Hospice Savannah

Hospice Savannah

News & Events

2013 CEO Weekly Blogs

12.17.2013 - Congratulations!

8 nurses recognized for recent certification
I am very proud to report that we now have a total of 34 employees certified by the National Board for Certification of Hospice and Palliative Care Nurses. Such expertise really  demonstrates our organization's commitment to clinical excellence and quality in the provision of care to our patients and families facing life-liming illnesses. Additionally we are the only hospice in the Coastal Empire accredited by The Joint Commission.

It was my delight to recognize the following newly certified or re-certified employees at last week’s staff meeting:
Monica Anderson, Chief Clinical Officer, certified as a Hospice and Palliative Care Administrator (CHPCA);  Edwina Barnett, Homecare CNA, certified as a Hospice and Palliative Care Nursing Assistant (CHPNA); Regina Jones, Hospice House Charge Nurse; Angela Lanham, After-Hours RN; Liz Maher, Homecare RN; and Susan McCaskill, Referral Center RN, (re-certification) – all certified as Hospice and Palliative Care Nurses (CHPN).

Additionally Dr. Kenneth Eugene, Dr. Julia Johnson and Dr. Martin Sheldon, Hospice Savannah physicians and Dr. Kelly Erola, Chief Medical Officer, (re-certification) have been awarded Certificates of Added Qualifications in Hospice and Palliative Medicine to their Board Certifications.  Each physician has successfully completed certification examinations through the American Board of Family Medicine or the American Board of Internal Medicine.  Dr. Cynthia Carter also holds certification in Hospice and Palliative Medicine.

11.19.2013 - Fiber artists’ reception is this Friday

It's hard to believe it will be Thanksgiving next week…just where did the year go? It is such a busy time with such a lot of events on people’s social calendars! I hope you may be able to carve out  a little time to visit our Art Gallery this Friday evening between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. to meet three fiber artists and see their “Woven and Quilted Intersections.”

Abigail Kokai is showing quilts depicting the sights and sounds of her neighbors on East 35th Street in Savannah; Julie Rittmeyer displays quilts reflecting her world travels – from the cliffs of Inis Mor on the Aran Islands off the west coast of Ireland, to Monet’s garden at Giverny, to Savannah Beach; and Donna Ireton shows contemporary basketry crafted from pine needles, feathers, cedar, and driftwood.

Come restore your spirits!  I look forward to seeing you Friday.

       cabbage leaf quilt     quilt from story book    straw beehive

11.12.13 - Tree of Light gift deadline is this Friday!Lady in pink coat lighing a candle

If you would like to have your donation acknowledged in the program for this year’s Tree of Light event, please make your gift before November 15th. All donations support the many free support services offered by our Full Circle bereavement counselors and volunteers.

I look forward to joining you at Forsyth Park over Thanksgiving weekend. Please click here to read a wonderful explanation of why Tree of Light matters.

10.30.2013 - Rosalynn Carter honors Hospice Savannah Volunteer

eve accepting award from rosalynJoin me in congratulating our homecare volunteer Eve Thomas who has been awarded the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving’s Volunteer Caregiver of the Year award. Eve has been a dedicated volunteer for over six years, has made over 1,800 visits and has given over 2,400 hours of service to patients and families.

Mrs. Carter presented Eve with a $1,000 check, gilded rose and certificate at a gala dinner on October 25, 2013. Paula Hudson, our Steward Companion program coordinator, nominated Eve for the award which was presented at the new Rosalynn Carter Health and Human Sciences complex at Georgia Southwestern State University in Americus, GA. Paula says that when asked to take on a new patient, Eve has never turned us down, regardless of the patient’s condition, age, or location

I am so honored to work with Eve, and with all our caring volunteers and staff. Thank you for all you do.

10.16.2013 - Junior League Done in a Day!

Jr League ladies at Hospice HouseI would like to extend a huge thank you to members of the Junior League of Savannah who spent their Saturday morning outfitting and beautifying  our children’s room at Hospice House as part of their Done in a Day projects.  The Done in a Day Committee completes one-day service projects for a variety of non-profit community agencies that fall  within the League’s  current focus area of women and children's advocacy.

