For over 100 years, people in and near Fort Scott, Kansas have trusted Mercy Hospital to provide for all of their health care needs. With the launch of Hospice on July 2, now patients can also trust Mercy to provide comfort and the highest quality of life possible should they or a loved one be diagnosed with a terminal illness.
Hospice care is appropriate when a patient has been diagnosed with a terminal illness and life expectancy is six months or less and cure-oriented treatment is no longer being pursued.
The goal of Mercy Hospice is to provide every patient with the highest quality of life possible. The hospice staff will visit patients wherever they live including homes and apartments, nursing homes, assisted living facilities and independent care facilities.The service area includes patients of Bourbon, Crawford, Linn, Allen, Anderson, Southern Miami, Northern Cherokee and Eastern Neosho counties.
Studies shows that some patients who get hospice care live longer than those who don’t. In many cases that allows patients and families time to bond, mend, prepare and grieve as a unit.
Hospice services will be 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.
Becky Davied, director of Mercy Home Health and Hospice, noted that three new co-workers have joined Mercy to coordinate the new service: Dr. Dean McNamara, hospice Chaplain; LaShawn Miller, social worker and volunteer coordinator; and Kim Gomez, nurse manager. Dr. P.K. Gugnani will serve as hospice medical director.
Davied also noted that volunteer involvement is vital to a successful hospice service.
“Volunteers are crucial for comprehensive hospice care and to support our patients and their families,” Davied shared. “Several volunteers have been trained, but we are seeking more to serve in this important role.”
Davied explained that 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 volunteer opportunities is available by calling 620-223-8090.
Mercy is the sixth largest Catholic health care system in the U.S. and serves more than 3 million people annually. Mercy includes 31 hospitals, more than 200 outpatient facilities, 38,000 co-workers and 1,600 integrated physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has outreach ministries in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. For more about Mercy, visit www.mercy.net.