Mercy Hospice Marks First Anniversary with Ice Cream

Mercy Hospice is celebrating its first anniversary in the community, and everyone is invited to help mark the occasion at a free ice cream social on Thursday, July 11, at 6:30 p.m. at the Riverside Park Shelter House.

Ice cream will be served and yard games will be offered, along with a brief memorial service and balloon launch honoring Mercy Hospice patients.

Mercy Hospice involves a team of providers including physicians, nurses, chaplains, social workers and volunteers, who provide medical care and emotional support to patients with terminal illness and also support loved ones and family members.

Hospice services are available 24/7 and include nursing care; medication; medical equipment, supplies and therapies as appropriate; pain management; coordination of short-term hospital stays if needed; respite care for caregivers; coordination of needed social support services; emotional and spiritual support for patients and loved ones; and bereavement support for families. Mercy Hospice is accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO).

Ronda Howerter, director of Mercy’s Home Health service, serves as director of hospice, while Dr. Ajit Lale, Mercy internal medicine physician, serves as medical director for the program, overseeing all clinical care provided. Additional team members include LaDena Morse, RN, who serves as the hospice nurse manager; Charles Schenck, chaplain, and Debra Saichompoo, LSCSW, social worker.

Hospice volunteers provide companionship for patients and also respite time for caregivers. They may perform light housekeeping duties around the patient’s home, be involved in community education about hospice, assist with bereavement support if needed and even provide clerical assistance or participate in special events, such as health fairs.

More information on hospice service and how to volunteer is available by calling 620-332-3215.

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