At its Annual Conference in Columbus, Leading Age Ohio presented Trudi Kozak, RN, Clinical Team Leader, Hospice of the Western Reserve, with its “Heart of Hospice – Rose and Sam Stein Award.” LeadingAge represents approximately 500 Ohio healthcare organizations, hospices, healthcare and housing services in more than 150 cities. 

Kozak has been a hospice nurse at Hospice of the Western Reserve for 20 years, serving the nonprofit community-based agency in multiple roles and responsibilities. Currently, she supervises and leads 20 hospice team members. Her continuous commitment, dedication and passion for the agency’s mission and values plays a key role in improving quality and patient satisfaction.

“I really consider Trudi to be the exemplar of ideal patient care. It’s in her DNA. It’s in her being. She really can’t do anything other than this really important work,” said Bill Finn, President and CEO, Hospice of the Western Reserve.

Kozak has specialized training and expertise in many areas, including wound care standards and protocol, Hospice Nursing Assistant supervision, technical skills training and HIV/AIDs care and education.

“Trudi is an advocate for advancing nursing knowledge,” added Judy Bartel, Chief Clinical Officer. “She played a key role in the success of a group which brought together nurses from all hospices in Northeast Ohio to promote learning and shared knowledge related to end-of-life care. Under her leadership, nurses learned what was new at the national, state and local levels in the field of Hospice and Palliative Care.”

Included in Kozak’s commitment to Hospice of the Western Reserve and to the terminally ill patient, she is dedicated and active in multiple community groups, serving on the board of the Greater Cleveland Aids Task Force, as a past officer for the local Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association (HPNA) and as a member of the Euclid Chamber of Commerce.