All posts by Jason Beckerleg

New Year, New You: Start 2019 By Helping Hospice of Michigan As A Volunteer

Nonprofit Looks to Alpena Area for Volunteers Wanting to Give Back This Year

ALPENA, Mich. (Jan. 14, 2019) – The calendar has turned to 2019, and that means many of us are looking to start-over and set new goals for ourselves.

Hospice of Michigan, the original and largest hospice provider in the state, has an opportunity for those who want to spend more time volunteering this year.

On Thursday, Jan. 24, caring and compassionate people interested in donating their time to Hospice of Michigan can attend a New Volunteer Orientation at 145 N. State Ave. from 10:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.

Volunteers like Vickie Fields, who has been with Hospice of Michigan for more than 10 years, help provide socialization and companionship to patients or caregivers through activities such as playing cards, listening to music or simple conversation.

“When patients are close to death, I sit bedside vigil,” said Fields. “I remember once talking to a patient during a bedside vigil, and I was using imagery about being at peace, flowing down a river and no longer experiencing illness and pain, and how beautiful everything was. The hospice aide came to help move this patient into her own private room, and then we wheeled her in the wheelchair down to the new room. As we were getting her room ready, she peacefully passed away. I think she felt the movement of the wheelchair as if it was the flowing river; she was on the peaceful ride and then she just let go.”

Veteran volunteers are especially needed to visit with veteran patients. Interested individuals who would like to register for this class can contact Kathy Lietaert at 231.779.5409 or klietaer@hom.org. For more information about Hospice of Michigan, please call 888-247-5701.

About Hospice of Michigan
A nationally recognized leader in end-of-life care, Hospice of Michigan (HOM) is the original – and largest – hospice in the state. A founding member of the NorthStar Care Community, the nonprofit delivers the highest quality of care, raising more than $5 million each year to cover costs for the uninsured and underinsured. HOM offers a broad range of services to enhance the quality of life at the end of life. HOM also provides grief support and counseling, as well as caregiver education and support. A member of the NorthStar Care Community, HOM also provides palliative care through NorthStar Palliative Care, pediatric hospice care and compassionate support services through Jo Elyn Nyman Anchors Programs for Children, and education programs for physicians and health care professionals through the NorthStar Institute. The NorthStar Care Community also includes Arbor Hospice. In total, NorthStar Care Community members serve nearly 6,500 patients annually across Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. For more information, call 888.247.5701.

Hospice of Michigan Receives Generous Grant From Michigan Health Endowment Fund

Nonprofit Gifted Nearly $500,000 to Conduct Research on Industry Burnout Rates

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (Dec. 26, 2018) – The Michigan Health Endowment Fund has awarded Hospice of Michigan a grant of nearly $500,000 to conduct research regarding worker burnout rates in the hospice and palliative care industry.

Hospice of Michigan is just one of 30 organizations in the state to receive a grant from the Health Fund, which offered $14 million in awards to businesses and organizations working to improve the health and wellness of Michigan residents. The grants, awarded in two categories (Healthy Aging, Special Projects & Emerging Ideas,) ranged anywhere from $100,000 to $500,000.

Hospice of Michigan will invest its Healthy Aging resources to design and test a customized intervention program aimed at reducing the extremely high burnout rates of hospice and palliative care workers. The results from employee interviews, as well as additional research and consulting, could eventually be used throughout the state to retain and eventually grow this in-demand workforce.

A national survey of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Care Medicine showed that 62% of respondents met the criteria for burnout. Studies have shown that burnout leads to a high turnover for workers in the hospice and palliative care fields, resulting in poorer quality of care, more medical errors and less empathy toward the elderly population. In addition, caring for patients with serious and terminal illnesses puts the physical and mental health of hospice and palliative care workers at risk, which plays a factor in burnout as well.

This project is being conducted in conjunction with experts from the medical field. It will be completed in four phases over the span of two years:

  1. Hospice of Michigan will anonymously survey its nearly 500 employees to understand the predicators and prevalence of burnout.
  2. After receiving initial input, up to 50 employees (including clinicians and administrators) will be interviewed to help identify why the burnout rate is so high. Discussion about potential intervention topics will be talked about as well.
  3. In conjunction with national experts in the medical field from Hospice of Michigan, the Jewish Hospice and Chaplaincy Network, Michigan State University, Duke University and Stanford University, a customized intervention program will be designed and introduced. This is a critical step considering the science of burnout prevention in the hospice and palliative care field is in its early stages of development.
  4. A pilot study will then be conducted across the company to test the benefits of intervention programs.

