High Peaks Hospice Celebrates National Social Worker Month from March 1-31st.
We’ve asked some questions to the team members to help share their insight and allow a better understanding of them as individuals and/or the work they do. Please take a few moments to read and remember to celebrate them with us this month!

Bri Eastman, LMSWBri Eastman, LMSW
Hospice Social Worker
What is your favorite metaphor related to hospice work?
Ball in jar metaphor
As a hospice social worker, it is common to have conversations that revolve around anticipatory grief. Their loved one has not yet passed away, but the word “hospice” holds a heavy weight for many people, prompting reflection and worries about the future. During this time, patients loved ones consider what life will be like without that person. When discussing anticipatory grief, I like to use the “ball in the jar” metaphor. The ball represents your grief and the jar represents your life. Many of us are conditioned to believe that the size of the ball, aka: your grief, should shrink over time. But the reality is that the size of the ball remains the same and the jar, aka: your life, grows around it. When we’ve loved someone so deeply, how can we possibly expect our feelings of their loss to shrink over time? Our love for them does not shrink, therefore the ball does not shrink. We grow, learn, and adapt around it while it remains perfectly intact and full of love.

Shayna Paradis, LMSW

Shayna Paradis, LMSW
Hospice Social Worker
How do you describe the role of social work to our patients and families?
“Life is what you celebrate. All of it. Even it’s end.” 

This quote speaks to me as to what we do as Hospice Social Workers and in hospice work in general. There are so many times in life that we get bogged down by day to day living and forget to live each moment. We forget to take in a fresh breath and look at life for what it truly is, a celebration. We are here for such a short time and it is important to be surrounded by those that we love and do what we enjoy. For my son, this is having a dance party in his room and listening to the Mickey Mouse Club song on repeat. We forget about the “simple pleasures” in life and are so quick to focus on what we think we “should” be accomplishing. 

We need to not only celebrate life while we are living, but also as our lives or our loved ones’ lives are coming to a close. As a society we often view the dying process as such a taboo subject and scarcely discuss it. At hospice we try to be open about end of life with our patients and their families. Hospice is involved to make sure one dies with peace, dignity and comfort. That is our goal. We want to learn about our patients’ lives and what they did. We want to hear the amazing stories or adventures that their loved ones remember most about them. To remind ourselves that they lived, they loved and they celebrated. Yes, this does not ease the pain of the loss, but to know how our loved ones’ lived, helps remind us how we should remember them.


Emma Maher Horvath, LCSWEmma Maher Horvath, LCSW
Hospice Social Worker and Circle of Care Supervisor

What is something you learned in grad school that was most impactful in your work?

One research article completely shifted the way I consider and approach my work.  A group of researchers compared different therapeutic modalities’ effectiveness, as well as other variables that might affect outcomes.  They found the most statistically significant factor was the client’s rating of the therapeutic relationship, not the type of intervention or years of experience.  Whether the therapist was an expert in CBT or the master of motivational interviewing, the human connection remains paramount.  I reflect on this article often in my work; it reminds me to create rapport with each client, before jumping into anything else.

Kimberly Moore, MSW

Kimberly Moore, MSW
Bereavement Coordinator
If you weren’t working in hospice, what population would you want to serve?
Working in Hospice Bereavement, I serve a mix of populations already from children to adults, so I’m lucky in that regard. If I wasn’t working in hospice, I would want to serve children. My initial internship was working with homeless and at risk of being homeless youth in an afterschool program geared towards games and play in an effort to work towards team-building, effective communication, healthy expression and emotional regulation. Often in today’s society, we plan for what works for the most people, so it’s easy to forget that what works for “most” may not be what works for all, especially when working with children who don’t have the same opportunities as their peers. Being able to wear multiple hats and have multiple ways to work with children provides the greatest chance to build rapport with them. It probably helps that one of my greatest “life-goals” is to be like Ms. Frizzle, which I think kids pick up on when we first meet. Through Hospice, I facilitate the Rainbows program which is a group for children who have experienced a loss – it allows me to be my best Ms. Frizzle – so I do get the chance to work with one of my favorite populations fairly regularly.


We thank all of our social workers for the services they provide to the families in our care.