Denise DiMare Named Certified Hospice and Palliative Care Nurse of the Year

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CATEGORY: News and Community

​Denise DiMare told her mother in the fourth grade that she wanted to be a nurse. She never veered far from those childhood dreams. Recently, she was nationally recognized by her peers when she was named Certified Hospice and Palliative Care Nurse of the Year. Denise oversees 60 clinical care professionals on the referral, assessment and liaison teams at Hospice of the Western Reserve.

The award was presented at the annual assembly of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association. There are currently more than 17,000 practicing Certified Hospice and Palliative Care nurses and administrators in the U.S.

After working 18 years in a hospital environment, Denise said she felt something was missing.  She longed to contribute her talents in a culture that would connect her more directly to her values and mission as a nurse.

“Coming to Hospice of the Western Reserve brought me back to my roots, to why I went into nursing originally,” she said. “To be a caregiver. To be able to support. To relieve pain and suffering.  We need to continue to be innovative to remove barriers and increase access to end-of-life care.”

Denise joined Hospice of the Western Reserve as an assessment nurse, serving as the first face of hospice for new patients and their families. “She is adept at establishing rapport and communicating with our families,” commented Dr. Charles Wellman, Chief Medical Officer.  “We always knew they were well informed and clearly understood our initial care plans as well as the scope of services available.”

Denise has championed the extension of hospice services to non-cancer patients by participating in a national program focused on patients with advanced cardiopulmonary disease. She helped develop a new program using volunteers to call on the patients over weekends to ensure their symptoms were being well-managed. The program continues today and has proven highly effective in reducing or preventing re-hospitalizations.

Denise earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Ursuline College in 1980, and became certified in Hospice and Palliative Nursing in 2012. 

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