HOSPICE OF CENTRAL OHIO EARNS JOINT COMMISSION ACCREDITATION AND CERTIFICATION FOR ITS COMMUNITY-BASED PALLIATIVE CARE PROGRAM

Hospice of Central Ohio has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval®by demonstrating continuous compliance with its performance standards. The Gold Seal of Approval is a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to providing safe and effective care. In addition, Hospice of Central Ohio earned “deemed” status, which indicates a provider meets or exceeds Medicare conditions of participation. Hospice of Central Ohio is also one of the few hospice organizations in Ohio to receive simultaneous Joint Commission certification in Community Palliative Care services and accreditation for home health care services. Accreditation evaluates the quality and safety of healthcare organizations, provides an audit of the delivery of critical services and patient care and validates continuous improvement efforts of healthcare providers.

Hospice of Central Ohio underwent a rigorous on-site survey that examined compliance with standards regarding the provision of care, treatment and services, emergency management, human resources, individual rights and responsibilities, and leadership. The accreditation process also provided Hospice of Central Ohio with education and guidance to help staff continue to enhance its program performance.

Established in 1988, The Joint Commission’s Home Care Accreditation Program supports the efforts of its accredited organizations to help deliver safe, high-quality care and services. More than 6,000 home care programs currently maintain accreditation, awarded for a three-year period, from The Joint Commission.

"Hospice of Central Ohio is pleased to receive accreditation from The Joint Commission, the premier health care quality improvement and accrediting body in the nation,” said Hospice of Central Ohio President/CEO Kerry Hamilton. “Accreditation honors the hard work and dedication of our staff in providing superior care and superior services of the highest standards. Staff from across our organization continue to work together to strengthen the continuum of care and to deliver and maintain optimal hospice care services for members of our community.”

Hospice of Central Ohio has provided a holistic, community-based approach to hospice care for over 30 years. Hospice of Central Ohio is a not-for-profit organization serving nine counties in Central Ohio and is dedicated to supporting the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of patients and families dealing with life-limiting conditions. The Selma Markowitz Inpatient Center is located on the 6th floor of Licking Memorial Hospital. In addition, Palliative Care of Central Ohio, a service of Hospice of Central Ohio, is among the few Ohio palliative care services certified by the Joint Commission.

Hospice of Central Ohio is a member of Ohio’s Hospice, a partnership of mission-driven, not-for-profit hospices in Ohio committed to a shared vision of strengthening and preserving community-based hospices.

The Joint Commission

Founded in 1951, The Joint Commissionseeks to continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value. The Joint Commission accredits and certifies more than 21,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. An independent, nonprofit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. Learn more about The Joint Commission at www.jointcommission.org.

 

OHIO STATE WEXNER MEDICAL CENTER TO ADD INPATIENT HOSPICE SERVICES

COLUMBUS, DAYTON & NEWARK, Ohio – To best meet the end-of-life needs of patients, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center is creating a new 12-bed inpatient hospice unit at University Hospital that is scheduled to open fall 2018.

“A pillar of The Ohio State University’s strategic plan is to enhance patient care with an emphasis on an unparalleled patient experience,” said David McQuaid, CEO of The Ohio State University Health System and chief operating officer of Wexner Medical Center. “This new unit will ensure our patients who have a serious or life-limiting illness receive the care, support, dignity and comfort needed to have a meaningful end-of-life experience without having to leave our medical center.”

The new hospice service will provide end-of-life care to patients from all of our hospitals and will include pain management and symptom control, spiritual support, bereavement support and support groups. Offering the comforts of home, the unit’s 12 patient rooms will feature a nature motif incorporating woodgrain and natural finishes to provide a peaceful environment for patients and families, along with flexible space dedicated to facilitating family gatherings. Staff will include experts in end of life, palliative and bereavement care, such as physicians, nurses and social workers. Families will be able to stay with or visit their loved ones 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“End of life is an emotional time that is often filled with grief and difficult decisions,” said Dr. Susan Moffat-Bruce, executive director of University Hospital. “We are proud to offer this vital supportive care service so our patients are empowered to live each day as fully as possible.”