Through a generous grant of $1500 the League provided shelving,  a myriad of toys and board games and a flat screen TV.  We are certain that the many children who are encouraged to come to visit their loved ones will thoroughly enjoy the room.

Pictured left to right: Erin Gatlin-Martin, Chelsea Jordan, Amanda Evans, Katie Hurley, Lauren Denmark, Heather Erwin and Beth Haberman

10.01.2013 - Dispelling the Myths

Laura Wiggins, Steward Center, and Jennifer Currin, Memorial Medical center, sitting at desk World Hospice and Palliative Care Day is October 12, 2013. As pioneers in this field in our community we will continue to dispel the following inaccurate perceptions:

MYTH: Having hospice and palliative care means you will die soon.
FACT: Hospice and palliative care is not just for the end of life. It is a holistic approach that includes caregiver support, spiritual care, bereavement and much more.
MYTH: Hospice and palliative care is just for people with cancer.
FACT: All those who are diagnosed with a chronic life-limiting illness can benefit from hospice and palliative care.
MYTH: Hospice and palliative care only manages pain through the use of addictive narcotics.
FACT: Hospice and palliative care is whole-person care that provides psychosocial and spiritual care along with pain and symptom management.

Hospice and palliative care are essential for any national health care system to fully care for those with the most serious chronic illnesses. Palliative care is for all persons with limited life expectancy no matter what their disease or age. Palliative care is safe, effective and promotes dignity, comfort, and support.  Find out more about our Steward Center for Palliative Care program here.

In addition to better integration of hospice and palliative care into health care, the global hospice and palliative care community is stressing the need for:
• More training for health professionals and carers;
• Improved access to pain and symptom management medications;
• The inclusion of hospice and palliative care into existing health policies;
• Opportunities for older people to be involved in decisions around their care.

For more myths we are dispelling for the 2013 WHPC Day, please visit www.worldday.org

09.25.2013 - Let the Bidding Begin!

5x7 blogOne of the most fun and lively events in our Hospice Savannah calendar is coming up on the evening of Friday, October 18th. Make plans to join me at the closing reception of our 5th annual 5 by 7 Art Auction when over 150 miniature masterpieces will be up for bid. This year’s judge,  Telfair Museums’ Curator of Art Courtney McNeil, will be present to hand out prizes.

Courtney selected Daniel E. Smith’s “Hospice I” (pictured) as the “Best in Show. ”

Bids start at just $35 in honor of 35 years of service to our community. If you have never visited Hospice House before this is a great reason to do so! All proceeds will help support the many “extras” we routinely  provide our patients and families such as music and massage therapy, story keeping, and an extensive array of bereavement counseling services offered at no charge.

09.18.2013 - Adding Life!

Bonita Birthday CelebrationHospice Savannah used to have a tag line for its advertising that read “Adding Life to Days”. Even though we don’t use that tagline much anymore, we certainly still believe it!

I think this recent image of a patient celebrating her 99th birthday speaks to the love and joy we strive to offer our patients and families. Volunteer photographer Diane Booker perfectly captured Hospice House volunteer Kelly Bianco being thanked for leading  staff and volunteers in a rousing chorus of “Happy Birthday.”

So often I hear, “I wish we’d called you sooner.” Don’t let your friends and family members struggle in dealing with life-limiting illnesses. Let us help them add more life to their days by contacting us sooner. We are here to help.

09.10.2013 - Let’s Talk about Dying

Slow down and take the time to watch this powerful TED talk (Click here). We can’t control if we’ll die, but we can “occupy death,” in the words of intensive care physician, Peter Saul. He calls on us to make clear our preferences for end of life care - and suggests two questions for starting the conversation.

Hospice Savannah is here to help your family, your church group, or  your civic group start the conversation. Call Community Outreach’s Sarah Copeland at 912.629.1045 if you would like her to facilitate an Advance Directives workshop.  

08.27.2013 - Labor Day Reflections

Debra LarsonAs we enter into the Labor Day weekend I’d like to again express my appreciation to our staff and volunteers for the wonderful work they do. A recent phone call I received reminded me just  how precious and important that work is.

