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Connecticut Hospice Has Miss Fairfield on Its Side

BRANFORD, Conn., June 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Kristen Michelle Masterson is this year's Miss Fairfield County. The Connecticut Hospice, birthplace of hospice in America, has supervised Kristen's volunteer patient care activities over these last two years, as she been preparing to become a nurse. "Her compassion for those that are suffering has been extraordinary, whether she is attending to one of our pediatric patients or to our young or mature adults," said Soozi Flannigan, RN, MSN, Director of Hospice and Co-Director of Education.

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This weekend she will be competing in the Miss Connecticut Scholarship Pageant 80th Year Jubilee, June 27th, 2008, which will be held at the Garde Arts Centre 325 State St, in New London, Connecticut. Kristen's platform is the Connecticut Hospice Program and how important the quality of care is to the patients and their families -- volunteering is her way of giving back to her community, offering a smile, but most importantly holding patients' hands. Kristen will tell you that volunteering brings her a great sense of satisfaction. "The power of one person to make someone's life just a little bit better through kindness, time, and a listening ear is something all of us can do." Kristen knows first hand the importance of quality care for terminally ill patients and their families and what the Connecticut Hospice has to offer not only in Connecticut, but the world.

As Miss Fairfield County, Kristen will continue to educate the public on Hospice Awareness and promote volunteerism. There is a growing need for medical professionals and families to understand what happens during the last weeks, days, and hours of life and what kind of action, or inaction is most likely to bring a comfortable, peaceful, even beautiful, end.

Kristen is a cum laude graduate of the University of Connecticut in Storrs and is currently studying for her master's degree in nursing. The fact that Kristen has chosen the medical field would be of no surprise to anyone who knows her. All her life she has been a people person and centered on the community. From a very young age, Kristen understood the necessity of giving back. As a six year old, she helped feed the homeless and less fortunate at soup kitchens. The seed of volunteerism was planted. As Kristen became older, her involvement grew and took off into a variety of community organizations.

Kristen has also had the privilege of participating in a medical mission trip with the Greenfield Hill Congregational Church. A medical team of 4 doctors along with others traveled to Khammam, India. The village was warm and welcoming, the peoples' smiles traversed the language barrier that some had. The team worked in an antiquated hospital where the only air conditioned place was in the operating room. The anesthesia equipment was a relic from the 1930's, the conditions crowded, mosquitoes innumerable, but still miracles happened. The team performed an average of 15 surgeries a day repairing cleft lips and palates, removing tumors, helping burn victims with skin grafts, and other surgeries that the western world often takes for granted. This trip helped solidify Kristen's future aspirations in the medical field.

Kristen believes in staying fit and eating healthfully. She is an avid runner and enjoys walking her dog daily. She played competitive soccer for 7 years including varsity soccer at Fairfield High School. She is quite proud of the fact that she ran for the first time in Fairfield's Turkey Trot (5 Miles) on Thanksgiving Day, 2007 along with 20,000 other runners from all over. She enjoys Mexican food, a good laugh, and loves to take on new challenges. She is very excited to be a representative for the Miss America Organization because she knows how important it is to have a positive role model in today's society. She is equally prepared to advocate for something she is genuinely passionate about, and will forever hold dear to her heart, hospice awareness.

SOURCE The Connecticut Hospice
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