Seventeen Complete Talbot Hospice Volunteer Training

Seventeen individuals recently completed orientation and comprehensive volunteer training at Talbot Hospice. This specialized training provides in-depth understanding of the special needs of hospice patients and their families at end of life. Sessions focus on the hospice philosophy, listening skills, family dynamics, grief and loss,patient safety, and more.

Photo: Standing (l-r): Miguel Salinas, Peter Gallagher, Bruce Rahn, Kelly Henckel, Debra Rad Code, Lauren Harding, Abby West, and J.H. Bahn. Seated (l-r): Talbot Hospice Director of Volunteer Services Lori Miller, Melinda Simpkins, Lucy Miziolek, Joyce Jones, April Bahn, Claire Christy, and Sheila Buckmaster. Not pictured: Steve Burleson, Cynthia McDonald, and Beverly Sprouse.

According to Talbot Hospice Executive Director Vivian Dodge, volunteers are a valuable part of the hospice team. “Talbot Hospice has more than 200 volunteers who contribute an average of 15,000 hours annually doing a variety of jobs such as hands on patient care in Hospice House, cooking meals, gardening, transporting patients to appointments, serving as companions in patients’ homes, answering phones, and greeting visitors, to name a few,” said Dodge. “Our volunteers enrich the lives of patients, families, and staff each day in a multitude of ways. Their dedication, compassion, and expertise are priceless. We welcome these new volunteers and thank them for joining our organization.”

Volunteer training occurs twice annually, and the next session will take place in October 2019. For more information, visit or contact the Director of Volunteer Services at 410-822-6681.

Founded in 1981, Talbot Hospice is the premier resource for hospice, palliative care, and grief support services in Talbot County.

Talbot Hospice Launches Truck Raffle

Talbot Hospice recently kicked off a truck raffle, the proceeds of which will benefit hospice, palliative care, and grief support services in Talbot County. The truck, a 2019 Ford F-150 4×4 Supercrew Pickup, is made available through a partnership with Hertrich Ford of Easton. The winner has the option to receive $25,000 cash instead.

Tickets are $40 each or three for $100, and only 2,500 tickets will be sold. They will be available over the next several months at various locations around Talbot County including the Amish Market most Saturdays and major events such as the Talbot County Fair and the Chesapeake Balloon Festival. You can also purchase tickets in person at Talbot Hospice, 586 Cynwood Drive, Easton; and Hertrich Ford, 9617 Ocean Gateway, Easton; or online at The winner is responsible for state and federal taxes.

The drawing for the winning ticket will be held October 12, 2019, 12 p.m., at Hertrich Ford, and the public is invited for free food and beverages. The winner does need to be present. If you are willing to sell tickets at your place of business or have other questions, please contact Laura Richeson at 410-822-6681 or

Talbot Hospice is raffling this Ford F-150 4×4 Supercrew Pickup or $25,000 cash, thanks to a partnership with Hertrich Ford of Easton.


Talbot Hospice Presents 4th Annual Outreach – Death is But a Dream

Talbot Hospice will present “Death is But a Dream” featuring Dr. Christopher Kerr, on Thursday, June 20, 6 p.m. at the Avalon Theatre in Easton. This 4th annual outreach event is free of charge and open to the public.

Kerr, a hospice and palliative care physician and CEO and Chief Medical Officer at The Center for Hospice & Palliative Care in Buffalo, NY, is producing the documentary Death is but a Dream based on research he is conducting about the dreams of terminally ill patients. Kerr will share what he’s learned about the dreams and visions experienced by patients who are nearing the end of their lives. Event organizers say that Kerr and his team of clinicians and researchers are seeking to demystify these experiences and understand their role and importance in supporting a peaceful transition for the patient and the bereaved. The documentary is scheduled for release in 2020. Dr. Kerr’s work will also be published in a book by Penguin Random House in 2020.

