby, October recipient of Fairhaven's Oliver Halsell Care AwardAmy Sorenby, Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) at Cross Country Per Diem, is our October recipient of Fairhaven’s Oliver Halsell Care Award.

When Amy lost her two-year-old daughter in 2003, she vowed to go back to school to become a nurse as a tribute to the care her daughter received before her death. Now working as a CNA, Amy works in hospitals all over Orange County, with plans to further her education to become a registered nurse.

“Amy’s strength and determination to become a nurse in spite of a traumatic experience is inspiring,” said Marla Noel, president of Fairhaven. “The love and care she pours into her patients is what we hope to recognize with our Care Award.”

On June 16, 2001, Amy went in for an emergency Cesarean section due to complications with her twin girls. Alexis was born at one pound, 15 ounces, and Brianne at one pound, one ounce. Due to her size and condition, Brianne spent nearly her first year in the hospital. Prior to Brianne’s release, Amy was required to stay in the hospital for a week, learning how to check her daughter’s vitals and monitor her nasogastric tube. This training not only prepared Amy to care for her daughter but also inspired her to pursue a career in nursing.

In 2003, Amy’s then-husband was deployed to Iraq with the Marine Corps. Soon after, Brianne fell ill and was admitted to Naval Medical Center in San Diego for testing. Amy spent the next five months at the San Diego Fisher House to be near Brianne, while Alexis was cared for by her grandparents. Doctors ultimately diagnosed Brianne with pulmonary hypertension and, while doctors would have recommended a heart and lung transplant, Brianne’s fragile condition prevented her from this solution. Brianne passed away later that year.

Although extremely painful, this experience guided Amy to fulfill her calling as a caregiver. Amy now works daily to provide patients with the best possible care – treating them as though they were her own family. Somehow, Amy finds time to fit it all in, not only caring for others, but also her two children as a single mom.

Amy will be honored at Fairhaven’s Oliver Halsell Care Awards banquet on November 12 at Fairhaven’s Mission Viejo location. The banquet honors a year’s worth of achievements within the local community. Additionally, Fairhaven will make a donation in her honor to her selected charity, The Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher House in San Diego.

For more information about Fairhaven’s Oliver Halsell Care Award and to nominate a deserving candidate, click here or send us an email

Local Female Business Owner Receives Fairhaven’s Oliver Halsell Care Award

Cynthia Adair - Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Kari Buist-Baker, founder and CEO of Senior Life Management, Inc., is our May recipient of Fairhaven’s Oliver Halsell Care Award.

For the Mission Viejo resident, caring for those in need has always been an innate ability. Kari’s career has come full circle; she began as an obstetrics nurse caring for fragile infants, and today coordinates the resources families need to provide care for their elderly loved ones.

“Kari’s dedication and the positive impact she makes in her clients’ lives is what sets her apart from many other care managers,” said Marla Noel, president of Fairhaven. “Her ability to provide hope and relief to seniors and their families makes her so deserving of this award.”

After her mother was diagnosed with dementia in 2003, Kari resigned from her job as an obstetrics nurse to pursue her passion of helping others find care for their senior relatives. She founded Senior Life Management in 2007, a nurse case management company that assesses and coordinates care for seniors by developing a personalized care plan based on each individual’s needs. To date, Kari has helped nearly 300 families.

“Working in this industry is incredibly touching,” Kari explained. “I truly love my career because it allows me to positively affect families in crisis, who are so emotionally attached to the situation. By providing calm insight, and giving them a road to travel together, it truly makes my job rewarding.”

Senior Life Management recently was tapped as a consultant for Age Well Senior Services, Inc., a nonprofit providing programs, services and resources to seniors in South Orange County. The new partnership provides Kari and her staff with the opportunity to assist more families than ever before.

Kari will be honored at Fairhaven’s Oliver Halsell Care Awards banquet in November at Fairhaven’s Mission Viejo location. The banquet honors a year’s worth of achievements within the local community. Additionally, Fairhaven will make a donation in her honor to her selected charity, Age Well Senior Services, Inc.

For more information and to nominate a deserving candidate, click here or send us an email.

Pratibha Seth Honored with Fairhaven’s Oliver Halsell Care Award for Compassionate Care

Cynthia Adair - Monday, April 14, 2014

Pratibha Seth, a nurse on the orthopedic floor at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, is our April recipient of Fairhaven’s Oliver Halsell Care Award.

