All posts by Keith Lee

Hospice of Michigan to Host ‘Grief 101’ Workshop For People Dealing With Loss of a Loved One

ALPENA, Mich. (Oct. 21, 2019) – Hospice of Michigan, the state’s original and largest not-for-profit hospice provider, welcomes the Alpena community to its ‘Grief 101’ support group workshop on Tuesday, Oct. 22 from 6 until 7:30 p.m. at the Hospice of Michigan office, located at 145 N. State Ave. in Alpena. This free educational session will provide attendees dealing with the loss of a loved one important resources and information in the grieving process.

‘Grief 101’ explores what is normal during the grief process, along with strategies for coping and suggestions for self-care. The workshop also offers community support and a Q&A session – allowing attendees to ask any question that is on their mind, even if it isn’t covered during the session. Losing a loved one is a unique and difficult experience, and this ‘Grief 101’ support group addresses the complicated issues someone faces when dealing with a loss of this magnitude.

The not-for-profit’s ‘Grief 101’ support group is among the many free grief support services Hospice of Michigan offers, providing a supportive environment for those struggling to cope with the loss of a loved one. Hospice of Michigan’s grief support programs are open to everyone in the community dealing with the loss of a loved one, regardless of whether they received care from HOM.

To register for this free workshop, please contact Stacy Malenfant at 989-358-4295 or smalenfa@hom.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 not-for-profit 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 5,100 patients annually across Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. For more information, call 888.247.5701 or visit www.hom.org.

Breaking Down Barriers to Earlier Referrals

Providers of home health services, palliative care and hospice care often express disappointment and confusion regarding referral patterns by physicians. Many providers feel physicians don’t refer to them as early as they should or may be missing the full benefits they can provide to patients and families alike.

What are common key barriers that get in the way of physicians making referrals to home-based care providers? How can providers better educate and communicate with physicians to break down those barriers and enhance the care patients receive?

Special guest Michael Paletta, MD, FAAHPM, is Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President for Hospice of Michigan – the largest provider of hospice and palliative care services in that state. As a physician with a background in a wider range of healthcare, Dr. Paletta has decades of experience in collaborating with other physicians and understanding their mindset. Dr. Paletta joins host Stan Massey (lead consultant of Transcend) to discuss physicians’ perspective on supportive care versus curative care and how to overcome barriers in gaining physician referrals.

Their conversation covers intriguing topics, including Dr. Paletta’s view on “buyer’s remorse” in today’s healthcare environment, the challenges of accurately predicting life expectancy with the interventions of modern medical, educating physicians on the full truth about palliative care and hospice services, and his hope for the new generation of physicians in seeing palliative medicine as the specialty it is – with referrals being the norm rather than the exception.

Hospice of Michigan to Host Program for Grieving Parents Who Have Lost Their Children

DEARBORN Mich. (Oct. 3, 2019) – Hospice of Michigan, the state’s original and largest not-for-profit hospice provider, will host a series of weekly grief support sessions for parents who have experienced the loss of a child. The ‘Loss of a Child’ sessions are provided free of charge and will be held every Wednesday evening for five weeks, beginning Oct. 9, from 6 until 7:30 p.m. Sessions will be held at the Hospice of Michigan office, located at 3200 Greenfield Rd. #250 in Dearborn.

Losing a child is a unique and difficult experience, and these grief support groups address the complicated issues a parent faces after losing one of their children. In this compassionate setting, participants can find comfort and solidarity in meeting with other grieving parents, regardless of how old their child was or if they received care from Hospice of Michigan. Hospice of Michigan’s staff also helps demystify the wide range of physical and emotional reactions associated with loss.

The not-for-profit’s ‘Loss of a Child’ support group is among the many free grief support services Hospice of Michigan offers, providing a supportive environment for those struggling to cope with the loss of a loved one. Hospice of Michigan’s grief support programs are open to everyone in the community dealing with the loss of a loved one, regardless of whether they received care from HOM.

Please plan on attending all five sessions, as they are sequential. To register, contact Jackie Morris at 313.578.6328 or jmorris@hom.org.