Mrs. T. first wanted to thank me for the Veteran Certificate she had received in the mail. Despite her husband being under our care for only one day, she is requesting memorial donations be sent to Hospice Savannah. She wished she had been able to receive services earlier (we had been contacted back in the fall of last year, however her children were not ready for “hospice’). So even though he was only with us for one day and was in a hospice bed in the hospital, we were able to provide comfort to him, his wife and their children.

Our work matters.

08.20.2013 - Save the date for our next lecture series!

Nusic TherapyOne of the important ways we give back to our community is through education. Each year we host a lecture series to educate both the public and the medical community about different aspects of hospice and palliative care.

Its not too early to mark your calendar for our 2014 Hospice Savannah Lecture Series on January 23 and 24 when we welcome researcher and associate professor at the U.C. Davis Center for Neuroscience, Dr. Petr Janata. He is the preeminent researcher in the science of music and brain interaction.

As the only hospice in our community to have a full-time certified music therapist who has studied in the field of neuroscience we are excited to hear about  Dr. Janata’s research. We know that music feeds the soul, and that  the work of our music therapist Amy complements the medical expertise we offer. Stay tuned – pun intended! - for more details.

08.14.2013 - Comfort to those who Grieve

Man in GriefBetsy Kammerud and the other bereavement staff and volunteers did a wonderful job at this month’s Memorial Service.  Their thoughtful words and compassion helped those in attendance to continue their healing. 

We had upwards of 80 people in attendance, many of whom shared stories and “miracles” as some participants described them. One story built upon another story and everyone normalized each other’s experiences.

The story that touched me most was from the gentleman who came to the service because his older brother had died. This gentleman was well into his 70’s. He said “I have never known a life without my brother. He was the one with the answers. I’m not sure I know what to do now”.

Having lost my brother so soon after beginning my employment with Hospice Savannah, I could really relate to this gentleman’s grief and bewilderment. I will always be grateful to my co-workers for their support and encourage others to reach out for help if they need it.

Our Full Circle staff can be reached at 912.303.9442. A full list of their support offerings is available here. And it’s not too early to mark your calendar for our community-wide memorial gathering on Sunday, December 1st at 5:30 p.m. in Forsyth Park. May you be comforted.

07.30.2013 - First African Baptist Church – Sharing a Legacy of Compassion

blog image of First african Church Each Sunday we run an ad in the Savannah Morning News to draw attention to the public phase of the capital campaign for our Center for Living . We are excited to bring the Center to our community and to be closing in on our fundraising goal of $3 million.

During August we acknowledge the support of First African Baptist Church. Members held a fundraiser earlier this year to support our Center for Living and in gratitude for their pastor of 30 years, Reverend Thurmond Tillman (pictured upper right). Hospice Savannah has been helping our community for 34 years; First African for 240 years!

I am available to answer your questions about our Center for Living or to help make arrangements if you would like to make a pledge. No gift is too small. You may call my office at 912.629.1020 or by email by clicking here.

07.24.2013 - Nelson Mandela and raising awareness of Palliative Care

Palliative Care TeamNelson Mandela’s illness has put the spotlight on Palliative Care, and that’s a good thing. Here at Hospice Savannah we have forged the way to offer palliative care both at Memorial Health UMC and at St. Joseph’s/Candler. A 2010 New England Journal of Medicine paper found patients who receive early palliative care experienced less depression, improved quality of life and survived 2.7 months longer than patients who didn’t receive the same care.

Read ABC New’s article on how Mandela’s ill health and repeated hospital stays have  brought attention to this important field of medicine here and read about our innovative Steward Center for Palliative Care here.

As always, I am so proud of the work we do and the services we can offer to our community. If you have questions or comments about palliative care, please don’t hesitate to reach me.

07.16.2013 - What are your plans for the summer?

Bob and pam DykemaRain, Rain, Rain! Despite the downpours we are almost half way through the summer and there have been 12 Summer Nights parties already! Thanks to all our generous hosts and guests.