Working the night shift at St. Joseph Hospital, Pratibha can be found carefully checking on her patients, ensuring they’re receiving the care they need. After 15 years as a nurse, Pratibha draws inspiration from her experiences, which is apparent in the conscientious care she gives each patient.

“As the nighttime nurse, Pratibha approaches her responsibilities with the utmost compassion and concern,” said Marla Noel, President of Fairhaven. “She is a blessing and an angel of mercy to anyone suffering and in need of a gentle soul.”

Nearly 20 years ago, Pratibha journeyed to the United States from India to be with her husband, leaving her parents and her familiar surroundings behind. While still in India, her father, a heart patient, had received compassionate care and inspired Pratibha’s own career path. Pratibha enrolled at Santa Ana College to pursue a career as a nurse. Soon after, tragedy struck Pratibha’s family -- her mother died suddenly from a heart attack, giving her even more motivation to pursue her career goal. She wanted to provide her patients with the care she was unable to give her mother.

As a nurse, Pratibha is required to care for the general well-being of patients, but she often goes above and beyond her duties. If a patient seems emotionally distraught, Pratibha takes the time to sit and talk until he or she feels better. A mother of two daughters – including the eldest daughter who is following in her footsteps as a nurse -- the Anaheim resident says she treats each patient the way she would her own family.

“I never would have expected to be honored for doing my job,” commented Pratibha. “I try to give my patients whatever I have – my emotions and my best care.”

Pratibha will be honored at Fairhaven’s Oliver Halsell Care Awards banquet in November at Fairhaven’s Mission Viejo location. The banquet honors a year’s worth of achievements among the local community. Additionally, Fairhaven will make a donation in her honor to her selected charity, the Boys Town organization.

For more information and to nominate a deserving candidate, click here or send us an email.

Ginger Thomas Honored with Fairhaven's Oliver Halsell Care Award

Cynthia Adair - Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Ginger Thomas, Senior Living Advisor at A Plan For Senior Care, is our March recipient of Fairhaven’s Oliver Halsell Care Award.

When her grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, Ginger worked with her family to place her grandmother in a home. Throughout that emotionally difficult process, Ginger discovered her passion for working with seniors. Now, she helps families daily find personalized care for their loved ones.

“Ginger’s passion for senior care is evident in the work she does,” said Marla Noel, President of Fairhaven. “She cares about her community and is utilizing both her personal and professional experience to be an invaluable resource to those in need.”

Her career choice was motivated by her mother, El Joan Shealor, who worked as an RN for many years, and became convinced that while most nurses can be good at their jobs, those who truly are great are innately compassionate.  Feeling her daughter was born with significant empathy, El Joan encouraged Ginger early in life to consider a career in the care industry.

“It means so much to be recognized for something I love to do,” explained Ginger. “When I was referred to the senior care industry, I was drawn to the seniors and their stories; I don’t want them to be forgotten or misplaced.”

As a Senior Living Advisor, Ginger works directly with families as a resource in finding the right care for their loved ones. After interviewing a new family, Ginger considers the patient’s finances, current living situation and medical needs in order to provide a complete care plan. In matching seniors with care facilities, her main focus is ensuring each patient’s individual needs, as well as those of his or her family, will be personally addressed. This gives her ample opportunities to place more seniors in the compassionate hands of those who will provide them with the care they genuinely need and deserve.

Ginger will be honored at Fairhaven’s Oliver Halsell Care Awards banquet in November at Fairhaven’s Mission Viejo location. The banquet honors a year’s worth of achievements among the local community. Additionally, Fairhaven will make a donation to the American Heart Association in Ginger’s honor.

For more information and to nominate a deserving candidate, click here or send us an email.

Micki Souter Honored with Fairhaven's Oliver Halsell Care Award

Cynthia Adair - Monday, February 24, 2014

Micki Souter, volunteer at Silverado Hospice in Anaheim, is our February recipient of Fairhaven’s Oliver Halsell Care Award.

After hospice workers provided the comfort and care she needed in her husband’s final hours, Micki discovered the perfect outlet for channeling her inherent love and compassion. As a devoted volunteer at Silverado Hospice, Micki’s genuinely warm heart has touched the lives of everyone she encounters—patients, families and coworkers alike.

“Micki’s cheerful optimism is a much-needed ray of sunshine in the lives of patients and families,” said Marla Noel, president of Fairhaven. “Her joyful presence is often all it takes to reduce the emotional stress taking a toll on their daily lives.”

