Bend, Oregon. The Oregon Hospice Association announced the Hospice Dream Team and recipient of the Elizabeth Wessinger Award at its annual Awards Dinner, September 29, at the Riverhouse Convention Center.
Partners In Care Outreach Director, Lorie Weber presented Children’s Bereavement Coordinator, Eileen Grover, as a winner of this year’s Oregon Hospice Association Dream Team. (The group is comprised of a statewide winner from each discipline within hospice, the medical, social services, bereavement, and volunteer expertise.)
Eileen’s contribution are far reaching throughout the hospice organization, as well as Central Oregon communities. Along with the following accolades in her nomination, last May Eileen became a licensed certified social worker after passing the state exam in Portland.
Throughout the past seven years, our Children’s Bereavement Coordinator, Eileen Grover, LCSW, has worn many hats and worn them well. She has developed and overseen skillfully-designed programs, while at the same time stayed immersed in the journey of hundreds of children. She provides both individual and group counseling, and all-to-frequently is called upon to assist with the Central Oregon schools.
At Camp Courage, Eileen provides kids with an opportunity to laugh, cry, and create lasting artwork and memories while working through their grief. In July, while accepting a, “Pay It Forward” award from the local NBC station, the cameras captured Eileen – with paint in her hair and three rolls of craft tape on her arm – keeping the kids engaged in the closing activity. Messages to loved ones, scrawled out on helium balloons were released to the skies.
Eileen follows up Camp Courage with My Friends House, a weekly evening program for kids and their guardians. Along with moving in and out of games and activities, she checks on the parents in a nearby room making them feel warm, safe, and even relaxed enough to understand and process their own feelings.
Last winter when a Bend Senior High School student took his own life in front of a classroom of peers, Eileen was given immediate access to the room to walk alongside the witnesses, equipping them with the courage to stay in the reality of the unreal. She continues the community service as part of a Crisis Response Team and through on-going groups with Bend-La Pine School District counselors and students.
And, she smiles, a lot. Eileen flips on and off her many hats with a light heart, a sense of wonder and love, and she keeps on impacting children, their families, and her colleagues in positive and powerful ways.