For more information about Hospice of Michigan, please call 888-247-5701 or visit www.hom.org.

Listen to Hospice of Michigan Senior Vice President, Marcie Hillary discuss the new research grant with Jessica Young of WYCE. Click Here

About Hospice of Michigan
A nationally recognized leader in end-of-life care, Hospice of Michigan (HOM) is the original – and largest – hospice in the state. A founding member of the NorthStar Care Community, the nonprofit delivers the highest quality of care, raising more than $5 million each year to cover costs for the uninsured and underinsured. HOM offers a broad range of services to enhance the quality of life at the end of life. HOM also provides grief support and counseling, as well as caregiver education and support. A member of the NorthStar Care Community, HOM also provides palliative care through NorthStar Palliative Care, pediatric hospice care and compassionate support services through Jo Elyn Nyman Anchors Programs for Children, and education programs for physicians and health care professionals through the NorthStar Institute. The NorthStar Care Community also includes Arbor Hospice. In total, NorthStar Care Community members serve nearly 6,500 patients annually across Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. For more information, call 888.247.5701.

About The Michigan Health Endowment Fund

The Michigan Health Endowment Fund works to improve the health and wellness of Michigan residents and reduce the cost of healthcare, with a special focus on children and seniors. You can find more information about the Health Fund at mihealthfund.org.

Cadillac Comes Together to Give a Quarter Back to Hospice of Michigan

Thousands of Quarters Being Collected for Nonprofit’s ‘Quarter’ Mile

CADILLAC, Mich. (Dec. 20, 2018) – From Cadillac to Clare, Lake City to Leroy, Manton to McBain and all over Tustin, Hospice of Michigan Give a Quarter Back jars are filling up with quarters and dollars as the nonprofit strives to create one mile of quarters at Manton High School on Jan. 25, 2019.

Area businesses are making this a personal mission to support Hospice of Michigan reaching this amazing goal.  With the help of its local quarter collecting partner Wexford Community Credit Union, the shelves in the credit union’s vault are beginning to fill with rolls of quarters.  The goal is huge, as 1,600 rolls of quarters are needed to create a mile, and all the staff members at Wexford Community Credit Union are engaged in this unique effort.

Culver’s of Cadillac hosted the Hospice of Michigan Cadillac care team for celebrity server night and collected 1,536 quarters, which equals $384. Annie’s Baked Goods held a single day event as well, donating 50 cents per giant cookie sold, which resulted in 404 donated quarters, plus a jar stuffed with dollar bills and quarters. WexExpress donated funds raised throughout November and December though its “blue jean Friday” staff donations, while Midtown Pizza has chosen to donate 50 cents per cup of soup sold through the end of the year.

Brilliant Smiles Family Dentistry in Cadillac just challenged Brite White Dental in Manton to donate a $1 (4 quarters) for every cavity-free child through Jan. 21 of 2019. Biggby Coffee in Cadillac is also donating $1 (4 quarters) for each specialty or Grande coffee sold through Dec. 31 to Hospice of Michigan. To download the coupon click here.

This campaign offers unlimited potential to have some fun while doing some good for others.  Businesses looking to participate in Hospice of Michigan’s ‘Quarter’ mile event can contact Margo Jacobs, marketing advisor for Hospice if Michigan, by calling 231.429.6987 or by emailing majacobs@hom.org. For more details about the Give a Quarterback campaign, please visit www.giveaquarterback.com. Please call 888.247.5701 or visit www.hom.org for more information about Hospice of Michigan and its mission to provide the best possible end-of-life care to patients across the state.

The Hospice of Michigan Cadillac team needs your help to reach its goal.  There are collection jars throughout Wexford, Missaukee, Osceola and Clare counties, or you can make Give a Quarter Back donations at the Hospice of Michigan Cadillac office, located at 932 N. Mitchell St., until Monday, Jan. 21.  Donations in any amount will be gratefully accepted at the Hospice of Michigan office Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.

