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Mt. Hood Hospice has provided families in Sandy area with quality care since 1980

POST PHOTO: BRITTANY ALLEN - The staff at Mt. Hood Hospice remain strong after dealing with death on a daily basis by making the hospice a home and each other family. The Sandy Area Chamber of Commerce is once again seeking nominations for its next Sensational Business Awards, which will be recognized at the next quarterly luncheon.

Among the top three nominees for this quarter's award are Mt. Hood Hospice, Sander's Automotive and Timberline Meat.

The Post pages will feature each nominated business in an effort to inform the community voting process in the coming weeks.

The staff at Mt. Hood Hospice have made it their mission for the better part of 40 years to provide "the best quality (hospice) care."

It opened its doors in 1980 with the beginning of the innovative hospice care movement. Executive Director Lindy Blaesing said Mt. Hood Hospice has held true to that tradition over time by really trying "to anticipate needs (families and patients) may have physically and emotionally."

"We don't project or judge how a family would like their own death to be," she added.

Working with death on a daily basis can be difficult, Blaesing admitted, but she has said her ultimate "goal is to help people that are in (their final stage of life) — to provide any amount of comfort that we can," and she thinks this nomination shows people's recognition of that effort.

Founders Macy Brader and Pat Spradling opened the humble hospice because they saw a need in the community. Now, with a staff of 25 people, Blaesing explained that Mt. Hood does not aspire to be a "large hospice."

"We are the only community-based not-for-profit (facility) in the east Portland area," Blaesing told The Post in an earlier interview. "Because we're small, we all wear multiple hats. I love going out with the staff. I try to meet the patients as much as I can. I feel like when we're talking about a patients or a family, if I don't know them it's hard to make decisions about that person."

The organization's reach extends from the Willamette River to Troutdale and all the way up Mount Hood to Government Camp. Mount Hood Hospice also belongs to four different chambers: Sandy, Mount Hood, Gresham and Estacada.

That said, Blaesing explained, "we definitely consider Sandy our community."

"I was very pleased (to hear about the nomination)," she added. "It's always nice to be recognized for your hard work."

Sensational Business Award nominees are chosen by local residents who are invited to vote online by visiting www.surveymonkey.com/r/S7MXBFZ.

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