November Super Star

November Super Star

November 21, 2018

Baljit Kaur serves as a RN Case Manager for the Community Hospice. Her positive attitude and dedication to the mission of Community Hospice is an inspiration. Thank you for all your hard work, Baljit!

Community Hospice Celebrates National Hospice and Palliative Care Month and Expansion of Services to Include Community-Based Palliative Care Program

November 19, 2018

For Immediate Release
Contacts:
Kristin Mostowski | Director of Public Relations, Community Hospice | Kristin.Mostowski@hospiceheart.org | 209.578.6301

Community Hospice Celebrates National Hospice and Palliative Care Month and Expansion of Services to Include Community-Based Palliative Care Program

November is a month of many celebrations, including National Hospice and Palliative Care Month. For Community Hospice, it is a time we share our gra​titude with those that are important to us, our patients and families, community partners, staff and many volunteers. For nearly 40 years, we have been blessed to walk alongside our friends and neighbors as they face their end-of-life journey. Community Hospice has been dedicated to not only guiding and supporting those with a life-limiting illness; we have explored finding a way to support our community members that have a serious illness who also need guidance and support and are pleased to have expanded our services to include a community-based palliative care program. You may be asking, what does that mean and can it help me or my loved one?

In 1990, the World Health Organization defined palliative care “to address not only physical pain, but also emotional, social, and spiritual pain to achieve the best possible quality of life for patients and their families”. Sounds very similar to the definition of hospice, right? In an effort by hospice programs to increase access to care earlier in a patient’s illness journey, and for some to overcome the stigma of the word “hospice”, many hospices adopted the term “palliative care”. Over time, care models for both hospice and palliative care evolved along with the definition of palliative care.

Today, palliative care is defined by the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC) as “specialized medical care for people with serious illnesses. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family… Palliative Care is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness, and can be provided along with curative treatment.”

The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, founded in 1978, began as the National Hospice Organization. It was not until February of 2000 that they changed their name and logo to National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. This significant change catapulted the palliative care model into our healthcare system.

Palliative care is among one the fastest growing trends in healthcare today but is still vastly underutilized. Models include inpatient palliative care in hospitals, stand-alone or hospital-based palliative care clinics and community-based palliative care, or a combination of one or more of these. Interestingly though, Medicare does not reimburse for these services nor are there any federal or state regulations governing palliative care programs. California released guidelines only in preparation for the Medi-Cal palliative care benefit in late 2017.

“Palliative care is quickly growing and Community Hospice is proud to have expanded our services to include the only community-based palliative care program available to residents of Stanislaus and Merced counties,” shared C. Desha McLeod, President/CEO of Community Hospice. “Our palliative care program is another way we are able to continue to meet the needs of our community members, helping fulfil our mission of providing compassionate and quality care, education and support to community members in their time of need.”

Community Hospice entered the palliative care arena when an opportunity arose to participate in a pilot project with a local Managed Medi-Cal plan in late 2016. After acceptance into the pilot, a Director of Palliative Care was hired and our palliative care team began to take shape. On July 17, 2017, we admitted our first palliative care patient into the pilot project. Since that date, California’s Medi-Cal benefit became effective on January 1, 2018 providing for reimbursement to state licensed hospice agencies, or home health agencies also licensed as a hospice, for palliative care services and care to their members.

In July 2018, we joined the Palliative Care Quality Network (PCQN) based out of University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Monthly, our palliative care data is submitted to PCQN. As we gain history, we will have access to benchmarking data which will be utilized to further develop our palliative care model.

On September 28, 2018, Community Hospice was awarded a $100,000 grant to provide palliative care services to individuals in a specific 17 zip code area, mainly the southern part of Stanislaus County. These funds will be used for palliative care services to those without a payor source.

“We are grateful for all those that have provided us guidance and support as we developed our palliative care program and feel blessed to be able to help more people in our community in their time of need,” shared DeSha McLeod.

For more information about Community Hospice services, contact 209.578.6340 or visit hospiceheart.org.

About Community Hospice
Community Hospice is a nonprofit, community based hospice agency, serving the San Joaquin Valley since 1979. Community Hospice provides compassionate and quality care, education and support to terminally ill patients and their families, regardless of the ability to pay. Care extends to more than 2000 patients each year in private homes, skilled nursing facilities, retirement communities and at the 16-room Community Hospice Alexander Cohen Hospice House. Community Hospice also provides grief support services to anyone in the community at no cost. For more information call (209) 578-6300 or visit hospiceheart.org.
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Community Hospice Recognizes Children’s Grief Awareness Day

November 13, 2018

For Immediate Release
Contacts:
Kristin Mostowski | Director of Public Relations, Community Hospice | Kristin.Mostowski@hospiceheart.org | 209.578.6301

Community Hospice Recognizes Children’s Grief Awareness Day

Modesto, CA (November 13, 2018) – On November 15, 2018, Community Hospice will recognize and honor Children’s Grief Awareness Day, a day of advocacy that aims to raise awareness and support for grieving children and teens across the United States. Children’s Grief Awareness Day was established in 2008 with the goal to educate and increase awareness of the needs of grieving children, as well as the benefits they may obtain through community resources.

