Doctors have phrases they use when it becomes clear a patient isn’t going to get better. Early in my career, I admit I used them too. But something always bothered me about telling a patient I could no longer help.
You and I both know that it simply isn’t true.
My first hospice patient taught me so much; especially that quality of life is more important than the quantity.
For 10 years, caring for hospice patients was the focus of my medical career. I consider working with hospice patients and their families my personal calling.
I am a passionate advocate for hospice care and the new Medical Director of Ionia Area Hospice and Stoneleigh Residence.
My first day on the job, I could tell that Ionia Area Hospice and Stoneleigh Residence were different. I’d never worked in the non-profit sector before and I was amazed by the latitude that is available to make compassionate choices with our time and talents. I have spent two hours talking with family members who are struggling to make decisions regarding the care of their loved one. I can make house calls and still carry my black medical bag!
I’ve learned so much since that first day.
- I learned that a passionate group of medical professionals created Ionia Area Hospice because they were dedicated to changing the way people were treated at the end of life.
- I learned that our community came together to build Stoneleigh Residence and made it a top priority to have a beautiful, home-like place for a peaceful end of life journey.
- I learned that the biggest difference between Ionia Area Hospice and all of the others is YOU!
YOU, who rally to support this special agency every year, make it possible for us to tailor what we do for every patient based on their individual needs to ensure they receive the care and comfort they need.
- YOUR support gives us the ability to schedule extra visits if a patient develops new symptoms or has a health crisis.
- YOUR support allows us to order extra equipment or specific medications to keep patients safe and comfortable.
- YOUR support helps bring joy to our patients by providing a visit from a massage therapist, music therapist or pet therapist.
- And because of YOU, families have access to our wonderful social workers and chaplain when they need help with final arrangements and grief support after the loss.
It’s not all good news, however. I learned that Ionia Area Hospice and Stoneleigh Residence use as much of their funding on patient care as possible and there is little left each year for any extras, like upgrading equipment, making improvements to Stoneleigh Residence or adding additional staff.
But YOU have the power to change that.
YOUR gift of support makes it possible for Ionia Area Hospice and Stoneleigh Residence to remain the local leader in non-profit hospice care.
I am so proud to have the opportunity to serve as the Medical Director of Ionia Area Hospice and Stoneleigh Residence – and the chance to make a difference in the lives of people in our community at the end of life!
I hope you will join me and support Ionia Area Hospice and Stoneleigh Residence with a gift today.
Dr. James LaBerge, DO