Kris Kipp, executive director of The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute said, “When our cancer patients transition from curative to supportive care, the new inpatient hospice unit will be there to address their medical, nursing, emotional, social and spiritual needs.”

Ohio’s Hospice affiliate Hospice of Central Ohio will manage the inpatient hospice unit at Wexner Medical Center. Ohio’s Hospice is a partnership of mission-driven, not-for-profit hospices in 36 Ohio counties.

“We’re honored to provide our world-class end-of-life care to patients at Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center,” said Kent Anderson, president and CEO of Ohio’s Hospice. “Patients and their families from across the state can expect smooth transitions of care from inpatient to home hospice when needed.”

Hospice of Central Ohio President and CEO Kerry Hamilton said, “This new partnership enables us to enhance and expand services to our central Ohio community and statewide, creating seamless continuity of care when patients and families most need it.”

The addition of hospice services highlights Wexner Medical Center’s commitment to improving healthcare delivery by expanding its continuum of care.

Podcasts That Speak Your Grief

Grief can set in at the most inconvenient of times.

During a business meeting, all it took was one look at your coworker’s butterfly mug, and you’re remembering your mother giving you the nickname “Butterfly." You choke back tears, hoping no one notices.

You’re out with your family at the park and see the same pine tree that sheltered you with your father while reading together. The memory brings a wave of grief that immediately drains you.

Not everyone you know may understand these experiences. Thanks to digital podcasts, it’s easy to access conversations with others sharing grief situations similar to yours – from a comfortable distance.

Give a listen to these podcasts covering various grief topics:

What’s Your Grief

This podcast is produced by two mental health professionals who have both lost a parent. They cover a wide range of grief topics including loneliness in grief, parenting while grieving, going back to school after a death, and more. Find them all here.

Hospice of Central Ohio: Listen and Learn

Yes, we have a podcast! Our Listen and Learn podcast is volunteer-driven covering topics about end of life, spiritual care, grief, and more. One of our topics is supporting someone who is grieving. Find our podcast here..

NPR Stories About Grief

Did you know NPR has a website section called Stories About Grief? If you saw the viral video about the bond this 81-year-old man and young girl formed after his wife’s death, you’ll want to hear the podcast here.

Grief Dreams

Have you ever had dreams about a deceased loved one? You’re not alone. Grief Dreams Podcast talks about these dreams and other subjects tying into grief. Listen to their topics here.

Grief Out Loud

The Dougy Center’s Grief Out Loud podcast talks about grief stories and support surrounding children and families. Find out more here.

Are you ready to talk about your grief with our professionals? Contact our bereavement center by clicking here.

Hospice of Central Ohio Helps Kids Experiencing Grief at Camp HOCO


Click here for the camp flyer

Click here for camp registration form

Hospice of Central Ohio has been instrumental in helping kids who have lost a loved one learn how to handle grief for over 20 years. The 21st annual Camp HOCO grief camp for grieving children ages 6 – 12 is slated this summer from June 25 – 29.

Camp HOCO is open to the community at no cost in partnership with the Foundation for Hospice of Central Ohio. Camp HOCO brings together the best of summer camp experiences  -  making new friends and experiencing new adventures – with services and support to ease the pain of kids who have lost loved ones. With a theme of “On Safari – Trekking Your Way Through Grief, camp activities include arts and crafts, hiking and music.  In addition to these traditional camp activities, children participate in grief support activities gain skills in managing their personal grief.

Camp HOCO is a day camp meeting from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm at Saints Peter and Paul Retreat Center, 2734 Seminary Rd., Newark, OH 43056.

Need to speak with someone? Contact Sheri Weiner at 740.788.1482

Hospice of Central Ohio Joins in National Healthcare Decisions Day Effort

National Healthcare Decisions Day is April 16, 2018, with focus on reminding people, regardless of age or current health status, of the importance of making their personal healthcare decisions known. Hospice of Central Ohio is joining the effort to encourage members of our community to participate in important discussions about end-of-life care.

