Laura Welty is the Carroll Hospice resident expert on regulations and compliance, but it is her human touch in interacting with patients and families that is her hallmark, according to Carroll Hospice spokeswoman Simone Lindsay.
“She is known for her gentle nature, flexibility and her fierce patient family advocacy,” Lindsay wrote in an email. “Laura is the heart of Carroll Hospice.”
Welty has been named one of six Hospice Heroes for 2019, people and organizations recognized for their outstanding commitment to the hospice and its mission to care for and comfort people in their last six months of life.
The Times recently caught up with Welty to learn more about how it feels to be a Hospice Hero ahead of the upcoming April 29 Taste of Carroll fundraiser, a food and drink event that supports Carroll Hospice.
Q: How does it feel to be named a Hospice Hero?
A: I am so honored to have been chosen. There are so many other hospice professionals who are my heroes!
Q: What did you do prior to coming to Carroll Hospice and how did you get involved?
A: Prior to coming to Carroll Hospice, I was a bone marrow transplant nurse at Johns Hopkins Hospital. I was in the absolute business of helping patients survive lethal cancers and recover to a better quality of life. Many patients did not survive and I felt that the dying process could be a richer, more comfortable time for patients and their families. Rooms full of equipment and multiple procedures does not a peaceful death make. After this, I began to seek out a nursing division that would help “my role fit my soul.” I literally walked into the lobby of Carroll Hospice and asked if there were any positions open!
Q: Tell me about the work that you do and how long you have been doing it?
A: I became a hospice nurse in 1998 and have been blessed to have worked in different roles within Carroll Hospice such as the home hospice team, in facilities, the inpatient unit and as a hospice liaison nurse.
Several years ago, I became the clinical manager for the night, evening and weekend team, and hospice compliance.
Q: What’s one of the most challenging things about this work?
A: Certainly containing your own beliefs and supporting the beliefs and decisions that our patients and their families make.
Q: What is one of the most rewarding things about this work?
A: Supporting the patient and their loved ones during their time at hospice. It is a blessing to be allowed into their sacred space. I have never come away from a patient without learning something.
Q: Why should people consider coming out to A Taste of Carroll on April 29?
A: This event allows everyone to support Carroll Hospice while also having a great time. It showcases businesses that are supporting the cause and giving back to the community. One of the best parts of Taste of Carroll is visiting with the family members of patients in our community who we have served. Fundraisers like this allow us to provide complementary therapies that are not typically covered under insurances, as well as treatment and care to all who are in need, regardless of their ability to pay.