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Medical Journal to Publish Article Based on Treatment Innovation Originating at Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton

Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton clinicians Kathleen Emerson, Linda Quinlin, Mary Murphy,  along with Miami Valley Hospital clinician Patricia O’Malley, and Kathleen Hayes, Hospice and Palliative Care Coordinator with the Dayton VA Hospital, are the authors of an article to be published in the June issue of the Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing.

“Evaluation of a Low Light Intervention- Starlight Therapy –for Agitation, Anxiety, Restlessness, Sleep Disturbances, Dyspnea and Pain at End of Life” details study outcomes in the use of innovative light therapy in the treatment of patients.

Research into the impact of starlight therapy was initiated at Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton over seven years ago when laser star projectors were first introduced to patient care. The projection of starlight onto the ceiling and walls of patient rooms proved to be a valuable therapy in easing anxiety, agitation, sleep disturbances, dyspnea, pain and restlessness among patients. Research also demonstrated a reduction in the need for pharmaceutical interventions for patients with a positive response to the light therapy approach.

 Pictured (L to R) are Mary Murphy, MS,RN,CNS, AOCN, ACHPN,  Linda Quinlin, DNP, RN, ACNS-BC, NP-C, ACHPN and Kathleen Emerson, LPN, CHPLN

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Our Top 10 Social Media Stories of the Year

It’s been a wonderful year – from staff recognitions to patients and families sharing life’s precious moments, we have enjoyed sharing stories of compassion, joy and success with our community.

Here are the top 10 stories from 2016 that you stopped to enjoy in your newsfeed:

10. PARO – Our Pet Therapy Tool

The PARO robotic seal we use as part of our Pet Therapy Program interested many of our social media followers. In the video below, Occupational Therapist Angeline Volpatti explained PARO’s abilities and the comfort it provides to our patients.

9. Learning About Star Therapy

Many enjoyed learning about our Star Therapy treatment available to all of our patients. Studies on this unique therapy tool have shown a number of positive results, leaving patients more comfortable and at peace.

8. A ‘Beary’ Sweet Treat

You loved reading about kids in our Camp Pathways program giving Volunteer Judy Cole a bear to call her own. Judy has been a Volunteer with us for many years and creating Memory Bears for families is a passion of hers. Read more about this story here.

7. Patient Robert Enjoys a Fishing Trip

We love sharing real stories about our patients enjoying every moment of life. Patient Robert Leming’s fishing story is a wonderful reminder that each day we all can find ways to #CelebrateLife!

6. Helping a Mother Say “Thanks”

Mother of hospice patient Antwan Hurston wanted to find the deputies that saved her son’s life and thank them in a special way. Our Social Worker Joshua Meeker went above and beyond to help fulfill this mother’s wish. This story warmed many hearts on social media. Read the story here.

5. Honoring Our Doctors

We gave a special recognition to our doctors on National Doctor’s Day that many of you loved! We want our community to see the faces of these special physicians and learn more about them.

4. Dr. Cleanne Cass BBB Top Women to Watch

You shared in our joy in celebrating Dr. Cleanne Cass as the Better Business Bureau/Women in Business Networking 2016 Top Women to Watch. We are honored to have Dr. Cass as part of our team and are so grateful for her leadership.

3. Celebrating Our Volunteers

You helped us share the wonderful work of our Volunteers! We hold a banquet annually to celebrate our caring Volunteers.

2. Celebrating Our Staff

Our incredible staff deliver our superior services and care. You helped us honor staff who completed service milestones at our not-for-profit hospice!

1. Designated as One of the BEST Places For Nurses

And finally, one of our greatest achievements of the year – we are the FIRST hospice in the nation to be Pathway of Excellence® designated! The American Nursing Credentialing Center’s (ANCC) Pathway to Excellence® program honors organizations that create positive work environments where nurses can thrive. Over 16k viewers took a moment to watch our video on the exciting news!