On Friday, Jan. 25 during the Manton High School girls’ basketball game against Northern Michigan Christian, the thousands of quarters collected throughout Cadillac will be used to build a ‘quarter’ mile around a track inside the gym. Hospice of Michigan workers did the math; it will take 63,000 quarters to complete the mile-long path, a donation of nearly $16,000!

The statewide Give a Quarter Back initiative, which benefits Hospice of Michigan’s Open Access Program, helps ensure everyone in Michigan can receive the physical, emotional and spiritual end-of-life care they deserve. In fact, if every resident in the state donated just $25, Hospice of Michigan would meet its $5 million fundraising goal and pledge to provide the next generation of Michiganders with exceptional service.

About Hospice of Michigan
A nationally recognized leader in end-of-life care, Hospice of Michigan (HOM) is the original – and largest – hospice in the state. A founding member of the NorthStar Care Community, the nonprofit delivers the highest quality of care, raising more than $5 million each year to cover costs for the uninsured and underinsured. HOM offers a broad range of services to enhance the quality of life at the end of life. HOM also provides grief support and counseling, as well as caregiver education and support. A member of the NorthStar Care Community, HOM also provides palliative care through NorthStar Palliative Care, pediatric hospice care and compassionate support services through Jo Elyn Nyman Anchors Programs for Children, and education programs for physicians and health care professionals through the NorthStar Institute. The NorthStar Care Community also includes Arbor Hospice. In total, NorthStar Care Community members serve nearly 6,500 patients annually across Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. For more information, call 888.247.5701

Holiday Real Talk: Hospice of Michigan Encourages Families to Have End-of-Life Discussions

Nonprofit hospice offers tips for conversation starters

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (Nov. 20, 2018) – The holidays are filled with joy and merriment as loved ones gather around the table to enjoy good company and conversation. The question, “What would you like for Christmas or Hanukkah?” is often asked to younger family members. This holiday season, Hospice of Michigan encourages a different question for the younger generation to ask their elders: “What are your end-of-life preferences?”

While end-of-life discussions may seem as unusual dinner table fodder, people are beginning to break those barriers and normalize these conversations. Death Cafes and Death Dinners – which encourage families to hold dinners specifically for these discussions – are growing in popularity within communities. It can be a difficult topic to broach, especially during this time of the year, but families shouldn’t shy away when parents and grandparents want to talk about what they want when they die.

According to The Conversation Project National Survey, 90 percent of people say that talking with their loved one about end-of-life care is important, but only 27 percent have done so. While 60 percent of those surveyed say they don’t want to burden their family with tough decisions, only 56 percent have communicated their end-of-life wishes.

Hospice of Michigan suggests that if a loved one wants to talk, let them.

“We often see a distinct difference in the experiences of the patients and families we serve who have documented their thoughts on end-of-life care and those who have not,” said Michael Paletta MD, FAAHPM, Hospice of Michigan vice president, medical affairs and chief medical officer. “Having shared preferences regarding medical intervention and comfort care, those who’ve pre-planned enter this difficult time with a peace of mind that comes from already knowing the answers to tough decisions that may lie ahead.”

The nonprofit hospice organization recommends asking the following questions when loved ones want to have the conversation:

  • Who do you want making your healthcare decisions if you are unable? Encourage them to choose someone who knows them very well and can make difficult decisions to ensure their wishes are followed.
  • What kind of medical treatment do you – or don’t you – want? It’s more than just deciding whether or not they want lifesaving intervention in an emergency. It’s identifying their definition of life support and expressing any religious or personal beliefs that will help everyone around them understand which interventions are acceptable.
  • How comfortable do you want to be? Completely comfortable seems the obvious answer. Ask them for further details including their thoughts on medication that might leave them drowsy or sleepy. But it’s not just about pain management. Is there favorite music they’d like played and readings they’d like to hear? What about massage therapies and personal care? No end-of-life wish is too insignificant and should be shared.
  • What do you want your loved ones to know? Ask them about their preferences regarding funeral and burial arrangements. This is also a good opportunity for your loved one to leave a personal legacy. Sharing their expressions of love, forgiveness and peace, even thoughts and acceptance of death itself, can provide years of comfort to friends and family.

“While it’s important to note that decisions don’t have to be made immediately, it’s always a good idea to have the talk,” adds Paletta. “One brief conversation will lead to another, and eventually you and your loved ones can engage in a deeper dialogue about end-of-life preferences.”

