All posts by Cary Gersh

Taylor Eagles to Host 17th Annual Soup Up Fundraiser for Hospice of Michigan

Taylor, Michigan, March 3, 2016 – Great soups, live music and the chance to support Hospice of Michigan will combine at the Taylor Fraternal Order of Eagles #3138’s 17th Annual Soup Up event.

The fundraiser will be held from 2 p.m. to midnight Saturday, March 19 at Taylor Eagles #3138’s headquarters at 23900 Goddard Road, and it will feature assorted soups prepared by members and local restaurants. Live entertainment will be provided by musical groups The Rockabilly Devils, Knockout, Dirty Mind Detroit and Rival.

The event also will include live and silent auctions, 50/50 raffles and basket raffles of items donated by local businesses, including Handle Bar Detroit, The Henry, Belle Tire, Children’s Hands on Museum, Michigan Science Center, Better Made, and many more.

“Our organization has a deep commitment to giving back to the community,” said Barbara Kirby, co-chair of Soup Up. “We appreciate the great work that Hospice of Michigan does each day, and this is our way to support them. It’s an added bonus that the donations stay in our own community.”

The cost for the all-you-can-eat soup meal is $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and younger. Tickets can be purchased at the door.

“We are so fortunate to have an organization like the Taylor Eagles to continuing to promote our mission,” said Kim Ritter, major gifts manager for HOM. “They have developed a fantastic event that the community looks forward to every year. Their hard work allows HOM to continue its mission to provide comfort care for our patients, giving them quality of life at the end of life.”

Last year, the Taylor Eagles raised more than $13,000 for HOM. In the past 16 years, Soup Up has raised more than $93,000 for the nonprofit.

Organizations interested in hosting an event to benefit HOM should call Ritter at 313.578.6268. 

About Hospice of Michigan
A nationally recognized leader in end-of-life care, Hospice of Michigan is the original – and largest – hospice in the state.  The nonprofit cares for nearly 1,800 patients each day, raising more than $5 million each year to cover the cost of care for the uninsured and underinsured.  HOM offers a broad range of services to enhance the quality of life at the end of life, including community-based palliative care and pediatric care programs. HOM provides grief support and counseling, caregiver education and support, and education programs for physicians and health care professionals through its research, training and education arm, the Hospice of Michigan Institute. In January 2015, HOM joined forces with Arbor Hospice and Palliative Care, strengthening the mission of nonprofit hospice in Michigan to ensure patients and their caregivers receive the highest quality of care. For more information, call 888.247.5701 or visit www.hom.org.

Hospice of Michigan to Present on How Memories Can Help Through Loss

Milan, Michigan, February 22, 2016 – Hospice of Michigan will host Winter Warmth, a presentation on the healing effects of cherishing the memories of loved ones, in March.

“Looking back on good times and warm memories validates the importance of how our loved ones lives shaped and touched us,” said Margie Martin, grief support manager. “Through the program, we will discuss how reflecting on positive memories can help us heal.”

The presentation will be held from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 2 at Milan Senior Center, 45 Neckel Court. Hot cocoa, tea and coffee will be served.

This program is free and open to the community, but registration is required.

For more information or to register please contact Martin at 734.769.5821.

About Hospice of Michigan
A nationally recognized leader in end-of-life care, Hospice of Michigan is the original – and largest – hospice in the state.  The nonprofit cares for more than 1,800 patients each day, raising more than $5 million each year to cover the cost of care for the uninsured and underinsured. HOM offers a broad range of services to enhance the quality of life at the end of life, including community-based palliative care and pediatric care programs. HOM provides grief support and counseling, caregiver education and support, and education programs for physicians and health care professionals through its research, training and education arm, the Hospice of Michigan Institute. For more information, call 888.247.5701 or visit www.hom.org.

Hospice of Michigan to Host Journey Through Grief Support Group

Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, Feb. 18, 2016 – Hospice of Michigan will host a Journey Through Grief support group in March.

The Journey Through Grief program is a series of weekly sessions that offers insight and coping skills for an adult’s journey through grief. Handouts that include practical information about what to expect when grieving and specific strategies for coping more effectively are provided at each session.

