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.
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
Southeast Hospice staff includes:
- Nurses and Nurse Associates
- Counseling and Bereavement Staff (pastoral and dietary)
- Medical Social Workers
- Therapists (physical, occupational and speech)
Team Staff Members
Dr. Donald Edwards
The Medical Director, as a member of the interdisciplinary team, facilitates communication among the medical staff and serves as an advocate of the hospice care concepts. The Medical Director keeps the team abreast of the new developments in pain and symptom management and shares in discussions and decisions regarding moral and ethical issues. Dr. Edwards visits patients routinely in their place of residence so that they do not have to go back and forth to a doctor’s office anymore, which is often too taxing on patients to continue. He provides patients, families, staff and contracted facility’s staff with his expertise in handling difficult cases with the best possible outcome for the patient. He has over 17 years of experience as the Southeast Hospice Medical Director, and nearly 50 years of clinical experience as a physician.
Vickie Schnurbusch, MSN, RN, CHPN
Southeast Home Care Services Administrator
The Homecare Services Director is responsible for the overall administration of the Southeast Hospice, Home Health and Building Blocks programs, consistent with goals and objectives established by SoutheastHEALTH. Inherent with this responsibility is the financial management and daily operations of all aspects of the Home Care Programs. Vickie has been a member of the Southeast Hospice Staff since 1994. She has served as a staff nurse, Patient Care Coordinator and now Director of Homecare Services. Vickie is the Southeast Hospice representative to the state and national Hospice and Palliative Care Associations, and is a board member for the Hospice Advisory Council appointed through the Missouri Department of Health and Human Services.
Teal Biri, BSN, RN, CHPN
Patient Care Coordinator
The Patient Care Coordinator processes referrals and provides the initial clinical interaction with the hospice patient/family. The Patient Care Coordinator reviews patient cases on a continuous basis to ensure needs are being met. The Patient Care Coordinator coordinates the hospice team services for patients, daily scheduling of staff and supervises the entire hospice team. Teal began with Southeast Hospice as a Registered Nurse in 2001 and became the Patient Care Coordinator in 2013. Teal’s goal for Southeast 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.
Gary Tinsley, BSN, RN
Hospice Team Coordinator
The Hospice Team Coordinator assists the Patient Care Coordinator with processing referrals and scheduling visits. The Team Leader also assists with the Interdisciplinary Group Meeting weekly and keeps track of patient’s recertification periods. Team Leader also sees patients as a Registered Nurse. Gary came to work at Southeast Hospice in 2004 as a Registered Nurse. In the fall of 2015, he was appointed Hospice Team Leader. Gary has over 29 years of nursing experience with many of those years being in cardiac care and ICU nursing. Gary is always eager to help do whatever is needed to assist patients and staff meet their goals.
Vicky Hyslop, MSW
Vicky Hyslop, MSW has been a social worker at Southeast Hospice since 2001. Vicky has a wealth of knowledge to help guide families along their hospice journey. She is a strong patient advocate and is dedicated to making the difficult journey at the end of life as full of dignity and comfort as possible for each Southeast Hospice patient. Vicky believes that it is an honor and privilege to share in our patient’s lives, hear the wonderful stories, see the love and commitment, and work together to make a difference.
Pam Buchheit, MSW
Pam Buchheit, MSW has been a social worker for 25 years, with the last 15 working for Southeast Hospital in the areas of Oncology/Hematology. Pam transferred to Southeast Hospice in fall of 2016. Pam feels fortunate to be a part of the Southeast Hospice team. Hospice sees dying as a normal process of life and the goal is to help patients continue to live their life as fully and as comfortably as possible, and to help them and their families with the transitions along the way. Patients come into hospice at a very vulnerable and often difficult time. Hospice strives to respect each patient where they are along that journey and help them maintain as much dignity, respect and independence as possible. I find each patient leaves behind a unique part of themselves that touches us in different ways.
Crystal Montgomery, MSW
Bereavement Coordinator & Counselor
The Bereavement Counselor becomes involved with the family after the hospice patient dies. This person assesses the grief and bereavement intervention level and with the help of the family, determines the frequency and type of contacts the family will receive throughout the 13 months following the death. The Bereavement Counselor is also in charge of the Grief Support Group and the Annual Community Memorial Service. Crystal started as Southeast Hospice’s dedicated bereavement counselor in 2009. Crystal states that her background in grief and loss counseling coupled with her passion for helping families through this difficult time is why she feels dedicated to this work, to this calling.
Rev. Stan Hargis
The Hospice Chaplain is available to provide spiritual support to hospice patients and their families. A hospice patient may have their own minister, priest, or rabbi and may choose not to receive visits from the Hospice Chaplain, although each family will be contacted upon admission. At any time while in hospice, patients or families can choose to add Chaplain visits. Services the Hospice Chaplain may provide include: Prayer, Communion, Baptism and assistance with funeral services, if desired. Stan has served as the Southeast Hospice Spiritual Counselor since 2008.
Debra Bader, BSN, RN
Hospice Registered Nurse
Debra Bader, BSN, RN has been a Southeast Hospice Nurse since 2008 . Debra has over 39 years of nursing experience, many of those years being in pediatrics. Debra is soft-spoken and kind. She enjoys the opportunity to serve others through her work as a Hospice nurse. Debra describes working for Southeast Hospice as an opportunity to show God’s love and compassion to all those she visits.
Robert Conway RN, CHPN
Robert (Bob) Conway, RN has been a Southeast Hospice RN since 2007. Bob states, that at the nursing homes he has made a point of getting to know a lot of the staff which helps him to have a good working relationship with them. In getting to know patients, families, caregivers he tries to use appropriate humor to build relationships and tries to meet people where they are at in their journey.
