Community Hospice Celebrates National Hospice and Palliative Care Month and Expansion of Services to Include Community-Based Palliative Care Program

November 19, 2018

For Immediate Release
Contacts:
Kristin Mostowski | Director of Public Relations, Community Hospice | [email protected] | 209.578.6301

Community Hospice Celebrates National Hospice and Palliative Care Month and Expansion of Services to Include Community-Based Palliative Care Program

November is a month of many celebrations, including National Hospice and Palliative Care Month. For Community Hospice, it is a time we share our gra​titude with those that are important to us, our patients and families, community partners, staff and many volunteers. For nearly 40 years, we have been blessed to walk alongside our friends and neighbors as they face their end-of-life journey. Community Hospice has been dedicated to not only guiding and supporting those with a life-limiting illness; we have explored finding a way to support our community members that have a serious illness who also need guidance and support and are pleased to have expanded our services to include a community-based palliative care program. You may be asking, what does that mean and can it help me or my loved one?

In 1990, the World Health Organization defined palliative care “to address not only physical pain, but also emotional, social, and spiritual pain to achieve the best possible quality of life for patients and their families”. Sounds very similar to the definition of hospice, right? In an effort by hospice programs to increase access to care earlier in a patient’s illness journey, and for some to overcome the stigma of the word “hospice”, many hospices adopted the term “palliative care”. Over time, care models for both hospice and palliative care evolved along with the definition of palliative care.

Today, palliative care is defined by the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC) as “specialized medical care for people with serious illnesses. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family… Palliative Care is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness, and can be provided along with curative treatment.”

The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, founded in 1978, began as the National Hospice Organization. It was not until February of 2000 that they changed their name and logo to National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. This significant change catapulted the palliative care model into our healthcare system.

Palliative care is among one the fastest growing trends in healthcare today but is still vastly underutilized. Models include inpatient palliative care in hospitals, stand-alone or hospital-based palliative care clinics and community-based palliative care, or a combination of one or more of these. Interestingly though, Medicare does not reimburse for these services nor are there any federal or state regulations governing palliative care programs. California released guidelines only in preparation for the Medi-Cal palliative care benefit in late 2017.

“Palliative care is quickly growing and Community Hospice is proud to have expanded our services to include the only community-based palliative care program available to residents of Stanislaus and Merced counties,” shared C. Desha McLeod, President/CEO of Community Hospice. “Our palliative care program is another way we are able to continue to meet the needs of our community members, helping fulfil our mission of providing compassionate and quality care, education and support to community members in their time of need.”

Community Hospice entered the palliative care arena when an opportunity arose to participate in a pilot project with a local Managed Medi-Cal plan in late 2016. After acceptance into the pilot, a Director of Palliative Care was hired and our palliative care team began to take shape. On July 17, 2017, we admitted our first palliative care patient into the pilot project. Since that date, California’s Medi-Cal benefit became effective on January 1, 2018 providing for reimbursement to state licensed hospice agencies, or home health agencies also licensed as a hospice, for palliative care services and care to their members.

In July 2018, we joined the Palliative Care Quality Network (PCQN) based out of University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Monthly, our palliative care data is submitted to PCQN. As we gain history, we will have access to benchmarking data which will be utilized to further develop our palliative care model.

On September 28, 2018, Community Hospice was awarded a $100,000 grant to provide palliative care services to individuals in a specific 17 zip code area, mainly the southern part of Stanislaus County. These funds will be used for palliative care services to those without a payor source.

“We are grateful for all those that have provided us guidance and support as we developed our palliative care program and feel blessed to be able to help more people in our community in their time of need,” shared DeSha McLeod.

For more information about Community Hospice services, contact 209.578.6340 or visit hospiceheart.org.

