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Local Woman Honored for Hospice Care

Bettye Canestaro is Lourdes Hospice Volunteer Coordinator. She has received the 2014 Woman of Distinction award.
A local woman is being honored for her time and efforts in hospice care.

Bettye Canestaro is Lourdes Hospice Volunteer Coordinator. She has received the 2014 Woman of Distinction award. The hospital and State Senator Tom Libous acknowledged her work at recent ceremony.

Bettye Canestaro has been at Lourdes Hospice for 20 years, but has held the title of Volunteer Coordinator for the last seven of those years. Her job is to match hospice volunteers to people who are dying, so that they and their families will have extra support. State senator Tom Libous presented her with the 2014 Women of Distinction award, for all that she has done in the community.

"We honor a woman of distinction in the state senate each year, and this is kind of our 16th year. Bettye couldn't make it to Albany, so we thought we would bring the award to her with her colleagues here at Lourdes Hospice. Like I said, she is such a remarkable lady, very humble, does just her job and does a great job at it," said Sen. Libous.

Bettye and her team work with many different families and patients, some of which are very sad situations, but she said that it is extremely rewarding.

"It's a very emotional job, you're exactly right. But it's the most fulfilling job I think anyone could have. You know for the fact that a family, you know going on that final journey with their loved one would want us there, I think is a privilege," said Canestaro. 

Bettye said that she is honored to receive this award, but that it's really about the 110 volunteers that help make a difference in the patients' lives.

"I've been very blessed. And that's the way I feel today, thankful, humble, honored and blessed," she said.

To date, there are 87 patients that rely on Lourdes Hospice.

Canestaro also serves as the chairperson of the Service Excellence Committee and the Sunshine Fund at the Hospice Center.
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