Dr. Christopher Kerr

According to Kerr’s findings, people who are close to death often report dreams or visions of loved ones who have passed at their death beds, usually “invisible” to others in the room. Seventy-two percent of end-of-life dreams & visions tend to consist of seeing deceased relatives and pets with most receiving loving reassurance or guidance of some kind. Thirty-nine percent of visions have themes of travel or preparing to travel somewhere with a loved one.

Kerr’s initial study was conducted from January 2011 to July 2012 in partnership with James P. Donnelly, PhD, Department of Counseling and Human Services, Canisius College, Buffalo, NY, and Cheryl Nosek, DNS, RN, Professor, Undergraduate Programs Director, Nursing Department, Daemen College, Amherst, NY. The resulting scientific articles drew national and international attention. A large scale follow-up study was conducted and completed in 2015.

“We are thrilled to share Dr. Kerr’s groundbreaking research with our community,” said Talbot Hospice Executive Director Vivian Dodge. “The end of life journey encompasses so much more than one realizes. Individuals find closure and meaning through dreams. Death is but a Dream will offer insight into the emotions, feelings and values our loved ones experience during this passage.”

Registration for Dr. Kerr’s talk is required and can be made by visiting or calling 410-822-6681. Talbot Hospice, founded in 1981, is the premier resource for hospice, palliative care, and grief support in Talbot County.

Celebration of Life to be Held June 8

The Child Loss Support Group and Talbot Hospice will host a Celebration of Life commemorating Mother’s & Father’s Day Saturday, June 8, 2019, 10 a.m. at The Healing Garden at the Easton Club.

Parents and family members who have lost a child, regardless of the child’s age, are invited to attend. Parking is on Clubhouse Drive, just past the Easton Club entrance. In case of a storm, the Celebration of Life will be held at St. Mark’s Church Fellowship Hall.

“This memorial celebration offers families a time to honor and remember their special child. Children always live in our hearts, and sharing their light and love is part of this celebration,” said Vivian Dodge, Executive Director, Talbot Hospice.

For more information, contact Talbot Hospice Bereavement Coordinator Becky DeMattia at 410-822-6681 or

DeMattia Earns Trauma Certification

Rebecca DeMattia

Talbot Hospice Bereavement Coordinator Rebecca DeMattia, LCSW-C recently earned her certification as a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional from the International Association of Trauma Professionals. Demattia, a licensed certified social worker and certified grief counselor, has worked in the home care & hospice field since 2002 and has been providing grief counseling and support since 2006.

According to Talbot Hospice Executive Director Vivian Dodge, DeMattia’s certification ensures that every person served through the bereavement department receives the highest level of care. “We are proud of Becky’s achievement and pleased to offer this expertise to individuals and families in our community who have experienced tragic and traumatic deaths,” said Dodge.

In her role as Bereavement Coordinator for Talbot Hospice, DeMattia is responsible for the supervision and overall management of the bereavement program including the planning and implementation of grief support for patients and their families, caregivers, hospice staff, and the community at large.

DeMattia earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology and Masters of Social Work Degree from Salisbury University. She earned her certification as a Certified Grief Counselor in 2012 and is currently working towards her Ph.D. in Social Work from Walden University. She is a member of the National Association of Social Workers.

Talbot Hospice offers individual and family consultation as well as a variety of support groups that meet on a regular basis.  Services are offered without charge and are made possible through charitable donations. Bereavement services are available to anyone, regardless of whether or not their loved one was served by Talbot Hospice. For a complete listing of support groups offered visit, or for more information contact Rebecca DeMattia at 410-822-6681 or

4th Annual Memorial Walk to Benefit Talbot Hospice

Talbot Hospice will hold its 4th Annual Memorial Walk on Oxford Day, Saturday, April 27th at 8 a.m. Check-in, a light breakfast, and memorial activity begin at 7 a.m.The public is invited to walk in memory or in honor of a loved one to benefit hospice and bereavement services in Talbot County.  The event will begin with a brief ceremony followed by a 0.8-mile walk to the Strand, finishing at 8:30 a.m. with a dove release and another opportunity to remember loved ones who have passed.

