To the Editor:
November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month, and the Kno-Wal-Lin Hospice and Palliative Care Program would like to honor and thank all those who work to provide the best possible end-of-life care.
We are grateful to the Kno-Wal-Lin professional team of nurses, home health aides, social workers, counselors, chaplains, and rehabilitation therapists who support, comfort, and care for our patients and their families.
We are also exceedingly grateful to the family and friends of the KWL Hospice and Palliative Care staff for being understanding and accommodating when a staff member gets called away in the middle of the night or during a family gathering in order to visit a patient. Their kind support makes our jobs incalculably easier.
We would like to acknowledge the KWL administrative and support staff – those unsung heroes who take care of all the behind-the-scene details that are so necessary in order for the Hospice and Palliative Care Team to provide services.
We are blessed to work with Coastal Family Hospice Volunteers and Hospice Volunteers of Waldo County, who provide our patients with kind and compassionate volunteers for companionship and respite.
We are grateful for the pastoral care volunteers who visit many of our patients who reside in area nursing facilities, bringing spiritual care and comfort.
We extend thanks to all the physicians in Knox, Waldo, and Lincoln counties who refer their patients to us and entrust us with their patients’ care.
We are especially grateful to Ira Mandel, M.D., our Hospice and Palliative Care Medical Director who does not understand the word “no” and whose compassion and bedside manner are in themselves a healing balm.
We acknowledge and honor the area nursing facilities – St. Andrew’s, Cove’s Edge, Knox Center, Quarry Hill, Windward Gardens, Harbor Hill, and Tall Pines – who work collaboratively with us to provide high quality end-of-life care.
We also acknowledge and honor the assisted living facilities who work with us to help provide the best possible end-of-life care: Merry Gardens, Bartlett Woods, The Terraces at Quarry Hill, The Penobscot House at Windward Gardens, Full Circle Farm in Union and The Greens of Lincoln County.
We are grateful to the equipment suppliers – Community Oxygen, Apria and Kennebec Homecare – who provide excellent service to our hospice patients.
We are grateful to the pharmacies in all three counties – Kennebec Pharmacy, Goodnow’s Pharmacy, Waltz Pharmacies, Rite Aid, Wal-Mart and Hannaford Pharmacies – for the prompt and reliable service they provide to our clients.
We are grateful for our community hospitals – Waldo County General Hospital, Penobscot Bay Medical Center, Miles Memorial Hospital and St. Andrew’s Hospital – for taking excellent care of our hospice patients when they need to access acute care.
We are especially grateful to all hospital care coordinators and discharge planners from the above named hospitals as well as from Mid-Coast Hospital, Eastern Maine Medical Center, and Maine Medical Center. It is our collaborative and collective efforts that allow patients to have a smooth transition from the hospital to the home setting.
We are blessed to work with the island medical centers on Vinalhaven and Islesboro, as well as with the Calderwood Home on Vinalhaven and The Boardman Cottage on Islesboro. These clinics and boarding homes provide excellent care within our island communities and we are grateful to be able to work with them in the care of our patients.
We extend heartfelt thanks to Camden First Aid for their reliable and courteous service when transporting our patients to another location from anywhere within our three county region.
We are also very grateful for all of the emergency response companies within the three counties that we serve, who respond so promptly to emergency situations and who treat our patients and families with dignity and respect.
We thank the emergency room personnel from all four community hospitals who treat our patients when needed and do so with great compassion.
We also would like to acknowledge Pen Bay Healthcare system for their unwavering support of our Hospice and Palliative Care Program, and their commitment for providing high quality end-of-life care in our communities.
And most importantly, we thank the families and friends of our hospice patients who so graciously open their homes and share their loved ones with us during a very difficult time.
The Kno-Wal-Lin Hospice and Palliative Care Program Team, Rockland