Sheila Yousuf-Abramson, Midwest CareCenter Families with Children (FWC) Counselor and Camp Care Leader

Sheila Yousuf-Abramson is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She graduated from the Jane Addams College of Social Work in 2005 with an MSW, focus on children and families and has been with Midwest for five years. Sheila provides grief counseling to children and adolescents. She not only works with our hospice families but also with the community and Chicago Public Schools. This is her first year as Camp Director of CampCare but she has been involved with the CampCare program since she started at Midwest. "I feel very blessed to be able to provide grief support to children and their families, especially in communities where there is a lack of resources. Death and loss is a very difficult topic and being able to aid a child through the healing process and find ways to connect to their loved one is a gift."

Margaret Pasquesi

Margaret Pasquesi is a certified music-thanatologist who has worked for our organization since 2003. Margaret’s work as a music-thanatologist has been covered widely in the media, including Crain's Chicago Business, the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Public Radio, NBC, and WGN. She regularly presents on music-thanatology to a wide range of medical, spiritual, and cultural organizations. Margaret also holds the title of Integrative Care Services Resource, a role which helps her teammates with systems and standards, and coordinates music-thanatology interns. Margaret formerly held the position of Conference Chair of the Music-Thanatology Association International, (which was hosted in 2014 by Midwest CareCenter), as well as the position of co-editor for the Journal of the Music-Thanatology Association International (JMTAI).

Mary Spiewak, Midwest CareCenter volunteer

Mary joined Midwest CareCenter as a volunteer in 2006. She convinced one of her friends to become a volunteer and the two of them would visit patients as a team. They have very fond memories of their first patient and both feel very blessed to have been part of her life. Mary's other volunteer activities include giving her time as a Lake County Master Gardener as well as volunteering in the surgical waiting lounge at the hospital near her home. Mary is married to her high school sweetheart and has lived in Lake County for 30 years. Her other passions include traveling, birding, her pets, spending time with family and friends, and wintering in Arizona.

Elisabeth Mistretta, Midwest CareCenter Senior Brand Communication Specialist

Elisabeth Mistretta joined Midwest CareCenter's Marketing Communications team in June, after nearly 15 years as a staff writer and editor for both the Daily Herald Newspaper and Sun-Time Media's Pioneer Press. Elisabeth was part of teams that won the 2012 and 2010 Lisagor Award for covering breaking news.

In 2003, Elisabeth's work was published in the book "That Takes Ovaries: Bold Women and their Brazen Acts." After the book inspired a nonprofit organization that helps abused women throughout the world, she hosted open mic events with professional authors throughout Chicago that raised funds for the cause.

Stay tuned to this blog to learn how her sister's life-changing experience with CampCare ultimately led Elisabeth to Midwest CareCenter.

Debra Mell, Midwest CareCenter Volunteer Coordinator

Debra joined Midwest CareCenter's Volunteer Department as Volunteer Coordinator in 2013. "I have had the good fortune to work in a number of interesting fields over the years," Debra says. "Some of them were business-oriented and some of them were more creative. As Volunteer Coordinator, I finally have an opportunity to use of all my diverse and eclectic skills in one job." Debra's father received hospice care from Midwest CareCenter three years ago. "He was treated with care, kindness and dignity," she says. "It is an honor to be part of a team that provides this kind of service to families when they need it most."

Jeffrey Dodd, Midwest CareCenter RN

Jeffrey is an RN at Midwest Care Center's Hospice Suite at Northwest Community Hospital. Looking for new challenges and wanting to be of service to others, Jeffrey left a 25-year career as a banker and commercial lender, completed his MSN at Rush University College of Nursing, and joined Midwest CareCenter in May 2013. "I find great joy in hospice work," he says. When he's not at home with his two dogs, Thor and Freja, he loves to travel, especially to Paris and Mesa, Arizona, for Cubs spring training.

Sarah Hehemann

Nineteen year-old Sarah Hehemann is a nursing student at Marquette University in Milwaukee. She actively participates in community service programs around campus and in the community, as well as playing guitar every week at her church. Her aunt, Eileen Boggins, is a staff member at Midwest CareCenter.

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