For the past three years, Micki has gone above and beyond in her volunteering at Silverado. Although she assists patients wherever she’s needed, Micki focuses her attention on one patient at a time, allowing her to develop relationships with patients and their families on a deeply personal level. She prefers working with Silverado patients receiving at-home care, because she believes the familiar environment is more relaxing for everyone involved.

“Micki is a volunteer extraordinaire. She goes above and beyond the responsibilities and requests of a hospice volunteer,” explained Julie Bynon, volunteer coordinator at Silverado. “She is kind, gentle and comforting to our patients and their families.”

For many hours a day—sometimes as many as nine hours at a time—Micki is at the patient’s side, feeding, conversing, and caring for his or her needs. It’s all part of her personal belief that no matter their condition or illness, patients must always be respected as people. When a patient passes, Micki stays in touch with the family, visiting them, bringing them food, and providing continued comfort.

“I’m just grateful to be the caregiver, not the person receiving it,” said Micki. “To me, caring is all about being there, being honest, holding hands and really listening. And laughter is very important: we have to focus on how lucky and blessed we are. I’m just honored to do it, and the patients and families appreciate it. It feels nice to know other people appreciate it, too.”

It’s no surprise that Micki fills every ounce of her life with love. She enjoys spending time with her family—especially her five grandchildren— and best friends and her boxer dog, and goes out of her way to support everyone, from attending school plays to providing company during chemo treatments.

Micki will be honored at Fairhaven’s Oliver Halsell Care Awards banquet in November. The banquet honors a year’s worth of achievements among the local caregiving community.

For more information and to nominate a deserving candidate, click here or send us an email.

David Nakashima Honored as the January Recipient of Fairhaven's Oliver Halsell Care Award for Selfless Work with OC Hospice

Cynthia Adair - Thursday, January 30, 2014

David Nakashima, OC Hospice volunteer, is our January recipient of Fairhaven’s Oliver Halsell Care Award.

When David finally found the time to pursue his desire to volunteer with hospice patients, he discovered a surprisingly fulfilling new outreach. His presence at OC Hospice in Tustin has brought a great deal of comfort not only to the patients and their families but also to David himself.

“Hospice caregivers are oftentimes overwhelmed and in desperate need of help with providing care and instilling positivity and peace in those struggling,” said Marla Noel, president of Fairhaven. “David’s dedication to OC Hospice’s patients and their families during such harrowing times is a blessing.”

As a volunteer at OC Hospice, David visits patients during his free time. Occasionally he sits with them, talking and listening, reading aloud, assisting with needs, playing games, reading bible verses—anything to make their lives more enjoyable. David goes above and beyond what is expected from a volunteer, including engaging with patients who do not have an assigned volunteer and following up with support to family members after a loved one has passed. In addition, he accepted the role of project manager for the 2013 Adopt A Senior Holiday Angel program.

“I simply want the people who I encounter to know that someone cares about them,” said David. “I want their families to know that there is someone else out there who is willing to help watch over their loved ones. I cannot help every ailing patient, but I know that I can help some of them.”

David also works full-time at The Walt Disney Company in Anaheim, where he is involved with the corporate VoluntEAR program. Through this program, he has participated in various local charity events such as the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Light The Night Walk. In addition to his passion for spending time with patients and families, David enjoys traveling and following college sports.

“It motivates me each morning to know that I may make a difference in someone’s life or make them smile and laugh,” David expressed. “I am very appreciative to have been given an award for something that I love to do.”

David will be honored at Fairhaven’s Oliver Halsell Care Awards banquet in November. The banquet honors a year’s worth of achievements among the local caregiving community.

For more information and to nominate a deserving candidate, click here or send us an email.

June Care Award Recipient Pursued Career in Physical Therapy Following a Personal Battle with Cancer

Charity Gallardo - Thursday, June 27, 2013

Jose Hidalgo, Staffing Coordinator at Santa Ana’s Western Medical Center, is our June recipient of Fairhaven’s Oliver Halsell Care Award.

At age 17, Jose found himself entrenched in a two-year battle with abdominal cancer. As he faced the pain and uncertainty of extensive chemotherapy treatments and invasive surgery, he found comfort and strength in the team of dedicated caregivers who surrounded him each day. “They made me feel like part of the family,” he says.

It was here in this time of great adversity that the Fullerton Native decided to pursue a career in the medical field, where he could return the favor. Now 29, Jose is preparing to embark on the next phase of his inspiring journey; a doctoral program in physical therapy.

