Southeast Hospice

A Special Kind of Caring

Southeast Hospice provides expert pain management, symptom control, emotional support and spiritual care to patients and family caregivers dealing with the last stages of a terminal illness. Hospice recognizes dying as a normal process and neither hastens nor postpones death. Instead, hospice helps people with an incurable condition live as fully and comfortably as possible.

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

Our Services

Contact Us

Call or visit us at:
Southeast Hospice
#10 Doctors’ Park
Cape Girardeau, MO 63703
Phone: 573-335-6208 
Fax: 573-334-8754
Our interdisciplinary team of professionals provides services that address the physical needs of the patient, and the spiritual and psychosocial needs of the family. Our hospice team works with health care teams to choose the most appropriate health care options for patients and their loved ones. Whenever possible, we include the person who may need hospice care in decisions about their care. Our services:
  • Enhance the patient's quality of life through services that help manage the terminal illness and any uncomfortable symptoms associated with that illness.
  • Consider the patient and family as the unit of care. We provide information about the treatment and symptoms of the disease process so they understand how they can be involved in the care, along with the support of the hospice team.
  • Provide the same level of care and services to terminally ill people whether they’re living is a nursing home or in their own home.
  • Provide bereavement services for the family for up to 13 months after the death of the patient.
  • Includes grief support groups as part of the bereavement program.

Southeast Hospice is a not-for-profit agency that is Medicare certified, Medicaid approved, state certified and accredited by the The Joint Commission.

Support Services

C.O.O.L. Camp

Each Fall, Southeast Hospice sponsors Children Overcoming Outstanding Loss (C.O.O.L. Camp.) This one-day retreat provides support for children ages 6-15 who have experienced the death of a friend or family member. The day’s activities include storytelling, games, coping and recreational activities to promote education, support and improved coping. Contact Lynn Boren, BSW, (Hospice Social Worker and C.O.O.L. Camp Coordinator) for more information at 573-335-6208 or 1-888-397-0646. Pre-registration is required.

Grief Support Group

This open monthly support group provides education and support about the grieving process through interaction with others who have experienced the death of a loved one. This group meets the third Wednesday of every month from 1-2:30 p.m. at HealthPoint Plaza. For more information, call Bereavement Coordinator Crystal Montgomery, MSN, (Bereavement Coordinator) at 573-335-6208 ext. 2064 or Social Services at 573-651-5549.

Recollections - A Life Review

Recollections is a life review of memories and events in the person's own words. It is a way of reliving, re-experiencing and celebrating events of the past that are personally significant. Recollections is free to patients and family members or friends. The program is made possible thanks to generous donations from businesses, organizations and individuals.

Southeast Hospice Community Memorial Service

Southeast Hospice holds an annual community memorial service every fall to remember loved ones through music, prayer and eulogies. The service is open to the public. For more information please contact Bereavement Coordinator Crystal Montgomery, MSN, at 573-335-6208 ext. 2064.

Speaker’s Bureau

The staff of Southeast Hospice offers speakers to present on a variety of topics to groups and organizations. Contact Southeast Hospice at 573-335-6208 to schedule a speaker or for more information. Presentation topics include:

  • Coping for the Caregiver
  • End of Life Care for Dementia Patients
  • Care of the Frail Elderly
  • What is Hospice/Hospice Care
  • Nutrition & Hydration
  • Pain & Symptom Management
  • Hospice Care in the Nursing Home
  • Spiritual Care at the End of Life
  • Grief & Loss for the Family/Caregiver
  • Advanced Directives
  • Hospice Volunteers

Meet Our Staff

Southeast Hospice staff includes:

  • Nurses and Nurse Associates
  • Counseling and Bereavement Staff (pastoral and dietary)
  • Medical Social Workers
  • Physicians
  • Volunteers
  • Therapists (physical, occupational and speech)

North Team Staff Members

Dr_ Don Edwards

Dr. Donald Edwards
Medical Director

Since I retired from my internal medicine practice after thirty years, I have been medical director of Southeast Hospice. The past sixteen years have been very satisfying. I no longer have time constraints, I don’t have to order tests and procedure which don’t change anything, and I get to stop a lot of medications that are no longer beneficial. Most importantly, I get to work with a dedicated, talented, compassionate group of healthcare workers. Our goal is to provide comfort care to those at the end of life, hopefully at home; “home” often being a nursing home. It has been gratifying to see hospice become more accepted, both by the medical community as well as the public. I’m happy to be a part of it.

