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So far Joel Collazo has created 36 blog entries.

The Visionary

The Visionary A Monthly Giving Program By participating in Avow Foundation’s monthly giving program, “The Visionary,” you enable us to set and meet goals to support patient services not covered by insurance. Your donation has an impact and makes a difference in the lives of those we serve. Select the category of donation that interests you, fill out the required information, and we will do the rest. Avow Foundation is grateful for your participation, and we thank you for [...]

2019-05-24T16:03:48-04:00Comments Off on The Visionary

June 9th: Avow Children’s Services ‘Grief Cave’ Allows Children to Process Feelings Colorfully

When you walk into the “Grief Cave” in the Children’s Services wing of Avow’s Lyon Center, it is clear that you are walking into something special.  Not only are you greeted with the purple hues of blacklight and florescent writing, but you are also looking into the hearts and minds of the children that Avow provides support to in the community.  The grief cave is a place to share your heart, and for one child, named Andrew, it was a [...]

2018-06-15T09:27:16-04:00Comments Off on June 9th: Avow Children’s Services ‘Grief Cave’ Allows Children to Process Feelings Colorfully

Avow Flag Replacement Day

Is your American flag looking a little worn or torn? Replace it for free with a new 3' by 5' flag at Avow on Saturday, June 23rd between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Hot dogs, chips, and soft drinks will be provided by Centennial Bank. Old flags will be disposed of with honor by the Marine Corps League. For additional information, please contact Mark Beland at (239) 285-9300.

2018-05-23T14:48:38-04:00Comments Off on Avow Flag Replacement Day

June Book Discussion: “When Bad Things Happen To Good People”

Avow Chaplain Henry Braga and Deborah Paradise, LCSW, will hold a book discussion on “When Bad Things Happen To Good People” by Harold S. Kushner.  This classic self-help guide by the respected rabbi explains how to find comfort and strength in the face of tragedy and understand God’s role in recovery.  The book can be obtained at the public library, Amazon or Barnes and Noble.  Please read book in its entirety before arriving. As space is limited, please RSVP to [...]

2018-04-26T13:35:33-04:00Comments Off on June Book Discussion: “When Bad Things Happen To Good People”

2018 Armed Forces Appreciation Event

Members of the armed forces, military veterans, and their families are invited to join Avow on Friday, May 18th at the Ispiri Community Center on Avow’s campus in Naples for its annual Armed Forces Appreciation event. The event will begin at 8:00 a.m. with a free breakfast, and a patriotic and inspiring presentation will follow. This year’s Armed Forces Appreciation Event will feature Major General J.T. (Mike) Coyne, USMC, Retired, as the keynote speaker.  He will discuss how military training [...]

2018-04-18T14:19:26-04:00Comments Off on 2018 Armed Forces Appreciation Event

Polypharmacy Lunch and Learn

Join Avow on Tuesday, May 22nd at 11:30 a.m. at the Avow Ispiri Community Center for a informative lunch and learn on managing medication for effectiveness and safety in the elderly.   Attendees will learn to 1) recognize factors leading to polypharmacy, 2) identify health problems related to polypharmacy, 3) describe the prescribing cascade, 4) define potentially inappropriate medications for elderly patients, and 5) describe at least one strategy to manage polypharmacy.   No cost to attend. RSVP required.   [...]

2018-04-11T12:20:32-04:00Comments Off on Polypharmacy Lunch and Learn

LCA Senior Empowerment Series – Spirituality and Aging

Join the Leadership Coalition on Aging - Collier County on Thursday, May 10th from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. for the first event in a three-part series on senior empowerment.   This first event will focus on spirituality and aging, with spiritual leaders from area churches and temples sharing their unique perspective during an interactive panel discussion.   This event is free and open to the public. To RSVP, please call (239) 687-3156.

2018-04-11T12:17:28-04:00Comments Off on LCA Senior Empowerment Series – Spirituality and Aging

Gen Silent Documentary Screening and Discussion – 5/16/2018

Join Avow on Wednesday, May 16th at 11:30 a.m. at the Avow Ispiri Community Center for a informative lunch and learn on elder LGBTQ issues, including a screening of the groundbreaking documentary, Gen Silent.  Gen Silent brings to light issues that LGBTQ seniors face, including how the fear of discrimination in long-term healthcare settings forces many back into the closet at their most vulnerable moments. The film exposes the wide range in quality of paid caregivers, from those who are specifically trained to make LGBTQ seniors feel [...]

2018-04-10T12:19:17-04:00Comments Off on Gen Silent Documentary Screening and Discussion – 5/16/2018

Avow Designated as a “Blue Zones Project Approved™ Worksite”

On Wednesday, April 4th, Avow was designated as a Blue Zones Project Approved™ Worksite during a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Avow Ispiri Community Center in Naples.  Over 60 staff members, volunteers, and guests attended to celebrate the accomplishment. The Blue Zones Project® is a community-led well-being initiative designed to make healthy choices easier through permanent changes to environment, policy, and social networks.  Its goal is to increase longevity by creating small changes in the community, resulting in lowered healthcare costs, [...]

