Longtime EveryStep Volunteer Coordinator Susan Joynt Retiring

Susan Joynt

After 12 years as EveryStep Hospice’s Des Moines team and Kavanagh House volunteer coordinator, Susan Joynt is retiring. Susan’s work with EveryStep has touched thousands of lives.

“Volunteers are the most selfless people I have ever met,” says Susan. “They are my true North, and I will miss seeing their examples of what it is to be ‘of service’ as I step away from this role. I hope that I will come away with at least a small amount of what they have taught me over the years.” Susan says her fellow volunteer coordinators have always been ready to help each other and have been a great support to her. “Unless you have done this job, you really don’t know the complexities of the work that goes on everyday with the volunteer coordinator position!”

There are hundreds of people and moments that Susan will cherish from her time with EveryStep, but says she is humbled by the grace of the volunteers who ask for no fanfare or praise, including:

  • Volunteers sitting quietly, holding a hand of dying patient.
  • Volunteers folding countless loads of laundry.
  • Volunteers doing countless hours of administrative work.
  • Volunteers providing support to families and friends.
  • Volunteers sharing their pets and music with patients and families.
  • Volunteers who make patient deliveries on demand.
  • Volunteers who provide services to our veteran patients.
  • Volunteers that interview patients who want their story recorded.
  • Volunteers providing companionship to patients and families.

In addition to her work as an EveryStep volunteer coordinator for over a decade, Susan has also worked directly with clients and patients as a music therapist for 34 years. “I have never found a more rewarding population than hospice patients and their families. Music is a common language, a language that is not threatening or judgmental. It allows the patient to be vulnerable enough to talk about the issues at hand or just escape for a while and enjoy their favorite music.

“It brings me joy to see a foot tapping underneath a blanket or hear the stories that the music evokes, and provide a space for tears and reflection.” Susan says she will miss her music therapy patients at EveryStep, but hopes to continue her contractual music therapy services around the Des Moines area.

In her retirement, Susan says she and her spouse will travel, relax and continue to be of service. “We plan to go from ‘ROLE to SOUL.’ If it feeds our soul, count us in!”

Longtime EveryStep volunteer Toni Parkins will step into the volunteer coordinator position from which Susan is retiring. EveryStep is also hiring a music therapist in Susan’s departure. Click here to view that position, as well as other career opportunities with EveryStep. If you are interested in volunteering with EveryStep, visit our website for more information. If you or someone you know is struggling to find the support they need, please contact EveryStep at 515-558-9946 or complete the commitment-free, confidential “Find Care” form here. EveryStep staff will follow up with a phone call to answer your questions and provide help.