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Staff Honored for Years of Service

Our staff provides superior care and services for our patients and families we serve daily – we think it’s worth celebrating, especially those who have contributed years of service to our mission.

Staff from Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton were honored for their years of contributions at the Ohio’s Hospice Staff Recognition Breakfast on Thursday, June 23.

The following were recognized:

5 Years

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(Listed alphabetically) Janet Allen, Doug Arnett, Lisa Balster, Lisa Bateman, Ciara Bayne, Kathy Berthy, Jennifer Bloom Long, Paula Booth, Michelle Bowman, Tina Brewer, Gretchen Buchanan, Marlene Cobb, Laurie Combs, Nancy Conatser, Linda Cummins, Mark Curtis, Dana Datz, Dominic DeAloia, Jessica Dutton, Lynn Edwards, John Eshelman, Robin Ferguson, Diane Foreman, Linda Gault, Lorraine Gilkison, Carl Gill, Susan Good, Tiffany Harris, Kate Hawvermale, Will Henry, Jennifer Hrovat, Robert Huden, Suzanne Jackson, Shea Johnson, Tiffanie Johnson, Brenda Jones, Catina Lamb, Christina Lawrence, Jenny Liew, Stacey Lykins, Rebekah Marlow, Jacy McCain, Amanda McCoy, Donna Molton, Birdie Napper, Susan Page, Adriana Palamariu, Letitia Person, Ashley Puchalski, Lisa Rhoden, Faith Richardson, Tim Robinson, Anna Rymer, DeShay Scandrick, Patricia Scheper, Carrie Schroder, Nancy Silverman, Gayle Simmons, Sandra Simpson, Jaime Sowers, Lesa Stewart, Theresa Sugrue, Bob Tangeman, Brittany Thiel, Melinda Tobin, Angelene Volpatti, Kevin Wardlaw, Stephen Wetterhan, Megan Wissinger and Miriam Wolf

10 Years

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(Listed alphabetically) Jamie Doughman, Vickie Hartke, Lisa Hayslip, Debbie Holt, Janet Koehl, Amy LeVan, Connie Pappas, Craig Thacker,  Michael Toerner, Kashauna White, and JoAnne Wynn.

15 Years

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(Listed alphabetically) Heather Bolton, Janet Dickens, Gloria Entela, Susan Freeman, Marianne Montjoy and Dr. Ruth Thomson

20 Years

Donna Braun-Slyman

Quarter Century Club

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Dena Wenzler

With gratitude, we thank our staff for all they do at Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton!

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AmeriCorps Volunteers Visit Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton

The flower beds at Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton were recently given extra care, thanks to the giving hands of AmeriCorps NCCC volunteers from the North Central Region.

From Vinton, Iowa, the group of 18-24 year olds volunteered at Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton and worked seven hours on Monday, May 16 planting annuals and maintaining our flower beds.  The group was led by our lead landscaper Miriam Wolf.

The volunteers are participating in a 10-month program traveling in the Northwestern region to help strengthen communities and their own leadership skills.  Currently, eight members are here in Dayton for two months working with the Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm as part of a grant.

The staff from Aullwood suggested the volunteers extend their services to Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton to help meet the 80 hours of community service they are required to meet.

One of the volunteers Keira Larson, 23, from Chandler, Arizona has never had exposure to a hospice and mentioned the other members were new to the environment as well. “We have been very fortunate with our experience,” Larson commented.

“I think that the young adults volunteering at Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton are gaining a new story and experience to share,” said Team Leader Ashley Frampton. “Many have never been to a hospice before, and I think it is good for them to familiarize themselves with what is in their home community. I hope they all walk away from the day with a new perspective and knowledge.”

Frampton went on to say volunteering at a hospice is a great way for them to help out at a place with which they are unfamiliar.

“I am proud of my team for taking the initiative and reaching out to help organizations in the community where we are living and serving,” Frampton said, “It is the first time they have volunteered at a hospice and I hope it is not the last.”

The volunteers were given a tour of our Hospice House and educated on the mission and services we provide. After learning more about hospice, the volunteers felt so good about the work they were doing for our organization that they came back to serve another day.  We were happy with the news!

Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton thanks the AmeriCorps Volunteers for their hard work and wishes them well in their valuable work.

Learn more about AmeriCorps NCCC

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Green Energy Ohio Tour Highlights Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton

GEO-Tour-LogoOhio’s Hospice of Dayton is excited to be included on the Green Energy Ohio Tour taking place Friday, Saturday and Sunday, June 3, 4 and 5. This free event features self-guided, guided or open house tours across Ohio highlighting homes, businesses and public places that are using green technologies.

Alternative energy sources such as solar, wind, biomass and green design will be among the featured designs included in the tour.

Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton will share information and a tour of the solar panel array that provides energy and climate control for a storage building located on the campus at 324 Wilmington Avenue in Dayton. According to facilities manager and solar advocate Mark Wagner, the solar energy produced at the Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton site produced energy in the first 12 months of operation equivalent to:

  • powering 3 homes annually
  • removing 4 cars from the road
  • planting 1,140 trees
  • the power produced by 18 barrels of oil
  • The array has offset 45,570lbs (21 metric tons) of carbon emissions in its first year. This is equivalent to CO2 emissions from:
  • 2,372 gallons of gasoline consumed
  • 22,501 pounds of coal burned

And greenhouse gas emissions from:

  • 7 tons of waste sent to a landfill
  • 50,559 miles driven by an average passenger vehicle

The solar system includes 96 solar modules, 2 inverters and produced 30,000kWh in the first year of operation. Those participating in the Green Energy Ohio tour can visit the site and learn more about it Friday, June 3 from 4 to 6 pm, Saturday, June 4 from 10 am to 4 pm and Sunday, June 5 from 1 to 4 pm.

It is the first of several green approaches to energy and efficiency planned for the Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton campus.

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Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton First in Nation to Earn Pathway to Excellence® Designation

National designation recognizes commitment to superior care and superior services for the Dayton region.

Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton® is the first hospice in the nation to earn Pathway to Excellence® designation. While 134 hospitals nationally have achieved this standard, Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton has become the first hospice dedicated to providing end-of-life care to do so.
Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton President and CEO Kent Anderson celebrated the announcement, saying “I am so immensely proud of our nursing teams in achieving this wonderful distinction and accreditation. In my 20 plus years in healthcare this is by far the most talented team of nurses and nursing leadership I have had the privilege of serving with.”

The American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC) Pathway to Excellence Program is an organizational credential to recognize healthcare facilities that have created positive work environments where nurses can thrive.

Greg Toman, board chair for Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton, said, “I am proud to be part of an organization that continually strives for excellence. Achieving the Pathway to Excellence accreditation reflects the commitment to our mission by our nursing team. Being the first hospice in the country to achieve this status reflects Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton’s national leadership in hospice care.”

Pathway-designated organizations participate in a rigorous review process that determines organizational commitment to nursing excellence. Nurses in the organization verify the organization meets the high Pathway to Excellence standards by participating in a completely confidential online survey.

Those achieving designation are deemed to be among the best places for nurses to work, with high nurse satisfaction and retention. Research shows that healthy work environments improve not only nurse satisfaction but also patient satisfaction and quality of patient care.

“The designation of Pathways to Excellence belongs to the nursing staff of Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton who give of themselves each day to provide superior care and services to our patients and families,” says Chief Nursing Officer Mary Murphy. “It is their work that I honor today. I am proud to be part of such an exceptional team.”

Organizations seeking the Pathway to Excellence credential must meet 12 practice standards that establish a positive work culture and environment as defined by organizational practices and policies. The standards include

  •  Nurse shared governance
  •  A strongly safe environment
  •  Mechanisms to address patient care and practice concerns
  •  A sound orientation program
  •  Strong professional development support
  •  Competitive wages and benefits
  •  Recognition for professional achievement
  • Healthy work-life balance
  •  Collaborative interdisciplinary approaches to care
  •  Strong nurse leadership and
  •  Evidence based practice focused on patient outcomes and quality.
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Celebrating Our Solar Successes On Earth Day

