Lewiston, Maine 8.8.14 - Kandyce Powell, CEO of Maine Hospice Council and Center for End of Life Care presented Karen Flynn, AHCH Hospice Director, with the Joe Mayo Award. The ceremony was held on Monday, July 7, 2014 at the offices of Androscoggin Home Care & Hospice. The Maine Hospice Council created the Joe Mayo Award in 2001 to recognize the untiring efforts of The Honorable Joseph Mayo, Clerk Emeritus of the Maine House of Representatives, to improve end-of-life care for all Maine citizens. His commitment to work on this issue at a time of tremendous personal challenge is inspirational to all who worked with him. Because of Joe's efforts, end-of-life care policy in Maine is a model for the nation. Award recipients receive an engraved crystal clock with a quote from George Washington Carver, "When you do the common things in an uncommon way you will command the attend of the world." "This quote reflects the efforts and commitment of past recipients of the award and we are proud to have been able to honor Karen Flynn of Androscoggin Home Care & Hospice for her work with prisoners at the Warren State Prison Facility", says Kandyce Powell, CEO of Maine Hospice Council.
Karen first learned of the Maine Hospice Council in 1990 when she received training at AHCH provided by the agency the council to practice as a hospice nurse. From 1990 to 1999 she was a member of both AHCH's Hospice & Oncology team and the Mental Health team, her specialty was caring for hospice patients who also suffered from mental illness, past traumas and other psycho-social conflicts that complicated end of life care.
Karen has been a board member of the Maine Hospice Council since 2009, Vice President for two years and has just started her team as President of the council. In 2009, she agreed to participate in providing hospice training to the 2nd class of 12 inmates, screened and selected by the council to work in the prison infirmary providing end of life care. Her first training focused on creating a therapeutic and peaceful relationship and environment to inmates facing death. The second training focused on the use of therapeutic music. Karen and Jaime Eller also provided music for a graveside memorial service for an inmate, music for a prison memorial service and music when the volunteers graduated from their hospice training. In the fall of 2013, they participated in the Sound of Comfort Band, the band that originated from the training in therapeutic music, and spent 55 hours over 4 weeks at Warren State Prison, recording a 13 track CD that can be purchased through the Maine Hospice Council website with all proceeds supporting the hospice volunteer in prison program. They have performed at the Annual two day conference regarding care of the aging prison population for the past two years. Karen also presented at this year's conference on what a community based hospice program can learn and gain by entering into a supportive partnership with hospice programs within the correctional setting. Powell said: "Karen goes beyond what is expected and has a gift when working with people. Her passion and commitment for quality hospice care for everyone is a testament to why she deserves our highest honor!"