HOSPICE OF MICHIGAN IS RECRUITING BUSINESSES/EMPLOYEES FOR SECOND SEASON OF GIVE A QUARTER BACK CAMPAIGN

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (Oct. 2, 2019) – Hospice of Michigan is huddling up again for Give a Quarter Back, a football-themed fundraising campaign designed to help thousands of Michigan families manage the challenges of providing end-of-life care. Give a Quarter Back is entering its second season with a focus on educating the state’s workforce on hospice benefits available to them and their loved ones, while inspiring all Michiganders to support Hospice of Michigan’s specialized programs and services.

The state’s original and largest not-for-profit hospice provider is opening its playbook to companies large and small, to help their employees who are juggling the responsibilities of caring for a terminally ill loved with their responsibilities at work. Hospice of Michigan helps identify and deliver the medical and emotional support they are entitled to.

Dilemmas for Family Caregivers
The financial and time strains 40 million family caregivers across the U.S. experience both at home and in the workplace are considerable. A 2018 Northwestern Mutual C.A.R.E. Study of 1,004 adults, conducted by Harris Poll, found that 68 percent financially supported an ailing loved one with nearly equal numbers doing so by reducing their own living expenses or drawing money from their own savings or other assets. Nearly a quarter of those surveyed reported borrowing money to fund care.

The survey also revealed demands of family caregivers significantly impact their workplace productivity with 80 percent missing unplanned days. On top of that, nearly equal numbers reported arriving late and leaving work early, as well as working reduced schedules.

Helping Families Quarterback Care
Along with raising funds, Give a Quarter Back is designed to educate business leaders and their employees about the many ways Hospice of Michigan can ease their burdens and improve productivity through care that is covered by Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance companies, including:

  • Providing a dedicated team of medical, social work and spiritual professionals to bring a full range of end-of-life care into a patient’s home;
  • Continually evaluating and responding to a patient’s changing condition, including providing urgent medications to address pain and symptom emergencies;
  • Providing 24/7 contact center access for assistance with urgent questions and needs, as well as respite care that offers caregivers a much-needed break.

Management and employees of Grand Rapids-based Betz Industries have been contributing to Hospice of Michigan for more than 23 years. What started as a one-day community service project has evolved into a payroll deduction program for 96 percent of the company’s 170 employees, taking the manufacturer’s annual contribution from $4,000 to $50,000 – with a corporate match – over the years. While Hospice of Michigan has benefitted from the company’s generosity, Betz has been equally rewarded.

“We’ve been able to educate our employees about hospice,” said Dan Scott, director of Human Resources, “and so our people know exactly what to do when they need help because they’ve invested in Hospice of Michigan. Without exception, those who’ve come to me have been grateful to receive help with one call.

“You don’t want to have to have the experience,” said Scott of hospice, “but when you do, there’s relief that there’s an organization out there to support it. Hospice of Michigan turns a negative into a positive.”

With a second season campaign goal of $300,000, funds generated through Give a Quarter Back support patient and family care that is not covered by insurance in four key areas, including:

  • Hospice of Michigan’s Open Access Program providing end-of-life care to patients regardless of age, diagnosis or ability to pay;
  • NorthStar Palliative Care providing specialized support that focuses on improving quality of life through pain and stress management and relief;
  • Jo Elyn Nyman Anchors Programs for Children, the only statewide, dedicated pediatric hospice program, offering supportive care services for seriously ill youngsters;
  • NorthStar Institute providing caregiver education and support, and education programs for physicians and health care professionals.

Bentley/Bacon Join QB Lineup
Give a Quarter Back’s season two also features video testimonies of hospice experiences from new and returning quarterbacks from the world of sports. Former NFL linebacker, broadcaster and author Ray Bentley and journalist, author and sports commentator John U. Bacon are joining last year’s roster of sports professionals in sharing their stories via Hospice of Michigan’s social media channels to inspire Michiganders to make Give a Quarter Back contributions – in increments of 25s.

Here’s How to Get Into The Game
Michigan business executives interested in learning more about how Hospice of Michigan can help them and their employees reap the benefits of hospice support through Give a Quarter Back can contact Megan LaCross, director of philanthropy – east at melacross@hom.org or 248.320.0132.

Hospice of Michigan has already gained yardage on this season’s campaign with new corporate champions joining the roster of those that supported Give a Quarter Back last year. On the field at kick-off are:

Applied Imaging
Betz Industries
Lacks Enterprises, Inc.

