Hospice Partnership

November 18, 2014

Southeast Hospice has a new partnership with Perry County Memorial Hospital in Perryville, Mo., that’s designed to enhance the quality of hospice services for terminally ill patients in the region.

Southeast Home Care Services Administrator Vickie Schnurbusch, MSN, RN, CHPN, says Southeast Hospice has a long tradition of providing excellent hospice care. “Our quality data ranks us among the top hospice programs in the nation,” she says.

Perry County Health System President and CEO Patrick Carron, FACHE, notes that Perry County Memorial Hospital (PCMH) and its medical staff are “pleased to be cooperating with SoutheastHEALTH in extending hospice care to our community.”

He adds, “Southeast Hospice is accredited by the Joint Commission just as PCMH, and is already recognized as a highly qualified and compassionate service in our region. Through this collaborative arrangement, the PCMH medical staff will be able to remain active in continuing their exceptional care by maintaining their relationship with our patients as they seek to capture the best that life has to offer during this time. Words that describe care during this period of time for the patient and their family are compassion, comfort and quality of life.”

A Southeast Hospital based, not-for-profit agency, Southeast Hospice has cared for terminally ill patients for more than 25 years. It has a full-time medical director with over 15 years of experience in pain and symptom management.

Medical Director Donald Edwards, MD, says he works with “a dedicated, compassionate group of healthcare workers. Our goal is to provide comfort care to those at the end of life. It has been gratifying to see hospice become more accepted, both by the medical community as well as the public.”

Hospice care includes physical, emotional and spiritual comfort to help alleviate fears during life’s final transition. Holistic care is provided to patients by a skilled interdisciplinary team of nurses, physicians, social workers, chaplains, nurse assistants and volunteers. Hospice care is provided largely in the “home,” including nursing homes and assisted-living facilities.

Schnurbusch, the Home Care Services administrator, says all of the nursing staff members at Southeast Hospice are registered nurses. Combined, they have over a century of hospice care experience. The staff includes RNs who are certified in hospice and palliative care.

A Hospice nurse and physician are on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week to give patients and their families needed support and care.

The Hospice program provides 13 months of grief counseling for surviving families and friends.

Bereavement Coordinator Crystal Montgomery, who has a master’s degree in social work, says, “Grief, during and after a loved one’s death, is one of the most difficult times in a family’s life. My background in grief and loss counseling, coupled with my passion for helping families through this difficult time, is why I feel dedicated to this work, to this calling.”

Southeast Hospice annually holds a Community Memorial Service. It will be held this year on Sunday, Nov. 23, at 2 p.m. at St. Andrew Lutheran Church in Cape Girardeau.

The service, which is open to the public, is held to remember loved ones through music, prayers and eulogies, Montgomery says.

Since 1986 when Southeast Hospital introduced the concept of hospice care to the region, Southeast Hospice has provided loving and caring support for terminally ill patients of all ages and their families.

Southeast Hospice serves residents in Cape Girardeau, Perry, Bollinger and Scott counties, as well as parts of Stoddard, Mississippi and New Madrid counties.

For more information about Hospice services, call 573-335-6208 or toll free, 1-888-397-0646.