2018-04-10T09:24:49-04:00Comments Off on Avow Designated as a “Blue Zones Project Approved™ Worksite”

4Men Prostate Cancer Support Luncheon – April 17th

Join Avow and 4Men Prostate Cancer Support for a free prostate cancer support luncheon on Tuesday, April 17th from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Avow Ispiri Community Center. The guest speaker, David R. Wilkinson, M.D. from Gulf Shore Urology, will present up-to-date information on types of drug therapy for prostate cancer, including when is it needed, administration of the drug(s), potential side effects, and outcomes. The event is free and open to the public.  Spouses and friends are [...]

2018-03-29T12:49:36-04:00Comments Off on 4Men Prostate Cancer Support Luncheon – April 17th

The Healing Power of Mindfulness – April 19th

Join Avow and Licensed Psychologist, Dr. Wendy Nickerson, for a lunch and learn on the healing power of mindfulness on Thursday, April 19th in the Waterview Room of Avow’s Ispiri Community Center.  Lunch begins at 11:30 a.m. with the lecture to follow at 12:00 p.m. Attendees will learn to: Understand the transformation principles of mindfulness practice. Identify the core principles that underpin effective mindfulness coaching and therapeutic services. Recognize how to deepen the connection between your head, heart, and innate [...]

2018-03-29T12:46:33-04:00Comments Off on The Healing Power of Mindfulness – April 19th

Widow & Widower Support Group – March 9, 16, 23, 30 April 6, 13, 20, 27

March 9, 16, 23, 30 April 6, 13, 20, 27 Ispiri Remembering Room 2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. The Widow & Widower support group is open to anyone in the community who has experienced a recent loss. The group is led by a licensed bereavement expert and is most appropriate for those who have experienced a loss within the past two years. Some group participants choose simply to listen; others feel comfortable sharing thoughts and feelings. During the session, trained [...]

2018-03-26T00:35:55-04:00Comments Off on Widow & Widower Support Group – March 9, 16, 23, 30 April 6, 13, 20, 27

Soak the Sales Rep Fundraiser

What is Soak the Sales Team? Soak the Sales Team is a fundraiser that is hosted every year by the Gulfshore Insurance Humanitarian Foundation. All proceeds raised benefit Avow Hospice Children’s Services. The client advisor that gets the most money vouched for him/her by Friday, June 14th will be the winner of Soak the Sales Team! The winner will receive a bucket of ice cold water over his/her head. A new twist this year, we are inviting our carrier [...]

2019-05-24T16:05:49-04:00Comments Off on Soak the Sales Rep Fundraiser

Avow Palliative Care Center Now Open for Consultations, Education

Southwest Florida residents suffering from a serious illness and in need of symptom relief and emotional support can now find help at a new outpatient palliative care center on the Avow campus, 1223 Whippoorwill Lane in central Naples (Pine Ridge Road west of I-75). The facility, located in the new Lyon Center for palliative care, hospice and bereavement, features comfortable spaces for patients and families to discuss treatment options with Avow’s palliative care specialists. Patients and their primary care physicians [...]

2017-07-06T11:13:09-04:00Tags: , , |Comments Off on Avow Palliative Care Center Now Open for Consultations, Education

We’re Hiring! Join us at the Avow Job Fair on February 4, 2017

Join Avow on Saturday, February 4th, 2017 from 7:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. at the Homewood Suites on 5255 Big Pine Way in Fort Myers for Job Fair specializing in Healthcare Clinical Positions (RNs, LPNs and CNAs). You will meet Avow representatives and learn about open clinical positions. Bring your resume to the Fair and ASK about SIGN-ON BONUSES! For more information, please contact Ken Rodgers at 239.430.3477 or by emailing at kenneth.rodgers@avowcares.org. View current job openings at by clicking here.  

2017-07-06T11:13:09-04:00Comments Off on We’re Hiring! Join us at the Avow Job Fair on February 4, 2017

Palliative Care Changed My Quality of Life

When four-time cancer survivor Janice Feenstra was diagnosed with an incurable, but treatable cancer, she was hopeful and ready to endure chemotherapy and radiation to keep the cancer under control. Over time Janice became "sick and tired of being sick and tired" so she turned to Avow's palliative care team for help. A year later, Janice was able to spend quality time with family instead of suffering from the symptoms of her illness. "My experience with Avow has been amazing," [...]

2017-07-06T11:13:09-04:00Comments Off on Palliative Care Changed My Quality of Life

At Group We Listen, Acknowledge and Learn From Each Other

Connie Hill was apprehensive to attend her first grief support group, but she's very thankful she did. Avow's bereavement counselor instantly put her at ease. Connie describes her experience as "uplifting, positive and healing, and a very productive way to deal with grief." After losing the love of her life to cancer, Connie found added benefit in the bond she made with her support group peers. "Family and friends mean well, but they can't truly understand what you are going [...]

2017-07-06T11:13:09-04:00Comments Off on At Group We Listen, Acknowledge and Learn From Each Other

They Cared for Dad and Showed Concern for Me Too.

