A Hospice Mission To Care
Wednesday - July 15, 2009
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By Ann Lecompte LSW
Executive director of Bristol Hospice-Hawaii LLC
Affirmation comes in many forms, but nothing gives testimony better than words of appreciation for a service. When the service is assisting someone to die in comfort, it is also an honor.
As executive director of Bristol Hospice-Hawaii LLC, I wanted to share our mission of commitment that all patients and families entrusted to our care will be treated with the highest level of compassion, respect and quality of care.
Maya Soetoro-Ng shared her appreciation in a letter, stating, “When we were most frightened and unsure of what was ahead ... [Hospice] came to see us and reassured us there would always be a valid treatment to bring comfort and there would always be a shoulder to lean on. Home hospice care gave our grandmother the one thing that she asked for: the power to die in the place of her choosing, in the home where she raised my brother, our President Obama, and where she lived more than 40 years.”
Often I feel that I did not choose this career path, but that hospice chose me. From my very first position as a hospice social worker 16 years ago, it became apparent that this work was not mundane. When pain is controlled, relationships healed, values identified and wishes realized, it is truly a gift to cherish.
Hospice care is provided by a healthcare team of physicians, nurses, social workers, home health aides, chaplains and volunteers to care for terminally ill patients with bereavement support for surviving family members for 13 months after death occurs. Bristol Hospice-Hawaii LLC cares for patients wherever they live - in private homes, nursing facilities, care homes and correctional facilities.
As a Medicare-certified and Community Health Accreditation Program-deemed status hospice-care provider, Bristol Hospice-Hawaii LLC provides services, medication, equipment and supplies (i.e. Depends, gloves, pads, commodes, etc.) covered by the Medicare benefit related to the terminal diagnosis. Services are available 24 hours daily, seven days a week. Our program is a member of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. We participate in Quality Partners, a national hospice quality initiative, to assess and monitor the quality of care and services we provide.
Given the current state of the economy and legislative focus on healthcare reform, it is imperative public awareness be elevated regarding Duke University 2007 research findings that “hospice may reduce Medicare cost by $2,309 per hospice patient and improve quality of life for patients and families.” That same year, NHPCO estimated that 38.8 percent of all deaths in the United States were under the care of a hospice program.
Based on the above statistics, hospice care continues to be under-utilized. There is ongoing need for public education about the hospice care option not only for patients, but across the continuum for all health-care providers.
We look forward to working collaboratively with Hawaii healthcare providers as we approach our second year of service in Honolulu. Bristol Hospice-Hawaii LLC is committed to serving the communities on Oahu with the highest level of compassion, respect and quality of care.
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