There is still lots of time to plan a get-together before Labor Day. Perhaps you can gather for cocktails and appetizers; perhaps you can plan a family picnic at the beach; or perhaps a formal dinner party is more your style?

Summer Nights parties are a fun and easy way to show your support for Hospice Savannah. Our Foundation’s Happy McCullough can help you plan and will provide beautiful invitations for your guests. They can make a donation directly to Hospice Savannah if they choose. Reach Happy at 912.629.1027.

I look forward to many more fun parties this summer. What will YOU plan?

07.02.2013 - July 4th – A Celebration and Reflection

july 4th wreathI’m wishing each and everyone a fun-filled but safe holiday weekend.  Although it is a time to celebrate the freedom we have as Americans, it is also a time to reflect on the past.  Take a moment to realize what you really have and maybe even thank a veteran for their service to our country.

A great group of kids from the Skidaway Island United Methodist Church volunteered their time to help make 4th of July themed wreaths to decorate the patients’ doors at Hospice House.  These wreaths stand as a reminder of what this holiday really means: to celebrate and reflect.

06.26.2013 - Our Summer Art Show is Near!

The Hospice Savannah Art Gallery is proud to present The Savannah Art Association’s Summer Show.  A total of ten talented artists have chosen some of their best paintings and etchings to decorate the gallery of Hospice House for the entire summer. 

The ten artists representing the Association are Margaret Clay, Barbara Gentry, Sue Gouse, Margie Sone Gravina, Bobbie Kraft, Carol Lasell, Martha Love, Grace Rohland, Andrea Stark and Sue Vertullo.

I would like to invite everyone to the opening and reception on Thursday, July 11, 2013 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. to enjoy complimentary refreshments while viewing these beautiful works of art.  The exhibit will hang in the gallery from July to August and is open to the general public for viewing at any time. 

All of these pieces are for sale, so make a note of the ones you would like to purchase to decorate your home or office.  A portion of the artwork sales will benefit Hospice Savannah. 

I look forward to seeing you at Hospice House on July 11th.

06.18.2013 - “My mother Doris”

Does YOUR loved one have a POLST??

Recently Georgia has passed legislation allowing the recognition of POLST (Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment).  Why is this important?  – Because for individuals who are considered medically fragile with a chronic medical condition, POLST will make certain their wishes for future care are known and respected, and will help prevent unwanted treatments and procedures.  POLST makes clear what medical care an individual would or would not want if they become unable to make the decisions themselves.  It provides a doctor’s order so that healthcare workers must follow the individual’s medical care plan. 

I am grateful to my Hospice Savannah co-workers Dr. Kelly Erola , Monica Anderson and Cathy Daniel for their leadership in bringing POLST to our community.

Debra's MomI know when my elderly 88 year-old  mother has her next physician office visit we will be requesting a POLST  be completed.  She already has an advance directive and I am her chosen healthcare surrogate, however a  POLST will ensure her  wishes are carried out as they will be a physician’s order.  By planning today and having a POLST I will be impacting the chances of my Mom living out her days as she wishes.  I hope you will also consider having a POLST for someone who you love.

Find out more and/or download the GA POLST form here.

06.11.2013 - An exciting week!

As many of you know, Monday marked the groundbreaking of our Center for Living building. We are so excited and honored to expand our services to the community. Click here to read the recent article from Savannah Morning News. 

I am also happy to announce our very own Carole Tutan – a wonderfully dedicated Hospice House volunteer – has been selected as the State winner in the Home Instead Senior Care’s “Salute to Senior Service” competition. Carole has won a $500 donation to her favorite non-profit (I wonder which one that may be?!) and is now entered in the national competition to win $5,000 for her favorite charity.  The national winner will be announced on June 30th. Read Carole’s nomination here.

I invite you to join me in congratulating Carole on Thursday morning at 11:00 a.m. in the living room at Hospice House when she will be presented with her $500 check by Rachel Carson, the franchise owner of Home Instead Senior Care in Savannah.

05.28.13 -  Feedback from a Caregiver!