Warehouse Solar ArrayOhio’s Hospice of Dayton is celebrating Earth Day everyday with financial savings and a reduced carbon footprint thanks to solar power.EarthDayHOD

As part of Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton’s Renewable Energy Program, Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton will participate in the 2016 Green Energy Ohio (GEO) Solar Tour June 3-5. Facilities Coordinator Mark Wagner will host visitors to share information about the impact 96 solar electric panels have had on power usage. The amount of energy produced since May of 2015 has offset 36,000 pounds of carbon emissions and is the equivalent of powering two average homes. The amount of carbon and greenhouse gas emissions offset can be represented by having planted 922 trees, 17,509 pounds of coal burned, 38 barrels of oil consumed, six tons of waste sent to a landfill, and removing three cars from the road over the past nine months.

Like GEO, Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton is promoting sustainable energy practices. Future plans like roof-mounted solar arrays and a solar car canopy will further reduce Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton’s electricity consumption by more than 10 percent. As opportunities arise to implement additional sources of renewable energy, Mark will be reviewing all options. “It’s a great idea to implement a renewable energy source, such as geothermal, wind or solar at the earliest stages of a new building or a facility’s refurbishment,” he says. By adding renewables into the mix from the start, companies can save on installation costs and have a better impact on the environment.

Please join Mark at Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton and be a part of the Solar Tour in June. For more information, contact Mark at mwagner@hospiceofdayton.org.

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Lincoln is Learning to Bring Laughter, Love and Quality of Life

On this National Puppy Day we are pleased to share photos of Lincoln, our puppy in assisted pet therapy training. Lincoln is now 9 1/2 months old with a chocolate lab mother and unknown dad. He, his siblings and mother were all abandoned when the pups were a week old. A member of the Ohio’s Hospice staff adopted Lincoln, who has graduated from puppy kindergarten. “He is a fun loving, people loving goofball,” says his owner. Both are looking forward to joining the pet assisted therapy team visiting hospice patients. Like all pet assisted therapy dogs at Ohio’s Hospice, Lincoln and his owner will be required to complete a training program and become certified before interacting with patients.

Pet assisted therapy enriches the quality of life for hospice patients and families. Physical contact with animals is known to reduce anxiety, lower blood pressure and bring comfort to patients. Enjoying time with an animal can help reduce physical and emotional pain, ease loneliness and encourage movement. Dogs have the ability to bring back pleasant memories and a sense of normalcy for patients, visitors and family members. A 2013 study reported that dementia patients who were provided pet therapy over a ten week period experienced a slower progression of symptoms including agitation, aggression and depression.

Once certified, Lincoln will join our other pet assisted therapy dogs in lighting up the lives of our patients and their families – proving that puppies are good medicine.

Below are pictures of Lincoln at 4 months and now at 9 1/2 months. We can’t wait to see how big he will be when he is fully grown!

 

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Drawbacks of Daylight Savings for Seniors and those with Serious Illness

DaylightSavingsTime[1]We join in celebrating the arrival of spring, but for many the adjustment to Daylight Savings Time that comes with it poses special health concerns. As clocks spring forward we not only lose an hour of sleep, we need several days to reset our internal clocks.

Older adults and those with chronic illnesses can find the transition particularly difficult. Sleep deprivation is already a common complaint for seniors and those who are ill. According to Nancy Trimble, an Advance Practice Nurse with Ohio’s Hospice, “The elderly, who already have fragmented sleep patterns due to aging, may suffer more sleep disturbances, worsening of sundowning in dementia, and are at a higher risk of heart attack in the first 3 days following the Daylight Savings Time change due to the stress of sleep disturbance. People can be groggy, leading to more auto and on the job accidents. For seniors it may also affect their accuracy in taking medications correctly. Falls due to sleepiness may also ensue.”

Trimble offers some recommendations for easing into the time switch. “Avoidance of sleeping pills, alcohol, and caffeine will help, as well as gradually adjusting bedtimes and awakening, and being aware of the potential changes that might occur. It may be necessary to speak to your health care provider on how to adjust scheduled medications such as insulin with the time change. Exposure to more light also is helpful in resetting the circadian (light, hormone, wake/sleep cycle) rhythms. Seniors tend to take more time to adjust to the time changes and may need a little help during those times.”