The sessions will be held at HOM’s Bloomfield Hills office, 43097 Woodward Ave., Ste. 102, from 1:30 to 3 p.m. every Wednesday from March 2 to March 30.

This program is free and open to the community. Advance registration is required.

For more information or to register, please contact Claudia Been at 248.334.1323.

About Hospice of Michigan
A nationally recognized leader in end-of-life care, Hospice of Michigan is the original – and largest – hospice in the state.  The nonprofit cares for more than 1,800 patients each day, raising more than $5 million each year to cover the cost of care for the uninsured and underinsured.  HOM offers a broad range of services to enhance the quality of life at the end of life, including community-based palliative care and pediatric care programs. HOM provides grief support and counseling, caregiver education and support, and education programs for physicians and health care professionals through its research, training and education arm, the Hospice of Michigan Institute. For more information, call 888.247.5701 or visit www.hom.org.

Hospice of Michigan Institute Researcher Co-Authors Article Establishing Palliative Care Standards for Children with Cancer

Detroit, January 28, 2016 – A Hospice of Michigan Institute researcher has co-authored an article that establishes palliative care standards for children with cancer and their families.

Cynthia Bell, who is also an assistant professor in Wayne State University’s graduate nursing program, teamed with eight other researchers from around the country to gather patient, family and clinician perspectives on end-of-life needs to establish the standards. The group’s recommendations have been published in the journal Pediatric Blood and Cancer – and the researchers hope they are adopted by hospitals and cancer centers nationwide.

The study addresses palliative care and psychosocial needs for pediatric oncology patients, focusing on how disease impacts patients on a psychological and social level. It addresses how patients and families are coping, addressing their fears and interacting with others as well as the effect the disease has on their personal and family lives.

“Anyone facing a life-threatening disease must cope with a tremendous number of uncertainties, which can lead to anxiety, depression and other issues,” Bell said. “Our group’s aim was to develop standards to reduce suffering throughout the disease process, incorporating psychosocial care early on. These standards take all the good things that hospice and palliative care provide and get them to patients earlier in the diagnosis.”

The research team reviewed nearly 200 psychosocial palliative care papers and studies in establishing the standards. In combining patient, family and clinician perspectives, they discovered many mutual themes:

  • Holding onto hope
  • Communicating honestly and communication approaches to include decision-making
  • Striving for relief from symptom burden
  • Symptom assessment and intervention to include physical and psychological symptoms
  • Caring for one another
  • Care access and overall care quality
  • Social support to include primary caregiver support
  • Sibling care
  • Bereavement outreach

“Not a lot of researchers are looking at palliative care and end-of-life care for children and adolescents,” Bell said. “It is exciting to be part of a group so committed to having pediatric palliative care standards that can really help the outcome of patients and their families.”

Bell said taking research and translating it to patients’ bedsides would help institutions across the country improve care.

“We want to help health care providers communicate more effectively with patients and their families,” she said. “In oncology, it’s hard for doctors to talk openly because they feel like they’ve failed their patients by not being able to cure them. This lack of open communication early in the diagnosis robs patients of quality of life.

“We’ve come so far in oncology over the last several years and now have an 80 percent success rate with our pediatric patients. However, that means one in five children diagnosed with cancer still dies. If my child were among these patients, I’d want someone looking into how to improve their quality of life throughout the process. It’s about living well until we die.”

To read the full article, visit https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/enhanced/doi/10.1002/pbc.25695/.

About Hospice of Michigan
A nationally recognized leader in end-of-life care, Hospice of Michigan is the original – and largest – hospice in the state.  The nonprofit cares for more than 1,800 patients each day, raising more than $5 million each year to cover the cost of care for the uninsured and underinsured.  HOM offers a broad range of services to enhance the quality of life at the end of life, including At Home Support™, our advanced illness management program, community-based palliative care and pediatric care programs. HOM provides grief support and counseling, caregiver education and support, and education programs for physicians and health care professionals through its research, training and education arm, the Hospice of Michigan Institute. For more information, call 888.247.5701 or visit www.hom.org.

Hospice of Michigan Seeks Volunteers in Alpena

Alpena, Michigan, January 25, 2016 – Hospice of Michigan, the largest nonprofit hospice and palliative care organization in Michigan, is seeking volunteers to help support patient care.