“Jose’s story is one of passion, selflessness and dedication,” said Marla Noel, president of Fairhaven. “He teaches us that caring for others has the power to change the course of someone’s life.”

The son of Guatemalan immigrants, Jose always understood the importance of seizing opportunity, serving as a role model for his younger sisters and willingly embracing the challenge of balancing work and school. He would become the first member of his family to graduate college, obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree in kinesiology from Cal State Fullerton.

A seminal moment in his education occurred when he worked at the University’s Center for Successful Aging. “It was like a gym for the elderly, helping to restore them through rehabilitation and exercise,” Jose says. “This helped me realize my passion for serving the elderly population.” As a result, Jose hopes to pursue a career in assisting the elderly with their physical therapy needs as he embarks on his doctoral study.

As he endures the arduous process of applying to graduate school, Jose serves as the staffing coordinator for the night shift at Western Medical Center, where he assesses the needs of the patient population and ensures that the floor is appropriately staffed with nurses. He also is involved in decedent affairs, engaging with staff and families during the difficult time of a patient’s passing.

If you ask Jose what caring means to him, he always goes back the harrowing two years he spent in the hospital, overwhelmed by the care of others. “Caring is treating a total stranger like family,” he says. “It’s one thing when medicine can help someone heal, but it’s truly inspiring when a caregiver can make someone feel better. It’s the human component of the healing process.”

Jose will be honored at Fairhaven’s Oliver Halsell Care Awards banquet in the fall at Fairhaven’s Mission Viejo location. The banquet honors a year’s worth of achievements among the local community. Additionally, Fairhaven will make a donation to Manos International, an organization dedicated to educating children in impoverished areas throughout the world.

For more information and to nominate a deserving candidate, click here or send us an email.

Cheryl Wieland Honored With Care Award For Senior Advocacy

Charity Gallardo - Friday, May 24, 2013

Cheryl Wieland, Case Management Coordinator at Age Well Senior Services, is our May recipient of Fairhaven’s Oliver Halsell Care Award.

For the past 17 years, the Laguna Hills resident has been an advocate for seniors all across South Orange County. While their needs vary widely from home to home, Cheryl’s unwavering commitment to helping them achieve and maintain a healthy and comfortable lifestyle is an inspiration to seniors, colleagues and the many communities she serves.

“Cheryl is leading the charge to ensure that Orange County seniors are well cared for regardless of condition or economic status,” said Marla Noel, president of Fairhaven. “In an era where so many vital programs are being cut, her courage and tenacity is essential to caring for our growing senior population.”

As Case Management Coordinator, Wieland’s job is to ensure that seniors are aligned with the proper resources to sustain a healthy and productive lifestyle in the home. Her responsibilities include making in-home visits, providing educational tools and resources, coordinating meal programs and helping to ensure seniors receive necessary medical attention. Wieland is also involved in writing grants to help local seniors receive important resources such as scooters and ramps to improve their quality of life. According to Wieland, this all boils down to one word: advocacy

“In everything I do, my primary goal is to always be an advocate for seniors,” says Wieland “If something is not right, I do my best to correct it, while also reaching out to other community resources and agencies to encourage them to be advocates as well.”

Wieland immigrated to the United States from Canada in 1984 with extensive experience as a Registered Nurse. After earning her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing, a colleague recommended she apply for a position at Age Well. “As a nurse, I had worked quite a bit with the senior community but never exclusively,” says Wieland. “But once I started, I realized I found my niche.”  This was in 1996 and Wieland has been a proud member of the Age Well team ever since.

Today, Wieland remains thankful for both her career and the many gifts she gains from serving the senior population. “They teach me so much about wisdom, perseverance and integrity,” she says. “Their knowledge and enthusiasm is what keeps me going.”

In 2013, the biggest challenge is to maintain this high level of outreach amid drastic budget cuts, which have affected everything from transportation and adult day care to nutrition programs. Wieland remains determined to persevere on the strength of her convictions and the support of her colleagues. “Age Well is like a family,” she says. “We always help each other no matter what the circumstances. We can do it!”

She will be honored at Fairhaven’s Oliver Halsell Care Awards banquet in the fall at Fairhaven’s Mission Viejo location. For more information and to nominate a deserving candidate, click here or send us an email.


Recent Posts


Tags


Archive


    Recent Tweets