About Community Hospice
Community Hospice is a nonprofit, community based hospice agency, serving the San Joaquin Valley since 1979. Community Hospice provides compassionate and quality care, education and support to terminally ill patients and their families, regardless of the ability to pay. Care extends to more than 2000 patients each year in private homes, skilled nursing facilities, retirement communities and at the 16-room Community Hospice Alexander Cohen Hospice House. Community Hospice also provides grief support services to anyone in the community at no cost. For more information call (209) 578-6300 or visit hospiceheart.org.
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DeSha McLeod appointed to NANOE’s 2018 Board of Governors

July 27, 2018

Washington D.C. – 07/27/2018 –The National Association of Nonprofit Organizations and Executives (NANOE) is pleased to announce the appointment of DeSha McLeod to NANOE’s prestigious 2018 Board of Governors. McLeod has been called upon to refine, improve, and strengthen New Guidelines for Tomorrow’s Nonprofit (Second Edition) a new set of governing guidelines that supercharge nonprofit capacity-building.

NANOE National Director, Tracy Ebarb, shared, “DeSha has joined a working group that will peer-review a new set of capacity-building guidelines rooted in principles of moral agency, stewardship, freedom of speech, freedom of peaceful assembly, ethical practice, and transparency that supercharge charity. DeSha is one of society’s guardians who use their expertise to ensure everyone experiences a life worth living.”

NANOE’s Nominations Committee was co-chaired by Bishop Redfern II, Charlotte Berry, Kathleen Robinson & Tracy Ebarb. Nominees were suggested by members of AFP, CFRE, AHP, ASAE, CASE, United Way, National Development Institute, Nonprofit Associations, Industry Associations, and other local and national leaders.

McLeod will be honored alongside fellow Governors March 26-27, 2019 in Charleston, SC at NANOE’s Annual Board of Governors Convention & Expo.

NANOE is our Nation’s only unifying legislative body comprised of Governors nominated from all 50 United States who oversee the codification of guidelines that govern sound charitable practice.

To learn more about NANOE please visit //NANOE.org

209 Magazine: Camp Erin of the Central Valley

May 8, 2018

Healing hearts and soothing souls
By PAUL ROUPE

Death is one of the hardest aspects of life, and it can be especially difficult for children to deal with. Many of the feelings attached to the loss of a family member—isolation, anger, confusion, grief—tend to overwhelm even the most stable person, so when the one trying to process those emotions isn’t mentally developed enough to analyze those feelings, they need support.

That’s where Camp Erin comes in.

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Community Hospice Recognizes Volunteers at Annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon Celebration

April 23, 2018

For Immediate Release
Contacts:
Kristin Mostowski | Director of Public Relations, Community Hospice | [email protected] | 209.578.6301

Community Hospice Recognizes Volunteers at Annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon Celebration

MODESTO, CA (April 23, 2018) – Community Hospice, the oldest and largest nonprofit hospice provider in the Central Valley, celebrated and recognized their volunteers at their annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon and Award Ceremony on April 18, 2018. All volunteers received a special certificate of recognition. Several volunteers were recognized for outstanding service and dedication to the mission of Community Hospice and four dedicated volunteers were awarded the 2017 Mary Jean Coeur-Barron Volunteer of the Year Award. Named after the co-founder of Community Hospice, the awards are given each year to four volunteers for their outstanding service and spirit of excellence. One volunteer is chosen from the following: Community Hospice, Friends of Community Hospice, Community Hospice Hope Chest Thrift Stores and Camp Erin® of the Central Valley.

The Mary Jean Couer-Barron Community Hospice Volunteer of the Year Award was presented to Ms. Ronna Porges. Ronna provides compassionate grief support to members of our community through the Community Hospice Grief Support Services Department. She also bakes delicious treats for the patients and families at the Community Hospice Alexander Cohen Hospice House. Ronna has been nicknamed our “baking angel”.

The Mary Jean Couer-Barron Friends of Community Hospice Volunteer of the Year Award was given to Mrs. Carol Mulrooney; current Social Chair of the Friends of Community Hospice. Carol has served in many capacities to support the fundraising efforts and mission of Community Hospice. She has played a significant role in the success of Friends of Community Hospice Annual Card Party, the Fantasy of Trees event as well as others.

