Helfen­bein named new hospice board chair­man

Record Observer - - News -

CEN­TRE­VILLE — Tom Helfen­bein of Stevensville re­cently was named chair­man of the Com­pass Re­gional Hospice board of di­rec­tors. He steps into the role af­ter serv­ing on the board since 2010 and fol­lows Kathy Deoudes, who re­mains a mem­ber of the board.

Be­fore re­tir­ing in 2014, Helfen­bein was the pres­i­dent and CEO of Fel­lows, Helfen­bein and New­nam Fu­neral Homes. He started his ca­reer in the fu­neral busi­ness with Hub­bard Fu­neral Homes in Bal­ti­more, which in­spired him to at­tend mor­tu­ary school to be­come a li­censed fu­neral di­rec­tor.

Helfen­bein later moved to the Eastern Shore to part­ner with Hub­bard in op­er­at­ing a fu­neral busi­ness in Church Hill and Ch­ester. Since then, he has part­nered with New­nam Fu­neral Home in Talbot County, Fel­lows Fu­neral Home in Kent County and Flee­gle and Helfen­bein Fu­neral Home in Caro­line County.

“My proud­est ac­com­plish­ment was be­ing a first gen­er­a­tion fu­neral di­rec­tor,” Helfen­bein said.

Now all three of his sons are li­censed fu­neral di­rec­tors and run the Fel­lows, Helfen­bein and New­nam Fu­neral Homes in Queen Anne’s, Kent, Talbot and Anne Arun­del coun­ties.

In his re­tire­ment, Helfen­bein said he en­joys spend­ing time with his wife, Bob­bye, their chil­dren and seven grand­chil­dren.

“Tom’s ex­per­tise and com­pas­sion for help­ing fam­i­lies through dif­fi­cult and del­i­cate end-of-life pro­cesses mir­rors the cul­ture of hospice,” said Heather Guerieri, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, Com­pass Re­gional Hospice. “Helfen­bein has been an active mem­ber and long­time sup­porter of hospice services in our com­mu­nity, as he was in­volved in the startup of Hospice of Queen Anne’s, now Com­pass Re­gional Hospice. His ad­vo­cacy for end-of-life care is what makes Tom an ideal can­di­date for board chair.”

Serv­ing with Helfen­bein on the ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee of Com­pass Re­gional Hospice’s board are Edward Allen, vice chair­man; Julie McMa­han Thomas, sec­re­tary; and Teresa Bau­mann, trea­surer.

“I strongly be­lieve that hospice should have been an ac­cepted part of our cul­ture a long time ago. The fact that we are able to help peo­ple main­tain dig­nity at the end of their life is a won­der­ful thing,” Helfen­bein said.

TOM HELFEN­BEIN

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