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Boquete Health and Hospice Newsletter March

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Contents – March Newsletter, 2024

  • Our Mission Statement
  • Calendar of Events
  • President's Letter
  • March General Meeting – Kevin Reilly Presents “Real Tai Chi = Real Benefits” 
  • Hospice and Home Care Training
  • BHH Awards Student Scholarships
  • Join the Tasty Trek Poker Run!
  • Great Turnout for Being Prepared Workshop
  • Jeannie Brust Wins Raffle
  • Yoga Gets Group Moving
  • Hospice Services are Back and We Need Volunteers!
  • Get a Mini First Aid Kit and Support BHH
  • 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

  • March 13 – General Meeting, 10am (Animales Event Center, Alto Boquete) – Kevin Reilly presents "Real Tai Chi = Real Benefits"
  • April 3 – Council Meeting, 10am (The Rock Restaurant and via Zoom)
  • April 10 – General Meeting, 10am (Animales Event Center, Alto Boquete) – Mary Ellen Watts presents "Art as Therapy"
  • April 10 – CPR Workshop, 11:30am following General Meeting (Animales Event Center, Alto Boquete) – preregistration required.
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,

We have now started our journey into 2024. Our two-year planning is underway. We are looking for a new building that we can call home that will allow us to establish a presence in the community in addition to centralizing our equipment loaning process.

We continue to look for new volunteers who can help us increase our hospice presence in homes, but at the same time, not overload our volunteers.

The leadership team has begun to make inroads into the palliative care system in Boquete in hopes of developing a more collaborative relationship to benefit those patients we bring into our care.

Help us make 2024 a great year of growth and service to our community!

With gratitude,
Rod Gottula, MD

Join Us for the March General Meeting

 Kevin Reilly Presents "Real Tai Chi = Real Benefits"


Planning your March activities? Block out Wednesday morning, March 13 for a very special presentation, "Real Tai Chi = Real Benefits," at our monthly meeting (10-11am at Animales Event Center in Alto Boquete).

Are you seeking balance and wellbeing? Get ready to unlock the ancient secrets of Tai Chi and Chi Gong! Boquete-based instructor Kevin Reilly will guide you on a fascinating journey through these powerful mind-body practices. Forget dry lectures! Kevin doesn't just talk the talk, he walks the walk (or rather, he gracefully flows). Watch as he demonstrates key techniques, bringing these ancient arts to life. Learn how Tai Chi and Chi Gong work, feel the energy flow, and get your burning questions answered. Plus, dive into the latest insights with medical studies and research to fuel your curiosity.

Millions worldwide are already on the path, and their reasons are diverse. Some seek stress relief and relaxation, others aim to strengthen their body and mind, while many discover a profound connection to spirituality and inner peace. Wondering if these ancient arts can benefit you? Kevin's presentation is your chance to find out!

Kevin's passion is contagious. He's dedicated more than 40 years to mastering traditional martial arts, and his enthusiasm for Tai Chi and Chi Gong burns bright. A teacher for the past fifteen years, he's eager to share his wealth of knowledge.

Don't miss your chance to connect with this seasoned practitioner and unleash your inner Zen! Join us on March 13 for an enriching morning that will leave you feeling empowered and balanced. This presentation is free and no preregistration is required, although donations are gratefully accepted. See you there!

Hospice and Home Care Training


On February 29, the first Hospice and Home Care training was held for 20 volunteers who are interested in working with either hospice or home-care patients. 

These people are the core of our team as we return to helping patients in their homes. They learned about BHH policies, patient-handling skills (involving beds, wheelchairs, and walkers), what “hospice" and "palliative care” mean in Panama, patient assessment, volunteer safety, and handling diversity and communication issues. Thank you to Bev Tyler, Dr. Rod Gottula, and Liz Baze for their presentations during the training.

Thanks also go out to the Bed Team (Sally Zigmond and Jeff Flynn) and the Equipment Team (Kat McKay) for helping provide the necessary equipment for the training, and to the Ambassadors (Dan Jampole) for helping with set-up. 

Kudos to this new team for an outstanding professional program and a job well done.