Hospice of Michigan offers HaveYouHadTheTalk, one of many online resources that can help you and your loved ones discuss and document your preferences. For those needing help broaching the subject, Hospice of Michigan spiritual care advisors and social workers are also available to offer tips on getting the conversation started. For more information about Hospice of Michigan, please call 888-247-5701.

About Hospice of Michigan
A nationally recognized leader in end-of-life care, Hospice of Michigan (HOM) is the original – and largest – hospice in the state. A founding member of the NorthStar Care Community, the nonprofit delivers the highest quality of care, raising more than $5 million each year to cover costs for the uninsured and underinsured. HOM offers a broad range of services to enhance the quality of life at the end of life. HOM also provides grief support and counseling, as well as caregiver education and support. A member of the NorthStar Care Community, HOM also provides palliative care through NorthStar Palliative Care, pediatric hospice care and compassionate support services through Jo Elyn Nyman Anchors Programs for Children, and education programs for physicians and health care professionals through the NorthStar Institute. The NorthStar Care Community also includes Arbor Hospice. In total, NorthStar Care Community members serve nearly 6,500 patients annually across Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. For more information, call 888.247.5701.

Hospice of Michigan Partners with Grand Oaks Nursing Center to Host ‘Empowering Your Voice, Honoring Your Decisions’

Free Community Event to Focus on Planning for Health Crisis Before It Happens

BALDWIN, Mich. (Oct. 30, 2018) – Members of the community who would like to learn more about planning for a potential health crisis are invited to attend Empowering Your Voice, Honoring Your Decisions on Wednesday, Nov. 13 from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. at the Grand Oaks Nursing Center, located at 600 Denmark St. in Baldwin. Hospice of Michigan is partnering with Grand Oaks Nursing Center for the free event.

Focusing on your plans and wishes in the event of a health crisis before it happens, the discussion will be hosted by Hospice of Michigan’s Respecting Choices First Steps® ACP Certified Facilitator. Attendees will also learn how that knowledge can empower them to select the care they want if they ever need to rely on someone else for their decision-making.  The program will also cover Advance Directive documentation, which will be explained and provided.

Registration for the event is recommended by contacting Heather Volkema at hvolkema@hom.org or 231.342.0795. Light refreshments will be served.

The Grand Oaks Nursing Center is located in Baldwin, Mich. and possesses the highest U.S. government rating available for nursing homes throughout the country.

For more information, please visit www.hom.org or peplinskigroup.com/locations/grand-oaks/.

About Hospice of Michigan
A nationally recognized leader in end-of-life care, Hospice of Michigan (HOM) is the original – and largest – hospice in the state. A founding member of the NorthStar Care Community, the nonprofit delivers the highest quality of care, raising more than $5 million each year to cover costs for the uninsured and underinsured. HOM offers a broad range of services to enhance the quality of life at the end of life. HOM also provides grief support and counseling, as well as caregiver education and support. A member of the NorthStar Care Community, HOM also provides palliative care through NorthStar Palliative Care, pediatric hospice care and compassionate support services through Jo Elyn Nyman Anchors Programs for Children, and education programs for physicians and health care professionals through the NorthStar Institute. The NorthStar Care Community also includes Arbor Hospice. In total, NorthStar Care Community members serve nearly 6,500 patients annually across Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. For more information, call 888.247.5701

Hospice of Michigan Partners With Lighthouse for Veterans, Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan—be nice to Host Educational Event on Suicide Loss and Prevention

BIG RAPIDS, Mich. (Oct. 8, 2018) – Members of the community who would like to learn more about suicide loss and prevention are invited to attend a special screening of Suicide: The Ripple Effect, on Thursday, Nov. 1 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at The Bulldog Cinema, located at 1100 Maple St. in Big Rapids. Hospice of Michigan is partnering with Lighthouse for Veterans and the Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan – be nice for this screening.

The movie tells the story of Kevin Hine’s suicide attempt by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge and is part of a global mission to help reduce the number of suicides and suicide attempts around the world.

A panel discussion will be featured following the movie, and additional community resources will also be available, including an action plan on how to help someone who might be contemplating suicide.

To register for this event, please contact Katie Gedraitis at kgedrait@hom.org or 231.527.0913.

