Archive for the ‘special events’ category

Happy Nurses Week

May 9, 2016

by Andrea Powell, HPCCR Marketing Manager

keep calm hug a nurseBet you didn’t know that we are smack dab in the middle of a whole week recognizing nurses in our country. It begins each year on May 6 and ends on May 12, Florence Nightingale’s birthday. Very fitting, indeed, to end the week recognizing the founder of modern nursing.

I often use this “stage” to to declare how awesome our nurses are. And this week I’m going to do it again. Because their hearts are made of gold; pure sunshine runs through their veins. Their patience is legendary and their expertise extraordinary. They are selfless, tireless, and fearless.

Hospice nurses are veritable jacks of all trades. They are independent, they think on their feet, and their knowledge is amazingly comprehensive. And on top of that, they are kind, empathetic, and soothing. They are the total package.

Hospice nurses are often likened to angels, an appropriate comparison in my opinion.  They intervene when our patients and families are at their most vulnerable, right when they think they will drown in obligation and pain. Then nurses lift them up, cradle them in their arms, and restore their fragile faith in humanity.

So a heartfelt thank you to nurses everywhere. And to our HPCCR nurses, we want you to know that your dedication has helped make us who we are. You are so often the face of HPCCR.  And because of you, it’s shining bright.

Our Unsung Hero

May 5, 2016

Unsung Hero_croppedWe are so very pleased to announce that our very own President & CEO, Pete Brunnick, received a prestigious award today. This morning at the Charlotte Convention Center, Pete accepted the Unsung Hero award, one of Leadership Charlotte’s Legacy Awards. Each year Leadership Charlotte recognizes organizations and individuals who create lasting change and measurable difference in our community. This year, Pete was one of those individuals honored and all of us at HPCCR couldn’t be more proud! He was chosen for “working tirelessly behind the scenes to improve the organization’s finances, leadership, and patient service offerings”. Well done, Pete! Congratulations!


April showers bring May fun

May 2, 2016

by Andrea Powell, HPCCR Marketing Manager

LN Hospice Regatta logo_2015You know that phrase, “April showers bring May flowers”? Well, we got our April showers in Charlotte on Saturday night, didn’t we? They snuck in at the 11th hour (literally), drenching us all with pounding rain along with some serious thunder and lightning.

For Hospice & Palliative Care Lake Norman, those April showers are bringing not May flowers, but massive amounts of May fun — in the form of the Lake Norman Hospice Regatta Party. The Regatta Party, affectionately known as “the best party on the lake”, is happening this Saturday at the Peninsula Club in Cornelius. The fun will begin at 6:30pm when you can browse the silent auction items while sipping a cocktail and tasting delicious hors d’oeuvres. After a delightful dinner and a stirring presentation, there will be more fun and games and a chance to bid on some amazing live auction items as well.

And, brand new this year, you can purchase a “golden ticket” which gives you the chance to win an unbelievable trip to one of three destinations: Punta Cana Resort in the Dominican Republic, Fairmont Chateau in Lake Louise, Canada, or the Meritage Resort in Napa Valley. We’re only selling 100 of these tickets and half of them have already been purchased so don’t wait too long to capitalize on this opportunity! All trips include $1,000 in spending money and airfare for two. A one in a hundred chance for all of that? Them’s good odds, if you ask me! Golden tickets are available on our website — get yours before they’re all gone!

Your emcees for the evening will be WSOC anchor Allison Latos and WSOC meteorologist Keith Monday. They will charm you throughout the event and keep you well informed of all the goings on — who’s speaking next, when it’s time to win your golden ticket trip (because you are going to win it, right?), and when you need to finalize your silent auction bids.

At this point, all you have to do is buy your ticket, show up, and have a good time. And I’m not a scientist or meteorologist, but if you could equate the severity of those April showers we had on Saturday night to the amount of May fun you’ll have at the Lake Norman Hospice Regatta Party this weekend, I can predict you’re gonna get drenched.

Tickets are $125 and are available on our website. All proceeds benefit Hospice & Palliative Care Lake Norman.  For more information, contact Nancy Cole at 704.335.4312. 

Special thanks to our most generous presenting sponsors: Huntersville Ford, Kathryn M. Keele, and Lake Norman Transportation Services.

Say yes to beer (and food and sunshine)

April 28, 2016

by Andrea Powell, HPCCR Marketing Manager

craft beerI’ve got some really easy questions for you. Do you like being outside on beautiful days? Do you like delicious food? Are you passionate about craft beer?

Unless you are a hermit, you should have answered “yes” to at least two of those questions.

