Monday, December 1, 2014

Black Friday. Cyber Monday. #GIVINGTUESDAY

           Hospice of Southern Illinois has joined #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving back that will harness the collective power of a unique blend of partners – charities, families, businesses and individuals – to transform how people think talk about, and participate in the giving season. Coinciding with the Thanksgiving Holiday and the kickoff of the holiday shopping season, #GivingTuesday will inspire people to take collaborative action to improve their local communities, give back in better, smarter ways to charities and causes they support and help create a better world. Taking place
December 2, 2014 – the Tuesday after Thanksgiving - #GivingTuesday will harness the power of social media to create a national moment around the holidays dedicated to giving, similar to how Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become days that are, today synonymous with holiday shopping.
Consider Hospice of Southern Illinois as not-for-profit of choice to give to this holiday season. You can become a volunteer, apply to join our team, attend an event, or donate online at or call 1-800-233-1708. You can also download our app and donate right from your cell phone. Your gift will help us continue our mission to enhance the quality of life for individuals and their loved ones touched by a terminal illness. Please help us spread the word about #GivingTuesday and the true meaning of the holiday season!
Seeing an opportunity to channel the generous spirit of the holiday season to inspire action around charitable giving, a group of friends and partners, led by the 92nd Street Y (92Y), came together to find ways to promote and celebrate the great American tradition of giving. Thought leaders in philanthropy, social media and grassroots organizing joined with 92Y to explore what is working in modern philanthropy and how to expand these innovations throughout the philanthropic sector. The concept gained steam, and with the help of the United Nations Foundation and other founding partners, more than 10,000 organizations have joined the movement and are providing creative ways people can embrace #GivingTuesday and collaborate in their giving efforts to create more meaningful results.
Hospice of Southern Illinois is committed to being with our patients and their loved ones through the changing needs of the end-of-life process and the grief experience. For more information contact Christine Litteken, 618-235-1703 or, or visit


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

What does compassionate care mean?

"Compassion" is a word that is used commonly to describe hospice care. But what does compassion really mean? According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, “compassion is a feeling of wanting to help someone who is sick, hungry, in trouble, etc.” Hospice care provides just that. With a mission “to enhance the quality of life for individuals and their loved ones touched by a terminal illness," compassion defines the mission of Hospice of Southern Illinois.

Compassion is the person who visits a family in crisis at 2 a.m. Compassion is a person who stays an extra hour to calm a worried child. Compassion is holding someone’s hand when no one else is there. Hospice of Southern Illinois wants to help our patients and families. Here are some examples describing how Hospice of Southern Illinois provides compassionate care:

·         Patients and families are our number one priority. We have special programs, like the We Honor Veterans partnership, to extend to patients and families to give them a personalized hospice experience catered to their needs and wishes.
·         Physicians work together to make sure patients’ wishes are carried out.
·         Nurses take time to educate patients and families about giving medications, how to care for a patient in their home, and what to expect in the future, which can relieve patients’ pain and reduce some families’ fear.
·         Social Workers/Counselors prepare patients and families for the stress and emotions that are in the journey ahead. They lend a listening ear to concerns and feelings at any stage of the end-of-life journey.
·         Bereavement counselors, in addition to routine follow-up after the loved one's death, reconnect with families on special occasions and holidays, because those times can be especially hard for people who are grieving the loss of a loved one.
·         Volunteers offer companionship and can allow for caregiver relief so the family can function as a unit and stay united during a difficult time.
·         Support staff works hard to make sure patients and families get the care they are entitled to regardless of age or ability to pay through education, community involvement, fundraising, and supporting daily operations.

Compassionate care is a team effort that takes passionate, dedicated and warm people. These people work together to provide the best end of life care possible, so no one goes through the dying process alone.

There comes a time... for compassionate care.  
Learn about Hospice of Southern Illinois, getting hospice services, and having your questions answered. Call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 800-233-1708 or visit our website for more information, www.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Three Things You Thought You Knew About Hospice

Three Things You Thought You Knew About Hospice

Hospice is often and unfortunately misrepresented to the general public. Often seen as the people who “come at the very end” or when someone is “giving up”, hospice is very much the opposite.

