Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Hospice Leader To Begin Offering Services in Broward

Hospice of Palm Beach County, a wholly owned subsidiary of Spectrum Health, Inc, announces the launch of Hospice of Broward County, which will offer hospice services throughout the Broward community. In late August, a staff of 40 office and field personnel will begin operating the not-for-profit out of their new location at 550 W. Cypress Creek Road in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Hospice of Palm Beach County is the sixth largest non-profit organization in South Florida by revenue and employs more than 900 people.

Florida’s Agency for Healthcare Administration (AHCA) has recognized that Broward County is underserved by hospice care. Earlier this year, the state of Florida granted Hospice of Palm Beach County a certificate of need, allowing them to begin serving the people of Broward County.

David Fielding, President and Chief Executive Officer of Spectrum Health, Inc., states that the non-profit’s goal is to fill those unmet needs.  “We’ll implement the successful programs that have benefited over 70,000 patients and families of Hospice of Palm Beach County over the past three decades and adapt programs to meet the unique needs of Broward County,” Fielding said.

Barbara Ivanko, Chief Operating Officer of Spectrum Health, Inc, will extend her duties, leading both Hospice of Palm Beach County and Hospice of Broward County. She is responsible for ensuring the highest quality of hospice services and operations for both organizations.

 “We are committed to bringing our mission of excellent service and compassionate care to the patients and families of Broward County,” Ivanko said. “The healthcare community is excited that we are coming, and we expect to grow rapidly to meet the need in Broward.”

Also announced were the appointments of Karen Kennedy, DO, as Medical Director and Kimberly Horn, MSN, RN, as Director of Hospice of Broward County.

In addition to the strong team of Broward-based physicians, nurses and therapists that have been hired, according to Kennedy, more hires are forthcoming.  “We have been inundated with applications for positions.” As a non-profit organization, Hospice of Broward County is able to offer sophisticated treatments not typically provided by other hospices. Patients can continue treatments such as transfusions, chemotherapy and radiation to provide comfort or improve quality of life. Because this ‘open access’ care philosophy is costly and not reimbursable by Medicaid or Medicare, many hospices do not offer them. Hospice of Broward County is one of only two percent of hospices nationwide to offer an ‘open access’ policy.

“We want patients and families to understand that they do not have to choose between their current physicians and treatments and hospice care,” Kennedy stated. “With Hospice of Broward County, they can choose both. We are experts in care giving.”

In addition to medical treatment, integrative therapies treat patients on emotional, spiritual and cognitive levels. Hospice of Broward County integrates one of the largest music therapy programs in the United States with massage and aromatherapy to reduce stress, anxiety, high blood pressure and pain.  Additional integrative therapies include Reiki, imagery work and relaxation training.  To address spiritual needs, non-denominational chaplains are available to all who need or want them.

The multi-lingual needs of patients and families will be fulfilled through Hospice of Broward County, particularly recognizing the underserved Hispanic and African-American communities. Kennedy added, “Our goal is to have families call us sooner rather than later. Research shows that Hospice patients live longer and experience a higher quality of life for themselves and their families. Hospice care is for patients of all ages and backgrounds. We’re there for those in need, regardless of age, citizenship or ability to pay.”

For more information about Hospice of Broward County call 1.800.HOSPICE in Broward and Palm Beach counties, or 888.848.5200 anywhere in the U.S.