Golden Health Awards Wednesday, Feb. 8

Mark Twain Health Care District, in collaboration with Mark Twain Medical Center Foundation, will be presenting the fifth annual Golden Health Awards on Wednesday, Feb. 8, at 11:30 a.m., at the Mark Twain Medical Center’s Education Center. Master of Ceremonies Daymon Doss will present the awards, beginning with the Health Care Delivery Award, given to Dr. Michael Kifune.

There are five recipients of awards of $5,000 each: Calaveras County Senior Center Inc.; San Andreas Community Covenant Church; The Resource Connection Early Childhood Programs; Calaveras Mentoring Foundation; and the Volunteer Center of Calaveras County.

An additional award of $5,000 will be given to one of the five recipients, the winner of which will be announced at the award ceremony. Admission to the awards event is $25 per person. An RSVP is required by Jan. 27 at 754-2603.

Hospice of the Sierra accepting volunteers

Hospice of the Sierra is offering a new volunteer orientation and training session for those who may be interested in serving patients and families receiving hospice care. The orientation will be held Thursday, Feb. 9, from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m., at Hospice of the Sierra, 20100 Cedar Road North, Sonora.

Volunteers will explore opportunities available to give back to the community through providing respite and emotional support for families, supporting people on their grief journey at Sierra Grief support groups, or providing clerical support in the Hospice of the Sierra office.

“Our volunteers are an essential part of our team, providing a tremendous amount of support for our staff and for patients and families during a critical time,” says Shauna Burrow, bereavement and volunteer coordinator with Hospice of the Sierra. “Volunteering for hospice is an amazing way to give back to the community.”

For more information about volunteering with hospice and to register for the training, call Shauna Burrow at 536-5687 or Cathi Ruiz at 536-5683.

Sonora Patient and Family Advisory Council progressing

Sonora Regional Medical Center has several new initiatives underway, thanks to a new advisory panel assembled in 2016. The Patient and Family Advisory Council is made up of 10 community members who have experienced the medical center’s hospital, clinics or other facilities first-hand within the past year. The council meets quarterly with medical center representatives to discuss what is going well and not so well at the medical center and then breaks into work groups to address possible improvements.

“The patient and family member advisers have provided valuable feedback from their unique perspectives, which has led to several new initiatives aimed at improving the patient and family experience with Sonora Regional Medical Center,” said Teddy Griffin, manager of strategy, who helps oversee the council. Those initiatives include: increasing autonomy for inpatients by allowing broader menu selections for their meals; improving communication between doctors and patients; creating a safety net for those with mental illness, physical disabilities, or other special needs; and providing alternatives to blood transfusions.

“Sonora Regional Medical Center strives to meet the needs of every patient. Having input directly from patients and their family members gives us the opportunity to understand unmet needs and improve the overall experience for everyone who comes through our doors,” says Michelle Fuentes, vice president of operations.

The Patient and Family Advisory Council will meet again in March to discuss progress on its current initiatives and any new matters to address. For more information, visit


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