Posted by Chuck Chase on Oct 18, 2019
Our own Anne Sherman who has been at the organization for over 13 years as a nurse and in different capacities was our featured speaker today. She has given many talks the most recent one titled: “Why We Think Death is Optional”. She said that Hospice was fortunate to have as its Medical Director, Dr. Voorhees who is actually Kevin Keller’s son-in-law, on staff who understands that people are mortal and that we’re not going to cure all diseases.

Anne said that Hospice has changed over the last 5 years in our county as they were the only one that did what they did. Today, however, others have come into the county professing to offer the same care yet Hospice, she said, was unique. Hospice started during the Crusades by Cicely Saunders, a nurse who became a physician in England and started the first Hospice – St. Christopher’s. Anne mentioned that the late Dr. Bruce Jones went there to see what they did and upon returning felt that it was something Lenawee County needed to have.

Hospice grew in the US in the 70’s and 80’s, she said. Hospices’ philosophy, Anne said, was “comfort” and has been aggressive with its “symptom management”. Most of the costs (i.e. medications, durable medical equipment and services) associated with Hospice care are covered by most all insurances. Two physicians have to agree that the patient is terminally ill and will not live beyond 6 months, Anne said, to be admitted. Both the patient and family must also give their consent.

Anne reminded the audience that in 2008 the Hospice board made a decision to begin a capital campaign to build a brand new in-patient facility in Lenawee County. Donors came together in spite of the economic conditions to raise $5M to make Dr. Jones’ dream a reality. Ann said that she was the first manager of the Hospice home when it opened. All rooms in the home are private and have large, long windows so that patients can enjoy the view on the outside, birds and wildlife.

Anne mentioned that Hospice staff can be dispatched to a patient’s home without residing at the facility. A nurse (case manager) is assigned to that person to make periodic visits to provide care as needed, she said. There are also staff on-call at the facility should the patient living at home have an emergency. Nurse’s aides are also available to assist home-bound patients as well as those in nursing homes. Chaplains and social workers are also available to make visits as necessary. They have many volunteers, Anne said, and encouraged all members to check out assisting this great cause. Currently there are about 130 volunteers, Anne said, who work at Hospice and put in 13,000 hours!