Why I Enjoy Working at EveryStep: Grief & Loss

Life after the loss of a loved one is a difficult journey. At EveryStep Grief & Loss Services, our bereavement counselors and support groups aim to provide participants with the comfort they need to traverse their new world. 

EveryStep Grief & Loss Services offers a variety of grief support opportunities provided at no cost for anyone in the community. Available to individuals and families of all ages, our services include: our Amanda the Panda program’s grief camps, monthly or quarterly support groups, eight-week educational support groups, memorial gatherings, family nights, peer support and mailed resources.

Events and support groups are hosted at EveryStep Hospice locations in eight Iowa communities and at the EveryStep Grief & Loss Services office (home of Amanda the Panda) in West Des Moines. 

Our EveryStep employees are dedicated to ensuring families find comfort  in their time of need, highlighting the compassion and care EveryStep strives to provide for our communities and those within our organization. 

EveryStep recently received its seventh Top Workplaces honor by The Des Moines Register.  This recognition is a testament to the employees who make EveryStep the organization it is. 

Today, our EveryStep Grief & Loss Services team members share in the organization’s recognition, and proudly exclaim just why they enjoy working for EveryStep.   

“After retiring from teaching, I was fortunate enough to be hired as a bereavement counselor, thinking it would be for just a few years. Twelve years later, I am still working for EveryStep! Over that period of time, I have had the opportunity to work with some of the most committed, compassionate professionals who provide excellent care for our patients as well as providing support for the patient’s whole family. It’s a team effort and I am grateful to be a part of this team.” - Kathy Rinehart – bereavement counselor with EveryStep Hospice in Mount Ayr.

“I guess this is part of the reason I enjoy working with EveryStep so much, in that we touch so many people’s lives in a meaningful way.  Recently, after finishing the ‘Understanding Your Grief’ educational grief support group, I had a group member send me a lovely card which said, ‘Blessed Are the Givers, and grateful are the receivers.  You have done so much to help and teach me how to cope, in a healthy manner, with two very difficult situations.’  It is easy to get caught up in the mundane responsibilities of our jobs, but when we hear positive, loving comments from the people we are reaching out to, this is what makes all the difference. I find great purpose and meaning in my job, by helping others.” – Rose Bohnenkamp, bereavement counselor with EveryStep Hospice in Mount Pleasant. 

“Working on the Amanda the Panda team is special to me because we get the chance to provide support to people during a time that can often be very isolating and lonely. Death and loss are still stigmatized topics in our world even though it happens to everyone, so providing a safe, creative, inviting space to talk about those realities in a meaningful way with such a passionate team makes this job so rewarding.” - Claire Mraz – Amanda the Panda program assistant 

"It is an understatement to say that it is a great privilege to work at EveryStep.  As a spiritual care and bereavement counselor I have the honor to be part of a team that provides personal and compassionate care for our patients.  It is a joy to come to work everyday and to know that I am supported by everyone on my team and by our leadership." – Mike Albert, spiritual care and bereavement counselor with EveryStep Hospice in Osceola 

"I feel very fortunate that I am able to meet so many wonderful patients and family members thru working at Kavanagh House.  I am also very lucky to work with amazing staff here." – Russell Baumhover, bereavement counselor with EveryStep Hospice in the metro. 

“There are many reasons I enjoy working for EveryStep—the organization treats its employees well, the people I work with are great, and the environment is one of mutual respect and caring, mixed in with some fun. But the main reason is that we really do make a difference in the lives of those we serve. At the end of the day, that’s what matters.” – Denise Nahnsen, bereavement counselor with EveryStep Hospice in the metro