Community Hospice Presents Before I Die Wall

Community Hospice Presents Before I Die Wall

March 19, 2018

For Immediate Release

Contact:
Kristin Mostowski |Director of Public Relations | Community Hospice | kristin.mostowski@hospiceheart.org | 209.578.6301

Community Hospice Presents Before I Die Wall

MODESTO, CA (March 19, 2018) – As we prepare to celebrate National Healthcare Decisions Day on April 16, 2018 and in an effort to promote positive conversation about death and dying in our community, Community Hospice has created a “Before I Die Wall” to help friends and neighbors think about what is most important in their lives. The wall challenges people to think about relationships with death and one another, put their lives in perspective and hopefully lead people to be proactive when it comes to end-of-life care decision making.

Before I Die is a global art project originally created by artist Candy Chang on an abandoned house in New Orleans after she lost someone she loved. “Before I Die Walls” can be found all over the globe. Over 2,000 walls have been created in over 70 countries and over 35 languages.

“We are honored to bring this project to the Central Valley,” said C. DeSha McLeod, President/CEO of Community Hospice. “Our mobile ‘Before I Die Wall’ will hopefully spark conversations around our community and encourage productive and proactive end-of-life care decision making. We welcome and invite community members to visit our wall and share your thoughts,” McLeod continued.

The “Before I Die Wall” will be at various locations throughout Stanislaus and San Joaquin Counties during the month of March/April. Locations include:
• California State University at Stanislaus, Mary Stuart Rogers Building
• University of the Pacific, Derosa University Center
• Modesto Junior College
• Love Modesto
• Earth Day Modesto, Graceada Park
• Community Hospice

Community members can follow the wall on Facebook @CommunityHospiceCV to find its current location. For more information call 209.578.6301 or visit hospiceheart.org.

This project was made possible by Community Hospice, Franklin and Downs Funeral Home, Modesto Lowe’s Home Improvement, Big Island Movers and our generous host sites.

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 Alexander Cohen Hospice House. Community Hospice also provides bereavement and grief support to anyone in the community. For more information please call (209) 578-6300 or visit hospiceheart.org.

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March Super Star

March 15, 2018

Tracy LaMasa serves as our Care Services Manager for Community Hospice. Her positive attitude and dedication to the mission of Community Hospice is an inspiration. Thank you for all your hard work, Tracy!

Community Hospice presents Before I Die Wall

March 15, 2018

March 15, 2018

MEDIA ADVISORY

Community Hospice presents Before I Die Wall

WHAT:
In an effort to promote positive conversation about death and dying in our community, Community Hospice has created a “Before I Die Wall” to help our friends and neighbors think about what is most important in their lives. The wall challenges people to think about relationships with death and one another, put their lives in perspective and hopefully lead people to be proactive when it comes to end-of-life care decision making.

Before I Die is a global art project originally created by artist Candy Chang on an abandoned house in New Orleans after she lost someone she loved. “Before I Die Walls” can be found all over the globe. Over 2,000 walls have been created in over 70 countries and over 35 languages.

WHEN/
WHERE:
The “Before I Die Wall” will be at various locations throughout Stanislaus and San Joaquin Counties during the Month of April.

Locations include:
• California State University at Stanislaus, Mary Stuart Rogers Building
• University of the Pacific – Derosa University Center
• Modesto Junior College
• Love Modesto
• Earth Day Modesto – Graceada Park
• Community Hospice

WHO:
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 Alexander Cohen Hospice House. Community Hospice also provides bereavement and grief support to anyone in the community. For more information please call (209) 578-6300 or visit hospiceheart.org.

Information:
For more information about Community Hospice and the Before I Die Wall call 209.578.6301. Host sites are now being accepted.

Media
Contact:
Kristin Mostowski, Director of Public Relations 209.578.6301 or kristin.mostowski@hospiceheart.org.

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February Super Star

February 16, 2018

Ed Hughes serves as one of our Truck Drivers for Community Hospice. His positive attitude and dedication to the mission of Community Hospice is an inspiration. Thank you for all your hard work, Ed!

Palliative care project helping increase quality of life for patients’ last days

January 18, 2018

Patients suffering from a terminal diagnosis often find they have a variety of options for care at the beginning of treatment and near the end of life. Often patients fall into a gap during the midpoint of treatment when they are looking for ways to deal with symptoms of their illness or side effects of medicine.

When patients fall into that gap, often it means added trips to an emergency room, increasing costs and aggravation. A pilot project by the Health Plan of San Joaquin (HPSJ) hopes to address that gap through a palliative care program.

“The program provides supportive care for chronic conditions,” said HPSJ Chief Medical Officer Lakshmi Dhanvanthari, MD. “The program focuses on when the patient is still getting curative care.”

Unlike, hospice care which focuses on helping patients deal with end-of-life issues, palliative care focuses on family-centered care that improves quality of life duringtreatment.

A series of nurses and social workers meet with patients to help anticipate, prevent and treat suffering. The program works throughout the continuum of illness to address physical, intellectual, emotional and social, as well as spiritual, needs. So far, about 70 members are enrolled in the program.

“Palliative care usually starts when you think the patient has about a year to live,” Dhanvanthari said. “It helps the patient to understand their illness better.”

