Advocate Lutheran General Hospital
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Staff

Gwynne Chovane, CTRS
Director of Older Adult Services and Senior Advocate

I started in long term care immediately out of college where I worked in a nursing home for 9 years.  In 1980, I came to Lutheran General Hospital and was hired as a Recreational Therapist for our Adult Day Service program.  That was 33 years ago.  We had the only program for the elderly at that time, and with the tireless work of everyone, we have grown immensely.  I enjoy everything about working with the elderly, especially developing programs that allow seniors to remain in their homes with the support needed and for as long as possible.  Our staff shares that commitment and passion for the work we do.  Since we are a teaching facility, we have an array of students and interns that we have trained throughout the years...that's quite rewarding...it truly is a pleasure to share our knowledge with our interns who represent all ages and professional fields.  The real joy, for me, comes from the connections I have made with our very special participants and their families, the opportunities to be creative, and the chance to both inspire others as well as to be inspired by them.
 

Edythe Hirasawa, LCPC
Site Manager of Adult Day Service, Licensed Clinical Counselor

I have been working in aging for 22 years and am a Licensed Clinical Counselor with a specialty in geriatric counseling.  I am also in charge of the adult day service program, overseeing day to day operations to assure that we provide a safe, supportive, fun environment for the seniors.  I especially enjoy working with families as they face the challenge of transitioning care needs for their loved ones.
 

Karen Marbach, RN
Nurse

I have been working in aging for 5 years at OAS.  I am one of two nurses at OAS.  I had been a rehab nurse in the hospital (Lutheran General Hospital), which helps with our clientele.  We monitor the clients, pass meds, help toilet, and in my case I also do activities.  I love seeing the smiles on their faces.  It warms me inside.  THAT is what it is all about!
 

Sharon Spiwak, RN
Nurse

I have worked in aging for 28 years, 7 of which have been the Registered Nurse for our Adult Day Service program.  I am one of the RNs that works with the clients.  Specifically, I pass medications, do treatments, and make sure that the overall health of each client is up to par.  I like knowing that our clients are safe and I especially like communicating with the clients and their families.  Each person comes from a unique background and it's nice to be able to really get to know our clients and their families.
 

Mary Beck, NCT
Nursing Care Technician

I have been working in aging for 30 years, 20 of which have been with our Older Adult Services (OAS) program.  I work as a geriatric nursing assistant; I help facilitate home-delivered meals, and help track hours for the community care program.  At OAS, I wear many hats meaning I pitch in where needed.  I love watching seniors make friends, listening to their stories, and sharing in their triumphs.  When you realize what they've been through, it makes you appreciate your own life more.
 

Layla Chimon, NCT
Nursing Care Technician

I have been working at OAS for 9 years as a nursing care technician. Previously, I was a nurse for 15 years in Syria.  In my current work I help clients in the shower and bathroom, and I also assist them to and from activities. I also clean the kitchen and tables, help serve lunch, and help serve coffee and snacks.  I enjoy talking to the clients and their families. I am passionate about helping others.
 

Robert Smith
Activity Therapist

I have been working in aging for 13 years, 9 of which have been with OAS.  I plan and implement recreation activities for seniors.  These activities include discussion groups, field trips, active games, table games, and craft activities.  I enjoy making the seniors smile and laugh.  I also enjoy singing. 

  

Ellen Harrow
Activity Therapist

I have been working in aging for over three years.  I am an Activity Therapist, where I plan and implement recreational activities for seniors that stimulate the mind, body and spirit.  I enjoy learning from the seniors as I help them have fun.  I also love music and singing.
 

Katie Kiehn, MAAT, LPC
Art Therapist

I have been working in aging for 2.5 years since I graduated from an art therapy program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  I work as an art therapist and counselor, coordinating the EXPRESSIONS program for people in the earliest stages of memory loss at OAS.  I enjoy being able to bring out the creativity in people who may not have recognized this quality in themselves.  I facilitate art making with the intention of strengthening community and validating individual strengths.
 