While opportunities for an HOM volunteer are virtually limitless, some of the organization’s more specific and immediate needs include care by:

  • Professional and licensed massage therapists, hairstylists and manicurists
  • Art and music therapists
  • Bedside companions able to talk, watch TV or play games with patients
  • Sitting vigil, a special program that ensure no patient dies alone
  • Veterans willing to connect with others through the organization’s We Honor Veterans program

Alpena resident Kristin Carriveau decided to volunteer for Hospice of Michigan after seeing the care provided to her grandmother when she was dying.

“It really touched my heart to see the services they provided,” she recalled. “Hospice of Michigan is always there, whenever you need them, day or night. Losing someone is a hard journey to walk, but they are right alongside you when you need support the most – and then step back when you don’t.”

The 40-year-old was asked to speak about her experience with HOM during Alpena’s Walk and Remember fundraiser last summer, and even though she was out of her “comfort zone,” she did. She also provides companionship visits and caregiver relief, ensuring that patients have someone to visit with while their loved ones can spend a few minutes relaxing or tending to other needs.

“To me, one of the neat benefits of volunteering is getting to know patients and what’s important to them,” Carriveau said. “Through conversations, you come to understand the things that are most precious to them, things they really hold close in their hearts.

“It helps you put your own life in perspective. It’s the most real living being done.”

Amanda Fleming, volunteer program coordinator at HOM, couldn’t agree more.

“Volunteers are an integral part of a hospice team, helping to provide comfort at the end of life,” Fleming said. We are particularly looking for volunteers who can provide important touches of grace to our patients, such as the beauty of music and art, the comfort of a new hairstyle or the companionship of a pet.”

Prospective volunteers will be asked to go through a training course where they learn more about HOM, the principles of hospice, the grieving process and how to help patients, families and staff. If you would like to learn more about volunteer opportunities with Hospice of Michigan or to sign up as a volunteer, visit https://www.hom.org/get-involved/ or contact Fleming at 989.358.4293 or afleming@hom.org.

Even though she has four children at home, Carriveau said she still finds time to volunteer – and encourages others to do so as well.

“Volunteering for Hospice of Michigan doesn’t have to be time-consuming,” she noted. “Amanda is very good at making sure she’s respectful of schedules and not overwhelming a volunteer with too many things. If you have 30-60 minutes to give once a week, that will work.

“HOM needs all different kinds of volunteers. Do you love sports? You could make someone’s day just by talking about last night’s game.  Can you sing or play an instrument? You could see the patients suffering from dementia light up with excitement at the sound of a familiar tune.”

For those who have experienced a loss, HOM encourages a waiting period of one year before becoming a volunteer in order to allow for the processing of grief.

About Hospice of Michigan
A nationally recognized leader in end-of-life care, Hospice of Michigan is the original – and largest – hospice in the state. The nonprofit cares for more than 1,800 patients each day, raising more than $5 million each year to cover the cost of care for the uninsured and underinsured. HOM offers a broad range of services to enhance the quality of life at the end of life, including At Home Support™, our advanced illness management program, community-based palliative care and pediatric care programs. HOM provides grief support and counseling, caregiver education and support, and education programs for physicians and healthcare professionals through its research, training and education arm, the Hospice of Michigan Institute. For more information, call 888.247.5701 or visit www.hom.org.

Hospice of Michigan Seeks Volunteers in Gaylord

Gaylord, Michigan, January 21, 2016 – Hospice of Michigan, the largest nonprofit hospice and palliative care organization in Michigan, is seeking volunteers to help support patient care.

While opportunities for an HOM volunteer are virtually limitless, some of the organization’s more specific and immediate needs include care by:

  • Professional and licensed massage therapists, hairstylists and manicurists
  • Art and music therapists
  • Bedside companions able to talk, watch TV or play games with patients
  • Sitting vigil, a special program that ensures no patient dies alone
  • Veterans willing to connect with others through the organization’s We Honor Veterans program

When Gaylord resident Madonna Sussex started volunteering with Hospice of Michigan a year ago, she pictured herself doing office work – and that’s where she started, doing research and handling spreadsheets. But when she saw the need for companionship visits, she quickly switched gears and began spending time with patients.