One of the ways we ensure we provide excellent care is by surveying our patients and caregivers to assess their satisfaction. I’d like to share a comment from a recent survey:
Blog 5.28.13_Youngbloods
“Why did we wait so long to contact hospice? Because my spouse was afraid. When he was first diagnosed with cancer, someone told him he needed hospice right away because he was going to die. They failed to tell him how hard it would be for him and his caregiver without hospice. I’m so grateful that hospice was there for him and for me. Thank you.”

Please don’t make a decision out of fear.  Call us for help sooner rather than later.  Just call us 355-2289 or click here.

05.21.2013 - Party on the Patio!

2013 Summer Nights BlogAs you may know, we are inviting friends and supporters to have a Summer Nights party on our behalf between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Thanks for our friends at Ruth’s Chris who are  hosting a Thursday Patio Party for us on June 6th between 4:30 and 7:00 p.m. Click here for all the details and plan to stop by.

There will be wine specials, complimentary hors d’oeuvres and live music, with all raffle prize proceeds benefitting Hospice Savannah. Please email Gwen at gcutli@rcsavannah.com if you would love to donate a prize.

05.13.2013 - Memorial Day is Almost Here!

SN logoWon’t you join me in planning a party this summer? Our 4th annual Hospice Savannah Summer Nights means a summer full of parties to benefit our community-funded services such as Camp Aloha, massage therapy, music therapy, Pet Peace of Mind, grief programming, and more.

Your guests simply write a check and send to us in the envelopes provided inside their printed invitations - sparing you the task of directly soliciting them. Just relax and plan a fun get together with your Sunday School class, your golfing buddies, your family, whomever?! We know you are going to have a party this summer anyway!

Our Foundation’s Happy McCullough is here to answer all your questions and will even arrange for a beautiful floral arrangement to be delivered to your party. Contact her here. Thanks for considering this and have a wonderful summer!

05.07.2013 - National Nurses Week

Nurse with Patient for blogMay 6-12 is National Nurses Week, a time to express appreciation to all nurses for sharing their gifts and talents.
I wish to tell our Hospice Savannah nurses, “Thank you for your dedication, your many sacrifices and your efforts to continually improve the lives of our patients and their caregivers.

Be proud of yourself and accept this overdue expression of appreciation you so greatly deserve. Each day you make a difference in the lives you touch.  It is an honor to work along side each of you and I thank you for your compassion and dedication to our mission.

Tomorrow you will wake up and choose once again to let the giving and caring flow through your hands. I am so humbled and proud to know you and for sharing your talents.  Thank you for choosing to be an integral part of Hospice Savannah’s team!!  Many thanks.”

04.23.2013 - Thanks to our volunteers: National Volunteer Week, April 21 - 27Volunteer Event

Every week – but especially during National Volunteer Week – we honor and thank our 200-plus Hospice Savannah volunteers who offer support, companionship and hope to those facing a life-limiting illness by sharing their time, energy, expertise and compassion. Our  volunteers not only serve patients and families at the bedside but they also assist in the office, help raise awareness, contribute to educational programs, provide fundraising support, work with grieving children, teens and adults,  provide leadership on our boards and more.

It is federally mandated under Medicare that five percent of all patient care hours be provided by trained volunteers. This regulation reflects the vital role that volunteers play in the hospice philosophy of care and ensures that our hospice program has roots deep in the communities we serve. Click here to see a short video about how volunteers came together to get Hospice Savannah started 34 years ago.

04.16.2013 - Hospice Savannah Golf Tournament is May 13th

WF_Ins logo
Join us at the Landings Club’s Palmetto Course for lunch at noon and tee-off at 1:30 p.m. I am so grateful to Wells Fargo Insurance Services for sponsoring this fun day of golf. 

Information about sponsorships or playing is available at www.HospiceSavannah.org/GolfTournament or you can contact the very helpful and industrious Kate Blair at Katherine.blair@wellsfargo.com or by calling 912.231.6809.

With so many charity golf tournaments in our area, we really appreciate you choosing to play with us and supporting our community funded programming!

