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Boquete Health & Hospice Newsletter - February 2024

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Contents – February Newsletter, 2024
  • Our Mission Statement
  • Calendar of Events
  • President's Letter
  • February General Meeting – Celeste Mendelsohn Presents "Yoga for the Rest of Us"
  • Being Prepared Workshop Offered February 27
  • Quilt Raffle is Closing Soon!
  • BHH Graduates Largest New Volunteer Class Ever…Again!
  • Hospice Services are Back and We Need Volunteers!
  • Get a Mini First Aid Kit and Support BHH
  • Book Now for February CPR Training
  • The Tree of Life Donor Recognition
  • Make a Donation
  • Council Business
  • Contact Us
Our Mission Statement
Our mission is to inform and promote community health. To support people with health and wellness needs by providing information, equipment, and volunteer services. To provide palliative (hospice) care for the terminally ill in order that they may experience death with dignity and limited pain. To create a culture of respect and appreciation within our organization and a rewarding experience for our volunteers.
Calendar of Events
  • February 7 – Council Meeting, 10am (Hotel Central and via Zoom)
  • February 14 – General Meeting, 10am (Animales Event Center, Alto Boquete)  Celeste Mendelsohn presents "Yoga for the Rest of Us" 
  • February 14 – CPR Workshop, 11:30am following General Meeting (Animales Event Center, Alto Boquete) – preregistration required
  • February 27 – Being Prepared for End of Life in Boquete Workshop, 10am (Animales Event Center, Alto Boquete) – preregistration required
  • February 29 – Hospice and Family Care Training, 9am-3pm (Animales Event Center, Alto Boquete) – preapproval required
  • March 6 – Council Meeting, 10am (location TBD and via Zoom)
  • March 13 – General Meeting, 10am (Animales Event Center, Alto Boquete) – Kevin Reilly presents "Practices and Benefits of Tai Chi and Chi Gong"
PLEASE NOTE: Unless otherwise specified, general meetings are held in person at the Animales Event Center in Alto Boquete.
President's Letter

Dear Friends of Boquete Health & Hospice, 

2023 was a banner year for Boquete Health & Hospice. With the ability to now make home visits to provide care for our hospice patients, we anticipate an even better 2024.

Our Equipment and Respiratory teams have been busy lending beds, wheelchairs, oxygen concentrators, and many other items, which is a great service to the community. We’ve started off the new year with our popular CPR and Being Prepared workshops, and the next New Volunteer Orientation is February 5-6. Our other teams are gearing up for an amazing year.

The new year also brings some organizational changes. We now have two administrative assistant volunteers to help coordinate our services and improve efficiency. Denise Daniels is the lead, with Gordon Morgan as her backup.

We recently held a productive two-year planning meeting to examine our processes and team structure, reevaluate our mission and the services we provide, and look for efficiencies to be gained. These changes couldn’t be possible without the help of our wonderful volunteers who provide our programs and services to the community. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

We’re also excited about a number of new team leads in the organization: Hospice and Family Care, Communications, Translation, Speaker Coordination, and other areas. However, we still have more team lead opportunities, so if you’re looking to expand your activities with us, please contact Kat McKay, our Volunteer Coordinator, at 
katnukesu@gmail.com or +507 6604-7201.

Help us make 2024 an incredible year for Boquete Health & Hospice. We are the ONLY hospice in Panama and very proud to provide these services to the community, but we need your continued support to help us achieve our goals.

With heartfelt appreciation,
Rod Gottula, MD

Join Us for
 the February General Meeting

Celeste Mendelsohn Presents
"Yoga for the Rest of Us"
Join us Wednesday, February 14, from 10-11am at the Animales Event Center in Alto Boquete for Celeste Mendelsohn’s presentation at our February general meeting. Celeste is a yoga therapist and meditation instructor whose work focuses on the journey to healthy aging, which involves better understanding of how stress and anxiety affect us, and how the lack of movement and regular exercise creates a lot of the “issues we have in our tissues.” She has passion for helping people to feel more at home in their bodies and comfortable with their thoughts.

Celeste will take the group through some basic techniques that will help you relax more, feel better, and sleep more soundly. Please come to the meeting in comfortable clothes. No need for a mat or props, but you should be able to move around without clothing being restricting. Preregistration is not required and this event is free, though donations to support our work are gratefully accepted.

Yoga is everywhere these days: gyms, studios, parks, even on surfboards and mountaintops. People are striving to find, as Celeste’s daughter would say, “their Zennie zone.” The problem is that in order to do what they think they need to do to be fit, hip, cool, and Zen they work very hard at looking like they are, and lose the ability to be.