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Bouquet of Recognition Honors Staff Members for Service to Mission

Our Bouquet of Recognition Award honorees personify the qualities of the Mission and Vision of Ohio’s Hospice and serve as the foundation upon which a remarkable patient experience is built. These staff members consistently demonstrate excellence through their expertise and extraordinarily compassionate support for patients and families. They are recognized as outstanding role models in our hospice community.

Our Awards are modeled after the International DAISY Award, which honors nurses. These awards recognize and celebrate the extraordinary skills and compassionate care given by members of our staff.

As a deserving recipient of the Bouquet of Recognition Award. The nominee’s skill and especially his/her compassionate care exemplify the kind of support that our patients, their families, and our staff recognize as an outstanding role model.

Faith Richardson, Sunflower Award 

A patient nominated Personal Care Specialist Faith Richardson for the Sunflower Award, noting that “Faith is always considerate…consistently is very open and direct and generous. She treats me with respect and kindness and I can tell she appreciates being able to assist me.” We join the patient in expressing gratitude for Faith, who reflects the values of our hospice mission. Thank you for your excellent service!

 

 

 

 

 

Nancy Trimble, Daisy Award

Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton Clinical Liaison Nancy Trimble was presented with the Daisy Award and cited as an “example of what true service and hospice care means.” Nancy arrived to complete an assessment at an Assisted Living facility on a recent Friday afternoon only to discover a patient actively dying and alone. Nancy knew the patient would require crisis care and she stayed at the patient’s side until the arrival of the Admission nurse and assurance that care for the patient would be continued. Nancy “exhibited true reassurance, care, compassion and respect to this patient at the end of her life,” noted her Daisy nomination. Thank you Nancy for your commitment to superior care and superior service!

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Chaplains Lift Spirits of Patients & Families

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Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton Chaplain Team

Chaplains are an important part of the Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton interdisciplinary team. Their spiritual support for patients starts with respecting the personal beliefs of each individual.

Hospice chaplains give the gift of listening to each patient and encouraging them to speak about the people, moments, values, work and relationships that have given them meaning and purpose.

For some, a religious or faith tradition is an important aspect of their life, giving them meaning and purpose. Their faith can strengthen and  comfort them. Our chaplains honor and encourage their faith, joining with personal clergy to reinforce this spiritual foundation that anchors them.

For others, religion traditions may not have held a central role in their  expression of faith, but they may still have a strong sense of spirituality.  Hospice chaplains can help patients reflect upon their beliefs, and express their spirituality.

Chaplains also support those who define themselves as agnostic or atheist, meeting them where they are with no judgment or agenda

The hospice chaplain helps each patient be open to the spiritual experience as they prepare to let go of the life they have known and loved.

Our team of chaplains include:

Rhonda Alderman

Jeffrey Brown

Tom Myer

David Parker

Ralph Vencill

Steve Wetterhan

Janie Brewer

John Eshelman

Karen Fox

Sharon Kunselman

Doris McCollum

Joshua Klurwich-Krutt

Ronnie Releford

Rebecca Scherrer

Tom Schwind

 

 

 

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Exchanging a Bear Hug

20160712_145601_resizedOhio’s Hospice of Dayton volunteer Judy Cole has touched the lives of hundreds of patient families over the years by creating handcrafted Memory Bears from the belongings of loved ones who have passed away. For the past two years, she has been making Memory Bears for another group – kids attending the grief program of Camp Pathways.

Judy was presented a framed thank you card signed by the Yellow Group campers who received her Memory Bears as souvenirs of Camp Pathways 2016 – along with a bear to call her own. We like to think of it as an exchange of bear hugs.
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Honoring the Outstanding Members of the Hospice Staff

Every quarter we honor outstanding staff members for their contributions to our mission. Each of our disciplines is recognized as part of our Bouquet of Recognition. Here are our most recent recipients:

 

BouquetOfRec3SUNFLOWER AWARD – Diane Kovacs

Diane was nominated by family members who expressed appreciation to Diane for softly and attentively speaking to her patient and for comforting the family when the patient passed.  A staff member also nominated Diane, praising the compassion and respect shown a patient with special needs.  “You were patient and kind, never irritated or degrading…..Thank you for making our team great!”