Children and teens who have experienced the death of a close loved one often feel like their struggles are invisible to all around them. Often they are left feeling lost, alone, different from their peers and misunderstood. Grief education and support is beneficial in helping children and teens understand their feelings are normal and they are not alone. Support allows for the opportunity to share with peers that have gone through similar circumstances, learn healthy ways to express their loss and normalize their grief, as well as explore the tools needed to memorialize their loved one and more forward.

“The children and teens in our community are our future. At Community Hospice we are passionate about helping our community members as they travel their grief journey, providing resources to support them during such a difficult time,” shared C. DeSha McLeod, President/CEO Community Hospice. “We are honored to offer specialized programs for children and teens to help them along their path. Individual and group grief support, onsite school children’s grief support and Camp Erin® of the Central Valley are all available, at no cost to the family.”

We invite our community to support Children’s Grief Awareness Day on November 15, 2018 by wearing BLUE and joining us on Community Hospice Social Media using #CGADHOPE. To learn more about Children’s Grief Awareness Day, visit heal.hospiceheart.org or call the Community Hospice Children’s Grief Support Services at 209.578.6300.

About Community Hospice
Community Hospice is a nonprofit, community based hospice agency, serving the San Joaquin Valley since 1979. Community Hospice provides compassionate and quality care, education and support to terminally ill patients and their families, regardless of the ability to pay. Care extends to more than 2000 patients each year in private homes, skilled nursing facilities, retirement communities and at the 16-room Community Hospice Alexander Cohen Hospice House. Community Hospice also provides grief support services to anyone in the community at no cost. For more information call (209) 578-6300 or visit hospiceheart.org.
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Coping with the Holiday’s 2018

November 9, 2018

On November 8, 2018, Community Hospice held the annual Coping with the Holiday’s workshop. Our featured speaker, Andy McNiel, MA, of the Satori Group in Florida, shared information about the impact grief has on our lives and discussed ways to navigate the many challenges grief brings to the holiday season.

Participants explored ideas for finding meaning even in the midst of grief and loss and shared ideas for developing a plan to cope with grief while also celebrating with family and friends.

The program closed with reflection and a healing candle lighting ceremony.  Participants brought a framed picture or a special memento of their loved one and placed them on our remembrance table.

Thank you to all of those who attended our Coping with the Holidays event. It was a powerful night filled with inspiration and hope. We are grateful for your support.

2018 Clergy Forum

November 9, 2018

On November 8, 2018, Community Hospice hosted a non-denominational forum to share practical information on how to navigate the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of someone facing an advanced illness. Thank you to all of those who attended this event. We appreciate your support and dedication to improving end-of-life care in our community. 

October Super Star

October 18, 2018

Brenda Newton-Fox serves as a Social Worker for the Community Hospice. Her positive attitude and dedication to the mission of Community Hospice is an inspiration. Thank you for all your hard work, Brenda!

Modesto Threshold Singers Provide Comfort and Ease for Dying Patients

October 18, 2018

For Immediate Release
Contacts:
Kristin Mostowski | Director of Public Relations, Community Hospice | Kristin.Mostowski@hospiceheart.org | 209.578.6301

Modesto Threshold Singers Provide Comfort and Ease for Dying Patients

MODESTO, CA (October 18, 2018) – Beautiful songs filled the family gathering areas at the Community Hospice Alexander Cohen Hospice House on October 11, 2018 as the newly formed Modesto Threshold Singers made their inaugural performance. Their short, heartfelt songs lifted spirits and drew warm smiles from those that were present.

The Modesto Threshold Singers is one of more than 200 world-wide Threshold Choirs dedicated to creating moments of ease and comfort for patients, families and caregivers facing an illness. The local Modesto Threshold chapter was formed by a group of friends who had experienced a series of loss. It was their journey that inspired them to want to bring comfort and ease to others as they navigate their end of life journey. Songs include words of love, gratitude and peace.

“It was a great honor for our Alexander Cohen Hospice House to be chosen as the venue for the Modesto Threshold Singers first appearance. Their presence and sweet, soft voices were endearing and comforting to our patients and families,” said Kristin Mostowski, Director of Public Relations. “Their talent and grace provides another level of compassion, we feel beyond blessed they will be sharing their gift of song with us on a regular basis.”

The Modesto Threshold Singers welcome new members to their chapter. To learn more, visit https://thresholdchoir.org/Modesto or email ModestoThresholdSingers@gmail.com. For more information about the Community Hospice Alexander Cohen Hospice House visit hospiceheart.org or call 209.578.6340.

About Community Hospice

Community Hospice is the largest and oldest nonprofit hospice agency in the Central Valley. Serving the community since 1979, Community Hospice has cared for thousands of friends and neighbors offering compassionate and quality care, education and support to terminally ill patients and families, regardless of ability to pay. Care extends to over 2000 patients each year in private homes, skilled nursing facilities, retirement communities and at the 16-bed inpatient Community Hospice Alexander Cohen Hospice House. Community Hospice also provides grief support services to anyone in the community. For more information, please call 209. 578.6300 or visit hospiceheart.org.

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