Tom Gryzbek, Franciscan Health senior vice president and chief operating officer of post-acute care and compliance, was the main speaker at a memorial service Aug. 30 to honor Vanessa Nathan, former manager of Franciscan Health Hammond’s Volunteer Advocates for Seniors and Incapacitated Adults program, which she had run since 2004.
Gryzbek, former president and chief executive officer of Franciscan Health Dyer and Hammond, formed the idea for the program in 2001 and facilitated it. The initiative, which is a collaborative effort between the health care and legal communities, has trained approximately 200 volunteers since its inception. VASIA safeguards health care, social services and legal protection needs of elderly and incapacitated adults in Lake County health systems, nursing homes and hospice facilities. Gryzbek, during his remarks to a standing-room-only crowd in the hospital chapel that was filled with family, friends and employees, spoke of Nathan’s unceasing care and dedication to those the program served and recalled humorous moments, as well. He especially praised her infectious smile and loving attitude toward those with whom she came in contact. Also shown is the Rev. Alphonse Skerl, a hospital chaplain, who officiated at the ceremony.