Business Faculty Go Beyond the Classroom and Get Involved Helping Community Too

Dr. Kenneth Snead has been recognized for his excellence with one of the University’s highest teaching designations – BGSU Master Teacher – and the College of Business Faculty Excellence Award presented by BGSU’s Undergraduate Student Government. He is also the director of the Master of Accountancy (MAcc) program and has been instrumental in developing partnerships with other regional private colleges making it easier to enroll in the BGSU MAcc program after students earn their undergraduate accounting degrees.

Not only is Dr. Snead a leader in the accounting program, he has taken on a leadership role with Hospice of Northwest Ohio (HNO), becoming the new president of HNO’s Board of Trustees. Dr. Snead states, “It is an honor to assist with HNO with the ongoing delivery of its incredibly sacred mission. While I knew from personal experience how great this agency was, I became even more overwhelmed by its quality since I’ve gotten to know its top-notch staff and to witness the commitment and passion of every member of its Board of Trustees.”

What led Dr. Snead to HNO was a very emotional situation. Jane Snead, his high school sweetheart and wife of 31 years, was diagnosed with oral cancer in 1997.  She fought the disease as long as she could with five recurrences in five years and repeated rounds of chemo, radiation, and surgeries. When it became apparent early in 2002 that nothing more medically could be done for Jane, Dr. Snead promised her that she would be able to spend her final weeks at home. Dr. Snead remembers, “It was the one thing I thought I could still control and I was bound to make it happen for her. But her needs were extremely complex, and I became physically, spiritually and emotionally spent in caring for her. That’s when I called Hospice of Northwest Ohio. As a result, its incredible angelic army came rushing to her rescue…and mine.”

He adds that despite Jane receiving hospice care for just two weeks before she died, it was the months after her passing that really helped him and his daughter, Kimberly, adjust to life without Jane through bereavement services and support.  Specifically, Dr. Snead turned to HNO’s bereavement counselors when he was ready to re-marry. They helped him understand that he needn’t feel guilty for moving on with his life. As a result, he has been happily married to Amy for eleven years.

Dr. Snead explains what HNO does in the community. “HNO is the ultimate resource for everything pertaining to end-of-life care and education. For patients and families, Hospice provides specialized pain and symptom management as well as comprehensive medical care—anywhere patients live. An interdisciplinary team comprised of physicians, nurses, aides, social workers, chaplains and volunteers assures that, in addition to the patient’s physical needs, his or her emotional and spiritual concerns are addressed as well. Support is also given to the entire family at no charge.”

As the incoming president on the Board of Trustees, Dr. Snead looks forward to the future. “We are among the largest hospices in the nation, based on the number of patients served. HNO will be working more and more closely with hospitals, nursing homes, insurers and others to assure patients receive access to hospice care as early in their diagnosis as possible so they – and their families – have the best quality of life possible. As Medicare and health care reform limit the dollars available to agencies such as HNO, it will need the support of the community, more than ever before, to assure it can provide the excellent level of care all people deserve at the end of life.”

The accounting professor encourages others to get involved in the community and become a volunteer at HNO. “Volunteers are an essential part of Hospice!  Most important, they sit with patients so their caregivers can have a break. They also provide companionship through conversation or playing games or pursuing hobbies with patients. Volunteers also work in our inpatient centers, providing support to staff and patients; others work behind the scenes assisting with clerical functions or working in the fabulous Hospice gardens.”

According to Dr. Snead, there is an extensive volunteer training program for those in direct contact with patients, about 24 hours of classroom time.  He directs anyone interested in volunteering to contact HNO at 419-661-4001.