While sitting vigil at his father's bedside at Avow's Frances Georgeson Hospice House, Chris Farrugia observed nurses speaking warmly and compassionately to his father as they adjusted pillows and offered a gentle touch to his forehead. "Each nurse treated my dad as if he was his/her own spouse or father," Chris shared in a letter to Avow. At one point, a nurse asked Chris how he was doing and if he needed anything. "At first I thought, 'I'm not the patient. [...]

2017-07-06T11:13:09-04:00Comments Off on They Cared for Dad and Showed Concern for Me Too.

Grief at the Holidays – Tips for Coping

Grieving the loss of someone is always challenging, but it can be increasingly so during holiday time. If you are dealing with loss or know someone who is, the following tips may be helpful… Tips for those dealing with grief: Don’t be afraid to change traditions. Old ones won’t be the same – so new ones may help. Keep the ones that are comforting. Show your emotions – expression is healthy and positive. Rely on others. Remember children and encourage [...]

2017-07-06T11:13:09-04:00Comments Off on Grief at the Holidays – Tips for Coping

Avow has successfully earned the 4th Star

4 Stars! Avow has successfully earned our 4th star from National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) for our completion of requirements of the We Honor Veterans Program. But our work is far from finished. We will continue to strive to meet the needs of our Veterans. As a We Honor Veterans Founding Community Partner (Dignity Memorial) or Community Partner, there are four levels we can achieve. Each level guides you through specific activities to progressively increase your ability to serve Veterans and [...]

2017-07-06T11:13:09-04:00Comments Off on Avow has successfully earned the 4th Star

Weinig Estate Gift Will Help Seriously Ill in Southwest Florida

Avow Foundation, Inc. announces it has received a gift of $795,000 from the Nancy L. Weinig estate. The gift will be used to help seriously ill community residents who can benefit from hospice care. According to Mrs. Weinig’s estate planning lawyer, Bradley G. Rigor of Quarles and Brady, LLP, “Ms. Weinig was deeply touched by the loving care her close friends and family received through Avow’s hospice care services, and wanted to help Avow continue its wonderful work.” Avow was [...]

2018-07-05T09:31:13-04:00Comments Off on Weinig Estate Gift Will Help Seriously Ill in Southwest Florida

Hall, Neale Appointed to Avow Board of Directors

The Board of Directors of Avow, Inc. announces the appointment of directors Dana Hall and Patrick Neale. Hall and Neale will also concurrently serve as directors of the Avow Hospice, Inc. and Avow Care Services, Inc. boards. Prior to joining the Board of Directors, Naples resident Dana Hall served on Avow advisory committees and is a current member of the Avow Women’s Board. Hall is a co-owner of Beachwood Cremation Society and Naples Funeral Home. She is a Licensed Direct [...]

2017-07-06T11:13:09-04:00Tags: , , , |Comments Off on Hall, Neale Appointed to Avow Board of Directors

Avow Recognized as Customer of the Week by Image First

On July 5th, John Ledley and Tim Marrone from Image First Healthcare Laundry Specialists made a visit to Avow's Frances Georgeson Hospice House to recognize Avow as their customer of the week and to present a $500 donation. In the photo (left to right): John Ledley, Tim Marrone from Image First and from Avow: Kathy Davis, Greg Dougherty, Connie Shepherd, Phyllis Hall and Jaysen Roa.

2017-07-06T11:13:09-04:00Comments Off on Avow Recognized as Customer of the Week by Image First

How to Talk to Children about Death, Tragic Events

Tips for Talking with Children Following Tragic Events Reassure them of their own safety. Don’t project your fears onto the child. Limit access to recurring news and repeated exposure to the tragedy. Realize you can’t completely shield them from what happened. Build upon your trust relationship by letting the child hear things directly form you – even unsettling information. Keep in mind: There is no standard reaction you can or should expect from your child. Some children [...]

2018-06-08T09:58:00-04:00Comments Off on How to Talk to Children about Death, Tragic Events

Don’t Wait, Have The Conversation Now.

A National Healthcare Decisions Day Message from Dr. Cynthia Nehrkorn When eighty-eight year old Mary*, an Avow palliative care patient living with lung cancer, was suddenly overcome by an excruciating head ache, she went straight to the hospital. Physicians there confirmed she was experiencing a brain hemorrhage. Bleeding (hemorrhage) incidents can be a complication for patients with stage 4 progressive cancer. As Mary’s condition worsened, she was unable to communicate, forcing her son, John*, to make treatment choices for her. [...]

2017-07-06T11:13:11-04:00Comments Off on Don’t Wait, Have The Conversation Now.

Regatta Winners Announced – Avow is Beneficiary

Gulf Coast Sailing Club’s 40th Annual Charity Regatta Winners Announced America’s Cup Thompson Key Crewmember on Winning Boat  There were 85 sailors crewing on 17 sailboats of all classes competing to win the Gulf Coast Sailing Club (GCSC) 2016 Charity Regatta off Naples Pier on Saturday, April 2.   Hundreds of viewers were awed by the fast action on the water accompanied by racing wind conditions.  The thousands of dollars raised will benefit children in the Southwest Florida community who are [...]

2017-07-06T11:13:11-04:00Comments Off on Regatta Winners Announced – Avow is Beneficiary