November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month, and it also marks the 41st year of serving Lake County residents. Hospice Services of Lake County formed in 1979 by a group of concerned volunteers. This year we are also welcoming Cindy Sobel, RN, MS, as the new executive director. She replaces Ruth Lincoln who retired October 30.
The Board of Directors of Hospice Services of Lake County selected Sobel from a highly competitive field on October 29. Board President Don Hubbard said, “The Board was most impressed by her knowledge of Lake County with 30 years of clinical leadership experience in home care management and six years serving Hospice Services of Lake County.”
Held in high regard by her peers and staff, Sobel has an outstanding record of accomplishment in performance improvement, strategic planning, business planning and operations management. She is no stranger to hospice and palliative care in Lake County. During her leadership role as director of Patient Care Services she grew the Palliative Care program, adding and training new staff to expand services for Lake County residents.
Sobel holds a master of science degree in Healthcare Management, a bachelor of science in Management, and a registered nursing degree. Having a lifelong passion for education, she is also a “Train the Trainer” for the End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) for over four years.
“Hospice Services of Lake County encourages you to explore your options for comfort care and to share your wishes with family, loved ones and your professional healthcare providers. We have many services to assist you,” states Sobel. There are many myths about eligibility and the best time to start hospice care. Often, starting sooner provides the most benefits.
Hospice Services of Lake County will mark the month with community outreach to help bring about awareness of options to enhance quality of life for individuals experiencing a life-threatening disease. In addition, the organization will present the 2nd annual Festival of Trees November 20-30. The annual “Light Up a Life” ceremonies are scheduled for December 3 in Lakeport and December 12 in Middletown.
Hospice Services of Lake County started as a small organization assisting only a few patients in 1980. In the last 12 months, the team of trained staff provided hospice care to 262 individuals including 58 military veterans. In the same period of time, 86 individuals including adults and children have received grief counseling in response to the loss of family members or loved ones through support groups, the Wings of Hope family camps and school-based counseling programs. All services are provided following protocols established by the CDC and Lake County Department of Health Services.
Trained volunteers providing patient/family support, bereavement services, assistance with the thrift store, fund development and administrative duties are an integral part of the organization. Eighty-six volunteers provided 2, 912 hours of service in the past 12 months.
The core of hospice service is to provide patient- and family-centered care, ensuring the highest quality of life at the end-of-life wherever the individual calls home. Specially trained staff ensure that families receive the necessary support to allow that to happen. Services include nursing care, symptom management, and emotional and spiritual support tailored to a patient’s needs and wishes.
Services are paid for 100 percent by Medicare, Medi-Cal and the Veteran’s Administration. Many private health insurances also cover hospice care. Financial support from the community through individual and corporate donations allow Hospice Services to cover special needs of patients and provide community bereavement services. No patients are turned away if they do not have the means to pay for hospice care.
“We encourage you to see how our compassionate team can assist you and your loved ones. We are happy to talk with you about the services that we provide and how we can help,” says Sobel. Call us at (707) 263-6222, or visit us at 1862 Parallel Drive, Lakeport.
Additional information is also available on Hospice Services of Lake County’s website,