To make a Give a Quarter Back contribution:

  • Visit www.GiveAQuarterBack.com
  • Text GAQB to 56651
  • Mail a check, made payable to Hospice of Michigan, to: 989 Spaulding Ave SE, Ada, MI 49301

NorthStar Care Community Welcomes Keith-Kevin Lee as Creative Director

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (Sept. 30, 2019) – Northstar Care Community (NSCC) is pleased to announce the hiring of Keith-Kevin Lee as creative director and webmaster for the Ann Arbor-based not-for-profit. The NorthStar Care Community was formed in 2017 by Hospice of Michigan (HOM) and Arbor Hospice to preserve and promote the mission of not-for-profit hospice and palliative care.

As creative director, Lee oversees the design and production of print, video, and web-based materials, as well as collaborates with the IT team to ensure the security and stability of the organizations’ online environment. Lee works closely with the organization’s marketing and communications, grief services, development, volunteer and sales staff to create a wide variety of internal and external collateral materials, promotional announcements and support materials for HOM and Arbor programs and events.

Lee joins NorthStar Care Communities from Ann Arbor-based GreenBright Holdings, where he oversaw and executed all marketing and media initiatives, including external and investor communications. Prior to that, he led marketing initiatives at Pi Property Management and Distribution in Midland. Lee graduated from Northwood University with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Marketing and Management. He lives with his wife Samantha and five-year old son Grayson in Novi, Michigan.

Hospice of Michigan to Host Free Loss of a Spouse Seminar in Detroit

CLINTON TWP., Mich. (Sept. 23, 2019) – Hospice of Michigan, the state’s original and largest not-for-profit hospice provider, will host a free ‘Loss of a Spouse’ seminar and discussion on healing after the loss of a partner from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 24 at the James H. Cole Home for Funerals, located at 2624 W. Grand Blvd. in Detroit.

Jacqueline Morris, Hospice of Michigan grief support services manager, will address a variety of grief-related topics and questions during the event, such as pinpointing what makes someone’s grief unique, what grief attacks are, why someone might be feeling angry and how somebody can deal with loneliness.

The seminar is intended for those who have lost a spouse or life partner. All members of the community are invited to attend.

The not-for-profit’s ‘Loss of a Spouse support group is among the many free grief support services Hospice of Michigan offers, providing a supportive environment for those struggling to cope with the loss of a loved one. Hospice of Michigan’s grief support programs are open to everyone in the community dealing with the loss of a loved one, regardless of whether they received care from HOM.
Refreshments will be provided at the event. Please RSVP to Jackie Morris at 313.578.6328 or jmorris@hom.org.

Hospice of Michigan Hosting Free, Ongoing ‘Living On’ Grief Support Groups in Big Rapids and Fremont

BIG RAPIDS, Mich. (Sept. 19, 2019) – Hospice of Michigan, the state’s original and largest not-for-profit hospice provider, is once again hosting its free ‘Living On’ grief support groups in Big Rapids and Fremont.

‘Living On’ groups feature grief and loss topics that are addressed as they arise, depending on the interests of those attending the group. The focus is to express feelings and experiences related to someone’s loss in a supportive, caring and non-judgmental environment.

  • The Big Rapids group meets on the fourth Tuesday of every month from 3 until 4:30 p.m. at the Hospice of Michigan office, located at 400 Perry Ave. in Big Rapids.
  • Fremont’s ‘Living On’ group gathers on the second Tuesday of every month at True North Community Services, 6308 S. Warner Ave. in Fremont, from 1 until 2:30 p.m.

Both groups are facilitated by Ken Krause, M.Div. and grief support services manager for Hospice of Michigan.

Hospice of Michigan’s grief support programs are open to everyone in the community dealing with the loss of a loved one, regardless of whether they received care from HOM. The not-for-profit’s ‘Living On’ support group is among the many free grief support services Hospice of Michigan offers, providing a supportive environment for those struggling to cope with the loss of a loved one.

Registration is required. For more information, including details of how to register for ‘Living On’ in Big Rapids and Fremont, please contact Ken Krause at 231.527.0913 or kkrause@HOM.org.

Hospice Volunteers Needed In Northern Michigan

Hospice of Michigan Seeks Patient Companions to Volunteer In Antrim, Grand Traverse and Kalkaska Counties

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (Sept. 17, 2019) – Hospice of Michigan, the state’s original and largest not-for-profit hospice provider, is seeking caring and compassionate volunteers interested in donating their time as patient companions in Northern Michigan, including small towns such as Kalkaska, as well as its surrounding communities such as Mancelona, Rapid City and South Boardman. Those who have a passion for helping others are encouraged to submit a volunteer application. Hospice of Michigan welcomes partners or couples to apply and serve together, and volunteers do not need to have a medical background.