Jill Essner, RN, CHPN
Jill Essner, RN, CHPN
has been a Southeast Hospice RN since 2009. She has 36 years of
nursing experience and has her certification in Hospice and Palliative Care Nursing. Jill
describes working with patients and families in hospice as a privilege to help them
through a very difficult time in their lives. She believes that the journey at the end of life
is a physical, emotional and spiritual one, and she strives to help her patients with all
aspects of this journey.
Ginger Rampley, BSN, RN, CHPN
Ginger Rampley, BSN, RN, CHPN
has been with Southeast Hospice since 2000 and has her
certification in Hospice and Palliative Care Nursing. She has 32 years of nursing
experience, with many years specializing in cardiac care. Ginger is compassionate and very
knowledgeable regarding disease progression and symptom management. She is calm un der pressure and is seen as a leader among her peers. Ginger expressed that being able to
help someone get relief from horrible symptoms, and return quality to their life is the
most rewarding part of her job as a hospice nurse.
Debbie Sabella, MHA, BSN, RN
Debbie Sabella, MHA, BSN, RN
joined the Southeast Hospice team as a Registered Nurse
in 2016. Debbie has 26 years of nursing experience, with many years specializing in
surgical nursing. She is a wonderful addition to the hospice team and is
committed to the hospice philosophy of striving to provide excellent symptom
management and preserving dignity of every Southeast Hospice patient she serves.
Debbie describes her move to joining Southeast Hospice as the most rewarding job she
has ever had.
Jessica Vandeusen, RN
Jessica Vandeusen, RN
joined the Southeast Hospice team in 2016. She has been a
registered Nurse for 9 years, working majority of that time with Veterans. Jessica is
enthusiastic about helping meet the needs of her hospice patients and supporting their
families. Jessica remarks that being able to answer patient/family’s questions, put their
minds at ease, and make a difficult time easier for them, is the best part of being a
Southeast Hospice nurse.
Lydia Bohnert, CNA
Hospice Nurse Aide
Lydia Bohnert, CNA
has been employed by Southeast Hospice since 2013 . She enjoys the
one special attention she is able to provide her patients and the bonds of
friendship that can be created at a time in someone’s life that they need a friend the
Beverly Hefner, Hospice Billing Secretary
has been with Southeast Hospice for 17
years. Beverly assists with fielding phone calls from families, answers critical
questions regarding billing issues and works with insurance providers, Medicare and
Medicaid to best assist hospice patients with their financial needs. Beverly is the
calm voice on the other end of most phone calls made to the hospice office. She is
warm and genuinely caring about every patient touched by Southeast Hospice
services. Beverly remarks that she is blessed to work along side such a Christian
group of individuals and is proud to be part of the Southeast Hospice team.
Karen Scherer, Hospice Secretary
has been an employee at SoutheastHEALTH for 35
years with 24 of them being in the hospice office. Karen is usually the first person to
ever talk to a potential Southeast Hospice patient or family member. She is
compassionate, knowledgeable and abounding in patience. Her warm demeanor put
even the most nervous caller at ease. Karen is responsible for ordering the supplies
needed for patients and staff, she overseas all the behind
scene needs required to
run a dedicated and professional office. Karen describes her time working in hospice as
am opportunity to learn something new everyday. My job is rewarding and the my co
workers are focused on making each day of our patient’s lives the best they can be
Lynn Boren, BSW
Lynn Boren, BSW, Volunteer Coordinator has been a member of the Southeast Hospice team since 1996. She worked the first 21 years as a Hospice Social Worker and in 2016 stepped into the position of Volunteer Coordinator. As Volunteer Coordinator, Lynn is the point person for the volunteer program; recruiting, training and supervising the Hospice Volunteers. Lynn also assists with providing community education programs, and special events. Lynn expressed that working along side of the Southeast Hospice Team has been a life - shaping career choice. Everyone of my co - workers and volunteers are devoted to making sure the patients of Southeast Hospice get the best care possible. I am honored to know each of them and proud of the care they provide.
Volunteering with Southeast Hospice
Hospice 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 Recollections life review program. Our hospice volunteer coordinator also offers continuing education in-services.
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. Staff attend to show their appreciation to our volunteers.
Southeast Hospice Service Areas
Southeast Hospice currently serves all of the following southeast Missouri counties:
- Cape Girardeau
Southeast Hospice currently serves portions of the following southeast Missouri counties:
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
- 50% of RN’s with certification in Hospice and Palliative Care
- We partner with multiple nursing homes throughout our service area, including Perry County Memorial Hospital, and we honor veterans “Recruit 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
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.
Online Donation Form
To be eligible for hospice, a patient with a terminal condition should exhibit one or more of the following:
- Disease progression that is not considered reversible
- Multiple ER visits within the last six months
- Progressive functional decline
- Patient elects to forego curative treatments
- Progressive impaired nutritional status
Conditions that may qualify for hospice serve are:
- End Stage Cardiac Disease
- End Stage Lung Disease
- Liver Disease
- Neuromuscular Disease such as ALS, MS, Parkinson’s, or Renal Failure
Patients may be eligible for hospice if they meet some of the criteria and have significant co-morbidities and/or rapid decline, suggesting a prognosis of six months or less. Even if the patient does not meet any specific conditions, they may still be eligible for hospice if, in the judgment of the physician, the life expectancy is six month or less.
To find out more about hospice or ask specific questions related to a patient, please feel free to call Southeast Hospice at 573-335-6208 or toll free at 1-888-397-0646.
Areas We Serve & Office Locations
Southeast Hospice serves Cape Girardeau, Bollinger, Ripley, Scott and Stoddard counties, and portions of Mississippi, New Madrid counties.
Cape Girardeau County
#10 Doctors’ Park
Cape Girardeau, MO 63703