And if you did, in fact, answer “yes” to at least two of those questions, I’m going to give you a beautiful gift — your ready-made plans for this Saturday afternoon, April 30.

Join us for Hops for Hospice, a fantastic event held out on the patio of Foxcroft Wine Co. on Fairview Road. We’ll be there from 1-4pm with samples of beer from Leffe, Lonerider, Mother Earth Brewing, Mystery Brewing, NoDa Brewing, The Old Mecklenburg Brewery, Sierra Nevada, Starr Hill Brewery, Stella Artois, Sugar Creek Brewing Company, The Unknown Brewing Co, and Triple C Brewing Co. Plus there will be delicious appetizers from the inventive kitchen of Foxcroft Wine Co. And while you’re sipping on beer and noshing on food, you can also make bids for some cool gift baskets in the silent auction.

There really is no better way to enjoy a beautiful spring day in the Carolinas. Unless, of course, you are the aforementioned hermit. And you won’t know what an awesome day you’re missing.

Tickets for Hops for Hospice are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. You can Call 704.365.6550 for more information.

Hope for a change

February 25, 2016

by Andrea Powell, HPCCR Marketing Manager

AtulGawandeThere are often stereotypes that accompany surgeons. I can’t say for sure that the stereotypes hold any weight because I simply haven’t met many surgeons. But isn’t there usually a reason that stereotypes exist? Who knows. Anyway, this is what I’ve heard about surgeons: brash, cold, confident (verging on cocky), brilliant, terse, aggressive.

The surgeon I listened to last night was none of those things. Except brilliant.

Yes, Dr. Atul Gawande is a surgeon. But he’s also a professor (at Harvard) and an author. His most recent book, Being Mortal: What Matters in the End is on the New York Times Best Seller’s List and has been for months. The man knows his stuff.

He came to Charlotte to participate in the Learning Society of Queens (University) lecture series. HPCCR was one of the presenting sponsors for his presentation last night and I was lucky enough to score a ticket.

Dr. Gawande has been thoughtfully considering end-of-life issues since he was a junior surgical resident. Over his many years in medicine, he has seen various outcomes for patients, ranging from aggressive measures to comfort care. He believes that everyone has a right to make their own decisions about what they want to do in the face of terminal illness — that was not the focus of his remarks last night.

What needs to change, according to Dr. Gawande, is the approach of physicians.

Physicians need to be better about asking patients what their priorities are, he says. They come in and talk to the patient but, in reality, their time talking needs to be cut in half. What should doctors be doing instead? Listening.

These are the questions that should be in their arsenal: “What is your understanding of your illness right now?”; “What are your goals if time is short?”; and “What are your fears?” Getting the answers to those questions will help determine the best course of treatment. It will get to the root of what kind of quality of life is acceptable. Because, in our job, it’s all about quality of life.

Dr. Gawande told the story of a hospice nurse who said something to him one day that stopped him in his tracks. She was in the room, doing a million things at once — adjusting pillows, adjusting meds, taking vitals, changing lines. In other words, she was totally focused on the needs of the patient. When Dr. Gawande remarked on her level of activity she said, “You’re a surgeon. Your job is to sacrifice time now for time later. My job is to give people their best possible day today.”

Ultimately, it was an inspiring evening. Dr. Gawande gave the room hope that we, as a society, are moving into an age where we can be comfortable with death. He talked about a new generation of physicians who won’t accept practicing medicine in the “traditional” environment we’ve had for so long. Dr. Gawande believes that we will soon see an entire cadre of young clinicians who believe they can be part of the solution rather than part of the problem. And we, as future patients, can do better too. He ended with, “If we define clarity about our goals and we all respect them, I think we can have extraordinary change.”

It’s happening, folks. Change is coming. The sheer fact that a surgeon talking about end of life sold out a one thousand-person theater speaks volumes about our current appetite on this topic. And those young clinicians our renowned speaker anticipates? They are going to smash the surgeon stereotypes; they are going to rewrite the job description. They will be like Dr. Gawande– thoughtful, kind, compassionate, communicative. They’ll be all those things and more. They’ll be brilliant.




We won!

February 11, 2016

by Andrea Powell, HPCCR Marketing Manager


The “big check”!

Well, we did it!

We beat Denver. I wish when I said “we” I meant our beloved Carolina Panthers, but alas, that was not the case on Sunday night.

But “we”, HPCCR, did beat The Denver Hospice in the food challenge. We went all out, gave it everything we had, and yesterday we were finally awarded victory.

Here’s the breakdown:

HPCCR has approximately 470 full time employees and we donated the equivalent of 115,741 pounds of food, resulting in about 246 pounds of food per FTE. Over the course of the competition week, more than $13,000 was collected in cash donations; the rest collected was in food.

