UCLA School of Public Health Field Studies Program

Community Health Sciences

Field Placement: Hospice of Pasadena
Pasadena, CA
Sandy Atkins, Executive Director
Student Name: Adern Yu
Year: 2005

I have completed my ten week internship during the summer of 2005 at Hospice of Pasadena, which is located within Huntington Memorial Hospital. Hospice of Pasadena (HOP) is a non-profit 501(c) 3 volunteer hospice serving the San Gabriel Valley and parts of Los Angeles County. HOP provides counseling, education and volunteer services to comfort and support individuals, families, professionals, and community groups confronted with serious illness, expected or sudden death, and bereavement. HOP helps alleviate or ease suffering and promote healing for those facing a loss of a loved one, or facing their own death. HOP do not provide medical services, but instead act in partnership with the medical community while keeping the focus on guidance and the best means of providing comfort and support.

Hospice of Pasadena fills a unique niche in the health care system. Because the services are free of charge, there are no barriers to access for the uninsured. Mental health benefits in particular are minimal for those on Medi-Cal and in many insurance plans. HOP is able to support people through difficult times regardless of their ability to pay. The current programs include (a) hospice volunteers providing visits and support to patients and respite care to caregivers; (b) bereavement support for children and adults, through support groups as well as family and individuals counseling; and (c) community outreach and education on end-of-life issues, promoting use of medical hospice care, advance directives, and improving communications with the dying and bereaved.

I worked under the direct supervision of Sandy Atkins, the Executive Director of Hospice of Pasadena. I did not have one particular project; instead, I participated in various different tasks as needed. Sandy and all the staff of Hospice of Pasadena had been very supportive. Sandy was a wonderful preceptor. She ensured that I get exposed to all different aspects of the organization to enhance my professional development. My scope of work included providing executive assistance through the management of all aspects of grant writing and evaluation report submission, the production of a volunteer newsletter, managing the production of a video to educate and inspire the seniors to seek both medical and volunteer hospice services, locating assessment tools for the bereavement support programs, and participating in educational outreach.

During my internship, I was able to participate in the weekly staff meetings and interact with grant managers of various funders. I was grateful for the opportunity to experience and better understand the administrative aspect of a non-profit organization. The internship had really refined my grant writing skills and communication skills. The internship also provided me with a better understanding of my own work preferences and my strength and weaknesses. It was a really enjoyable experience and I would recommend students to consider Hospice of Pasadena for their internship placement.


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