2016 Award Winners

Orlando, FL. – On June 2nd, in conjunction with the Hospice Works Forum, Florida Hospice & Palliative Care Association (FHPCA) announced the 2016 winners of the annual Awards of Excellence in Hospice and Palliative Care.
The Awards of Excellence program was created to identify, recognize and showcase the outstanding and innovative work of individual staff members and hospice programs throughout the state of Florida. This award program aims to provide a venue for hospice professionals to honor their peers and highlight the very best hospice has to offer.
Florida Hospice & Palliative Care Association President and CEO Paul Ledford said, “These four award winners represent some of the best in the hospice care industry. Florida hospice providers are committed to excellent care, and we are proud to have these professionals and programs help make it possible.”
Hospice Work Forum Awards of Excellence Recipients:


The Catalyst Award Winners:

Michael Robert Morris, RN – Regency Hospice of NW Florida 

Mery Lossado, MD – Hospice of Marion County

The Catalyst Award recognizes an individual in any role within an organization who has consistently demonstrated leadership in forging the collaboration that makes hospice unique. 

About the Catalyst Award Winners

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Michael Morris is the Patient Care Coordinator of Regency Hospice in Pensacola, managing the day-to-day operations of all hospice care and coordinates services of the interdisciplinary team. He also has a growing family and military obligations as a reservist with the US Army, having served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Michael models a commitment to superior patient care that inspires and strengthens the hospice team. His co-workers respect and admire his work ethic and dedication to both the staff and the patients. Because Michael demonstrates selflessness, his team members are happy to follow his lead and do what it takes as well. No one demonstrates all that hospice embodies with more honesty, more authenticity and more unpretentiousness than does this man. A nurse sums it up simply by saying “his doing things like he does makes doing my job easier and makes me strive to do a better job.” Michael Morris is the Catalyst for Regency Hospice.



Mery Lossada Awards of Excellence
Challenging and unusual cases seem to find their way to Dr. Mery Lossada. It’s the mutual law of attraction for a passionate hospice physician whose dedication leaves no stone unturned to ensure dignity for all patients, especially those in less-than-ideal situations.
Her everyday cases include tending to a homeless man living in a city park, sending a young girl to Disney World attached to a morphine pump, transporting a 26-year-old patient to Mexico so he could die at home, getting a 200-pound dog to a hospice house so his owner could pet him one more time or helping a teenager whose entire body was crushed in a “car-surfing” accident graduate from high school.
A true advocate for the less-advantaged, Dr. Lossada is a physician whose sees her place as” in the trenches” with her team. No task is too large or too small in the service of her patients.



The Synergy Award Winner: 

My Comfort – Suncoast Hospice | Empath Health

The Synergy Award is the Award of Excellence to the group that makes collaboration happen.

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Using business improvement and project management principles, the Suncoast Hospice Lavender facility team and Bon Secours St. Petersburg Health System established a partnership based on a mutual desire to create an exceptional palliative and end-of-life care experience for Bon Secours residents and families. They named the project My Comfort, which includes hospice, palliative care consults and community resources. My Comfort has produced increased service days; heightened staff and volunteer engagement; creation of a caregiver library; My Comfort rooms for palliative and end-of-life care; and My Comfort baskets with items for reflection, comfort and remembrance. The My Comfort team will continue to analyze and respond to the needs of residents, families, staff and the community of Bon Secours St. Petersburg Health System.

The Breakthrough Award Winner:

Symptom Reduction Through Integrative Medicine and
Palliative Arts – Suncoast Hospice | Empath Health

The Breakthrough Award recognizes an individual or team who, through their efforts to research and implement new ideas, has improved hospice care. 

Screen Shot 2016-06-07 at 11.42.29 AM Hospice patients experience various symptoms that may be reduced using alternative therapies such as Acupuncture and Reiki as complements to their traditional Western medicine. The objective of this project was to explore the benefits of Suncoast Hospice Integrative Medicine Clinic in providing symptom reduction. Forty-one patients participated in an average of five Integrative Medicine Clinic sessions provided by licensed acupuncturists/physician and Reiki Masters. The Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale (ESAS) demonstrated symptom reduction severity post-session for pain, nausea, anxiety and dyspnea. Acupuncture and other complementary treatments were found to be effective for the reduction of symptoms that commonly affect hospice patients. In the coming year, Suncoast Hospice plans to further quantify the effects of the Integrative Medicine Clinic and Palliative Arts Program through a patient survey and the addition of pre and post session scores to the Volunteer note.