As older humans who have been around a while, we may be a bit jaded to this sort of behavior. It could even turn people against the very idea of yoga as a healing modality for them. All the hype that seems to go with the get-fit yoga lifestyle is exhausting, frustrating, and honestly—expensive! $150 yoga pants? Really?!? What about the rest of us? Is yoga for us?

Yes, it is, especially now. Many people don’t realize how beneficial yoga can be to their healthy aging, well-being, sleep, strength and overall fitness. As we age we tend to lean toward a more sedentary lifestyle. But doing this can cause untold damage to our bodies and our brains. We need to keep moving! This doesn’t mean running marathons or surfing the big waves—unless you want to! But it should include focused techniques for breathing and movement, starting with good, easy stretches that will leave you feeling more comfortable in your body and with a peaceful mind.

Celeste Mendelsohn is an IAYT Certified yoga therapist and an ERYT500 teacher with Yoga Alliance. She is certified to teach meditation, and is currently training in iRest Yoga Nidra and EMDR. Celeste works with clients with a variety of issues, including heart disease, cancer, mobility challenges, anxiety, depression, trauma, and addiction. Yoga tarana means yoga for healing, which Celeste practices herself, and hopes to teach others to do, every day of her life.

Being Prepared Workshop Offered February 27
You're invited to join BHH for the first Being Prepared for End of Life in Boquete workshop of 2024 on February 27 at 10am at the Animales Event Center in Alto Boquete. Preregistration is required and a workshop guide is necessary.
Take the fear out of an unexpected health crisis, and learn how to be prepared for accidents, illness, and end of life. This 90-minute workshop offers guidance to navigate paperwork that will put you in legal compliance with Panama laws, help you think about the difficult questions on your end-of-life care, get your affairs in order, and provide peace of mind and reduce stress for yourself and your loved ones. 

Dealing with end-of-life decisions in Boquete is much, much different than doing so in your home country. This workshop is an eye-opening experience that you will not want to miss. 

The volunteers presenting this workshop possess years of experience in the healthcare and legal fields and have personal experiences to share:
  • Retired ICU nurse Kelly Honyak offers personal insights about the value of preparing and educating oneself for the unknown.
  • Moderator Penny Barrett, a long-time resident who has seen many expats come and go, highlights the importance of end-of-life planning.
  • Retired nurse Charlotte Lintz, who was instrumental in developing the program, will now lead the team.
  • Attorney Oliver Candanedo addresses legal requirements for wills, power of attorney, and related matters and has worked with many expats in Boquete.
  • Denese Rogers, US citizen volunteer embassy liaison, offers information on expat safety, rights, and benefits.
Space is limited, so sign up today. To register, complete the form via this link or send an email to prepared@boquetehealth.org. A Being Prepared for End of Life in Boquete guide is necessary for the class. The manual is available in English or Spanish for a $10 donation at our Tuesday Market tables at Tap Out or the Feria in the Arco Iris room, or at Mail Boxes Etc. in downtown Boquete. Although this event is free, donations to support our work are gratefully accepted. 
Quilt Raffle is Closing Soon!

We're selling raffle tickets for this full-sized and cozy quilt, artfully made and generously donated to BHH by master quilter Sarah Zink of Zinky's Quilts. 

The drawing will be held at the February 14 general meeting. You need not be present to win. Raffle tickets can be purchased for $5 each or 3 for $10. You can buy raffle tickets at our Tuesday Market tables at Tap Out or the Feria in the Arco Iris room, or at our February general meeting. 

Many thanks to Sarah for her continuing support of BHH!
Students and presenters* from the February 5 New Volunteer Orientation class: (Left to right): Lori Pyers-Goodwin, Barbra Rubenstein, Jeanie Miller, Bill Crabbe, Cheryl Crabbe, Gregg Smith, Valarie Harmon, Gordon Morgan, Gerri Eckert, Ralph Day, Kat McKay*, Dan Jampole, Francia Homicile, Carla Morgan, Dr. Rod Gottula*, and Natalie Kelly*. Not pictured: Nina Haldeman* and Phil Rossner. 
BHH Graduates Largest New Volunteer Class Ever…Again!
The largest BHH New Volunteer Orientation Class ever was held on February 5, with even more students that in our September class. The streamlined training afforded new volunteers the opportunity to learn more about our organization and the services it provides so they can choose a team that will offer a rewarding volunteer experience.

Kudos to Kat McKay, Nina Haldeman, and Natalie Kelly for their work to further streamline and deliver the program; to additional presenters Dr. Rod Gottula, Bev Tyler, Laurie Collier, and Art Blevins (via video); to Max Wolfe for setting the team up for success with all her previous work; to Ambassador Team Lead Denise Danielsfor set-up, sign-in, and supplies; and Dr. Rod and Dan Jampole for audio/visual assistance.

