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Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton Patient Earns Athletic Hall of Fame Honors at Otterbein

Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton and Otterbein College are working together to Celebrate the Life of hospice patient Richard C. West, who will be inducted into the Otterbein College Athletic Hall of Fame on October 15.

When staff at Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton became aware of plans to honor West, they collaborated to assure transportation and support to enable him to attend ceremonies.

Following his high school graduation Richard began his college studies at Springfield College in Massachusetts. He played baseball and football for the college’s Pride football team, but his second football season and his life were interrupted by World War II and a notice to report for military duty.

After four years serving in France, Germany and England, Richard returned to college. However, he was soon faced with a dilemma. A tryout with the St. Louis Browns baseball team earned him an offer to join the minor league team as a coach/manager. Richard had to decide whether to complete his degree or accept the job. He opted to finish his degree.

Upon graduation Richard joined athletic department at Otterbein College for eight years. He next accepted a teaching and coaching position in Kettering, Ohio. Eventually he became a guidance counselor, a role he relished. After retirement, he and his wife continues to serve in counseling roles on behalf of their church congregation. Richard returned to academia to earn his doctorate of divinity at the age of 88, serving as an example to all of us that it is never too late to realize a life-long dream.

This Saturday, he will realize another dream when he is inducted into the Otterbein College Athletic Hall of Fame, established in 2008 by the Athletic Department to honor individuals and teams that have made significant contributions to the success Otterbein programs, either as athletes or in supporting roles.


Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton Joins In Honoring Veterans

comm-care-vet-pinHospice of Dayton, Hospice of Miami County and Community Care Hospice – all affiliates of Ohio’s Hospice – joined together to honor Clinton County Veterans participating in a recent Honor Flight visit to Washington D.C. Almost 80 Veterans and their guardians took part in the Honor Flight experience, which included a tribute and send off at the Clinton County Courthouse.

The flight was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Wilmington, which raised money to send the Veterans and their guardians on the Honor Flight trip to see war memorials in the nation’s capitol. The community-based hospice organizations recognized participating Veterans with an American Pride pinning ceremony prior to their departure, making sure that each Veteran received an American Pride pin and was thanked for his/her service. The effort was a community extension of the American Pride program of each of the hospices. American Pride assures that Veterans in hospice care receive benefits and support that acknowledge their services and sacrifice. By recognizing the unique needs of our nation’s Veterans who are facing a life-limiting illnesses, these local not-for-profit hospice providers are able to accompany and guide Veterans and their families towards a more peaceful ending.


Pharmacists Provide Superior Care & Services


The hospice pharmacist is a full member of the hospice interdisciplinary team. High-quality hospice and palliative care includes pharmacists who:

  • Evaluate medication orders and ensure timely delivery of effective medications for patients.
  • Counsel and educate team members about medication therapy. Pharmacists advise members of the hospice team about the potential for drug interactions, drug dangers, and alternative and complementary therapies.
  • Provide medication-compounding to make it easier for patients to benefit from medications. They can also eliminate or adjust ingredients that patients cannot tolerate.
  • Resolve financial concerns. Hospice benefits usually cover medications, but if patients lack insurance coverage or benefits, pharmacists will work with drug manufacturers to provide medications through patient assistance programs.
  • Ensure safe and legal disposal of all medications. Medications remaining in patients’ homes fall under a variety of hazard categories. Pharmacists help families with the removal of the medications from the home in accordance with federal and state drug control and environmental protection laws and regulations.
  • Establish and maintain compliance with regulatory and licensing agencies to assure safe use and disposal of controlled substances.
  • Pharmacists routinely review patient records and provide recommendations for drug therapies, and assure documentation in keeping with federal and state laws and regulations.

Pharmacists are vital to the hospice team and regularly attend interdisciplinary team meetings to review patient records and determine changes needed to maintain the best possible quality of life for patients in hospice care.


Wright State School of Nursing Celebrates Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton Achievement


“It is always an honor to celebrate hard working nurses,” Rosalie Mains, Dean of the Wright State University School of Nursing at a reception recognizing the achievement of Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton, recently named the first hospice in the nation to achieve Pathway to Excellence designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. “We are very blessed to have this hospice in our community, and we are grateful to share in a commitment to the Power of Nursing.”

Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton earned Pathway to Excellence designation for promoting excellence in nursing and providing a positive environment of shared decision making in which nurses can advance and grow professionally. Clinical staff members committed to achieving multiple goals to earn the accolade, including increasing the percentage of eligible nursing staff qualifying for hospice and palliative certification from 12% to 93% over a six year period.

Dean Mains praised the partnership enjoyed by the two Dayton area organizations, and recognized the value each brings to collaborative ventures.


She also took the opportunity to honor and recognize WSU alum and Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton Chief Nursing Officer Mary Murphy for her vision, service and leadership with an award from the Wright State University College of Nursing.




The Rich History of Hospice and Palliative Care


There is such a rich history to the hospice and palliative care story – We invite you to take a journey with us as we guide you through the fascinating history of hospice and palliative care.

By definition, the word hospice originally meant a lodging for travelers or hosting guests or strangers. In current usage, hospice continues to serve unique travelers – those with life-limiting illnesses.

