- Hospice Services
- Hospice FAQ
- Veteran Hospice Care
- Why Choose HOHH
- About HOHH
- Board of Directors
- Meet the Hospice Team
- When Is It Time?
- Caring for Someone
- Living With Illness?
- Hospice of Helping Hands
- Volunteer Reporting
Hospice of Helping Hands, Inc. Board of Directors
Kevin Whisman, President
Hospice of Helping Hands welcomed Kevin Whisman to their Board of Directors April 17, 2014. Whisman attended Ferris State University from 1988-1993, working on a Biology Major and Chemistry Minor. In 1994, he was finishing up his education degree when he entered the insurance business. He has thrived in this business, spending the last twelve years at Diebold Insurance Agency as a Life/Benefits Specialist in West Branch.
When asked why he agreed to joining the Hospice of Helping Hands Board of Directors, he responded, “I was asked if I was interested, and I’ve always felt the importance of contributing to the community as much as possible. I also felt my experience in the Medicare arena could benefit the organization.”
Liz Steinhurst, Vice President
Steinhurst joined the Hospice of Helping Hands’ Board of Directors in April of 2009 and served a term as Board President from July 2013 through July 2016.
Steinhurst has worked in public accounting in the West Branch area since 1988 after earning her Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Central Michigan University. She began her career with Weinlander Fitzhugh in 2008 when she merged her practice with the West Branch office. Steinhurst is a member of both the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants.
Steinhurst is active in many local civic and business-related organizations. Beyond her role as Vice President of the Hospice of Helping Hands’ Board of Directors, she is a board member of Ogemaw County North Central Michigan Community Foundation, member of the West Branch Area Business and Professional Womens Club, and is active in the West Branch Area Chamber of Commerce. She is the financial advisor for the Ogemaw Kids Club and is also very active in her church, having served as church accountant and on church council continuously for over 15 years.
When asked why she volunteered to serve on the Hospice of Helping Hands’ Board of Directors, Steinhurst replied, “I have been active in the community for many years. I came to a point in my life where my children were primarily grown and I wasn’t as active in their sport groups and activities. This was a new way to meet new people and reinvest in the community that I have lived in my entire life.”
Christine Juarez, Secretary
Juarez proudly joined the Hospice of Helping Hands’ Board of Directors in July 2011. As a West Branch native, Attorney Christine Juarez graduated from Ogemaw Heights High School. She then attended the University of Michigan and completed law school at the University of Southern California. Juarez practiced law for 10 years before opening her own practice, Juarez & Juarez, P.C., in 2005 with her husband in West Branch.
“Some of my practice involves probate and estate planning. Therefore, my clients often are faced with either their own health issues or their family member’s decline,” says Juarez. “When asked to serve as a board member, I thought that I may be able to provide some insight from the legal stand point.”
Kathy Kohr, Treasurer
Chief Financial Officer, West Branch Regional Medical Center
Over 15 years ago, Glen Painter agreed to lead Hospice of Helping Hands’ volunteers as their Guild Chairman. This chairmanship automatically placed him on the Board of Directors. Since then, the Hospice of Helping Hands’ Volunteer Guild has dissolved their committee, but Painter has remained a valued member of the Board of Directors.
Painter retired from teaching at Bangor Township schools after 31 years of service. He is now an ordained Deacon for the Diocese of Gaylord and assists at Holy Family and St. Joseph Catholic Churches.
“I wanted to become a Hospice volunteer when I retired as a result of watching the Hospice in Bay City take care of my sister before she passed away,” explains Painter. “I was very impressed with the services provided by them and wanted to contribute here in Ogemaw County to Hospice of Helping Hands, Inc.”
Chief Nursing Officer, West Branch Regional Medical Center
Stoneback has a strong commitment to the John Tolfree Health System serving on boards for both West Branch Regional Medical Center and Hospice of Helping Hands. Since 1985, Stoneback has been serving on the Hospice of Helping Hands’ board of directors. His contributions to Hospice of Helping Hands have surpassed his board commitments as he has: visited countless patients providing spiritual care services, shared his charisma and talent of public speaking at many memorial services, and continues to volunteer at various HOHH fundraisers.
Stoneback is an ordained pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America and currently serves as pastor of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Rose City. Stoneback graduated in 1978 from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg in Pennsylvania and has lived in West Branch since 1984. Stoneback is involved in many community organizations including the Ogemaw County Clergy Fellowship, North/West Lower Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and the Ogemaw County Fair.
Per Stoneback, “Hospice of Helping Hands, Inc. holds a special place in my heart and it has been a privilege to serve as a part of their team.”
As an Army Veteran, John Bennett, was enthusiastic to contribute to the Hospice of Helping Hands' Board of Directors when approached in 2014. A community dairy farmer, Bennett has been living and contributing to this community all his life. Bennett has witnessed first-hand the benefits of hospice care with his family and was pleased to join our fantastic team at Hospice of Helping Hands, Inc.
Golden joined the Hospice of Helping Hands’ Board of Directors in 2009. Following her retirement from a banking career at Firstbank, Golden extended her commitment to Hospice of Helping Hands by also becoming an active volunteer.
Golden volunteers at various levels for HOHH including participation in fundraisers, office support, and assistance at promotional events. With a true heart for hospice, Golden states, “Volunteering at Hospice of Helping Hands provided me with another way to give back to those in our community with a great need. I recognize I am helping others, but it is so rewarding in return.”
Jessica Bennett, Nurse Practitioner
This past September, Hospice of Helping Hands welcomed Jessica Bennett as the newest board member to join our team. Jessica is a West Branch native and is a board certified family nurse practitioner who currently works as a Hospitalist at West Branch Regional Medical Center. She graduated from Ogemaw Heights in 2005 and then went on to SVSU to obtain her Bachelors of Science in Nursing. She found the challenging, fast-paced environment of the Emergency Department very exciting and rewarding and spent five years working as an RN initially at St. Mary's of Michigan Emergency Department and then moved on to Covenant's Emergency Care Center. As she felt compelled to continue her career in patient care, she returned back to SVSU and received a Masters degree as a Family Nurse Practitioner in 2014.
Jessica is married to Matt Bennett, a local dairy farmer, and they recently have become parents to a little boy.
When approached to become part of the Hospice board, Jessica felt it would be a great opportunity to bring the benefits and resources that Hospice of Helping Hands can provide to the patients she cares for at WBRMC who are nearing the end of their life, as well as their families. She states, "Hospice is often a difficult subject to bring up with patients and their families; however, with the knowledge and experience that Hospice of Helping Hands provides, it will make the conversation I have with them easier and more informative."
Jessica is very excited to be involved with Hospice of Helping Hands and the opportunity to serve her community.