Every day at Hospice of Central Ohio we help families come to terms with the unimaginable loss of a loved one. Family members are torn as they consider what is right, what is best, how to best honor the life of their loved one. There may be differences of opinion that can fracture families forever. This does not need to happen.

By sharing information with loved ones and your doctor about what you would want when you are facing life-limiting circumstances, you are not only helping yourself, you are also alleviating family members of guilt, stress, fear and potential long-lasting conflict.

According to a National Institute of Health study, only 26.3% of U.S. adults have completed an Advance Directive. Why not more? Most had thought about it but not completed the forms. The primary reasons offered were that they did not know about the forms or were concerned about cost or complexity.

In reality, it is simple, easy and free to take the steps to assure your healthcare decisions are honored.

  • Talk with your loved ones about your preferences for healthcare planning
  • Forms can also be found online at ohioshospice.org/ACP

Show your love for your family by taking the necessary steps to establish your wishes during National Healthcare Decisions Week. They will be forever grateful to you for it.

Social Workers Contribute to Quality Care

March is National Social Work Month and an important time to recognize and express appreciation for the social workers who are central to our Quality of Life Teams.

Hospice of Central Ohio social workers help patients and families address the practical and emotional issues that come with serious illness.

  • They help families connect with valuable community resources, including meals on wheels, in-home caregiver support and financial assistance.
  • They educate and inform family caregivers so they feel confident in caring for their loved one.
  • They help patient and family openly discuss their fears and concerns.
  • They help smooth the way when patients need to transition from one living environment to another.
  • They serve as advocates for patients, helping to identify and plan so patients can achieve their end-of-life goals.
  • They assist with completing advance directives and funeral planning.
  • They help assure that children receive the services and support they need when facing the loss of a loved one.

Social workers bring knowledge and expertise in working with ethnic, cultural, and economic diversity. They are familiar with navigating the complexities of health care systems. They understand bereavement and are focused on enhancing quality of life and well-being for patients and families.

While accomplishing all these things, social workers also provide emotional support and understanding as families face the most difficult challenge of saying goodbye.

We are grateful for the role our social workers play in providing superior care and superior services in the communities where we have the privilege of serving.

 

Pet Therapy Companions Needed to Visit Patients and Families

Hospice of Central Ohio wants to expand pet therapy programs for patients and families and is seeking more animal owners who are interested in becoming pet therapy companions.

Pets have a long-standing history of providing companionship and unconditional love for humans in their lives, creating a powerful bond. Studies have shown that interaction with pets can reduce stress and anxiety, lift spirits and decrease feelings of isolation. The resulting health benefits include reduced blood pressure, improved cardiovascular health and the release of endorphins that have a calming effect. Interaction with animals can also encourage communication and socialization.

Liz Adamshick, Manager of Volunteer Services at Hospice of Central Ohio, says such responses make pet therapy a wonderful addition to patient care. “We require animals to be trained and certified in order to see patients who request a pet therapy companion visit,” she explains. “We have had wonderful feedback on the impact interactions with animals have with our patients and families.”

To find out more about pet therapy and how you can become a part of this important service for patients and families please contact volunteer services at Hospice of Central Ohio, 740.788.1404 or volunteerservices@hospiceofcentralohio.org.

Volunteer Veterans Needed to Help Honor Veterans Through American Pride Program

 

It is one of the beautiful compensations in life that no one can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.                                                 Ralph Waldo Emerson

Bob Allen shares this quote as he talks about his involvement with the Veteran outreach and the American Pride program. “That kind of reciprocity is always there,” he says of his experience in interacting with Veterans.

A Veteran of the Vietnam War, Bob was looking for something to do after his retirement in 2013. “My wife got me involved in the fledgling Veterans program at Ohio’s Hospice of Miami County where she worked,” Bob recalls. It was a turning point for him. Bob discovered a passion for connecting with other Veterans. Bob then  joined the American Pride effort of Hospice of Central Ohio after relocating to the Newark area. He continues all of his outreach activities and actively recruits other Veterans for involvement in the American Pride effort. “Most of us are more mature and retired,” Bob says. “We need more younger Veterans and more females – more good people who want to serve a higher cause and give of themselves.”