Volunteer companions such as Bobbie Vaught, a retired nurse who spent 30 years helping patients in hospitals across the state, help provide socialization and companionship to patients and caregivers in a variety of ways. She has spent much of the past two years volunteering with Hospice of Michigan in her community, visiting patients in their homes to share in activities such as playing cards, reading books, listening to music or simply providing conversation. Sometimes, those activities will include caregivers as well.

“I dealt with hospice patients in the past during my time as a nurse, and I had very high regard for them” said Vaught, who retired from nursing nearly five years ago. “These days, I’m basically providing companionship, and that has a calming effect on both me and the patient. I’m so glad I get to continue to do something meaningful, helping patients and families during what’s arguably one of the toughest times of their lives.”

Vaught has lots of love for all of the patients she cares for.

“Every patient I’ve seen has been a sacred story to me,” Vaught says. “It keeps me humble and gives me the drive for a more compassionate understanding of what patients and their families go through.”

Interested volunteers will be invited to a training session to learn more about working with patients, as well as general information about the not-for-profit hospice organization, its patients and the benefits that active volunteers may experience.

For more details or to register to become a volunteer patient companion in Northern Michigan, please contact Kathy Lietaert at 231.779.5409 or klietaer@hom.org. For more information about Hospice of Michigan, please call 888-247-5701 or visit www.hom.org.

Comedy and Coping with Grief: Hospice of Michigan to Host ‘Healing Improv’ Grief Support Group

CADILLAC, Mich. (Sept. 13, 2019) – Hospice of Michigan, the state’s original and largest not-for-profit hospice provider, is hosting a Comedy Improv Grief Workshop on Tuesday, Sept. 17 from 12 until 2 p.m. at Maple Ridge Long Term Care Facility, located at 9072 S. Mackinaw Trail in Cadillac.

This workshop is designed to provide a fun and healing experience to those in grief by demonstrating that even in the darkest of times, there is a light forward to joy and hope. Leading the workshop will be Bart Sumner, founder of Healing Improv, a group that brings the therapeutic power of group improv games to share laughter with all those who need it. After the passing of Sumner’s 10-year-old son, he used his 20 years of experience in improvisational theatre to get himself through the unimaginable.

“Losing someone close to you can leave a hole in your heart for a long time,” said Will Gasper, grief support manager for Hospice of Michigan. “This Healing Improv workshop helps people who are grieving fight negativity head on, and reminds us that it’s okay to smile, laugh and enjoy all the small moments, even after a loved one has passed on.”

The not-for-profit’s ‘Healing Improv’ support group is among the many free grief support services Hospice of Michigan offers, providing a supportive environment for those struggling to cope with the loss of a loved one. Hospice of Michigan’s grief support programs are open to everyone in the community dealing with the loss of a loved one, regardless of whether they received care from HOM.

For more information and to register for the ‘Comedy Improv Grief Workshop’, please contact Will Gasper at 231.444.3350 or wgasper@hom.org.

Hospice of Michigan to Host Free Loss of a Spouse Seminar in Clinton Township

CLINTON TWP., Mich. (Sept. 12, 2019) – Hospice of Michigan, the state’s original and largest not-for-profit hospice provider, will host a free ‘Loss of a Spouse’ seminar and discussion on healing after the loss of a partner from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 19 at the Hospice of Michigan office located at 39531 Garfield Rd. in Clinton Township.

With a message of hope, author and guest speaker Ron Gries will share excerpts from his book, Through Death to Life, while leading the discussion. Following his wife Patty’s terminal cancer diagnosis, Gries began a four-and-a-half-year journey that brought ideals like preciousness of living, sadness of death, totality of grief, wonder of healing and overwhelming power of faith to the forefront of his life.

By sharing challenges of his grief, Gries helps inspire other grieving individuals on their journey of healing.

The seminar is intended for those who have lost a spouse or life partner. All members of the community are invited to attend, regardless of whether or not their loved one received services through Hospice of Michigan.

A light meal will be served at the beginning of the seminar, followed by the speaker’s presentation at 1 p.m. Registration is required.

Please RSVP to Wesley Lawton at 586.263.8154 or wlawton@hom.org.