1.       Did you know hospice services can be utilized for up to 6 months?

According to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s NHPCO’s Facts and Figures on Hospice, “The median length of service in 2012 was 18.7 days. This means that half of hospice patients received care for less than three weeks. The average length of service increased from 69.1 days in 2011 to 71.8 in 2012.” These statistics tell us that a large percentage of patients are not receiving the full benefits of hospice care. Although we are seeing a slight increase in the average length of service, why don’t we see more people utilizing the hospice benefit longer? Some could be attributed to disease criteria, acceptance, or access to care. If patients, however, had 6 months to fully reflect and experience their end-of-life journey, maybe more people would have the opportunity to die their way: with dignity and grace.

2.       Choosing quality of life does not mean giving up.

When people elect their hospice benefit, it definitely doesn’t mean they are “giving up”. It can be hard for family to see that.  Their mind says, “Treatment means fighting for life”. Consider weighing the pain, suffering, and symptoms that may be associated with treatment. Choosing to forego curative treatments could alleviate certain stressors, symptoms and expenses. This is different than giving up. This is simply choosing quality of life, which take tremendous courage. Celebrate that decision and celebrate the time there is left with loved ones, while feeling as good as possible.

3.       Dying can be peaceful and graceful.

Death is very sad to accept and discuss. It is, however, unavoidable that we will all die. It is difficult to accept and reflect on this time and plan for a peaceful and graceful journey. Further, it is definitely not easy to understand how dying can be peaceful and graceful, but it is possible. Hospice of Southern Illinois can make it easier to understand, especially the longer the service is utilized. Nurses and hospice aides can address the physical/medical needs of patients; the counseling team can address emotional and spiritual wishes of the patient and family; and volunteers can provide companionship and relief of caregiving to let the family focus on being a family during the important time that is left. All members of the team are instrumental in assisting the patient and their family to honor the goals of care until the end of their journey. When the goals of care are honored, dying then becomes more peaceful and graceful.
Not all Hospices are the same. Ask for Hospice of Southern Illinois by name. 
Learn about Hospice of Southern Illinois, getting hospice services, and having your questions answered. Call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 800-233-1708 or visit our website for more information, www. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A Step-By-Step Guide: How To Get Hospice Services

A Step-By-Step Guide: How To Get Hospice Services.

Hospice care is a specialized healthcare option for someone with a terminal illness that wants no further aggressive treatment or is not a candidate for curative treatment. Not only can hospice help patients, but it includes their family as well. Below are eligibility guidelines set forth by Medicare Regulations. If a person is not sure if they can get hospice services, Hospice of Southern Illinois is available to answer questions with no obligation. No one has to go through the end-of-life journey alone. Please review this step-by-step guide of what to expect when you call for hospice services.

1. Eligibility.
  • A prognosis of 6 months or less, if the disease takes its regular scientific course. No one really knows a definite time frame. 
  • Curative treatment is no longer the patients’ choice or option. (Treatment is not always going to make a person better. Sometimes patients decide not to continue with expensive or experimental treatment options, but prefer to focus on quality of life and control of symptoms.)
  • Comfort care, symptom management, and goals of care are the primary focus. (Oftentimes, pain is one of the most severe symptoms hospice can help control. Hospice also helps treat wounds, evaluate medications, assist with personal care, and address emotional needs.)
2. Call today to set up an appointment.
Although anyone can make a referral, there are three people you can call to complete a referral to hospice. Call your primary care physician, your specialist physician, or call Hospice of Southern Illinois directly, because a doctor’s order is required to get hospice services. Making an appointment is as easy as calling to schedule an informational talk with Hospice of Southern Illinois to review hospice services.

3. Ask questions of yourself.
There are many questions that may come to mind or decisions that need to be made when you are considering hospice services. Hospice of Southern Illinois can help you with these questions and answer many more that may arise in an informational meeting and/or assessment. Ask yourself:
  • “What concerns do I have about what lies ahead?”
  •  “How do I want to spend my time as medical treatments become limited?”

4. Receive an informational meeting and/or assessment.
A hospice nurse or representative will come out and review the hospice eligibility requirements, assess the patient and their diagnosis, and order medical equipment and medications needed. They will also discuss the goals of care determined by the patient and family. The hospice team is made up of physicians, nurses, hospice aides, social workers, bereavement counselors and volunteers that work with the patient and family to achieve those goals.