Participants in the 2018 Talbot Hospice Memorial Walk.

“Our Memorial Walk is a wonderful time to remember and honor the lives of our loved ones,” said Vivian Dodge, Executive Director, Talbot Hospice. “It is a time to reflect on their gifts and uniqueness. We are grateful to the Oxford Day Committee and the Town of Oxford for recognizing the value of end-of-life care and including Talbot Hospice in this event. We look forward to spending this special time with our hospice family members.”

Registration for adults is $25, students are $10, and children 12 and under are free.  The fee includes an adult t-shirt and light breakfast.  Check-in and breakfast begin at 7 a.m. New this year is “Support a Walker” available through the website. To register visit or call 410-822-6681. For more information, contact Laura Richeson at

Ferree Fund Supports Talbot Palliative Care

Talbot Palliative Care is pleased to announce it has received a $15,000 grant from the Ferree Fund of the Mid-Shore Community Foundation to support their new community home-based palliative care program for individuals with chronic, serious illnesses, and those who care for them. Talbot Palliative Care is dedicated to improving the quality of life for both the patient and the family, whether the disease is curable, chronic, or life limiting. Talbot Palliative Care, a program of Talbot Hospice, provides consultative services and clinical oversight of an individual’s care and works with community physicians to manage symptoms.

The Mid-Shore Community Foundation awards grants through a competitive application and review process and is committed to programs that enrich the quality of life in the Mid-Shore region.The Ferree Fund is named for Margaret B. Ferree, who for 44 years until her death in 2011, was the embodiment of stewardship and generosity in the Mid-Shore region.

From L-R: Talbot Palliative Care Coordinator Shantel Matthews, RN, Talbot Hospice Executive Director Vivian Dodge, Charles Capute, Esquire, who oversees the Ferree Fund, and Mid-Shore Community Foundation President Buck Duncan.

“We are delighted to have the support of the Mid-Shore Community Foundation,” said Vivian Dodge, executive director of Talbot Hospice.  “Charitable donations make a significant impact on the quality of services and programs we can provide to patients and families.  We are excited about our new palliative care program and the partnerships we are forming with local physicians to support their patients at home.”  To schedule an appointment to learn more about Talbot Palliative Care, call 410-822-2040 or email Shantel Matthews, RN, at

The Mid-Shore Community Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity serving Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot Counties. The Foundation works with donors and non-profits to create access to opportunity for the region’s citizens through the power of charitable giving. For more information on the Mid-Shore Community Foundation, establishing a fund, or charitable giving in the region, please call 410-820-8175 or visit the Foundation’s website

Talbot Hospice to Launch Camp Courageous

Talbot Hospice is pleased to announce Camp Courageous, a new children’s bereavement camp designed for any youth, ages 6-12, who have experienced the loss of a loved one. This two-day camp will be held May 18-19, 2019, at the Talbot County Agricultural Center, and there is space for 35 participants. Each child attends the camp at no cost, to learn how to cope with the complex feelings of grief.

The goal of the camp is to provide an opportunity for children to process their losses in a healthy, peer supported environment via a curriculum of activities and therapeutic practices designed to teach children about themselves, and the grief they are experiencing. Together campers will discover ways to cope, realize they are a valuable member of the group and work together to overcome challenges ahead.  The camp will also provide grief education, support, and resources to parents and families and help strengthen the family unit as they process the loss together.

Talbot Hospice Bereavement Coordinator Becky DeMattia will lead the camp along with other specially trained staff and volunteers. “We have planned a number of activities that will help children work through some of the feelings they experience surrounding the loss of someone significant in their lives,” said DeMattia. “We want children to feel safe expressing their feelings, to have some fun while together, and hopefully walk away feeling lighter and understanding how to use newly found coping skills.”

