Over its nearly 40-year history, Hospice of Santa Barbara has been fortunate to attract outstanding volunteers and supporters. This year, the organization that provides free care for anyone experiencing the impact of life-threatening illness or grieving the death of a loved one will honor three incredible individuals who have made a significant difference both to the organization and to the community by advancing compassionate end-of-life care in Santa Barbara.
On Friday, Nov. 1, Hospice of Santa Barbara invites the community to join its inaugural celebration of the 2013 Heroes of Hospice.
There will be a pre-reception at Hospice of Santa Barbara beginning at 5:30 p.m., with the event at El Encanto to follow at 6:30 p.m. The night will include dinner, music, dancing, a live auction and a silent auction featuring The Clutch Project — featuring one-of-a-kind “clutch” purses designed by 36 local artists that will be available at the event’s silent auction.
The focal point of the evening will be the recognition of the “Heroes.”
Meet the Heroes
Margaret Polsky — Volunteer Award
Born in Missouri, Margaret Polsky, affectionately known as Peggy, moved to Santa Barbara in 1946 after serving in the Women’s Army Corps during World War II. Members of the WAC were the first women other than nurses to serve within the ranks of the U.S. Army.
In 1973, she read in the paper about Hospice of Santa Barbara, and then promptly attended an advertised meeting. Hospice of Santa Barbara officially opened its doors in 1974, making it the second-oldest hospice program in the United States — and Polsky was there at its first office on State Street.
For two years, she was an active volunteer worker, and helped create the first office. Hospice of Santa Barbara gradually increased its volunteer corps and moved its offices in 1977. Hospice of Santa Barbara’s history is synonymous with Peggy Polsky.
Linda Seltzer Yawitz — Philanthropist Award
Originally from St. Louis, Linda Seltzer Yawitz may still root for the Cardinals, but calls Santa Barbara home.
She studied psychology at Washington University and subsequently worked at the Washington University School of Medicine in child psychiatry.
Yawitz visited her father’s family in the San Fernando Valley since her childhood. She officially moved to Santa Barbara in 1987 and began her involvement with Hospice of Santa Barbara shortly thereafter. She was invited to a Hospice of Santa Barbara “get acquainted” luncheon, where she met then executive director, Charlie Zimmer. Yawitz served on the Hospice of Santa Barbara board for 10 years, including time as president of the board from 1995-97; she never missed one board meeting — perfect attendance!
In addition to her active volunteer work, Yawitz has forged ongoing friendships with the staff at Hospice of Santa Barbara. She serves as a longtime volunteer for Cottage Hospital’s Surgical Trauma floor, was a CALM board member, a volunteer for the Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara and the Music Academy of the West. She also serves on the Hospice Advisory Board.
Somehow, she finds time to walk her dog, Oliver, although she considers herself the one being trained by him.
Michael Bordofsky, M.D. — Professional Award
Dr. Bordofsky grew up in Santa Barbara. He is board certified in internal medicine as well as hospice and palliative medicine. In addition to his private practice, he has been a medical director for Visiting Nurse & Hospice for nearly 20 years and helped create the very successful Palliative Care Service at Cottage Hospital.
He has been honored for his teaching and is the managing partner for Palliative Care Consultants of Santa Barbara, a medical group that provides consultation, education and clinical services in hospital, hospice and community settings. He and his physician partners are the recipients of a CMS Medicare Innovation Award and have created a new program for the frail elderly called DASH (Doctors Assisting Seniors at Home).
He is the former chair of the Cottage Hospital Department of Internal Medicine and serves on the Board of Directors of Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care and of the St. Francis Foundation. He was recently appointed president of Santa Barbara Preferred Health Partners Inc., an affiliation of more than 160 independent physicians in Santa Barbara.
He is a proud father of four great children. Everyone at Hospice of Santa Barbara has deep personal and professional respect for Bordofsky, his vision, his integrity and his leadership in advancing end-of-life care in the community.
Tickets for Heroes of Hospice may be purchased by clicking here or calling 805.563.8820.
— Kelly Kapaun is a publicist representing Hospice of Santa Barbara.