5. Your first visit.
Within one day after your informational meeting and assessment, a nurse will come out to visit (unless the patient and family requests otherwise). The nurse will address physical and emotional needs of the patient, review medical equipment and medications for effectiveness, and see if the patient or family needs anything before the next scheduled visit. The main thing to remember during these visits is to be honest and share any concerns because you are in charge of your healthcare and end-of-life wishes. Hospice of Southern Illinois is here to help make sure they are carried out.

Not all Hospices are the same. Ask for Hospice of Southern Illinois by name. 
Learn about Hospice of Southern Illinois, getting hospice services, and having your questions answered. Call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 800-233-1708 or visit our website for more information, www. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Why Does Hospice of Southern Illinois Fundraise?

“Why does Hospice of Southern Illinois hold so many fundraisers?” is common question from people within the community, agree Jennifer Vinyard and Kathy Wilson, Event Coordinators for Hospice of Southern Illinois.  Most of our events are brought to us by individuals or organizations in the community who have experienced the loss of a loved one and who want to show appreciation for the care that was provided. 

Your gift makes a difference.  There is no gift too small.  Fundraisers and community support are additional resources that allow us to continue providing the highest quality end-of-life care regardless of a patient and family’s ability to pay for hospice care.

How can you help?  Attend fundraisers…Share events…Sponsor…Donate…Host an event…Volunteer

To speak with someone in the Development Department for more information,
please call 1-800-233-1708.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

5 Ways Hospice of Southern Illinois Celebrates Life

  • Compassion
Compassion is what the hospice team does best. They offer comfort, love and respect for the patient which allows the patient to reflect on their life journey without feeling stress that can be associated with the end-of-life experience. They can focus on what really matters in life to them!

  • Support System
Hospice becomes part of the support system which includes a team of physicians, nurses, hospice aides, social workers, counselors, and volunteers. This additional support allows family and friends to remain the family and friends who celebrate the moments of life with their loved one, rather than be caregivers providing care during those special moments with their loved one. This also gives patients their support system back. They can live as actively as possible with their family and friends until they pass.

  • Family and Friends
Family and friends now have the opportunity to find relief, reduce stress and be the people celebrating life with the patient. Hospice gives them the opportunity to enjoy the precious time with their loved ones during the end-of-life journey they need and want.

  • Building Memories
The best way to celebrate life is reflect on our past memories and building new ones. Although the end-of-life is a unique time, beautiful memories can still be made. Hospice of Southern Illinois' mission is to enhance the quality of life for individuals and their loved ones touched by a terminal illness. Quality of life is all about building memories with those you love.

  • It’s About How You Live

The number one way hospice helps celebrate life is showing everyone that life is about how you live! Whether there is 60 years, 6 months or 6 breaths… the final moments are those cherished most. If Hospice of Southern Illinois helps others be pain free, peaceful and loved, the end-of-life journey was a serene one. It isn't about the length of time, but the moments that filled that time that matter most. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Hospice of Southern Illinois Homerun: All Good Things Come With Fredbird

Hospice of Southern Illinois Homerun
“All Good Things Come With Fredbird”

Fredbird arrived at Patsy’s home on Friday, June 13, 2014. Although Friday the 13th is usually recognized as a superstitious day, this day definitely wasn’t an unlucky one and will be considered “super” for this patient and family who will always cherish the memories Fredbird made in their home that day.
Hospice of Southern Illinois’ patient, Patsy, has been less responsive in the recent weeks. There is a joy of summer that still excites her, St. Louis Cardinals Baseball, as many who live in the metro-east can relate. Patsy’s caregivers and hospice interdisciplinary team learned about her love of Cardinals Baseball during their visits to her home and conversations with her children, noticing it was one thing that would bring her joy. In an attempt to bring some fun-loving excitement which the family hasn’t seen lately due to caregiver stress, Patsy’s terminal illness, and the inconsistencies of day-to-day living, the employees at Hospice of Southern Illinois  reached out to Fredbird, who without words, said it all!
He was welcomed with a yard sign created by Patsy’s granddaughter and friend and a warm, yet quiet family in the living room, for Patsy did not know who was visiting that day. Patsy’s daughter had told her that she was getting a special surprise visitor that day, but she wouldn’t say who. As Patsy patiently waited for this “super” surprise guest, everyone’s excitement was building because we all knew what was about to happen.

