Our care ambassadors are those employees who uphold Hospice of Southern Illinois’ standard for excellent hospice care and service by going above and beyond for patients, families, team members, or the community.
Charita Smith, Kathy O’Laughlin and Josh Schobert
Our next Care Ambassador is the hardworking and very efficient, Charita Smith, IT Help Desk Specialist II, who started her journey with Hospice of Southern Illinois in 2011. She chose hospice care because she felt like she could really make a difference. A former Hospice Aide, she added, “For me, being there for someone during their last days just felt like such a gift. I loved being able to cater to their needs the way I would want someone to cater to me. It did not only require care, but also involved the family. This included making sure their needs were met as well.” She really knows what hospice does from the front-line clinical team leading to her now behind-the-scenes work assisting the entire company with technical help. Her experience as a Hospice Aide has helped her to understand the needs of the staff who still deal with those patients and families on a day-to-day basis. “The part I love the most of my job is being able to assist my co-workers and making them happy. My co-workers are out in the field every day and whenever I can help make their day a little bit better makes me feel good. If their day is better, it usually translates back to the people who matter most, our patients.”
Our care ambassadors not only live in our community, but work and play here too! Charita loves the overall feel of this community, not just one place in particular. There is a variety of food, shopping and fun here. She adds, “We also have some great parks which I like to enjoy with my family. It’s nice to have long-lasting memories with my family, in a community I call home.” She closes with her favorite quote by Mae West, “You only live once.”
Please help us congratulate our next Care Ambassador, Kathy O’Laughlin, RN, Case Manager. Kathy has been at Hospice of Southern Illinois since 2010… this time! She previously worked for us for a few years back in 1999-2002. Kathy’s time at hospice engages her head and heart! This is exactly why we are glad to have her back to care for our patients and families and why she was selected for this honor. “I love accompanying patients and their families on the end-of-life journey, doing what I can to make it easier. I find the work very satisfying and rewarding on an emotional level.” This said, we are sure you are not surprised that working with our patients and families is the most loved part of her job. We appreciate Kathy’s dedication to individuals’ quality of life and Hospice of Southern Illinois’ mission. We hope she continues sharing her warm heart and compassionate talents for years to come!
When Kathy isn’t providing excellent patient care, you can find her relaxing and enjoying nature at Crab Orchard Lake, a reservoir in Williamson County, Illinois, surrounded by Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge. “I love watching the birds and the play of light on the water.” She ended with her favorite quote by Gandhi, “Be the change you wish to see in the world!”
Congratulations, Joshua Schobert, Clinical Office Coordinator, our next Care Ambassador. Joshua’s expertise in his position is unmatched. The clinical team and support staff rely on Joshua for up to date records; patient certifications into our program; and reporting client information to those who need it. He is, what you would say, our go-to inside guy! He knows what is going on with the clinical team and the office in general and always does it with a positive attitude. He has become the clinical expert and hospice extraordinaire. Josh added, “It’s a service that a lot of people don’t know about until they need it. It’s a service that can really impact not only the life of the patient, but the families of the patient. End-of-life care can be a very venerable and emotional time in someone’s life and to be a part of that is an honor. Not everyone can go home at the end of the day and feel like they helped someone. I can.” Joshua’s favorite part of his day is his co-workers. “I spend 8 hours or more a day with these people and it feels good to want to see the same people day-in and day-out. I would also say being a part of a local business that is not-for-profit in my hometown of Belleville is really cool. It is a pillar of the community and has a lot of respect. I feel a lot of pride to work for this organization.”
We are not surprised by his answer because he is always checking in to see how he can lend a helping hand. He is an asset to our organization. Additionally, we can vouch that he is even a great cook. He is known to surprise the office with his famous gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches! Joshua enjoys everyday being different and challenging, yet very rewarding at the end of the day. When he is not working, you can find Joshua taking his dog, Oso, to the Rotary Dog Park near our office. He also enjoys the many bike trails in the area. His favorite place to be is the Scott-Trade Center, home of the St. Louis Blues, where he catches as many home games as he can. His favorite quotes make perfect sense for his personality, “You miss 100 % of the shots you don’t take.” -Wayne Gretzky, and “Do or do not, there is no try.” – Yoda.