Vickie Schnurbusch

Vickie Schnurbusch, MSN, RN, CHPN
Southeast Home Care Services Administrator

I began my journey with Southeast Hospice in 1994 as a full time staff nurse. Our work in Hospice touches the mind, body and spirit of those we care for. I believe it is a gift to be present with a patient at the end of life and to celebrate their life with those they care most about. I became the Southeast Hospice Patient Care Coordinator in 1996 and although I no longer had that daily interaction with patients and families I still felt very involved and connected in their care and treatment. In 2013, I became the Administrator for Southeast Home Care Services. I feel privileged to work beside the dedicated staff of Southeast Hospice. Their love for their work is evident in their daily interactions with the patients, families, and the communities they are privileged to serve.

Jill Essner

Jill Essner, RN, CHPN

I have been employed as a registered nurse at SoutheastHEALTH for 34 years of which the last 6 years have been in Hospice. I also have my certification in Hospice and Palliative Nursing(CHPN). I believe it is a privilege working with patients and their families helping them through a very difficult time in their lives. I believe that the journey at the end of their life is a physical, emotional and spiritual one and I strive to help them in all aspects of this journey. What I do is not only a job to me but a ministry that I have been called to do and I am passionate about my work!

Robert ConwayRobert Conway RN, CHPN

This will be the 8th year that I have gone to Perryville as a hospice nurse. At the nursing homes I have made a point of getting to know a lot of the staff which helps me to have a good working relationship with them. In getting to know patients, families, caregivers I try to use appropriate humor to build relationships. I try to help people by meeting them where they are in their journey. In order to better serve our patients and their caregivers, I have received my certification in Hospice and Palliative Care.

Teal Biri

Teal Biri, BSN, RN, CHPN
Patient Care Coordinator

Many people ask, “How do you do your job, it must be so difficult.” Hospice is truly a calling. It is a job that I have enjoyed doing for over 14 years. Most days are very rewarding, especially when you can ease someone’s pain and provide comfort. In 2013 I became the patient care coordinator for Southeast Hospice; I also have my certification in hospice and palliative care. Our goal of hospice is to provide comfort and dignity. We strive to help our patients be able to add life to days when days can no longer be added to life. To treat, to relieve, to comfort—this is our job.

Pearla Smith

Pearla Smith
Hospice Volunteer Coordinator

I recruit, train and assign volunteers to patients/families requesting a volunteer. I have had the privilege of being the hospice volunteer coordinator for 11 years. To date, I have been employed by SoutheastHEALTH for a total of 38 years. I have to say that Southeast Hospice has the best volunteers around. I have been blessed to have individuals approach me with the interest of becoming a hospice volunteer. After training they take that interest to heart and becoming a super volunteer, all the while providing some of the best companionship to our patients. As a non-medical discipline to our Southeast Hospice Team, our volunteers also provide respite visits for the family, attend funeral visitations and assist with fundraising, to name a few. The ongoing training provided to the volunteers, keeps them up to date on anything new in the end of life journey.

Julie Johnston

Julie A Johnston, CNA

I have been a certified CNA for Southeast Hospice, for the last five years. My past job experiences and prior occupations have given me a large range of experiences over the years. Hospice has provided me the opportunity to help families in need, maintaining a special relationship with these families and working as a middle person between the hospital and loved ones. For the past twenty-five years I have made my home in Frutiland Missouri, placing me in the middle of Cape Girardeau and Perryville. This has truly lead to the most gratifying work I have ever known. I believe our team is the most supportive staff I have ever had the pleasure to work beside, everybody truly displaying strong faith.

Vickie Hyslip

Vicky Hyslop, MSW
Social Worker

Making a difference together, while finishing a Masters in Social Work, I completed an internship with Southeast Hospice in the spring of 2001 and saw what making a difference meant to those coping with a terminal illness. Some may say this work is a calling or a passion, I call the past thirteen years with Southeast Hospice as finding a home. Our goal is to provide supportive services which allow the patient and family to maintain control and independence, manage symptoms and maintain comfort, participate in chosen activities, preserve relationships with family and friends, complete unfinished business, provide quality caregiving and enrich quality of life. Hospice Social Work assists with providing needed emotional support, education counseling, help with financial concerns, community resources and referrals, health care directives, exploring caregiving needs and options, and any other determined needs that will benefit the patient and family. We have the honor and privilege of sharing in their lives, hearing the wonderful life stories, seeing the love and commitment, and working together to make a difference.