The American Pride program helps Veterans receive all the benefits they've earned and provides support for the unique end of life experience of Veterans. Especially important are American Pride volunteers who serve as companions to fellow Veterans. Their common experience provides a valuable starting point for sharing and support. Veterans of all eras make valuable contributions by talking with fellow servicemen and women. Bob says it is cathartic to speak with other Veterans about their shared experience. “The more you talk openly and candidly about these experiences, the more meaningful they become,” Bob observes.

Bob feels his participation in the American Pride program helps address two major experiences of Veterans facing end-of-life. “The two things that seem to really deteriorate for Veterans at the end-of-life are dignity and respect,” says Bob. “As their physical needs increase, they experience a loss of dignity. Many of them are also fearful that they do not have a right to respect because of things they may have done during their military service. They may never be able to speak of this to their family, but they can share their concerns with other Veterans. We offer no judgment and can talk about these issues to help restore the respect they deserve.”

Asked about an experience in his American Pride interactions that particularly touched him, Bob answered without hesitation. “We regularly visit the hospice wing at the VA Medical Center to visit and honor veterans. On one visit we encountered a gentleman who was disabled and mostly unresponsive. We pinned and honored him as we always do. As  leave, we always offer a personal salute. He tried to salute us in return, as best he could. The staff told us it was the first time he had moved since he’d become a patient with them.”

To become involved with the American Pride program at Hospice of Central Ohio, please contact Volunteer Services at 740.788.1404 or volunteerservices@HospiceOfCentralOhio.org.

 

Important Tips for Caregivers on Avoiding the Flu

The news cycle is full of warnings about the flu and recommendations to protect yourself by being immunized. It is especially important for those caring for loved ones with chronic illnesses to avoid the flu virus. Caregivers may themselves experience compromised immune systems due to lack of rest and stress. If they contract the flu, they may not be able to care for their loved one or will risk exposing them to the virus.

Flu vaccine is an important first line protection. However, hygiene is also a critical preventative. Frequent and thorough handwashing is essential to preventing illness. Avoid kissing, handshakes and sharing drinks or food with those who are infected. Also avoid touching surfaces including sinks, countertops and doorknobs that may have been contaminated by someone with the virus. Utensils, dishes, clothing, towels and other items may also be contaminated and can indirectly spread infection.

Caregivers are their loved ones should be attuned to flu symptoms that indicate emergency medical care may be needed. According to the Centers for Disease Control,  the following symptoms merit emergency attention:

  • Shortness of breath, difficulty breathing
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Severe vomiting
  • Pain or pressure in chest or abdomen
  • High fever that persists for more than three days
  • Flu symptoms that improve but then return with severe cough and fever

Hospice care can provide respite care for patients if a caregiver is ill and unable to provide care for their loved one. It is one of the important ways hospice care helps support caregivers while also caring for patients. For additional information about caregiver support and hospice services click here.

 

Congratulations to Hospice Caregiver of the Month

Kudos to Hospice of Central Ohio volunteer Marilyn Dresser (pictured, center) who was recently honored with the Hospice Caregiver Award by Schoedinger Funeral and Cremation Service. The awards are designed to recognize hospice caregivers who provide patients and families with wonderful care and compassion.

Those nominating Marilyn for the honor cited her fifteen years of service as a caregiver, her decade of leadership in organizing the annual camp HOCO Kid’s Grief Camp and dedication to the hospice mission. The nomination notes that “Marilyn knows no bounds, demonstrating energy, caring compassion, enthusiasm for every day she is alive. Mentor, guide, friend, companion…she walks her walk every day. Marilyn LIVES the Hospice ofCentral Ohio motto ‘caring for one person every day all the time.’”

We are grateful for Marilyn’s support and value her many contributions to the Hospice of Central Ohio mission.