Hospice has become a philosophy of care that addresses the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of those facing the end of life.  In the mid-1800s, Mrs. Jeanne Garnier founded the Dames de Claire in France to care for the dying. The Sisters of Charity opened Our Lady’s Hospice in Dublin in 1879. But the driving force behind the modern hospice movement creating a new approach to care for the dying was a woman in Great Britain who was a registered nurse, a social worker and physician.

Cicely Saunders is recognized as the founder of the modern hospice care. Her experiences at Saint Luke’s Hospital led her to establish Saint Christopher’s in South East London, a hospice dedicated to serve dying patients, in 1967. Her work earned recognition from Her Majesty the Queen when she was named a Dame of the British Empire in 1980 and awarded the Order of Merit in 1989.

The movement to improve end-of-life care in Great Britain inspired others around the world to join in the hospice movement. Early proponents were volunteers with a vision of assuring that no one with a life-limiting condition should have to live and die in unnecessary pain and distress. A legion of international volunteers dedicated themselves to providing holistic care that focused on easing pain and improving quality of life for those with terminal illnesses.

Dame Cicely Saunders came to speak to a group of students at Yale University in the early 1970s. As a result, a nurse and volunteer in Connecticut made the first home care visit to a hospice patient. Quickly, the ideals of hospice were adopted across the country. Serving patients primarily in the home, hospice care initially served primarily those with cancer, ALS and other fatal diseases. With the onset of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s, hospice providers became pioneers in caring for those with advanced AIDS.

Like those elsewhere in the country, a nurse in Dayton, Ohio who had cared for her dying mother was determined to improve end-of-life care in her community. In 1978, Betty Schmoll launched Hospice of Dayton with support from every hospital in the community.



Staff Members Recognized for Superior Care and Superior Services

Our Bouquet of Recognition awards celebrate the contributions of staff members who reflect the passion and compassion of the hospice mission. We are so grateful to have these outstanding people on our team:

Carnation Award

Music Therapist Teresa Edingfield was thanked by a patient family for visits to their mother and a recording of the patient singing with Teresa. “We played the song she recorded, of mom singing and her playing her guitar, at Mom’s service with the grandchildren each walking down the aisle with a single rose and putting it in a vase at the alter. It was beautiful!” Thank you Teresa for bringing music into the lives of our patients and peace to their families.


Pictured: Teresa Edingfield

Sunflower Award

sunflowersulajWords like “above and beyond,” “selfless” and “above the top care” were used in the nominations family members submitted to nominate Patient Care Specialist Henrieta Sulag for the Sunflower Award. One family member expressed appreciation not only for the “fantastic care” provided to the patient, but that Henrieta was “so kind and considerate to the whole family” And she “couldn’t express enough how much of a difference Henrieta made. Another submission thanked Henrieta for the “superior care she provided my grandfather in his final two days. We received wonderful care from all of the Crisis Care staff, but Henrietta in particular, stood out from the rest. During the first day of caring for my grandfather, Henrietta cancelled her PTO for the following day so she could come back and care for my grandfather… I can’t think of a better person to win the Sunflower Award. Henrietta, thank you for all that you do. You are one of the reasons Hospice of Dayton provides the best, most superior care.”

Pictured: Henrietta Sulag, left, with manager Kristy Brock

Daisy Award

reduced-april-dixieAdmissions Liaison April Howell was nominated by a staff member at the Samaritan Cancer Center at Good Samaritan North for addressing the needs of a patient and family during an especially difficult time. “This young patient has been resistant to hospice for a couple of months, even through his condition has been dramatically deteriorating. Today he came to terms with his future – God’s perfect plan unfolded before our eyes, and April was a big part of it. April was absolutely wonderful in every way – her interactions with nurses, physicians, our social worker and especially the patient and his family. She made a very difficult transition smith and helped the patient to feel safe and know that his needs/wishes would be met.” April’s ability to provide such care and reassurance reflects the goals we have with every patient and family. Thank you, April, for being such a great example of what we want as a representative of our mission!

Pictured: April Howell, left, with manager Dixie Roberts


Supporting 2 Missions At Once: LexisNexis

We were blessed with 30 volunteers from LexisNexis who gave their time to support our mission at our not-for-profit community hospice house! Supporting our mission supports their mission – they give back to their local communities through their Global Community Service Campaign, while their compassion improves the quality of life of our patients and families.