The HPSJ program focuses on patients with end-stage liver disease, advanced cancer, end-stage congestive heart failure and end-stage chronic pulmonary disease.

“Our patients have very advanced illnesses,” Dhanvanthari said.

One of the big differences between this program and others is its focus on helping patients beyond the hospital. The program offers in-home consultation, and patients can call a team member 24-hours-per day. Health Plan of San Joaquin has also teamed with local agencies to expand local care expertise and capacity for palliative care in both San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties.

“These services help them better manage their symptoms,” Dhanvanthari said.
One of the biggest goals of the program is to keep patients from having to make return trips to the hospital. By giving patients more information, they can often find remedies to symptoms or side effects of treatments that don’t require hospitalization.

“The palliative care team explains the patient’s options,” Dhanvanthari said. “How do you prevent some of these side effects from happening? Who do you call? You can reach out to the palliative care team. They can help a patient decide should they go to emergency room.”

The program also works to keep patients from bouncing back once they are out of the hospital and returned home from treatment.

“Usually care is provided in the hospital setting,” said Dhanvanthari. “They go home, and they bounce back to hospital. What we are trying to do is provide community care. We go into the patient’s home and into the community.”

Health Plan of San Joaquin is funding the cost of this pilot project for clinical services. A $24,000 grant from the California Healthcare Foundation helped get through the planning stage of the program. That planning helped the program get a head start by coordinating services with San Joaquin General Hospital, Hospice of San Joaquin and Community Care Choices and the palliative care program at Community Hospice in Stanislaus County.

The program that resulted from that planning earned HPSJ a second, two-year, $80,000 grant from the California Healthcare Foundation.

Program planners elected to offer outpatient care services for HPSJ members as a head start to a larger, state-focused palliative care effort. Such care will be a new Medi-Cal member benefit starting in early 2018.

Judging the success is one of the tougher aspects of programs such as this. The patients have terminal diseases that, so often, success has to be judged by quality of life.

“I think the best success is how do we help the member live life the way they want to live,” Dhanvanthari said. “The ability to deal with such a significant issue in their life is tough. It is a really hard time. Sometimes we help them transition to hospice. We want them living with dignity in their last days of life. That is the biggest thing that is hard to measure.”

Other quantifiable measures have shown success in similar programs around the country. Aetna’s Compassionate Care Program saw an 81-percent decline in inpatient days, saving $12,000 per member. One thing that often makes the biggest difference is how soon the palliative care starts.

A 2014 study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology found that palliative intervention within six days of hospital admission reduced costs by 14 percent. When care began within two days of admission, costs were reduced by an estimated 24 percent.

“We are definitely continuing the project,” Dhanvanthari said. “This helps bring people together. This is really needed in this community.”

By Kent Hohlfeld – January 18, 2018

Source

January Super Star

January 18, 2018

Marisa Ousby serves as one of our Social Workers for Community Hospice. Her positive attitude and dedication to the mission of Community Hospice is an inspiration. Thank you for all your hard work, Marisa!

December Super Star

December 28, 2017

Erin Jimenez serves as one of our Volunteer Specialists for Community Hospice. Her positive attitude and dedication to the mission of Community Hospice is an inspiration. Thank you for all your hard work, Erin!

Backup Plans: Sometimes family caregivers die before their patients. Here’s how to prepare for the worst-case scenario.

December 27, 2017

When Kristen Beatty lost her mother suddenly in 2012, her grief was complicated by another challenge: how to care for her 74-year-old father, who has Alzheimer’s disease. He’d been diagnosed 10 years earlier, and over the years her mother had become more than his caregiver: She was his gatekeeper, maintaining the privacy her retired Navy officer husband desired.

Community Hospice’s Fantasy of Trees Event Shines at the Gallo Center for the Arts

December 11, 2017

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

Community Hospice’s Fantasy of Trees Event Shines at the Gallo Center for the Arts

Modesto, CA (December 1, 2017 – December 2, 2017) – Beautiful designer decorated trees, wreaths and centerpieces filled the Gallo Center for the Arts lobby during the Friends of Community Hospice’s annual Fantasy of Trees Luncheon and Santa Shares Breakfast fundraiser. Fantasy of Trees started the weekend off Friday morning with champagne, a catered lunch, boutiques of local artisans and an opportunity to bid on gorgeous decorated trees, wreathes and centerpieces all designed by local community members.

The fun at the Gallo Center for the Arts continued on Saturday with a special visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus at Santa Shares Breakfast. “Santa Shares Breakfast is personally one of my favorites events,” mentions Monica Ojcius the Executive Director of the Community Hospice Foundation. “We gave over 130 tickets to this event to families in need to ensure no household goes without some holiday cheer”. Santa Shares Breakfast featured a family breakfast, children’s holiday crafts, dancers from the Central West Ballet Nutcracker and a photo with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Proceeds from this event went to support the children and families of Community Hospice’s Gabriel’s Friends Pediatric Palliative Care Program.

For more information about Community Hospice events, visit give.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 over 250 patients every day in private homes, skilled nursing facilities and at the 16-room Community Hospice Alexander Cohen Hospice House. Community Hospice also provides bereavement and grief support to anyone in the community. For more information please call (209) 477-6300 or visit www.hospiceheart.org.
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