BANGOR — Family, friends and colleagues gathered on Sept. 14 to honor the Rev. Thomas “Tom” Benson and Marteile “Teile” Benson for their three decades of devoted service to Bangor Area Visiting Nurses and Hospice of Eastern Maine. The recognition ceremony included the renaming of the Medical Office Building Conference Room in the nurses and hospice suite at the EMHS Mall on Union Street to the Tom and Teile Benson Conference Room.
“Tom and Teile’s varied services to our organization have resulted in the community being a
better place for all to live and die,” said Wayne Melanson, hospice volunteer manager,
at the ceremony. “They are two extraordinary people who exemplify selfless service to others.
Their can-do attitude and perseverance in championing compassionate, quality patient care
are models for the rest of us to emulate.”
The impact of Tom and Teile’s service to Bangor Area Visiting Nurses and Hospice of
Eastern Maine is far reaching, Melanson said.
Tom participates on Eastern Maine HomeCare’s Professional Advisory Committee and Teile was one of the visionary co-founders of COPES, now Hospice of Eastern Maine,
30 years ago, and she served as its first president. COPES volunteers introduced
hospice to the community and brought compassionate comfort care to end-of-life experiences for patients and families. Tom and Teile were two of the first patient care volunteers with COPES, at times working as a couple to provide emotional and spiritual support.
Teile has participated as the Hospice Memorial Garden chairwoman and the Citizens
Advisory Committee chairwoman and continues to be a top solicitor for the annual Celebrity
Dessert & Auction. She also leads the prayer shawl ministry at St. John’s Episcopal
Church and gives hospice patients and others in spiritual need with prayer shawls.
Together Tom and Teile served on the Time To Care Capital Campaign committee in
2005, the visiting nurses’ first capital campaign. The campaign exceeded its goal.
In 2008 nurses and hospice staff, with guidance from Tom and Teile’s daughter Ann, worked on
the creation of the Rev. Thomas & Marteile Benson Endowment Fund.
“The response from family and friends was overwhelming, and a true testament to the impact this couple has had on the lives of so many in this community and beyond,” Melanson said.
The wooden plaque, with the image of the couple on it, reads: “The Tom and Teile Benson Conference Room. In grateful recognition of their distinguished service, devoted support, and leadership in advocating for quaility patient care on behalf of Bangor Area Visiting Nurses and Hospice of Eastern Maine.”
Bangor Area Visiting Nurses has achieved HomeCare Elite status for the fifth year in a row.
Along with its hospice program, Hospice of Eastern Maine, visiting nurses extends services into
central Maine. Last year its caring staff drove 293,983 miles to provide 27,433 visits to
more than 1,550 home care and hospice patients and their families. Although home care services are paid for by public and private sources, or directly by patients and their families, tax-
exempt donations help cover the cost of care provided to the uninsured or under-insured.
A part of the Eastern Maine HomeCare Family, and a member of EMHS, Bangor Area
Visiting Nurses works to ensure that the highest quality home care and hospice is available to
those who need it. For more information about home care and hospice services, visit http://www.easternmainehomecare.org or call the EMHC Patient Referral Line toll-free at 866-591-8843.