“One of the visits that stands out to me was when a wife wanted to attend the baptism of her grandniece and was so worried about leaving her husband,” Sussex recalled. “She was just gone two hours, but had a lot of fun connecting with family – and she was so appreciative that someone was there with her husband.

“I got the impression that she had not been away from him in awhile. It made me feel like I made a difference – not only in the last week of the patient’s life, but in her life. She needed a little break and knew that things were handled while she was gone.”

Sussex uses an online story-telling technique called TimeSlips to help her talk with patients – especially those who struggle with memory loss or dementia. The technique allows patients to flex their creative muscles and tell a story, rather than struggle to have to remember. The story then can be shared with caregivers, family and community.

Sussex is sold on TimeSlips and has become certified in its use – one of the many things she does to engage patients during her visits.

“What I initially thought I would get out of volunteering isn’t what is has turned out to be,” she said. “Over time, you get way more than you expected. You get a sense of personal satisfaction, but there’s a lot beyond that. Volunteering strengthens a community by providing important resources that support families and defray or reduce medical care costs.

“Volunteering doesn’t take a lot of time, even from the busiest peoples’ schedules. It’s very flexible – I can go when I want and set my own schedule. While it doesn’t take a lot of time, it makes a huge difference in someone’s life.”

Amanda Fleming, volunteer program coordinator at HOM, couldn’t agree more.

“Volunteers are an integral part of a hospice team, helping to provide comfort at the end of life,” she said. “We are particularly looking for volunteers who can provide important touches of grace to our patients, such as the beauty of music and art, the comfort of a new hairstyle or the companionship of a pet.”

Prospective volunteers will be asked to go through a training course where they learn more about HOM, the principles of hospice, the grieving process and how to help patients, families and staff. If you would like to learn more about volunteer opportunities with Hospice of Michigan or to sign up as a volunteer, visit https://www.hom.org/get-involved/ or contact Fleming at 989.358.4293 or afleming@hom.org.

For those who have experienced a loss, HOM encourages a waiting period of one year before becoming a volunteer in order to allow for the processing of grief.

About Hospice of Michigan
A nationally recognized leader in end-of-life care, Hospice of Michigan is the original – and largest – hospice in the state. The nonprofit cares for more than 1,800 patients each day, raising more than $5 million each year to cover the cost of care for the uninsured and underinsured. HOM offers a broad range of services to enhance the quality of life at the end of life, including At Home Support™, our advanced illness management program, community-based palliative care and pediatric care programs. HOM provides grief support and counseling, caregiver education and support, and education programs for physicians and healthcare professionals through its research, training and education arm, the Hospice of Michigan Institute. For more information, call 888.247.5701 or visit www.hom.org.

Gloria Danna Brooks, MPA, FACHE

As Vice President Chief Strategy Officer, Gloria is responsible for leading strategic initiatives in collaboration with the Executive Team. She oversees operations at the Hospice of Michigan Institute, which serves as the hub for education, training, research and innovation for the organization. She is also responsible for the Anchors Programs for Children, which provides pediatric perinatal care, palliative services, pediatric hospice, and family support services throughout the communities that HOM serves. Gloria oversees HOM’s Counseling Services, which encompass Social Work, Spiritual Care and Grief Support, as well as Volunteer Services for Hospice of Michigan. In addition, Gloria continues in her role as President of Arbor Hospice and Arbor Hospice Foundation. She represents Arbor Hospice and its Foundation in the Washtenaw County community. In this role, she co-chairs the Washtenaw Health Initiative’s Advanced Care Planning Task Force and is a member of the Arbor Hospice Foundation Campaign Cabinet.

Gloria earned a Masters of Public Administration Degree from Oakland University, Michigan, and a Bachelor of Science in Art Therapy degree from the University of Evansville, Indiana.