BHH Awards Student Scholarships


On February 6 the Scholarship Team met with applicants and two students were selected to receive a scholarship award of $250 per student for both semesters in 2024.

The first recipient is a nursing student. She has completed 2.5 years of education and will be starting her sixth semester in March. She is currently studying at UNACHI in David. On completion of the upcoming semester, she will need to complete one more year of classes and one year of internship. She is leaning toward working with children, but is also interested in helping cancer patients. She is so excited about volunteering with BHH that she is hoping to do some of her volunteer hours before she returns to classes on March 18. We feel that she will be an incredible nurse and that our patients will appreciate her caring.

The second beneficiary is a fourth-year medical student, who will be starting his ninth semester this month. He is studying at the University of Panama in Panama City and expects to graduate in 2026. He is leaning towards specializing in pediatrics or gastroenterology, but with rotations to complete, he hasn’t made a final decision. He lives in Boquete when not attending classes. He has volunteered at Amigos de Animales, various nursing homes in Panama City, and various volunteer groups that specialize in helping families with patients in the hospital.

The team is so happy to be able to assist these students in completing their medical training.

Great Turnout for Being Prepared Workshop

We had a great turnout of more than thirty people for last month's two-hour Being Prepared workshop, our first of 2024. A big thank you to our wonderful presenters:
  • Kelly Honyak, retired intensive care RN, BHH member, and CPR instructor.
  • Penny Barrett, long-time resident of Boquete
  • Charlotte Lintz, retired intensive care RN and geriatric nurse practitioner.
  • Denese Rogers, volunteer liaison to the US Embassy in Panama City.
  • Oliver Candanedo, David-based attorney (who answered questions for 20 minutes after the workshop!).
Our thanks as well to our greeters Kay WadeCat Vann, and Kat McKay. These workshops impart a wealth of information that can't be found online. If you have never attended a Being Prepared workshop, or it's been a while, follow our page where we announce all our events, and see you at the next one!

Jeannie Brust Wins Raffle

BHH congratulates Jeannie Brust, winner of our Valentine's Day quilt raffle! Thank you to everyone who supported the raffle to help raise funds for our operations, and special thanks to Sarah Zink at Zinky's Quilts for donating the beautiful quilt!

Yoga Gets Group Moving


The general meeting presentation for February was "Yoga for the Rest of Us” by Celeste Mendelsohn. Yoga is everywhere these days: gyms, studios, parks, even on surfboards and mountaintops. All the hype that seems to go with the get-fit yoga lifestyle is exhausting, frustrating, and honestly—expensive! What about the rest of us? Is yoga for us?

Celeste Mendelsohn is a yoga therapist and meditation instructor whose work focuses on the journey to healthy aging, which involves a 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 a passion for helping people to feel more at home in their bodies and comfortable with their thoughts. She shared how she was drawn to yoga and ultimately became an instructor and therapist.

The group had a lot of fun as Celeste led them through a series of basic techniques and exercises that help people relax, feel better, and sleep more soundly. The techniques she taught were easy to do and did not require any special equipment, mats, or clothing. She proved that yoga is indeed for everyone! She led the class with humor, wisdom, and compassion. She is a fantastic teacher. Celeste let us experience that Yoga is for all of us!

Celeste will be teaching several programs in March at the Club Santa Lucia that are free to the public. Keep an eye out for the posting of the schedule of events.

Thank you, Celeste for a wonderful presentation. Everyone left with a better understanding of yoga and how important it is to KEEP MOVING!

Hospice Services are Back and We Need Volunteers!

In the past few months, BHH has resumed hospice care and home visits, 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 boquetehospice@gmail.com
Sign Up

Get a Mini First Aid Kit 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 and get yours today! 

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, or when picking up or returning equipment at one of our storage facilities.
Thank you for your support!

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
Treasurer – 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
Email: info@boquetehealth.org
Website: boquetehealth.org

Check us out and like us at: Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube! 

Newsletter team: Natalie Kelly – Editor, Chris McCall  IT Support, and Carol Jones – Proofreader. Thanks to everyone who contributed their time and talent to this issue!

Subscribe here to receive our monthly newsletter and send submissions to BHH newsletter.
Boquete Health and Hospice


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