For more than 40 years, Hospice of Michigan has been committed to the mission of providing quality end-of-life care for all regardless of age, diagnosis, or ability to pay. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, HOM has not only continued to provide safe, personalized care, they have expanded services in West Michigan and other parts of the state. Among the signs of growth, HOM has opened new offices in Holland and Charlevoix. They are hiring and building teams in both spaces. Their office in Muskegon has served the community for more than 30 years. Two weeks ago, they moved to a space across the street from the Lakes Mall on East Mt. Garfield and hired a new market advisor. HOM is also working to build relationships and better serve Grand Rapids’ Spanish-speaking community, by hiring a clinical advisor who will focus her efforts on patients and families within that community.
During the pandemic, Hospice of Michigan ramped up its Palliative Care program. As a member of the NorthStar Care Community, HOM offers NorthStar Palliative Care to provide another level/layer of support to seriously ill patients. They have found that there are some patients who may not yet be eligible for hospice care, or just not emotionally ready for it. While hospice care and palliative care share a commitment to managing the pain and symptoms of serious illness, the biggest distinctions are that palliative care allows patients to continue therapies that are designed to cure. Its focus and specialty is comfort. NorthStar Palliative Care also facilitates discussions about advance care planning. These conversations can be difficult for some families, but so valuable because they allow them to better understand a patient’s goals and what their options are.
And finally, like so many health care providers, the challenges of COVID have meant that they’ve had to adapt many of their practices to safely provide care. They have seen COVID drive the growth and acceptance of virtual visits, making it possible to be even more responsive.
While patients and families have always had the HOM 24/7 Contact Center, adding the ability to connect through chat and video options is transforming care and connection. HOM now offers wE-Connect, an app-based program designed to provide patients and caregivers more confidence and control over their care, with an array of interactive tools and resources. They are piloting the program with newly-admitted, home-based patients in and around Grand Rapids. For more information about what’s happening at Hospice of Michigan, visit their website at www.hom.org or call their 24/7 Contact Center at 888-247-5701.
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