Crystal Montgomery

Crystal Montgomery, MSW
Bereavement Coordinator & Counselor

I felt called to work in Hospice while I was completing my Masters in Social Work and have had the honor of serving both patients and families within Hospice for 8 years, 5 of those years with Southeast Hospice. 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.

Stan Hargess

Rev. Stan Hargis

Spiritual Counselor

I serve as the Southeast Hospice Chaplain. I have been involved with direct pastoral care for thirty five years and am in my seventh year of Hospice work and continue to pastor in a part time role. I have the opportunity to provide spiritual support to our patients, their families and loved ones. I consider it a privilege to be with patients and those close to them at the end of life, to provide support and pastoral care.


Volunteering with Southeast Hospice

Pearla SmithHospice volunteers are a special part of the hospice support system. Besides helping families by providing much-needed rest breaks for short periods of time and running errands, hospice volunteers are good friends and good listeners to both patients and families. Special training sessions help prepare hospice volunteers for their duties. Call the Hospice Volunteer Coordinator (573-335-6208) for more information.

Types of Volunteers

Direct volunteers visit Southeast Hospice patients and their families in the patient’s home or a nursing care facility.  Services may include visiting, reading, staying with the patient while the patient’s care-giver runs an errand, or just to be a silent presence.

Direct volunteers may “take call” to assist with last-minute needs such as delivering medications to a patient’s home or nursing facility.  Since Southeast Hospice volunteers aren’t medically trained, they don’t offer hands-on medical assistance or administer medications.

Indirect volunteers don’t not have patient contact but provide essential office support, fundraising, running miscellaneous errands and working on special projects.


All Southeast Hospice volunteers complete our 12 – 15 hour-training program. This training covers the hospice philosophy and services and equips you to meet the needs of the patients, families and hospice staff/office.

We also provide additional training so you may offer spiritual support, bereavement support and participate in 11th Hour-On Call service. Our hospice volunteer coordinator also offers continuing education inservices.

Click here for an Application

Volunteer Appreciation Banquet

Volunteers are important members of the Southeast hospice team. That’s why we recognize their service each year with an Appreciation/Award Banquet. McCombs Funeral Home and Cremation Center recommended and began sponsoring the Appreciation Banquet in 2002. Volunteers are selected each year for their outstanding service and years of volunteerism. The Gabriel Award recognizes the top volunteer and their name is added to a perpetual plaque located in Southeast Hospital.

Service Areas

Southeast Hospice Service Areas

Southeast Hospice currently serves all of the following southeast Missouri counties:

  • Bollinger
  • Cape Girardeau
  • Perry
  • Scott

Southeast Hospice currently serves portions of the following southeast Missouri counties:

  • Stoddard
  • Mississippi
  • New Madrid

Why Choose Us?

Reasons to Choose Southeast Hospice

  • Hospital based Not-for-profit agency
  • Full-time dedicated medical director with over 15 years’ experience in pain and symptom management
  • 24 hour access to pharmacy, wound and stoma care, diabetic and infusion services
  • An all RN nursing staff with over 100 years of hospice care experience
  • 46% of RN’s with certification in Hospice and Palliative Care
  • We Honor Veterans Partner
  • Dedicated MSW that provides bereavement services for 13 months after the loss your loved one
  • Weekend and evening admissions are available based on patient/caregiver need
  • Volunteers programs such as 11th Hour, On Call, and Life Review
  • Support groups: C.O.O.L Camp (for Children Overcoming Outstanding Loss for ages 6-15) and Reclaiming Life After Loss (Monthly grief support group for adults)
  • Annual Memorial Service

How to Donate

During the difficult times of a terminal illness, the personal support and services offered by Southeast Hospice help to ease the burden of caring for those you love. Southeast Hospice provides support to all who need it, regardless of ability to pay.

Financial contributions to Southeast Hospice fund services for the uninsured and/or under-insured. The majority of Southeast Hospice Patient Care funds are used to support Southeast Hospice patients/families in ways such as assisting with rent, utilities, transportation, medications, specialized equipment, supplies and funeral services. Funds are also utilized to support Southeast Hospice programs such as COOL Camp (Children’s Grief Support), Bereavement and Annual Community Memorial Service, Hospice volunteer services and our Recollection (life review) program.

Your support plays a critical role in helping Southeast Hospice provide the best care to those we serve. Thanks to donations, patients/families do not have the financial worries that often accompany a terminal illness.

If you have questions or would like to talk with someone about donating to Southeast Hospice, please call Southeast Hospice at 573-335-6208 or SoutheastHEALTH Foundation, 573-986-6622.

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