14-Year Volunteer Honored for Exemplary Service


John Martinich exemplifies the U.S. Air Force motto: "Integrity first, service before self, excellence in all we do." This dedicated veteran has been a Hospice of the Western Reserve volunteer for 14 years.

His volunteer support during the pandemic earned him the 2022 “Heroes for Andy Award” from the Andy Nowacki Foundation. Presented to individuals who exemplify service to others, the award honors the memory of Marine Lance Cpl. Andrew “Ace” W. Nowacki who lost his life protecting a convoy during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

For the past two years, John has played a critical role distributing personal protective equipment (PPE) at Hospice of the Western Reserve’s headquarters. His reliable volunteer service enabled HWR to maintain the flow of equipment, protecting hospice care teams, patients and their families from potential exposure to COVID-19.

As a reception desk volunteer at David Simpson Hospice House, John is also the first face of hospice for visiting families and guests. He not only provides a friendly welcome but plays a crucial role in providing a safe and secure environment for patients, visitors and staff. During the pandemic, receptionists like John played an especially vital role, screening all visitors and taking temperatures to protect everyone’s safety.

“John often works side by side with our paid staff,” said Lisa Gallagher, Director, Education and Engagement, who oversees Volunteer Services. “He always brings to his work diligence, humility, an unstoppable attitude and a great sense of humor that make him a joy to be around.”

A man with many talents, John also helps with maintenance and group volunteer projects. He recently volunteered to do some interior painting at HWR headquarters and David Simpson Hospice House, allowing the cost savings to go directly into patient care.

John also volunteers regularly at HWR’s Warehouse Sales, moving furniture and loading purchased items into vehicles. He is an integral support to the Financial Services Team, providing filing and other administrative help.

Thank you for being a servant hero to so many people, John. Your service to others is an inspiration to all of us. We look forward to working with you for many years to come!

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Speak with the referral team by contacting us seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Any first visit and admission can be made the first day.

Northern Ohio's Hospice of Choice

More than 1,000 Hospice of the Western Reserve employees and 3,000 volunteers live and work side-by-side in the same neighborhoods with our patients and families. We are privileged to have cared for more than 100,000 Northern Ohioans since our inception.