Fredbird entered the kitchen where Patsy was waiting. Her face was in total shock. She had no idea what to say or how to respond to this 6’ 3”, red bird character we all know and love! He instantly was able to make her smile with a, “Whoot woo,” and boy did she blush. It was so beautiful to see her eyes light up and joy in her face. He proceeded to serenade her, dance with her, and shake his tail feather at her. Fredbird decided there was not enough laughing and decided to go through the pantry, gulp some milk, and share a round of high fives with Patsy, the family, and the Hospice of Southern Illinois team.

The volume in the house then exploded. All stresses and illness at that moment were nonexistent. Everyone was laughing, taking photos, and shaking a tail feather. “I have never seen anyone turn a room so fast. It was an epic moment to capture and moment to experience,” explained Christine Litteken, Hospice of Southern Illinois’ Print and Social Media Coordinator, who was taking photos. Fredbird turned his attention back to his guest of honor to give her one final kiss before he left. Of course he couldn’t leave without a bang. In a cabinet he found a blow horn which a family member blew his way. It knocked him off his feet as he stumbled down the hall and out the door leaving us all with a smile and memory to cherish in our hearts forever. As a Hospice of Southern Illinois’ employee, Kim Oplet mentioned when she saw the photos, “All good things come with Fredbird.”
A few days later some Hospice of Southern Illinois’ employees went back to deliver photos from the day to Patsy and her family. The same joy was reignited from Friday as she was sitting in her room waiting for the game to start. We knew it was a hospice homerun! With Fredbird’s help, we were able to eliminate all stress, pain, and worries in that moment; give the family a memorable day together; give our patient, Patsy, the experience of a lifetime that few get to have.  
That night the Cardinals played the Nationals with a 1-0 victory. We all know that Patsy’s love for the Cardinals, especially Fredbird, Yadier Molina and Matt Holiday, helped play a part in the win that night. A special thank you goes to the St. Louis Cardinals, Fredbird, and his team for the above-and-beyond effort that impacted someone’s life at such an important and critical time. That day he was a vision of our mission, to enhance the quality of life for individuals and their loved ones touched by a terminal illness. It meant more to them and us than he will ever know.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Hospice of Southern Illinois Announces New Medical Director

Hospice of Southern Illinois Announces New Medical Director

Hospice of Southern Illinois is pleased to announce the hiring of Ellen Middendorf, M.D. as a full-time, on-staff Medical Director. Please join us in welcoming Dr. Middendorf to our organization. She will play a critical role to ensure the highest quality end-of-life care in the area to patients and families.  
Hospice of Southern Illinois’ President and CEO, Rebecca Wisdom, announces, “Dr. Middendorf will continue to maintain positive relationships with the medical community as well as the mission of Hospice of Southern Illinois. The addition of Dr. Middendorf to our staff confirms our commitment to end-of-life care in our communities.” All hospices are required by the government to have oversight from a Medical Director, or physician who reviews the needs of patients, but a full-time, on-staff Medical Director will play a more integral role for Hospice of Southern Illinois’ patients and families. Dr. Middendorf will be managing symptoms related to the diagnosis, visiting patients, and providing our professional staff with direct access to a doctor for on-the-spot medication and symptom management. Additionally, she will work with other healthcare physicians, advocate the importance of hospice care at the end-of-life, and educate the community on hospice services for their loved ones.
Dr. Ellen Middendorf shared, "I am excited to begin this next chapter in my career as the medical director of Hospice of Southern Illinois. I have always found it my passion to take care of families and their loved ones as they grow and thrive. As the lives of those we care for change, it is imperative to ensure that medical, emotional and spiritual issues continue to remain a priority, even, and particularly, at the end of life. Thus, I am eager to coordinate with Hospice of Southern Illinois to continue to provide this level of care to the families that need it most."
Hospice of Southern Illinois is your community not-for-profit hospice program serving 27 counties in southern Illinois since 1981. Our commitment at Hospice of Southern Illinois is to be with our patients and their loved ones through the changing needs of the end-of-life process and the grief experience. For more information about Hospice of Southern Illinois, visit our website,, or contact Lisa Phillipson, 618-235-1703 or