Participants met team leads and Council members and got to know their fellow new volunteers. A heartfelt THANK YOU to our newest volunteers for their dedication to helping others. Boquete Health & Hospice continues to grow and provide more services to the Boquete community, and as we do, more volunteers are needed.

BHH is comprised of a diverse group of people of many ages and backgrounds who want to serve the community, use their skills, and meet new and interesting people. If you’d like to become a volunteer and attend the next class, please complete a membership application 
here. We will contact you within a few days to discuss your interests and how we can work together.
Hospice Services are Back, and We Need Volunteers!
Great News! In the past few months BHH has resumed hospice care and visiting patients in their homes, and we're ready to expand. We will resume providing rides to medical appointments, providing relief to caregivers for short periods of time, running errands that don't involve going into the home, and providing meals for those who really need them.  

We would love to have new volunteers join us in our efforts to serve our community. A background in a medical field is not necessary, just the willingness to help. For more details, give us a call at 6781-9250 or email 

Get a Mini First Aid Kit and Support BHH
Make a $10 donation to BHH and get a 27-piece mini first aid kit with a nice selection of things you need for an emergency. Stop by our booths at the Tuesday Market at Tap Out and the Arco Iris room at the Feria and get yours today! 
Book Now for February CPR Training
Learn to save a life and help a family member, friend, or neighbor in an emergency by attending BHH CPR training. There are still some spots available for the February 14 CPR workshop, so sign up today. 

The training will be held at the Animales Event Center in Alto Boquete and starts at 11:30am following our general meeting. The classes last about an hour. During the training, our amazing instructors teach participants hands-on CPR chest compressions (no mouth-to-mouth) and the Heimlich maneuver for airway obstruction.

This is a non-certified course. Preregistration is required and class size is limited to 16 for each class, so please register by completing the form at this 
link or emailing CPR@boquetehealth.org.

Although this event is free, donations to support our work are gratefully accepted. 
Tree of Life 
Boquete Health & Hospice gratefully recognizes the names of our extremely dedicated and very generous donors on our website. Their kindness keeps our Tree of Life growing and strong. A huge thank you to all of our contributors!
Support BHH with a Donation 

BHH is supported 100% by donations. We greatly appreciate all contributions and use them in a variety of ways to help our community. There are several ways to donate:
  • Make a donation via our website with Visa and MasterCard, or by clicking the button below.
  • Make a direct deposit or an electronic transfer to our bank account: 
        Bank name:  Banco General
        Account name:  Boquete Hospice and Health Foundation
        Account number:  04-48-96-075844-7
        Account type:  Savings 
  • Donate checks or cash directly (all checks must be made payable to Boquete Hospice and Health Foundation): at a monthly Council or general meeting, blood drive, BHH workshop, or event; at our Tuesday Market tables at Tap Out or at the Feria in the Arco Iris room; or when picking up or returning equipment at one of our storage facilities.

Thank you for your support!
Donate Now
Council Business
To bring a topic to the attention of the Council for consideration, please discuss it with your Team Lead, who will ask the Council Secretary to add it to the next monthly Council agenda. 

Council Members

President – Dr. Rod Gottula
VP, Community Engagement – Open
VP, Operations – Kat McKay
Secretary – Lorraine Handler
– Bill Hinrichsen
Patient Care Coordinator 
– Bev Tyler
Patient Care Coordinator 
– Liz Baze
Patient Care Coordinator 
 Bill & Cheryl Crabbe
Past President – John Earle

Council minutes are now on the BHH website at BHH minutes. All future minutes will also be posted there. 

The policies of the organization are posted on our website and are updated as needed at BHH policies.
We Respect Patient Confidentiality 
All patient information shared with any Boquete Health and Hospice volunteer is kept in the strictest confidence. When names are used in testimonials or other marketing materials, we have obtained permission from those mentioned. 
Contact Us
Monday - Friday: 9am - 3pm 
Saturday: 9am - 1pm
Sunday: Closed
Hospice/Health: +507 6781-9250         
Blood Donor Program: WhatsApp +507 6590-2000 or call +507 6781-9250
Website: boquetehealth.org

Check us out and like us at: Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube! 
Newsletter team: Natalie Kelly – Editor and Carol Jones – Proofreader. Thanks to everyone who contributed their time and talent to this issue! 

here to receive our monthly newsletter and send submissions to BHH newsletter.
Freely send this to anyone or use any part.
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