Lillian Chua was awarded the Mary Jean Couer-Barron Hope Chest Thrift Store Volunteer of the Year. Lillian has been volunteering with Community Hospice for nearly 20 years. Her ongoing dedication to the mission of Community Hospice is a source of inspiration to her fellow volunteers.

The 2017 Mary Jean Coeur-Barron Camp Erin® of the Central Valley award was presented to Mr. Jason LeBeouf. Jason has served as a cabin buddy at camp for the past four years. His dedication to supporting our campers along their grief journey has been a blessing to many in our community.

In 2017, more than 500 volunteers contributed 22,044 hours in support of the Community Hospice mission. “Volunteers are the heart of Community Hospice and we are blessed to have so many community residents give their time and talent to support our mission,” said C. DeSha McLeod, President and CEO of Community Hospice. “We are grateful for all our volunteers that help support our patients and their families, and the programs we provide our communities.”

To learn more about volunteer opportunities or any of Community Hospice’s programs or services, visit hospiceheart.org or call 209.578.6300.

Photo Caption: The 2017 Mary Jean Coeur-Barron Volunteer of the Year Award Winners (From Left to Right) Lillian Chua, Jason LeBeouf and Ronna Proges. (Not pictured: Carol Mulrooney)

About Community Hospice
Community Hospice is the largest and oldest nonprofit hospice agency in the Central Valley. Serving the community since 1979, Community Hospice has cared for thousands of friends and neighbors offering compassionate and quality care, education and support to terminally ill patients and families, regardless of ability to pay. Care extends to over 2000 patients each year in private homes, skilled nursing facilities, retirement communities and at the 16-bed inpatient Community Hospice Alexander Cohen Hospice House. Community Hospice also provides grief support services to anyone in the community. For more information, please call 209. 578.6300 or visit hospiceheart.org.

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Community Hospice Appoints Two New Associate Medical Directors

September 7, 2017

For Immediate Release
Contacts:
Kristin Mostowski, Director of Public Relations | Community Hospice | [email protected] | 209.578.6301

Community Hospice Appoints Two New Associate Medical Directors
Community Hospice Welcomes New Associate Medical Directors

Modesto (September 7, 2017) – Community Hospice, the oldest and largest nonprofit hospice agency serving the Central Valley, announced the appointment of two new Associate Medical Directors, Dr. Ann Marie Truscello and Dr. Richard O. Camacho.

“Community Hospice is pleased that Dr. Ann Marie Truscello and Dr. Richard O. Camacho have accepted the position of Associate Medical Director,” said C. DeSha McLeod, President/CEO of Community Hospice. “Our Board Members, management and staff are thrilled to welcome Dr. Truscello and Dr. Camacho to our organization. Their experience and leadership will be a great asset in helping us provide the best quality care to our patients and their families.”

Dr. Truscello is a Pediatrician at Modesto Pediatrics and will be supporting Community Hospice’s Pediatric Palliative Care Program. Dr. Truscello received her Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from The University of California, San Diego, CA in 1982. She attended Pennsylvania State University, School of Medicine, graduating with her Doctor of Medicine degree in 1986. She completed an OB/GYN Internship at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix, AZ in 1987 and her Pediatric Residency at the same hospital in 1990. Dr. Truscello is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and is a Diplomat of the American Board of Pediatrics.

Dr. Richard O. Camacho is an Internal Medicine hospitalist with AllCare Hospitalist Medical Group. Dr. Camacho received his Bachelor’s Degree from Biola University in La Mirada, CA in 1994. He attended De La Salle University College of Medicine, located in Dasmarinas, Cavite, Philippines, graduating with his Doctor of Medicine degree in 1999. He completed his Internship and his Internal Medicine Residency at Maryland General Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland in 2004. Dr. Camacho is licensed by the State of California and Board Certified in Internal Medicine.

