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Finding purpose in the journey: Hospice volunteer shares joy of finding life again 


For Kay “Katie” Dowler, volunteering one day a week at Ozarks Healthcare At Home: Hospice has become her way of giving and finding a renewed sense of purpose. The journey with Ozarks Healthcare At Home: Hospice has come full circle, from being patient's partner to a grateful volunteer.

When Dowler’s husband, Ben, of 45 years was put on hospice care last year, her life was forever changed. Through it all, Dowler says the incredible team at Ozarks Healthcare At Home: Hospice became her guiding light.

“The nurses were angels in our home, and I felt so fortunate to have this kind of people — they were fantastic,” Dowler said. “Ben lived for seven months longer because of them. I never realized they could have that much influence.” 

After Dowler’s husband passed away, she formed a special relationship with Tammy McCall, social worker, and Eric Bowman, hospice chaplain. They became more than caregivers; they became Dowler’s dear friends in a time when she needed them most. 

“Their attention helped us grow a friendship,” Dowler said. Laughing, she added, “I don’t know if they form friendships a lot, but I don’t!” 

As Dowler entered a new chapter, she found herself seeking way to contribute and give back. 

“I told Eric, when you lose somebody, it’s like starting life over because everything is different,” she said. “He noticed I had a desk and filing system at home — I said I wanted to help somehow. Eric suggested I come work in the office, and I said that would suit me fine. When you get to be this age — I’ll be 86 in January — you feel like you lose your place in society. Volunteering has become my way of finding purpose again.” 

To learn more about Ozarks Healthcare At Home, visit www.ozarkshealthcare.com/services/at-home or call 417-256-3133.