04.02.2013 - Children’s Grief Camp coming soon

The first weekend of May is an important time for me. Each year I make plans to attend April_2 blog pic
Camp Aloha as a volunteer. And each year I return home exhausted but profoundly moved by the  experience.

Our Full Circle bereavement counselors and a small army of volunteers gently guide 60 or 70 children in facing their grief. They may be at Camp because of the death of a sibling or the murder of a parent – but whatever the reason, it is deeply healing to know that they are not alone. There is community in knowing that every one else has felt the same anger, the same isolation and  loneliness, and experienced the same confusion.

I am greatly honored to play a small part in the healing of these children.

Tune in to Wednesday’s Mid-Morning Live on WTOC  to hear bereavement counselor Holland Morgan explain more or click here.

3.26.2013 - Earning a Gold Seal!

2013 JC SealI am proud to serve as the CEO of the only Joint Commission accredited hospice in our area!

The Joint Commission is the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in healthcare. In February we underwent a rigorous unannounced on-site survey where we were evaluated for compliance with standards of care specific to the needs of patients, including infection prevention and control, leadership and medication management.

I believe that achieving Joint Commission accreditation demonstrates our commitment to providing the highest level of care. It’s a voluntary process that shows we are making a significant investment in quality on a day-to-day basis from the top down.  It is my hope that physicians and other medical professionals realize that not all hospices are the same…If you want the best, insist on Hospice Savannah’s care!

03.19.2013 - Dancing for Hospice Savannah!Dancers

Our friends at First African Baptist Church are holding a health fair and Dance-A-Thon in Ellis Square by City Market on Saturday, April 6th.  D.J. Romeo will lead the fun between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

This will be a fun filled, family-oriented day  with proceeds  benefiting our Center for Living capital campaign.  To sign up as a dance team or to be a vendor in the health fair, please call 912.312.2069 or contact manderson@HospiceSavannah.org

See you there!

03.12.2013 - Resiliency and Advocacy

This week I’d like to wish our social workers “Happy Social Work Month”. This year’s theme is “Weaving Threads of Resiliency and Advocacy: The Power of Social Work.”

Brenda and HenrySocial Work is the profession of hope—fueled by resilience and advocacy. Social workers matter because they help millions of struggling people every day dream differently…Sometimes, all it takes to help people get on the right path is guidance toward what is possible. Other times, social workers are an immediate lifeline in crisis—providing access to resources and new life options…Those served by social workers possess many strengths that keep them fighting for a better future despite personal and systemic barriers to success.

In a field where oftentimes patient and family lives are defined by deficits, I am proud to be part of a profession with such a long and storied  history of discovering people’s strengths and helping them find their own sense of resiliency. I am humbled to serve as one of more than 650,000 social workers in the United States and one of 14 professional social workers here at Hospice Savannah.

02.26.2013 - Helping in Bryan, Liberty, Effingham and Long!

Liberty Co. billboardHospice Savannah was founded 34 years ago during a time when hospices were a cutting edge, revolutionary way to provide end of life care. We opened our doors as a purely volunteer agency in Chatham County. Since that time, we have responded to community needs and extended our reach outside of Savannah, and are proud to be the only not for profit, United Way designated hospice agency serving Bryan, Liberty, Effingham and Long counties.

I realize that those who live outside of Chatham County may not  think we are the “local” hospice because of the word “Savannah” in our name. But in fact we are. Pictured is a billboard  we’ve just placed on US 84  in Hinesville to help remind residents we want to help care for their loved ones in their own homes,
right in their own community
United Way logo
Please help me spread this important message by clicking one of the “share” buttons below.

02.18.2013 - Hospice Help in Your Home

Research shows that caregivers want to look after their loved ones in the comfort of their own homes during the end of life. If they can manage, they don’t want them to be in a hospital, a nursing home or even in a Hospice House.

While we are blessed and proud to be the only hospice in our community to offer the support of a free standing, homelike Hospice House, we realize the public is sometimes confused and may think that it’s the only place where we can deliver our care. Actually, most of our care is delivered right in people’s homes throughout the five counties that we serve.

Watch as our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Kelly Erola, explains how we can help.