8 Tips for Keeping Connected to Those with Dementia


Loved ones with dementia or Alzheimer’s benefit from interaction with others. Sometimes we may not know how to best communicate with those experiencing memory problems, which occurs with every form of dementia. Here are some tips for interacting with people with dementia:

  • Conversation with people with dementia will vary dependent on where they are; early stage versus late stage. A key issue with dementia is loss of the ability to plan, reason, and execute a plan. Thus if you ask a yes or no question and it requires reasoning, often the answer will be no, not because they are saying no, but because they cannot decide.
  • Keep conversations simple and stay away from questions except as it pertains to real time: Are you hungry, thirsty, or in pain? Keep each question as a single subject and then wait for an answer. Do not change the question, but if not answered, ask exactly the same question again.
  • Stay away from “do you remember?” In dementia, early on, people do know their memories are worsening, so asking this may increase their frustration.   When looking at pictures, ask what the person thinks is happening in the picture rather than asking them to try to identify the person. This taps into imagination and decreases the stress of trying to remember.
  • Try to keep the environment calm and free of lots of stimulation. When wanting to communicate, turn off the TV and help the person focus to the conversation. Over stimulated persons with dementia may become agitated, aggressive or withdraw.
  • As dementia worsens, the person’s world will get smaller. They often end up in a single room due to inability to cope with the wider environment. This tells you that more stimulation is not what is needed, but that there is an increase in fear due to unrecognized surroundings.
  • Do not yell, shame, or corner a person with dementia. They are adults and often that is known to them. Also, do not use reality orientation. If you ask them how old they are, they may give you a clue as to what period of time they think they are in. It is easier to go to their reality than to drag them into our reality.
  • If they have forgotten who you are, be who they think you are, or introduce yourself at every visit and who you are. If they have forgotten you, do not take it personally. They just cannot remember.
  • Engage the senses as dementia frequently affects left brain function first. Sensory experiences are in the right brain. Aromatherapy, massage, music, quiet environments, lower lights help.

About the Author:

Nancy Sterling Trimble, PhD, RN, CNP is a geriatric Adult Nurse with over 30 years of experience. She has served as a faculty member of Indiana Wesleyan University, Capitol University and Wright State University. Nancy has also contributed numerous articles to clinical publications.



Remembrance Walk Honors Memories of Loved Ones and Benefits Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton


Members of the community are invited to take part as individuals or as part of a team to honor the memory of a loved one at Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton’s 3k/5k Remembrance Walk on Saturday, October 22, 2016.

The annual event involves the entire community in celebrating the lives of loved ones. Proceeds will enable Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton, a 501c(3) not-for-profit organization, to provide superior care and superior services to all patients with life-limiting illnesses, regardless of ability to pay. Programs supported by the Walk include:

Indigent Care – Hospice services are available to everyone in the greater Dayton community regardless of ability to pay.

Hospice House In-patient care options – In addition to serving patients in their homes, extended and assisted living facilities, Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton offers in-patient care at the Dayton Hospice House, providing intense care for patients experiencing medical situations or symptoms that cannot be managed in the home or facility setting.

Complementary, Focused & Palliative Care – Donor dollars enable patients to receive services such as highly specialized disease-specific treatment for hospice patients, and palliative care for patients with significant pain and symptom control issues. Massage, art, music and occupational therapies are also provided to assure an improved quality of life for patients.

Community wide Grief Support Services – We provide Grief Support Services at no cost, regardless of whether our hospice services have been used

Contact: Marsha Bernard, Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton Foundation, 937-258-5537, or email or register here.


7 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Hospice


Someday you or someone you love is likely to need hospice care. Before you arrive at that day as a crisis, it’s advisable to consider what is important in choosing who will provide your hospice care. You do have choices, and your choice is a critical factor in what services you receive. It affects not only services provided to the patient, but to those left behind. Below are important questions to ask when deciding who will provide your hospice care:

1. How long has the hospice been in operation?

According to a major consumer publication, hospices with over 20 years of service demonstrate stability and reliability of service.

2. Is the hospice Medicare-certified?

If the patient is a Medicare beneficiary and wants to use the hospice benefit, Medicare certification is required to enable costs to be covered.

3. Is the hospice accredited and state-licensed?

Hospices with Accreditation (JCAHO or CHAP) have been reviewed by an impartial organization and accreditation indicates they are recommended as having good standards of care.

4. Does the hospice offer services beyond those that are required by Medicare?

Many services are not required by Medicare, but may be highly valuable to patient care and comfort. Not all hospices permit patients to continue with radiation and/or chemotherapy for cancer. If a patient wants to continue to receive these therapies to reduce the size of a tumor and reduce pain, it’s important to know whether the hospice permits such therapies.  Some hospices would not be able to afford to do this but others could.

Similarly, some hospices provide an array of comfort therapies such as massage, music, art, pet and similar non-pharmaceutical interventions that can significantly improve patient quality of life. These alternative, holistic treatments are also worth considering as you weigh whether a hospice can meet patient needs.

5. Is inpatient hospice care available?

Patients receiving care in their own home may develop complicated symptoms and need to have inpatient care to control symptoms or pain. Caring for someone with a serious illness can be exhausting for caregivers, who sometimes fall ill themselves. Some hospices offer “respite” care, enabling the patient to be cared for in an inpatient environment to allow the caregiver a break of up to 5 days. Not every hospice can meet the need for inpatient care. It’s an important option for the comfort of the patient and the caregiver.

6. Are the doctors and nurses certified in palliative care?

Specialized study in palliative and hospice care is a demonstration of expertise in addressing the needs of hospice patients.

7. Does the hospice offer grief support services?

Grief support services are available at no cost from some hospices, and continue for up to a year following the loss of a loved one. An array of services tailored to address the needs of various family members is a good indication of strong bereavement support for family members left behind.