Although stacks of paperwork, piles of government health regulations and lots of meetings take up a great deal of his time these days, Don Trimble said he still enjoys taking care of people whenever he can.
"My favorite part of the job is when I get out to see patients," said Trimble, 48, who is the director of operations for Mountain Hospice. "That's what it's all about."
After growing up in Fairmont, Trimble joined the Air Force and worked in the hospital field for 10 years. His work as an air medical services specialist took him twice to Japan, where he was stationed a total of six years, as well as to California, where he spent a three-year stretch. His first year was spent in training.
From left are Don Trimble, Mike Elza, Peggy Canfield, Patty Delauder, Jeannie Norris and Wendy Smith-Warden at the Mountain Hospice office in Belington. Trimble is the director of operations.
He served as a squadron medic, so he went wherever the squadron did.
"I loved that," he said in an interview this week at his office in Belington. "I got to go all over the place. I was traveling all the time. ... The whole military experience was a great experience."
After leaving the Air Force, Trimble said he worked in a few different jobs here and there before becoming an aide with Mountain Hospice.
That was 12 years ago, and he said he can't imagine being anywhere else.
"I think things happen for a reason," Trimble said, explaining that helping patients and their families has been the greatest part of his career.
"I love what I do. I love this agency," he said, adding he was inspired to become a registered nurse after seeing the work done in hospice care - everything from in-home visits and support for terminally ill patients to nurturing relationships with loved ones.
"When I was an aide, I saw the amazing things nurses were able to do to help patients," he said. "They ease pain and suffering ... (allowing patients) to pass at home, pain-free and with dignity."
Trimble is a certified hospice and palliative registered nurse, as well as a certified hospice and palliative care administrator. He has worked as a clinical assistance and clinical manager, in addition to his current role as director.
As he grew into different jobs with Mountain Hospice, the agency grew as well.
"When I started as an aide, we were in one room. ... Now we are in seven counties, with offices in five counties," Trimble said.
The most challenging part of his job now is handling government regulations and staying current with all the paperwork.
"It's just being on top of everything in all the offices in all the counties," he said. "Trust me, it keeps you busy."
Outside of the office, Trimble said he enjoys going to the gym and working on the log cabin he is building near Elkins. He also spends time with his three Chihuahuas - Tilly, Speck and Baby Girl.