02.12.2013 - A Valentine’s MessageHospice Volunteers

How fitting on the week of Valentine’s, I am filled with pride and admiration for our wonderful employees and volunteers!

Ladies of Distinction groupA surveyor from The Joint Commission spent four days with us last week and I am happy to say she was very impressed by the care and compassion we provide to patients and their caregivers. Her visit helped renew my passion for our mission and to reinforce my confidence that we are a quality hospice, always striving to provide the best care possible. A warm thanks to everyone who spent time with her.

And a warm thanks to Hospice House volunteers LaShea Henry and Annette Mitchell (R), members of the service organization, Top Ladies of Distinction, Inc., and to the Top Teens of America, who brought wreaths of hearts and love to decorate the rooms at  Hospice House for Valentines Day!!! 

01.29.2013 - 65 Days

Patient and CNAThis is the time of year when we look at our statistics and figures from 2012 and start preparing our annual report to the community. One figure I’d like to pull out is the number 65. That was the average number of days patients were under our care last year. Just over two months. That means that some patients had the benefit of our care for much longer, but  that some only experienced it for a few days or even a few hours.

The Medicare hospice benefit has strict guidelines that we must, and do, follow. But it saddens me to think that patients and families could have more help, more support, more encouragement, more pain-free days if they could have had our care for longer.

I hope that next year, that particular number can be a little higher than 65. If you have thoughts about how to encourage doctors, patients or families to access our help sooner, rather than later, I would love to hear from you!

01.22.2013 - Dreamers and Achievers2013 MLK Parade

This week I joined many of our employees and volunteers in marching  in Savannah’s Martin Luther King Parade. The theme was “Dreamers are believers and believers become achievers.”
I am so thankful for Hospice Savannah’s dreamers and believers – the founding volunteers who had the vision to bring this special kind of end of life care to our community back in the late 1970’s. Their legacy allows us to provide compassionate care to everyone in need – regardless of their religion, their income, or the color of their skin.
Thanks to them, and thanks to Dr. Martin Luther King.

01.15.2013 - Being the Leader in end of life CareLife support

As our mission states, we provide  “the best services and resources on living with a life-limiting illness, dying, death, grief and loss.” One  way we do that  is by providing world renowned speakers to speak to the medical and non-medical community during our annual Lecture Series.

Join me next week for our 5th Annual Hospice Savannah Lecture Series as we bring esteemed ethicist
Dr. Jonathon Craneto Savannah. There will be a complimentary luncheon and lecture at the Jewish Education Alliance on Friday, January 25th at 12 noon. An ordained rabbi, Dr. Crane currently teaches at Emory University’s Center for Ethics and will speak to us about the dilemmas caregivers face when withdrawing nutrition or hydration. To RSVP for “The Meaning of Life, ” simply RSVP by email (jespina@HospiceSavannah.org) or by phone 912.629.1095.

I am grateful to our Lecture Series sponsors and to the law firm of Bart, Meyer & Company, LLC for underwriting this particular talk.  

01.02.2013 - Random Acts of Kindness

Blog Jan picAs we prepare to leave the holiday season and enter a new year, I’d like to thank the many friends of Hospice Savannah for their support and generosity.

I think of volunteer Ruth Pauley who bought and delivered turkey dinners to patients and families in Port Wentworth, Bloomingdale and Savannah; of Mr. and Mrs. Jimmy Futch (aka Santa and Mrs. Claus), our mascot Henry the Hospice Savannah Hound and music volunteer Jim Stettler for sharing their love and talents at Hospice House; of volunteer Pam Phillips who donated a new typewriter to an elderly patient so he can type up his many inventions; of the friends and family of patient Robbie Smith who for the 10th consecutive year raised more than 5,000 dollars at a golf outing in Robbie’s honor; and I think of our own employees who generously gathered hundreds of toiletries for the homeless in our community.

We are our brother’s keeper and I am honored to work for an organization that lives out this maxim every day. A Happy New Year to one and all!

  • P.O. Box 13190
  • Savannah, GA 31416
  • 912.355.2289
  • 888.355.4911