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FOCUS ON SERVICE ... Helping others find peace at the end of life

By Amy Agronis on February 4, 2005 in University

Trish Layton

Intercollegiate Athletics

Trish Layton, who works on campus as insurance representative for intercollegiate athletics, began donating her time to Yolo Hospice in 2001. Now the president of the board of directors, she oversees the organization's policies and procedures while reaching out to the public. Yolo Hospice, located at 132 E St. in downtown Davis, cared for 393 patients during last year. The organization helps provide services to patients suffering from terminal illnesses during the last weeks or months of their lives. Services include regular nursing visits for pain management, caregiver and bereavement support, trained volunteers to offer patients companionship, non-denominational chaplains and spiritual counselors, as well as medical equipment supplies.

How did you get involved? My mother-in-law passed in 1998 from a terminal illness, and we couldn't have done those last three months without hospice services.

A couple of years later, a friend volunteering with Yolo Hospice called to say that they wanted a representative from Winters on their board. At first I thought I didn't have time, but I believed so firmly in their services, so I did it.

What has been a highlight of your volunteer work? When I first joined the board, I was at a weekly staff meeting and they had a moment for those who had just passed. It brought home to me that everyone deserves this service. Whether they're living out of a car or in a mansion, they all deserve the care. I cried like a baby at that meeting.

What makes your work meaningful? We're all going to die, and we can either do it in a joyful way or alone and miserable. We're making death an OK thing, and we're trying to do that one person at a time. -- By Mike Sintetos

Media contact(s)

Amy Agronis, Dateline, (530) 752-1932, abagronis@ucdavis.edu

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