The following are some additional suggestions to help those most affected by the change to Daylight Savings Time:

  • Maintain a routine. As much as possible, maintain regular sleep patterns, adjusting the time of going to bed and waking up by no more than 15-20 minutes. This helps keep your personal sleep rhythm steady.
  • Avoid the enemies of good sleep. Don’t drink caffeine or alcohol in the evening; avoid over-the- county sleep aids; and avoid napping.
  • Exercise. Walking, biking, swimming can all help you fall asleep more easily.
  • Take a bath. A warm bath before bed can help the body relax and produce the natural sleep-hormone melatonin.
  • Set the stage for sleep. Make sure your sleep environment is comfortable and quiet. Turn off that TV!
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Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton Receives $25,000 Check from WalMart

2016-01-13 11.41.31Patient quality of life at Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton received a $25,000 boost from WalMart today.

Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton was one of several local non-profit organizations to receive grants from WalMart. The funds are earmarked for the Hope Fund which provides food, shelter, utility assistance and temporary housing to ensure families in the community receive the quality end of life care that they deserve. “The difference Walmart makes in giving back to our community shows the true spirit of being a servant to others,” says Lori Poelking-Igel, Executive Director of the Hospice of Dayton Foundation. “This generous gift of $25,000 will lighten the burden of another human being as they transition to the next chapter of their life, their end of life. Thank you for being part of that experience by enhancing the quality of living, not dying. Our Hope Fund enables us to alleviate stress for over 300 individuals who are faced with end of life challenges, but hunger, shelter and clothing won’t be one of them. Thank you for making this a reality for so many in need, and being partners in their journey.”

Additional information about the grant can be found online.

Dr. Wendy Schmitz Named Medical Director of Inpatient Care

Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton has announced the appointment of Dr. Wendy Schmitz to serve as Medical Director for Inpatient Care. wendy_schmitz

Dr. Schmitz joined the Hospice of Dayton medical staff as a Clinical Medical Director in July 2008. She earned her medical degree at the Medical School of Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, California and completed her residency at Kettering Medical Center, where she was a Weiffenbach Scholar. She is board certified in Internal Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Prior to joining Hospice of Dayton, Dr. Schmitz served as a hospitalist with South Dayton Acute Care Consultants at Miami Valley Hospital and had also served as medical director of sub-acute care units with Arbors of Dayton Long Term Care, Carriage by the Lake Nursing Home, and Hickory Creek Nursing Home.

In announcing the new role Dr. Schmitz will assume overseeing inpatient care, Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ruth Thomson noted “Dr. Schmitz has a wealth of experience and has provided exemplary clinical expertise and leadership in our Hospice inpatient settings throughout her tenure with Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton. She has embraced the concept of palliative procedures, which has greatly improved the comfort and care of our patients needing these services.”

Dr. Schmitz will continue to provide direct patient care as well as take on new medical leadership responsibilities. She is also spearheading an international physician exchange partnership through Care Partners International with the goal of establishing hospice care services in a partnership in Ecuador.

Ohio’s Hospice Spearheads Unbroken Circle of Care with Local Clergy

Faith communities are called upon to support members of their congregations during times of serious illness and loss. Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton is reaching out to faith communities to strengthen and educate clergy and laity in serving this constituency.

Kim Vesey, RN, CHPN, MS, Vice President of Mission Support with Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton, is leading the Unbroken Circle of Care project, working with faith communities from across the Miami Valley. “By using our expertise to better prepare congregations in supporting their families, we believe we are extending our mission of reducing pain and suffering,” Vesey explains.

clergy, Dayton, grief, counseling, training, hospice Vesey is leading a series of programs that involve members of church communities who develop individualized approaches to addressing the needs of those dying and grieving within their faith community. For some places of worship, specific ceremonies are developed to celebrate and honor the lives of the dying; for others, the development of resources to support caregivers may take priority. For all, it is an expression of compassion and caring for those within the community at a time when it is needed most.