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

PTSD at the End-Of-Life

PTSD at the End-Of-Life

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a serious condition that is most commonly known and seen in Veterans; however, this can affect other people who encounter or perceive a traumatic experience. According to the National Institute of Health, “PTSD develops after a terrifying ordeal that involved physical harm or the threat of physical harm. The person who develops PTSD may have been the one who was harmed; the harm may have happened to a loved one; or the person may have witnessed a harmful event that happened to loved ones or strangers.”
People who are at the end of their life often experience unique emotions or revisit memories in their past. Some memories may trigger signs and symptoms of PTSD, a condition that is being seen more commonly in Veterans who are dying, because not all emotions and memories are positive ones. In hospice, the most likely people who experience these signs and symptoms are Veterans who served in war.  It becomes a challenge for them to come to terms with those emotions and memories from their past. The negative ones often have been suppressed for so long and are revisited as they think about their life’s journey.
In order to properly help a Veteran have a better quality of life and be at peace during their end-of-life journey, hospices have to provide a specific type of care: addressing specific emotional, physical, and spiritual needs and listening to the stories these Veteran patients are communicating. In fact, many Veterans don’t communicate their emotions or thoughts from this time or show many signs or symptoms. For this reason, it is important for any new healthcare provider that begins providing care for a patient or family to ask about their military experiences to prepare for the specific Veteran care needed.

June is PTSD Awareness Month. It is a month dedicated to reaching to Veterans no matter what stage of life Veterans are in: growing into adulthood to their end-of-life journey. They may have emotions and memories that are hard to talk about. Give them peace and comfort by lending a listening ear and respecting their experiences. You could make a difference in helping them cope with their traumatic experience. When someone is dying, this can be especially important to help them accept their purpose on earth and pass more peacefully. Healthcare organizations and professionals who work with Veterans can help spread awareness about PTSD by learning signs and symptoms, providing resources and education, and helping promote recovery to those who are dealing with it. Learn more about PTSD at
Help us share, educate, and reach out by subscribing to our blog and suggesting it to friends who will spread our message: Hospice of Southern Illinois is here to teach you what hospice is, what we are about, and what we can do for you and your loved ones. No one has to go through the dying process alone. Hospice of Southern Illinois can help.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Hospice: A Healing Experience

Even though many folks would prefer not to talk about death and dying, those who work in Hospice know that this is not an option. The counseling department and hospice team knows the value of offering this last healing experience to family members after their loved one has died. Bereavement support is just one of many services Hospice of Southern Illinois offers to help families cope with this portion of the end-of-life journey.
Bereavement is defined as the condition of having been deprived of something or someone valued, especially through death. Also, bereavement can be a state of intense grief after the loss of a loved one.
At Hospice of Southern Illinois, the counseling department works very hard to help families heal and cope with their loss. Calls are made to the family within 7 days of the loved one passing. Then, one of the bereavement counselors will follow up again within 30 days to see how the family continues to fare. Each person’s healing and coping process varies. So, if a visit or an appointment to see the family is needed to discuss the loss of their loved one, this is a time when families can do that to get the extra support they may need. One-on-one support is not always the best option for everyone. Hospice of Southern Illinois hosts several grief groups and a lunch gathering for widows and widowers which are available on a monthly basis. Further, for a more personal experience, the counseling department follows-up with calls on the loved one’s birthday and one-year anniversary of the death of the loved one. For the first year of the loss of a loved one, these can be especially difficult times.
No one has to go through the dying process alone. Hospice of Southern Illinois can help. If you or a family member is experiencing grief, please call 1-800-233-1708 to speak with one of the members from our experienced and dedicated counseling team.

Offered by Cathy Knowlton, MA, MAPS, LPC
Chaplain/Bereavement Counselor

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

First and Only Four-Legged Ambassador in Southern Illinois

The Edwardsville/Glen Carbon Chamber of Commerce has taken an innovative approach to their ambassador program selecting Magnum, Facility Dog at Hospice of Southern Illinois’ Community Hospice Home, Relais Bonne Eau, as the newest member of their ambassador committee. He is the first and only four-legged ambassador on the Ed/Glen Chamber’s committee and in southern Illinois. Hospice of Southern Illinois, the Ed/Glen Chamber, and Magnum are excited and proud to announce his acceptance of this new role. He is seen not only as a representative of these organizations, but also as a representative of service, encouragement and unconditional love.  