Lighthouse for Veterans was established in November 2017 to remember those lost to veteran suicide, as well as their families, while also supporting the veterans who are still with us.

For more information, please visit www.hom.org or https://www.lighthouseforveterans.org.

About Hospice of Michigan
A nationally recognized leader in end-of-life care, Hospice of Michigan (HOM) is the original – and largest – hospice in the state. A founding member of the NorthStar Care Community, the nonprofit delivers the highest quality of care, raising more than $5 million each year to cover costs for the uninsured and underinsured. HOM offers a broad range of services to enhance the quality of life at the end of life. HOM also provides grief support and counseling, as well as caregiver education and support. A member of the NorthStar Care Community, HOM also provides palliative care through NorthStar Palliative Care, pediatric hospice care and compassionate support services through Jo Elyn Nyman Anchors Programs for Children, and education programs for physicians and health care professionals through the NorthStar Institute. The NorthStar Care Community also includes Arbor Hospice. In total, NorthStar Care Community members serve nearly 6,500 patients annually across Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. For more information, call 888.247.5701.

Hospice of Michigan and Arbor Hospice Promote Attorney Gregory J. Parry to General Counsel

Veteran Lawyer Played Key Roles in Post-Affiliation

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (Sept. 17, 2018) – Hospice of Michigan and its affiliate Arbor Hospice are pleased to announce the promotion of attorney Gregory J. Parry to general counsel.

Hospice of Michigan hired Parry in 2015 as director of contract services. Hospice of Michigan and Arbor Hospice affiliated in 2016. Parry is credited with playing key roles integrating the agencies. Parry first added director of real estate to his title placing him in charge of 20 commercial and healthcare facilities and managers across Michigan; achieved joint CHAP accreditation for contract services; guided the sale of Hospice of Michigan’s headquarters in Detroit; contracted and oversaw pivotal and time sensitive renovation projects including The Residence of Arbor Hospice’s relocation to Saline, and makeover of administrative headquarters in Ann Arbor; and provided valuable legal and business counsel.

As general counsel, Parry will provide strategic and daily legal, business, and risk management advice to executive and high-level leadership. Parry will remain in charge of contract services and real estate.

First in his family to attend college, Parry graduated from Western Michigan University. From there, he graduated from Michigan State University College of Law, Magna Cum Laude. Parry worked in private practice for 20 years including Butzel Long PLLC, and Dickinson Wright PLLC, specializing in complex regulatory matters and transactional due diligence mostly representing Fortune 500 companies.
Parry is rated “AV Preeminent 5/5” by Martindale-Hubbell® – highest peer review score for legal ability and ethics. The watershed events of 9/11, followed by Hurricane Katrina, inspired Parry to deepen his focus and expertise in legal and business risk management. In 2009, Parry earned his Masters of Homeland Security Leadership from University of Connecticut / U.S. Naval Post Graduate School. Parry has earned professional praise for his cutting-edge approaches to proactively spotting and avoiding legal and business risks. In 2011, Michigan Lawyers Weekly honored Parry as among the State’s elite “Leaders in the Law.”

About Hospice of Michigan

A nationally recognized leader in end-of-life care, Hospice of Michigan (HOM) is the original – and largest – hospice in the state. A founding member of the NorthStar Care Community, the nonprofit delivers the highest quality of care, raising more than $5 million each year to cover costs for the uninsured and underinsured. HOM offers a broad range of services to enhance the quality of life at the end of life. HOM also provides grief support and counseling, as well as caregiver education and support. A member of the NorthStar Care Community, HOM also provides palliative care through NorthStar Palliative Care, pediatric hospice care and compassionate support services through Jo Elyn Nyman Anchors Programs for Children, and education programs for physicians and health care professionals through the NorthStar Institute. The NorthStar Care Community also includes Arbor Hospice. In total, NorthStar Care Community members serve nearly 6,500 patients annually across Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. For more information, call 888.247.5701

A Closer Look at Our Music Therapy Program

Music has a universal power to affect emotions. The right kind of music can enhance relaxation to ease pain and anxiety. Research has shown the effectiveness of music therapy even in patients resistant to other treatment approaches. Our music therapist engages patients with music in ways best suited for their needs and preferences.

Watch the video below to see an example