Pathways Hospice supporters celebrate 35 years of service

More than 600 supporters of Pathways Home Health & Hospice gathered at the One from the Heart Awards Breakfast Oct. 5 in Palo Alto to celebrate the agency’s 35 years of service to the community.

When Pathways opened its doors in 1977, it served 12 patients. The nonprofit organization has since served more than 75,000 patients and their families.

The annual event, in its 22nd year, honored a physician, a volunteer and an organization with special Anniversary Awards for their contributions in promoting the Pathways mission: to provide compassionate, family-centered care wherever their patients call home.

Dr. Paula Kushlan, a longtime Bay Area oncologist, received the 35th Anniversary Physician Award in recognition of her advocacy for dignity and compassionate care in treating those with serious illness. Kushlan sees patients at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. For more than three decades, she has guided patients and their families through daunting cancer diagnoses. She said she views her work as “a passion and a privilege.”

Doreta Strotman, who lived in Los Altos for most of her life, received the 35th Anniversary Volunteer Award in honor of her commitment to and tireless volunteering at Pathways. Her husband, Dale Strotman, received hospice care from Pathways seven years ago. She has since devoted nearly 4,000 hours of service and helps daily in the Foundation office at Pathways.

In addition to providing administrative support, Strotman, an accomplished musician, often plays the piano at Pathways events.

Los Altos United Methodist Church received the 35th Anniversary Organization Award in recognition of the church’s service to the community and longtime support of Pathways. With a progressive and engaged congregation of 2,500, the church makes rooms available on campus for Pathways bereavement groups and memorial gatherings. Many of the church’s congregants directly participate in Pathways’ work through outreach to patients and families.

This year’s featured speaker, Jon Katz, shared joy- and love-filled stories about visiting hospice patients with his specially trained dog. Emmy, Peabody and Murrow Award winner Rita Williams of KTVU Channel 2 returned for her 13th year as host.

Since its inception, the One from the Heart Awards Breakfast has raised more than $4 million to support hospice and home health services.

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Photo courtesy of Photo Cesar Denum/Pathways Hospice Pathways

Caption: One from the Heart Awards Breakfast attendees include, from left, Mark Kelsey, chairman of the Pathways Foundation board Sandra Coolidge, Pathways vice president Doreta Strotman, volunteer award recipient Jon Katz, featured speaker Barbara Burgess, Pathways CEO and Mark Bollwinkel, pastor of Los Altos United Methodist Church, organization award recipient.

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