The Denver Hospice, an organization with 313 full time employees, collected 2,143 pounds of food – almost seven pounds per FTE.

In my humble opinion, that’s a sound win.

Yesterday I went to the Second Harvest Food Bank (our chosen donation recipient) to take pictures of our presentation of “the big check”. While there, I had the great fortune to speak with Kay Carter, Executive Director, and Lisa Marie Nisely, Community Development Coordinator. The work they do is absolutely awe-inspiring. There was food stacked everywhere; it’s hard to wrap your mind around the number of people they feed each day.

And here’s something I didn’t really know until just recently — while donations of food are still very helpful, cash donations are actually even better because Second Harvest’s purchasing power is so much stronger than yours or mine.  We might think we’re getting a good deal at the supermarket, but they’ve got partners who allow them to buy at cost. So our donations give Second Harvest the ability to help the community to the fullest extent — more so than the extra canned goods in our pantries. Their impact is massive. It’s fantastic.

So there you have it. I don’t know about you, but I feel somewhat vindicated by our dominating win. Just like the Carolina Panthers, this organization and this community has heart. We love a challenge and we keep pounding at it until victory is within our reach. Unfortunately, from a football perspective, the victory barely slipped out of grasp for the home team this year, but the food challenge went our way and we couldn’t be more proud.

Now where are our rings??


We want to sincerely thank everyone who contributed to this challenge and helped us win — employees, vendors, partners, schools, communities of faith, neighborhoods, businesses, even other hospices in North Carolina. Your support was phenomenal and we are in your debt!  





Awakening a force (to make a dream come true)

January 21, 2016

by Andrea Powell, HPCCR Marketing Manager


Our patient, Amy, before the movie

The new Star Wars movie, The Force Awakens, created a world-wide frenzy last month when it debuted. The hype was huge, tickets were scarce, and the trailer made all the die-hard fans desperate to go.

Now imagine if you were one of those die-hard fans but you didn’t know if you’d ever get to see it. That was the case for Amy Theodoropoulos, a 79-year old Hospice & Palliative Care Lake Norman (HPCLN) patient who is one of those uber-loyal Star Wars fans.

Like most hospice patients, Amy isn’t sure what the future holds. And she doesn’t know how long it will take for The Force Awakens to become available outside of the theaters. Considering she’s seen all of the other episodes in the Star Wars saga, she was understandably sad at the thought of missing this latest one. She wistfully told her HPCLN social worker, Catherine, that she wanted to see it but didn’t know if she had enough time left. That’s when Catherine awakened her own force to get things moving in the right direction.


The entire crew with Star Wars masks

Catherine brought up Amy’s predicament to the rest of the hospice team at their weekly meeting. Someone suggested getting in touch with a theater to see what they could offer. After a phone call or two, a local theater came through in a huge way for Catherine. On Friday morning last week (when the theater is usually closed) Amy and her entire family were given their own private viewing of The Force Awakens.

Amy with (clockwise from left) her grandson, daughter-in-law, nurse Cheryl, social worker Catherine, and her son

Amy with (clockwise from left) her grandson, daughter-in-law, nurse Cheryl, social worker Catherine, and her son

I met Amy and her family (her two sons, her daughter-in-law, grandson, and brother), along with social worker Catherine and Amy’s hospice nurse, Cheryl, at the theater to take a few pictures before the show. Everyone was wildly excited, especially Amy’s pre-school aged grandson who was clad head to toe in Star Wars gear. No one had seen the movie previously and, even though the movie has been out for over a month, no one had heard any gossip to ruin the plot’s twists and turns.

After pictures, Amy and her family made themselves comfortable in the empty theater. Not only did they get the entire room to themselves, but they also noshed on free popcorn and soda, thanks to the fantastically generous theater manager.

I didn’t stay for the movie, but according to Catherine, Amy absolutely loved it. She left the theater shaking her head, saying she just couldn’t believe that her wish had come true.

That’s what hospice is all about, folks. It’s about respecting the wishes of our patients and making their lives count every single day we have them under care. It’s making phone calls and appealing to the humanity and generosity of others on behalf of those who need us. It’s helping our patients achieve the little things they thought were no longer possible. We try to awaken a force every day, that’s for sure. In our case, that force is love.


Hospice & Palliative Care Lake Norman is a regional office of Hospice & Palliative Care Charlotte Region providing end-of-life care in North Mecklenburg County, Western Cabarrus County, and Southern Iredell County. For more information, call 704.375.0100 or visit