Gloria has been an active member of Inforum since 2005 and serves as co-chair of the HealthcareNEXT industry group. She also represents Inforum at the MedHealth Innovation Cluster, a project of TechTown in Detroit. She is a member of the MedHealth Innovation Committee, the Washtenaw Health Initiative Steering Committee and co-chair of the WHI Advanced Care Planning Committee. Gloria has been a member of the Rotary Club of Ann Arbor since 2008. She received a 2011 Champion of the New Economy Award from dBusiness Magazine, WJR, and Junior Achievement of Southeast Michigan for her achievements in the business turnaround at Arbor Hospice. Gloria was named the 2012 Educator of the Year by the Hospice & Palliative Care Association of Michigan, recognizing her proven performance as an advocate and educator in hospice and palliative care. She was the Chair of the Hospice & Palliative Care Association of Michigan for 2013-2014 and was a member of the board of directors from 2008-2014. Gloria was named 2008 Distinguished Alumna from Marian High School in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and later served on its Board of Directors from 2009-2014. Gloria was chair of the 2008 & 2009 Power of the Purse Women’s Initiative campaign for the United Way of Washtenaw County.

Gloria and her husband, Michael, reside in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Hospice of Michigan Promotes Mindy Talbert to Statewide Program Manager for At Home Choices™

Detroit, January 13, 2016 – Hospice of Michigan has promoted Mindy Talbert to statewide program manager of At Home Choices™, one of the organization’s palliative care programs.

In her new role, Talbert will manage a team of eight nurses while overseeing care for more than 300 patients currently enrolled in the At Home program. The palliative care program is available in 58 counties across the Lower Peninsula.

At Home Choices is one of a suite of advanced illness management programs developed by HOM to improve care, reduce costs and allow patients to remain in their homes for as long as possible. While not yet eligible for hospice, patients referred to the program have serious, life-limiting illnesses that would benefit from pain and symptom management and other palliative care services.

Talbert joined HOM in 2014 as a hospice registered nurse. In April 2015, she began working with the organization’s At Home Choices team, serving as an RN case manager and also focusing on program development.

Talbert has spent more than 15 years in the nursing field and has focused on palliative and hospice care for more than four years. Prior to joining HOM, she was a home hospice RN and case manager for Beaumont Health Systems.

Talbert holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Western Michigan University. She currently resides in South Lyon.

About Hospice of Michigan
A nationally recognized leader in end-of-life care, Hospice of Michigan is the original – and largest – hospice in the state. The nonprofit cares for more than 1,700 patients each day, raising more than $4 million each year to cover the cost of care for the uninsured and underinsured.  HOM offers a broad range of services to enhance the quality of life at the end of life, including At Home Support™, our advanced illness management program, community-based palliative care and pediatric care programs. HOM provides grief support and counseling, caregiver education and support, and education programs for physicians and health care professionals through its research, training and education arm, the Hospice of Michigan Institute. For more information, call 888.247.5701 or visit www.hom.org.

Hospice of Michigan Institute to Host National Webcast on Supporting Families at Life’s End

Presented by Hospice Foundation of America’s Annual Living with Grief Program

Detroit, January, 7, 2016  – The Hospice of Michigan Institute will host a video webcast of “Managing Family Conflict/Finding Meaning – Supporting Families at Life’s End” for health care professionals in Michigan.

The event, which takes place Thursday, Jan. 28 from 12:30 to 3 p.m., will be offered at the following Hospice of Michigan offices:

  • Detroit: 400 Mack Ave.
  • Gaylord: 830 S. Otsego Ave.
  • Grand Rapids: 989 Spaulding Ave. SE, Ada
  • Saginaw: 3995 Fashion Square Blvd., Suite 1

This program addresses methods, strategies and practices that can be used to provide psychological, social and other types of support to terminally ill patients, their families and close networks. Particular emphasis will be placed on how to manage sources of conflict that often emerge near life’s end, as well as how to help individuals and families find meaning during a difficult time.

The session will begin with a streaming of the webcast, followed by a local panel discussion during the last half hour of the event.

Presented by the Hospice Foundation of America, this annual Living With Grief Program provides distance-learning opportunities to healthcare and hospice workers, educators, social workers, counselors, clergy, funeral directors and other professionals who assist adolescents coping with grief.  This program provides an opportunity to share and exchange ideas and obtain 2.5 hours of continuing education credits.

To register or for more information, visit https://www.hom.org/webinar/ or contact Maureen Rock at 313.578.6289 or mrock@hom.org.