At Camp Courageous, children will laugh, cry, talk together about their losses, share emotions, and learn healthy ways to deal with the feelings that accompany grief. Camp Courageous is offered free of charge, thanks in part to a generous donation from the Bryan Brothers Foundation. Talbot Hospice and Camp Courageous rely on the generosity of the community to provide a safe place for children to grieve.

For more information about Camp Courageous, please contact Becky DeMattia at 410-822-6681 or


Media Contact:

Caron James, Director Marketing & Communications



Talbot Hospice Launches New Traumatic Loss Support Group

If you have been impacted by a traumatic death, Talbot Hospice is here to help support your grief journey. Healing After a Traumatic Loss is a new grief support group for anyone in the community impacted by a traumatic death including accident, overdose, suicide, or homicide. The group meets every second Tuesday of the month from 6:30– 8:30 p.m. at 586 Cynwood Drive, Easton, and is open to the public, free of charge.

According to Talbot Hospice Bereavement Coordinator Becky DeMattia, traumatic death can create a wound that other death experiences do not; often there are unanswered questions, frustrations, guilt, which lead to anxiety, depression, and other mental and physical symptoms. “Traumatic death not only impact us personally as we navigate our lives without our loved one, it effects our families, our jobs, our marriages, our social circles, etc. In addition to processing this difficult grief, it is not uncommon for society to misunderstand our pain, or to assume things about our loved one that perhaps were not true. Traumatic deaths can bring stigma and shame and therefore further complicate the grief journey.”

The goal of Healing After a Traumatic Loss is to offer peer support, grief education, resources, and a confidential, safe place for sharing and healing and to begin processing the painful grief associated with these types of losses.

As a licensed certified social worker, certified grief counselor, and Certified Clinical Trauma Professional, DeMattia has been providing grief counseling since 2007. DeMattia has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a master’s degree in Social Work, both from Salisbury University. She received her Certification in Grief Counseling from the American Academy of Grief Counseling in 2012, and most recently finished training through the International Association of Trauma Professionals to receive her certification as a Trauma Counselor. She is also currently working toward a doctorate in Social Work.

Talbot Hospice is the premier resource for grief support in Talbot County offering a variety of ongoing grief and caregiver support groups, all of which meet at 586 Cynwood Drive and are open to the public, free of charge. They include Caregivers Support every Thursday at 1 p.m., Healing Through Yoga every Tuesday at 9 a.m. Pet Loss Support with Talbot Humane every 1st Thursday at 6 p.m., Child Loss Support every 3rd Wednesday at 6:30 p.m., and a monthly Grief Support Group every 4th Tuesday at 5 p.m. A four-week group, Shattering the Silence, specifically for anyone impacted by a death due to overdose or suicide, begins February 18 and meets every Monday at 6 p.m. through March 4. Exact dates can be found on the website’s calendar at

For more information about Talbot Hospice grief support services contact Becky DeMattia at 410-822-6681 or

Talbot Hospice Volunteer Training Dates Announced

Talbot Hospice will hold its bi-annual Volunteer Training March 18 and 20, 2019. If you are interested in giving back to our community in a meaningful way, consider becoming a Talbot Hospice Volunteer. Perhaps you love to cook or garden. Maybe you play a musical instrument. Companion volunteers visit patients in their homes and in facilities,make check-in phone calls, shop for groceries, and transport patients to appointments and on errands. If you love to cook, we are seeking individuals to help cook breakfast and dinner, especially weekends. Other roles include musicians, greeters, Hospice House caregivers (especially weekends), and gardeners.

Topics covered during training include hospice purpose and philosophy, volunteer roles, spirituality at end of life, death and dying, listening skills and boundaries, family dynamics, cultural diversity, and grief.

If you’ve been looking for your passion and calling and would like to learn more about volunteering at Talbot Hospice, contact Director of Volunteer Services Lori Miller at or 410-822-6681, or visit

We're glad you're enjoying The Talbot Spy.

Sign up for the the free email blast to see what's new in the Spy. It's delivered right to your inbox at 3PM sharp.

Sign up here.