 

 

 

 

 

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DAISY AWARD – Stacey Bohannon

Stacey was nominated by family members for her attentive and compassionate care. “Stacey stayed with us during those final hours offering comfort above and beyond to us and her patient. She knew exactly what to say to help my grandma and our family through this terrible time…thank you from the bottom of our hearts for helping us to comfortably say goodbye.” Thank you, Stacey, for bringing your heart to our hospice mission.

 

 

 

 

 

BouquetOfRecCARNATION AWARD – Donna Molton

“Donna is not just a Patient Services Coordinator, she is the heart and soul of the triage department in the evenings,” her Carnation nomination reads. “She is loved by all and is a very important member of the team and a asset of incomparable importance to this team.” Donna was honored for serving as a valuable resource to other staff and for her ability to diffuse difficult situations with a calm and reassuring manner. “She is an excellent teacher and mentor…She is always respectful and professional… She is more than deserving of this award.” We join in thanking Donna for her service and contribution to our mission.

 

 

 

 

BouquetOfRec4TULIP AWARD – Angelene Volpatti

Occupational Therapist Angelene Volpatti was presented with the Tulip Award today in gratitude for the powerful impact she has had on people’s lives. Her contribution to quality of life for multiple patients was cited in the nomination.  A 54-year old with a terminal diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer struggled greatly with mobility…she experienced excruciating pain in her arm, and as a result, she only moved when absolutely necessary.  Angeline provided the patient with a sling and a lift chair, enabling the patient to comfortably transfer and maintain some independence.  Both the patient and her husband expressed gratitude for Angelene’s help, “For the first time in many, many months, I can stand up and move without having that excruciating pain. I cannot tell you the impact it has had on me.” Thank you, Angelene, for everything that you do for our patients, families, caregivers, facilities and staff! You are much appreciated.

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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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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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Making It Personal – How Melinda Tobin Touches Lives

Melinda-reducedPersonal Care Specialist Melinda Tobin has found a unique way to develop some special bonds with her patients and families. It started with a visit to the bookstore.“I saw the book and I thought it would be a good ice-breaker,” Melinda explains. 

“It’s been really well-received,” Melinda says. “It is a surprise to them and sometimes there are things the families didn’t even know.”

“The Book of Myself,” by Carl and David Marshall, is a do-it-yourself autobiography. It offers over 200 questions ranging from childhood toys, crushes, and forbidden exploits to adult achievements and how one’s views change over the years. Melinda bought the book and started using the questions with some of her patients to learn more about them.

“I usually start with questions about their work experience because it’s a comfortable place for them to start talking about themselves,” she says. “They like talking about their families. I get to know them on a personal level more quickly and intimately.”

As they talk, Melinda writes down what the patients share with her. “It’s something the patient and I share,” she confides. “We make a more personal connection.” As she builds upon her questions, her written notes provide a portrait of the patient that she ultimately presents to the family.

“It’s been really well-received,” Melinda says. “It is a surprise to them and sometimes there are things the families didn’t even know.”

Melinda says on a personal level she has gained insights into how hard times were for many of her patients. As an example she explains of one patient who had lived through the Great Depression. “She had a round metal tin that she would put all string in. If she had a loose thread on something she would cut it off and wrap it around cardboard and place it in the tin. Myself, I would trim the thread and throw it away. I had the opportunity to use some of the thread one visit when she had lost a button off her blouse.” Some of the stories she hears are recollections that bring laughter. “I had a patient who was driving and was pulled over by the police. My patient didn’t have his drivers license yet. He told the police officer he was in the military hoping the officer would let it slide, but the policeman told him he couldn’t drive.  He said no problem his wife would drive. His wife got in the drivers seat but she had no clue how to operate a stick shift. His wife drove operating the steering wheel and brake while he operated the stick. True teamwork! My patient got a real kick out of sharing this story.“

“Each and every story is touching,” Melinda observes. “I absolutely recommend this approach to others. It helps the patient understand we are interested in them on a personal level and we are not just there to be a physical caregiver.”

 

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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.