Wayne Adreani
Driver and Activities/Program Aide

I have been working in aging for almost 5 years.  I have also cared for my mother for 8 years.  I am one of the Drivers and Aides at OAS.  I drive the shuttle bus to pick-up and drive home many of our seniors.  I also help by picking up food from the hospital and prepare it for their lunch.  Finally, I help with scheduled activities.  By serving my mother and sensing the joy my care brought her, I understand what it takes to bring similar joy to our seniors.  Our clients aren’t alike, which makes it a special challenge every day.  You learn what each done likes and dislikes making them as happy as possible. 
 

Ozeal Lee Jr.
Driver and Activities/Program Aide

I have worked in aging for 8 years, 6 of which have been with OAS.  I transport seniors to and from OAS, assist during food preparation and delivery, and conduct various activities for the client's enjoyment.  I receive the most pleasure when I’m able to get a smile or a laugh from one of the clients. "Spreading joy" can't get any better than that....
 

Efrain Pena
Driver and Activities/Program Aide

I have been working in aging for one month and have been transporting for 14 years. I am a driver and activities/program aide.  I transport and escort clients from home and to the adult day care programs and then back home.  Additionally, I assist in client programs.  I enjoy the relationships with people, helping out and interacting in exercise, games and activities, and picking up clients that need to get to the center.
 

Mindy Haglund, MSW
Coordinator of Information Assistance, Social Worker

I have been involved with aging since I was a teenager.  I began volunteering at several different nursing homes and assisted living centers.  Both of my internships for my Bachelors and Masters degree were working with the geriatric population.  Overall, I have been working with older adults for more than 20 years.  I have a Master’s Degree in social work with a specialty in geriatrics.  I conduct in home assessments for services in the community, coordinate a home delivered meal program, manage the Philips Lifeline (emergency response) program, and take over 400 calls monthly for community information for families, caregivers, other social workers, and nurses looking for community resources for their patients.  I also participate in community health fairs and do presentations to adults and older adults in the communities.  Families, caregivers, and other professionals call on me in a time of need.  I really enjoy that I can be of help, listen to their story, and guide them down the path to the best care for their loved one.  I help people each and every day, nothing could be better than that. 
 

Michael Haglund, CPA
Certified Public Accountant

I have been working in the accounting field for over 20 years.  My last 7 years have been working in aging handling all the accounting aspects for OAS.  I am a certified public accountant (CPA) and handle all the accounts receivable, some accounts payable, reconcile with corporate, handle all self pay, public aid, and veterans administration payments.  I enjoy working with the families to assist them in keeping their account up to date.  I have also learned the structure of the Veterans Administration, Illinois Department on Aging, and Department of Human Services, all of which our participants utilize.  One of my greatest joys was helping develop credit card payments for Older Adult Services.  This made it much easier for our families.   

 

From left to right: Agata Doerfler, Sandra Mueller, and Linda Gonzalez

Agata Doerfler
Senior Advocate

I have been working in aging for 10 years.  I counsel seniors on Medicare regulations and help with any patient financial concerns.  I am also active with non-English speaking clients, especially Polish speaking clients.  I always wanted to be part of the healing situation.  I like to take the confusion out of paperwork, unpaid hospital and doctor bills, so patients can concentrate on their health.

Sandra Mueller
Senior Advocate

I have been working in aging for 30 years, 17 of which have been with Senior Advocate.  I counsel seniors on Medicare regulations and help with any patient financial concerns.  I enjoy the interaction with the seniors themselves.  Each of them has their own story to share and helping them with any problem is gratifying.

Linda Gonzalez
Senior Advocate

I have been working in aging for 10 years.  I counsel seniors on Medicare regulations and help with any patient financial concerns.  I enjoy the interaction with seniors, especially when I can reassure them they have not paid more than is owed.  I also find hearing their life stories to be very inspiring.

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