Kate Cornwall has been mentioned by name by more family member of former hospice patients than I can count. Nominations come in (sometimes daily) with Kate’s name in the forefront for her superior nursing skills and dedication to easing her patients from this mortal life into the next. Kate was here for the Hospice start up. She pulled a full time case load and countless hours of on-call to ensure her patients were taken care of. When there is a difficult patient who is angry, frustrated and sometime hostile, Kate see’s right through that and realizes it is the fear of dying that is at the root of the behaviors. Kate is meticulous in the care of her patients. Regardless of the time, day or night, Kate makes it clear that she is there for them. What makes Kate unique is her ability to calm the families and somehow use her gentle touch to reach out and let them know that grief isn’t forever and that she will move heaven and earth to ensure that all patients are treated with dignity and that the patients’ final wishes are honored. It is a specialized care this hospice is. Finding the right combination of medications to provide a pain free death takes time and inner discipline coordination, but helping the client and their caregivers be at peace is a whole different skill set.
Kate Cornwall is simply outstanding in her chosen profession. She is a calm voice of reason when it is needed the most. Hospice can be a tough subject to approach and there are times when people immediately look away when they hear where we work. But the truth of it is, as Kate has often said, there is no evading death when the time is at hand. Talking about it and supporting the wishes of her patients is what sets Kate apart. She has been called an angel and the many families who have taken the time to praise Kate certainly would agree with that description. The right thing to do, after three years of constant dedication to the dying in our community is to give a nod to this woman who has done so much.