Deborah Toole, RN, BSN, CHPN
“If you love what you do, you won’t work a single day in your life.” Deborah Toole has dedicated her life to serving others through nursing. Whether in pediatrics, or adult end of life care- Deborah views her service through a spiritual lens, and has crafted her life’s purpose around nursing as her ministry work.
Deborah grew up in Howard County, and went to nursing school at the University of Maryland at Baltimore (Class of ’88). Following her graduation, she worked at Johns Hopkins on their medical surgical floor for two years. Deborah then got married and had four children, and worked part time as an at-home pediatrics nurse until her youngest child entered 1st grade.
“My mantra has always been ‘How can I help?’- no matter the situation I think it’s so important to listen to patients. Often folks in the medical profession do all the talking- but we can give better care if we simply take the time to build a relationship with people.”
Ten years into serving as a worker’s compensation nurse, Deborah’s best friend’s husband was diagnosed with a brain tumor. After 3 years of taking the end of life journey with her dear friend, Deborah was inspired to pursue hospice work.
“Hospice care gives me the gift of working closely with families- who are my heroes! Amidst the sadness, end of life is a sacred and beautiful journey, and I feel blessed to share that time with my patients and their families.”
Deborah has been a hospice nurse for 15 years at Seasons and Gilchrist, and in addition to her RN and BSN degrees, Deborah is also a Certified Hospice and Palliative Care Nurse (CHPN). Deborah serves as an End of Life Doula, and has written blogs for Gilchrist. She is looking forward to launching “The Golden Years” website this summer. She is also a certified Life Coach.
Deborah met Danny O’Brien, Avila Home Care’s Founder and CEO, over 35 years ago when they connected about his work with Young Life. Thirty years later, when Danny shared with Deborah his vision for launching a home care agency, she was impressed with his unique philosophy. “Danny understands that by prioritizing care for Avila’s Caregivers and staff, that care will translate into loving and respectful care for Avila’s clients.”
Deborah advised Danny on various aspects of home care prior to Avila’s launch, and when Gilchrist was looking for a home care agency to partner with, Deborah helped make the connection and a partnership was formed. After continuing to work in hospice for 5 more years, Deborah is delighted to now officially join the Avila Home Care team.
In addition to providing clinical assessments for Avila’s clients, Deborah’s role at Avila Home Care includes serving as a liaison between hospitals, nursing homes and the medical community.
Given her 30 plus years of experience as a nurse in multiple settings, Deborah emphasizes the importance of aging in place, “seniors are so much better off staying in their own homes as long as possible. Avila goes above and beyond to provide the loving support that families need to make this happen.”