​The National Board for Certification of Hospice and Palliative Nurses has named Hospice of the Western Reserve's Denise DiMare of Richmond Hts. "Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurse of the Year" and Bob Phillips-Plona of Westlake "Certified Hospice and Palliative Care Administrator of the Year." Mary Kay Tyler of Lyndhurst, vice president of quality for the nonprofit agency, was named a Fellow in Palliative Care Nursing. The three honors were announced at the 2017 American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association Annual Assembly in Phoenix.

DiMare oversees 60 members on the referral, assessment and liaison teams. She joined Hospice of the Western Reserve 18 years ago as an assessment nurse, serving as the first face of hospice to new patients and their families. She played a key role in launching a program using volunteers to call on patients with advanced cardiopulmonary disease over weekends to ensure their symptoms were well managed. The program has proven effective in preventing re-hospitalizations. DiMare earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Ursuline College in Pepper Pike in 1980 and became Certified in Hospice and Palliative Nursing in 2012.  

Phillips-Plona, director of residential services, oversees Ames Family Hospice House in Westlake, David Simpson Hospice House in Cleveland and the Hospice of Medina County Inpatient Care Center. He manages clinical care, regulatory and quality compliance, budgetary management and dietary services. Over the past 20 years, more than 30,000 terminally ill patients and their families have received care at the three hospice inpatient care units. Phillips-Plona earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Ursuline College and an MBA and Master of Science degree in Nursing from Case Western Reserve University. He is a Certified Hospice and Palliative Care Nurse and a Certified Hospice and Palliative Care Administrator. 

Tyler (along with Hospice of the Western Reserve chief clinical officer Judy Bartel) is one of only 68 Hospice and Palliative Nursing Association Fellows in the United States. The honor is given to those who "provide evidence of progressive leadership in the field of palliative nursing" and "show significant commitment to the advancement of the art and science in the field of palliative nursing," according to the website. Tyler oversees corporate quality, compliance and HIPAA privacy at Hospice of the Western Reserve, and guides the quality, education and centralized medical records teams. Prior to assuming the role of vice president of quality in 2016, she was director of pediatrics and clinical support teams at Hospice of the Western Reserve for 10 years. Tyler earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Ursuline College and Master's degree in Nursing from Kent State University. She is a Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, and is Board Certified in Palliative Care Management/Administration.