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Suzanne B. Griffel, Rabbi

Suzanne B. Griffel is a rabbi in the Jewish Care Services program at JourneyCare in metropolitan Chicago, IL. She provides spiritual care to Jewish hospice patients and their families; this includes supportive visits and telephone calls and can also entail assisting patients and families in completing advance directives and/or ethical wills, consulting about bioethical and halachic issues from a non-Orthodox perspective, and planning and officiating at funerals and memorial services.

Suzanne became a Board Certified Chaplain through Neshama: Association of Jewish Chaplains in 2015. She completed her residency in Clinical Pastoral Education at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago in 2004. Before pursuing a career in chaplaincy, she served as a rabbi at Congregation Or Chadash in Chicago and at Hillel at the University of Chicago. She was ordained by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1990.

 

Dana Human, Admissions Nurse

I have been a hospice nurse in various positions for almost 22 years. I found my passion when my own mother passed away when I was in my 20s. Hospice was still more of a “grass roots” service.

Even though I was in nursing school at the time, I had never even heard of hospice. Neither the hospital, or doctors ever mentioned this as an option. The painful, and very overwhelming care required of a dying loved one without assistance from professionals was indescribable. I vowed that if I found a better way I would be part of the solution for terminally ill people. I found my calling in 1995 and have not looked back since.

I love to read, listen to classical music and enjoy time with my nieces and nephew.

 

Marjorie Charles-Damte, Lead Advance Practice Nurse

Marjorie Charles-Damte is JourneyCare’s APN Practice Lead. Her professional experience in the healthcare field began at the age of 20. She enjoys practicing as an APN and International Psychologist at the local and international levels. While never departing from her role as a clinician, Marjorie has had experience in academia as an assistant professor and dean. During her spare time she enjoys listening to music, reading and engaging in activities that promote social justice. She has been married to the love of her life, Tadesse, for over 20 years. They are honored to be the parents to four awesome young adults.

Mila Filipovic, volunteer

Mila Filipovic is a JourneyCare volunteer, a journalist and Editor in Chief of Radio Uzice, and has published three books. When war broke out in her native country of Serbia in 1996, Mila moved to the United States. In 2005, she received a Masters of Art in Slavic Studies from UIC. She currently works as an executive assistant.

John Polo

John Polo

I am a widower, stepdad, speaker and aspiring author. My beautiful wife, Michelle, passed away at the age of 30 on January 22, 2016. We fell in love in high school and separated for eight years before we found our way back to each other. Shortly after, she was diagnosed with an extremely rare and aggressive cancer. Somehow, through the loss and horrific tragedy that it was, I have a found a better me.

You can connect with me by visiting my blog at www.betternotbitterwidower.com or on Facebook by searching Better Not Bitter Widower.

Blog Posts:
  • Life Turned Upside Down
  • Why We Talk About Them
  • Maggie McMeekin, Resource Nurse

    Maggie McMeekin, RN, BSN, is a resource nurse at JourneyCare. She is pursuing her Masters degree as a Family Nurse Practitioner. Maggie speaks Polish fluently and is studying Spanish. She is also an avid fitness enthusiast and loves Zumba and weight-lifting.

    Nancy Peter, Social Worker

    Nancy Peter, Social Worker

    Nancy Peter is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with an Advanced Practice Certificate in Hospital and Palliative Care-Social Work from the NASW. She received her Master’s Degree from Loyola University-Chicago. She also holds Certificates in Family, Advanced Family and Divorce Mediations. Nancy began her career in Social Work as a Therapist in an Outpatient Community Mental Health Center on the Northwest Side of Chicago. Simultaneously she maintained her own Private Practice for 15 years. She was the Director of a Children’s Bereavement Camp and then moved into Hospice Social work. She has a combined experience of over 20 years in Social Work and has enjoyed working with JourneyCare in the Inpatient Care Center in Barrington since February, 2014.

    Susan Harvey, Social Worker

    Susan Harvey is a licensed clinical social worker for Journeycare, currently working on a home care team. She has been with Journeycare since 2014. Susan is part of the Journeycare speakers' bureau, presenting to area facilities and hospitals. She has also been a guest lecturer at Aurora University, Augustana College and Metea Valley High School. Additionally, Susan is an adjunct professor at Aurora University, teaching hospice to graduate-level social work students.

    Blog Posts:
  • Hospice Is Not a Place. It's So Much More.
  • The Gift of Listening
  • Eva Hamer, Music Therapist

     

    Eva Hamer is a board certified music therapist and has been with JourneyCare since 2015, where she uses music interventions to help enrich lives and manage symptoms for patients at end of life. She received her Bachelors of Music in Music therapy from Western Michigan University in 2014. She completed a six-month internship in hospice in 2015.

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