What: Annual Chairman’s Council Reception
Where: Montecito Country Club
When: Oct. 22, 2013
The Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care Board of Directors invited special guests to the annual Chairman’s Council Reception at the Montecito Country Club.
The special event paid tribute to the Chairman’s Council, a group of distinguished individuals, organizations and businesses who wish to give the gift of health by enriching and expanding the work of Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care through an annual gift of $1,000 or more.
These distinguished members of the Chairman’s Council are key to the organization's success and were joined by guest speakers Jack and Julie Nadel for an evening of cocktails and hors d’oeuvres at the intimate setting.
At 90, Jack Nadel, a decorated World War II veteran, philanthropist and award-winning business author of The Evolution of and Entrepreneur, written to assist and inspire entrepreneurs on how to attain success in various fashions of business endeavors, shows no signs of slowing down.
Nadel’s passion for innovation in all facets of life stirred him to launch the Nadel Foundation with his wife, Julie, in 1990, a nonprofit organization designed to enrich and improve the lives of people in Santa Barbara County.
In 2008, the pair founded the Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care Elly Nadel Music Therapy Program as a tribute to his late wife of 54 years who benefited from the healing power of music during her battle with cancer. Nadel, who was the primary caregiver for his wife, turned to VNHC hospice services when her symptoms became terminal and credits the humanitarian efforts and service that the organization provided to help Elly live out her final days in comfort and dignity.
“I think that the most remarkable part of working with Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care is that first I could see the relief on my wife’s face because she was really taken care of and they had the good social graces to know how to handle someone who had been very independent and very strong and now was going through that passage,” Nadel said.
The mission of VNHC is to provide high-quality, comprehensive home health, hospice and related services necessary to promote the well-being of all community residents, including those unable to pay.
The nonprofit organization is Santa Barbara’s largest provider of home health and hospice care and has provided high-quality comprehensive care to patients in Santa Barbara County for more than 100 years, including those unable to pay, affecting the lives of more than 5,000 residents annually.
VNHC music therapist and composer Stefani Dadas, who performed a heart-warming melody for the guests titled "For All You Are," spearheads the music program that serves hospice patients but brings comfort to people living with Alzheimer’s disease. The program serves dozens of patients who receive treatment on a regular basis.
“We are in the sixth year with this program and it continues to grow. We started out with six patients the first year and last year we treated sixteen-hundred,” Julie Nadel said. “In an effort to reach the younger generation, local high school students are taking part in the music program. Students are programming iPods with the hospice patients favorite music based on an intake with them. They get community credit services and that’s what I call a win-win for everyone.”
The unique program solidifies Nadel’s wish to keep the memory of his late wife’s love of music alive while enriching the lives of people suffering from a terminal illness by providing them cost-free access to their favorite music.
“Our music program is something that every hospice patient can enjoy at home or at Serenity House,” Jack Nadel said. “Music is the universal language, so Elly’s favorite saying was keep the music playing, and so that’s what we are doing.”
— Noozhawk iSociety columnist Melissa Walker can be reached at [email protected]. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkSociety, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.