For additional information about Community Hospice programs and services, visit hospiceheart.org or call 209.578.6300.

About Community Hospice
Community Hospice is the largest and oldest nonprofit hospice agency in the Central Valley. Serving the community since 1979, Community Hospice has cared for thousands of friends and neighbors offering compassionate and quality care, education and support to terminally ill patients and families, regardless of ability to pay. Care extends to over 2000 patients each year in private homes, skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities and at the sixteen-bed Community Hospice Alexander Cohen Hospice House. Community Hospice also provides bereavement and grief support to anyone in the community. For more information please call (209) 578-6300 or visit www.hospiceheart.org.
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Camp Erin® of the Central Valley Helps Children and Teens Cope with Grief

August 7, 2017

For Immediate Release
Contacts:
Kristin Mostowski, Director of Public Relations | Community Hospice | [email protected] | 209.578.6301

Camp Erin® of the Central Valley Helps Children and Teens Cope with Grief
Community Hospice offers free camp for grieving children and teens

August 7, 2017 (Modesto, CA) – Camp Erin of the Central Valley is a free bereavement camp for children and teens ages 6 to 17 that have experienced the death of someone close to them. In 2014, Community Hospice partnered with The Moyer Foundation to launch their inaugural Camp Erin® of the Central Valley. On June 8-11, 2017, 107 campers and over 60 volunteers and staff members from all over the Central Valley made their way to Foothill Horizons Outdoor School for the four-day grief camp. Foothill Horizons served as a new camp site this year due to an overwhelming community response and need for our children and teens in our communities.

“There is a great need for Camp Erin of the Central Valley and we are blessed to have been able to expand our program this year offering camp to more grieving kids in our community,” said Nancy Houghton, Camp Erin of the Central Valley Director. “Applications for camp have doubled since our first Camp Erin of the Central Valley in 2014. We are honored to be able to provide a healing camp experience and feel humbled to have so many dedicated community residents support our program.”

Led by professional grief counselors and trained volunteers, camp offers a fun environment, combined with planned grief activities that allow children a chance to express their feelings, make friendships with peers that have had similar life experiences and honor loved ones that are no longer with them. Camp provides a unique opportunity for youth to increase levels of hope, enhance self-esteem, and especially to learn that they are not alone.

As children grieve very differently than adults, Camp Erin of the Central Valley is designed to specifically address the needs of our youth. Through the generous support of our friends and neighbors in the community, Camp Erin of the Central Valley is offered free to all campers. To learn more about Camp Erin of the Central Valley visit camperincentralvalley.org or call 209.578.6300. For sponsorship opportunities contact the Community Hospice Foundation at 209.578.6370 or give.hospiceheart.org.

About Community Hospice
Community Hospice is the largest and oldest nonprofit hospice agency in the Central Valley. Serving the community since 1979, Community Hospice has cared for thousands of friends and neighbors offering compassionate and quality care, education and support to terminally ill patients and families, regardless of ability to pay. Care extends to over 2000 patients each year in private homes, skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities and at the 16-bed inpatient Community Hospice Alexander Cohen Hospice House. Community Hospice also provides bereavement and grief support to anyone in the community. For more information please call 209.578.6300 or visit hospiceheart.org.

About The Moyer Foundation
The Moyer Foundation is a public, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a mission to provide comfort, hope and healing to children and families affected by grief and addiction. Founded in 2000 by former MLB pitcher Jamie Moyer and child advocate Karen Phelps Moyer, The Moyer Foundation supports thousands of children and families each year through its free signature programs and services. Camp Erin® is the largest national bereavement program for children and teens grieving the death of someone significant in their lives and Camp Mariposa® is a national addiction prevention and mentoring program for youth impacted by a family member’s substance use disorder. The Moyer Foundation Resource Center extends The Foundation’s continuum of care by providing a curated set of online resources with personalized phone and email support for families experiencing grief, addiction and other related issues. For more information, please visit moyerfoundation.org
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