Randy Kanouse, left, receives the Gift of the Heart Award from Suzi Johnson, CHAPCA chair.

Randy Kanouse, a UC Davis Hospice Volunteer for nearly five years, was recently awarded the Gift of the Heart Award, an annual award given to one volunteer in California each year by the California Hospice and Palliative Care Association (CHAPCA).

The award, presented at the CHAPCA Annual Awards Luncheon on Oct. 4, goes to an individual volunteer who has developed and implemented a unique project or shown a history of dedicated service to hospice and the patients they serve.

In Kanouse’s case, he’s done both.

As a veteran, Kanouse was quick to volunteer when the UC Davis Hospice Program initiated the We Honor Veterans Program. He developed an exemplary way of honoring those who have served our country with in-depth interviews, presentations, certificates of appreciation, pinning ceremonies, the U.S. flag and photos for the patient and family to treasure. Kanouse then expanded his one-on-one work with veterans to the nursing facilities the hospice contracts with, recognizing every veteran the nursing home serves.

“Randy has honored more than 75 veterans and brought immeasurable honor and dignity to their lives, and facilitated sharing their legacy with those veterans’ families and loved ones,” said Don Lewis, volunteer and bereavement coordinator for the UC Davis Hospice Program. “On more than one occasion, he has been asked to repeat the story as part of a memorial service for our patients. He is truly worth honoring himself.”