About Hospice of Michigan
A nationally recognized leader in end-of-life care, Hospice of Michigan is the original – and largest – hospice in the state.  The nonprofit cares for more than 1,700 patients each day, raising more than $4 million each year to cover the cost of care for the uninsured and underinsured.  HOM offers a broad range of services to enhance the quality of life at the end of life, including At Home Support™, our advanced illness management program, community-based palliative care and pediatric care programs. HOM provides grief support and counseling, caregiver education and support, and education programs for physicians and healthcare professionals through its research, training and education arm, the Hospice of Michigan Institute. For more information, call 888.247.5701 or visit www.hom.org.

Arbor Hospice & Palliative Care and Hospice of Michigan Affiliate to Become Largest Provider of Comprehensive Hospice and Palliative Care in the State

DETROIT, Dec. 2, 2015 – In a move designed to strengthen and expand the mission of nonprofit hospice providers in Michigan, Arbor Hospice & Palliative Care and Hospice of Michigan today announced they will form an affiliation effective Jan. 1, 2016.

Collectively, the affiliated organization will unite in caring for more than 2,200 patients on a daily basis across 58 Michigan counties, making it the largest provider of hospice and palliative care services in the state. Both organizations share common missions, visions and values and will be able to better serve patients and their families without regard to age, diagnosis or ability to pay.

The affiliation was announced to employees earlier today. Both organizations will continue to offer all their current programs and services and anticipate the new affiliation will enable them to commit more resources at the patient bedside.

The unified organization will be led by Robert Cahill, who has more than two decades of healthcare experience and has served as president and CEO of HOM since 2014. Gloria D. Brooks will serve as president of Arbor and the Arbor Hospice Foundation and vice president and chief strategy officer for HOM. The organizational management structure will be finalized in early January 2016.

“Arbor is excited to form an affiliation with HOM that aligns our missions and allows us to share best practices to better serve our patients and families,” said Gloria D. Brooks, president and CEO of Arbor Hospice. “Through this affiliation, Arbor and HOM will be able to preserve what’s unique about each organization while preserving the nonprofit hospice legacy to provide compassionate care to all.”

HOM president and CEO Robert Cahill noted: “This affiliation gives us greater opportunities to deliver the highest quality of care by sharing best practices and collaborating to better serve community needs. We are both financially sound organizations and are making this affiliation from a position of strength. This new affiliation will allow both of us to enjoy the financial benefits of being part of a larger organization without sacrificing our names, brands and legacies.”

Under the affiliation agreement, Arbor and HOM will continue as independent 501(c)(3)s and operate under their respective names. Arbor will continue to serve patients throughout Washtenaw County and its current service area out of its Ann Arbor office, as HOM continues to serve patients throughout Michigan.

The Arbor Hospice Foundation will be established as an independent foundation supporting Arbor’s programs and services. The Hospice of Michigan Foundation will continue to support of HOM’s programs.

Patients and families currently served by Arbor and HOM will not experience any change with the affiliation. Clinical teams will remain intact and will continue to deliver the highest quality comfort care to palliative care and end-of-life patients and their families.

About Arbor Hospice & Palliative Care Since 1984, Arbor Hospice, headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, has been committed to providing quality, compassionate care for those experiencing life-limiting illnesses throughout southeast Michigan. Arbor Palliative Care was introduced in 2012. Arbor is integrated into the community with the help of its experienced staff and caring volunteers through its certified hospice and palliative care services, inpatient hospice services, grief support services and community education programs. As a patient and family support service, Arbor Hospice’s 165 end-of-life and palliative care specialists and more than 400 volunteers keep the patient comfortable, teach the family to provide care, and offer emotional and spiritual support. Arbor is caring for more than 400 patients daily through its hospice and palliative care services in Jackson, Lenawee, Livingston, Monroe, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne counties. For more information, visit www.arborhospice.org or call (888) 992-2273.

About Hospice of Michigan A nationally recognized leader in end-of-life care, Hospice of Michigan is the original – and largest – hospice in the state. The nonprofit cares for more than 1,700 patients each day, raising more than $4 million each year to cover the cost of care for the uninsured and underinsured. HOM offers a broad range of services to enhance the quality of life at the end of life, including At Home Support™, our advanced illness management program, community-based palliative care and pediatric care programs. HOM provides grief support and counseling, caregiver education and support, and education programs for physicians and health care professionals through its research, training and education arm, the Hospice of Michigan Institute. For more information, call 888.247.5701 or visit www.hom.org