Hospice of Michigan and Arbor Hospice Social Workers are Specially Trained to Care for Patients Nearing End-of-Life

Not-for-profit hospice organizations celebrating their dedicated team of statewide social workers during National Social Work Month in March


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (March 7, 2024) Hospice of Michigan and Arbor Hospice, both members of NorthStar Care Community, are celebrating their dedicated team of statewide social workers during National Social Work Month in March.

Through her experience as a social worker with Hospice of Michigan’s Grand Rapids team, Julia Katerberg understands her role is to provide connection and guidance to patients and their families during a vulnerable time.

“Hospice can sometimes be a hot button topic. There often are a lot of heightened emotions during end-of-life, but there’s also a lot of very deep meaning that happens as well,” said Katerberg. “I’m so grateful for the opportunity to be able to provide support to patients and family members during such a meaningful period in their life.”

While social workers are trained to help vulnerable people work through challenges in their life, hospice social workers are specially trained to care for patients nearing end-of-life. They work directly with all individuals involved in a patient’s care, including patients, family members, physicians, nurse practitioners and more.

Hospice of Michigan and Arbor Hospice rely on social workers across the state to deliver compassionate and competent care to patients. Hospice social workers offer countless benefits to the patients, families and not-for-profits they serve, including:

  • Helping a family fill out medical paperwork,
  • Arranging homemaker services for a hospice patient and spouse living alone,
  • Listening to patients needs and concerns to connect them to resources,
  • Working collaboratively with nursing staff to assist in reducing pain and discomfort,
  • Developing personalized care plans for each patient and their caregiver to address mental health concerns,
  • Providing suggestions for non-therapeutic interventions,
  • Assisting families with having difficult conversations at end-of-life,
    • Advanced Care planning, funeral planning and even placement of dependent children,
  • Providing counseling, education and emotional guidance to support families,
  • Providing accommodating care to all cultures, traditions, values and family systems.

To learn more about Hospice of Michigan, visit hom.org. To learn more about Arbor Hospice, visit arborhospice.org.


About NorthStar Care Community

NorthStar Care Community (NSCC) preserves and promotes the mission of not-for-profit hospice and palliative care – delivering expert, compassionate care to patients of any age, no matter their diagnoses, complexity of care, place of residence or financial circumstances. Formed by two legacy Michigan not-for-profit hospice agencies – Hospice of Michigan and Arbor Hospice – NSCC includes NorthStar Palliative Care, the NorthStar Institute, Jo Elyn Nyman Anchors Programs for Children, and NorthStar Solutions Group. In Michigan, NSCC members serve more than 6,600 patients annually across the Lower Peninsula.

NorthStar Solutions Group supports nearly 50 partners in 17 states and Washington, D.C., helping hospice and home healthcare organizations increase efficiencies, improve patient care and help lower the cost of operations through its 24/7 triage services (NorthStar Triage), analytics, custom applications and technical services (NorthStar Technology) and comprehensive gap analysis, best practices, fundraising and other management services (NorthStar Consulting). NorthStar Solutions Group also manages the National Partnership for Hospice Innovations (NPHI) nationwide hotline which refers patients and families to one of more than 100 NPHI not-for-profit providers. Collectively, NorthStar Solutions Group touches the lives of more than 10,000 patients and families every day.

For more information about NorthStar Care Community, including NorthStar Solutions Group, visit www.northstarcarecommunity.org.