Michael Teutschel and Dr. Gary Pasternak receive awards for service

February 2017

At last month’s 38th Anniversary Celebration at the Sharon Heights Golf & Country Club in Menlo Park, Mission Hospice honored two people who are very special to our organization and our community.

Special Recognition Award winner Dr. Gary Pasternak (center) and 2017 Lotus Award winner Michael Teutschel (second from R) with (L to R) CEO Dwight Wilson, Chair Dr. Stephen Weller, and past Chair Judy DiPaolo at our 38th Anniversary Celebration.

The Lotus Award, created to recognize individuals who have shown outstanding support of the organization, was presented to Michael Teutschel. Mike has served on our Board of Directors for well over a decade, and just completed a term as co-Treasurer.

Lotus Committee member Sheila Young says that Mike was nominated for the award by a number of people and was the committee’s overwhelming favorite.

For years, says Sheila, “Board Chairs have turned to Mike as the go-to person for advice and input. He has excellent judgment and wisdom, and an invaluable ability to see all issues clearly.”

Sheila says Mike’s board colleagues respect his calm leadership. “He listens respectfully, hearing all sides. When he speaks up, people listen. He is a skilled communicator, a peacemaker, and a clear thinker,” she continues. “His ability to synthesize really helps the board come to an understanding on complex topics. And he does this all with a great sense of humor!”

Mission Hospice also presented Medical Director Dr. Gary Pasternak with the Special Recognition Award.

Committee Chair Mary Chigos, RN, says that Dr. Gary is respected throughout the community for his compassion and patient-centered care. His leadership in hospice and palliative care extended to his vision for the hospice house, which was key to inspiring others to support the project.

“People are sometimes afraid of hospice,” says Mary, “but Dr. Gary shows them that they can gain control over their final months, based on their own wishes. He always starts by asking what the patient wants. Dr. Gary is known for going the extra mile for his patients.”

The Mission Hospice family thanks both Mike and Gary for all that they do for the organization and our patients.