SMITH


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Posted by Cathy Gowdy on Thursday, January 26, 2006 at 09:38:41 :

Marin Independent Journal
Sunday, May 5, 2002


Helen M. Smith
Helen M. Smith died April 17, 2002 at her residence in Mill Valley. She was 83. Helen moved to Mill Valley in 1954 and lived there continuously until her death, with the exception of a two and a half-year stay in Augsburg, Germany. In addition to raising two children in Mill Valley, Helen had a 20-year career in property management. From 1966 to 1974 Helen was an onsite manager at the Shelter Bay complex in Mill Valley. In 1974 she became Assistant Manager of the Cove Apartments in Strawberry. She retired in 1986. Helen developed many friendships throughout Marin County over the years due to her numerous activities with the Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, Job's Daughters, PTA and local Democratic politics. She served as volunteer and docent at Marin General Hospital for 29 years and was instrumental in developing the hospital's puppet therapy program. Puppet therapy familiarizes children with the events and procedures they will experience before, during and after surgery. During her 20 years as a puppet therapist, Helen often arrived at the hospital by 6:30 a.m. to be with children prior to their surgery. Over the years her sessions greatly reduced the natural uncertainty and anxiety many youngsters feel when staying on the Pediatric Ward. Helen was also a docent at Marin General and served in that capacity for 14 years. She was the Docent Program Director for the last 10 years. Marin General Hospital named Helen their Volunteer of the Year in 1997. Helen was particularly proud of two educational programs for young people she helped develop at Marin General. The National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine (NYLF/MED) introduces outstanding, pre-med students to the world of medicine. NYLF/MED challenges students to learn about a broad range of topics, including educational requirements, career options, clinical practice, and complex ethical and legal issues facing the medical profession today. Since 1995, Marin General has hosted NYLF/MED students in a program planned and arranged for by Helen. Those programs consistently received top mention in student evaluations because of the exciting experiences students had, such as observing actual surgeries and exposure to real-life case studies in medical ethics. The School-to-Career Partnership program, developed by Marin County Schools, was her other interest. The program introduces high school students to career fields in partnership with Marin County businesses and health care facilities. This year's program successfully matched up several Career Partnership students with hospital internships at Marin General. A Memorial Service for Helen will be held on Saturday, May 11, 2002 at the Community Congregational Church located at 145 Rock Hill Drive in Tiburon. The Service begins at 11:00 a.m. The family asks that any remembrances be made in Helen's memory to the Marin General Volunteers Scholarship Fund in place of flowers. The mailing address of the fund is 250 Bon Air Road, Greenbrae, CA 94904.





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