Valley Hospice expands services
RAYLAND — Valley Hospice is expanding its health care services to include in-home comfort care to those suffering from serious illnesses.
The Caring Connections Palliative Care program aims to give the care needed to help patients live at home, avoid multiple trips to the emergency room and prevent repeat admissions to the hospital.
During a press conference held Tuesday at Valley Hospice’s Rayland facility, Cynthia Bougher, CEO of Valley Hospice, said the program began in January. It already has helped a few patients.
“Valley Hospice is privileged to bring you the very first community-based palliative care program in our area,” she said. “Caring Connections Palliative Care has the potential to radically change the quality of life for individuals with serious illness and for their caregivers, and to revolutionize how seriously ill individuals receive their care.”
She noted the program also aims to improve patients’ overall quality of life.
“For seriously ill individuals, worry and anxiety about the future can be overwhelming,” Bougher said. “Meeting patients wherever they call home has been a hallmark of our philosophy to minimize stress and anxiety whenever possible.”
The program’s team will provide an in-home assessment, disease specific education, medication reviews and development of a plan with the patient’s doctor that is focused on the person’s goals and needs.
Bougher said the patient’s goals may include not just controlling symptoms, but being able to get out and socialize again with family, friends and their church.
“This comprehensive approach to caring for patients as a whole person will allow for a better quality of life for all individuals involved. Caring Connections Palliative Care may be a good option for patients with a serious illness, such as congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and advanced cancer who have had hospitalization within the past 12 months or are struggling with symptom control,” she said.
The program’s team includes Alishah Hardway, physician liaison; Andrea Hale, COO; Katie Border, Access and Valley Hospice Care director; Marissa Jovicic, nurse practitioner; and Dr. Ralph Wood, medical director.
Bougher noted the program has been made possible through grants from the Mary Jane Brooke Charitable Trust and an anonymous Wheeling family foundation.
The program is offered to people regardless of their ability to pay. The services, however, are often covered by private insurance, Medicare and Medicaid.