Birkhoff Family Inaugurates Annual Homecare Award


Jim Hines has been named the first recipient of the Birkhoff Family Home Caregiver of the Year Award for his work to improve the lives of patients.
The award, which carries a prize of $1,000, was created by Bill Birkhoff, a Palomar Health homecare patient for the past four years.
At a ceremony last week, Birkhoff thanked doctors and homecare workers for keeping him alive in his forty years as a patient at Palomar Health. Aside from helping with basic daily tasks, he said homecare workers have saved his life on at least three occasions: twice when they were called upon to perform the Heimlich Maneuver on him and once when a homecare worker driving him to an appointment avoided a potentially serious car crash. 
He and his wife, Anne, described how their quality of life was vastly better because of the help they get from Hines six days a week. Anne described the physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual support they receive as “phenomenal.” 
“It’s not just getting socks on in the morning. It goes much deeper than that,” she said. “I am so grateful because I could not do one-sixteenth of what the caregivers do; I’m just not physically able to do it. So I want to say thank you.” 
Bill Birkhoff celebrated the occasion by blowing out candles on four cupcakes, each one representing a year of life that he has had since suffering a catastrophic stroke. 
In accepting the award, Hines described how the smallest details can make all the difference to a patient and their family. He recalled a previous experience caring for a couple in hospice. When he took the time to clean the windows of their home, Hines gave them the satisfaction of being able to look out and see their garden, a truly priceless moment for them. It’s that kind of approach, Hines said, that makes for great homecare.
The Birkhoff family is helping to create a legacy of excellence at Palomar Health, according to Joe Parker, Director of Home Health Services. He said the annual award will serve as a permanent source of encouragement for other caregivers to go above and beyond in their work. 
“Quality homecare is all about giving our patients a better life,” Parker said. “That’s exactly what Jim does and why he is so deserving of this award. We’re grateful that the Birkhoff family have chosen to recognize Palomar Health home caregivers for all the important work they do.”

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