Magnum is certified as a Facility Dog and Therapy Dog with C.H.A.M.P. (Canine Helpers Allow More Possibilities) Assistance Dogs, Inc. Magnum is the Facility Dog at Hospice of Southern Illinois’ Community Hospice Home, Relais Bonne Eau. He brings comfort and joy to everyone he meets, making certain everyone from patients, their families and staff are cared for and loved.  Magnum’s day-to-day job is to listen to people, give them hugs, and make them smile with his energy and enthusiasm for life. His support will help the Ed/Glen Chamber and Hospice of Southern Illinois both communicate the importance of serving our community and advocate their missions.

Magnum’s years of experience serving others gave Ed/Glen Chamber leadership the confidence he would be a good fit for their organization. In their new volunteer roles he and his partner, Carol Mestemacher, are part of the ambassador committee, comprised of the Ed/Glen Chamber’s most active members serving as goodwill messengers for the chamber and community.  They will attend networking meetings, ribbon cuttings, and events hosted by and through the chamber. Everyone involved is excited for this new collaboration and cannot wait to see what the future brings.

 “We are honored to have Magnum as our newest ambassador,” said Ed/Glen Chamber President/CEO DesirĂ©e Bennyhoff. “This kind of partnership between vital service organizations and our business community is so well aligned with our mission, providing our members the opportunity to collaborate by raising awareness and celebrating prosperity. I offer my sincerest thanks to the Hospice of Southern Illinois staff and Mrs. Mestemacher for their dedication to Magnum’s new Ed/Glen Chamber ambassador role.”

The Edwardsville/Glen Carbon Chamber of Commerce is a member-driven organization, dedicated to a strong, private sector regional economy. The mission of Hospice of Southern Illinois is to “enhance the quality of life for individuals and their loved ones touched by a terminal illness.” If you would like to learn more about our organizations or the programs we provide, please visit our websites, or  

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

National Healthcare Decisions Day

Today, April 16, 2014, Hospice of Southern Illinois celebrates National Healthcare Decisions Day by spreading the word to the communities we serve about planning now for peace of mind later. Planning is what we do. We plan our work schedules, social lives, meetings, dinner dates, when we can afford a new pair of shoes, what time to work out and even for special events. If we plan for all of this and more, why not plan for peace of mind? This is the question that really gets left behind in the day-to-day shuffle. Let’s get one more thing checked off that to do list: prepare an advance directive, an important healthcare decision.
An advance directive is a fancy way of saying preparing legal documents that “direct” what to do in “advance” before a healthcare crisis strikes. In short, an advance directive includes two legal documents that protect your right to refuse or request medical treatment in the event you lose the ability to make decisions for yourself. The two legal documents include the “Illinois Power of Attorney for Health Care” and “Illinois Living Will.”
People are encouraged to get a business-card sized piece of paper and put it in a purse or wallet. On that card note a name, who the healthcare power of attorney is, their contact information and any other information you see fit. Keep it simple. In the time of healthcare crisis, this allows people around you who may not know your healthcare decisions to know who to call or what to do. Great idea!  

{Wallet Card Example}

The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization provides great information to assist in learning about making these decisions and help navigate through those legal documents: Furthermore, the Illinois Department of Public Health website,, provides the documents that can be used to make these decisions. So, take one hour to make these decisions, share them with those you care about and give yourself (and others) peace of mind. Hospice of Southern Illinois also has a team who is able to help if you need assistance with any steps along the way.  
Help us share, educate, and reach out by subscribing to our blog and suggesting it to friends who will spread our message: Hospice of Southern Illinois is here to teach you what hospice is, what we are about, and what we can do for you and your loved ones. No one has to go through the dying process alone. Hospice of Southern Illinois can help.

Live well, laugh often, and love much,
Christine Juehne
Hospice of Southern Illinois
Community Education

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

National Volunteer Week

April 6-12, 2014 is National Volunteer Week.  This week was established in 1974, to recognize the extraordinary individuals who volunteer their time and great effort to help others.  This week raises national attention and awareness on the importance and the impact volunteers have in the community.

Hospices and hospice facilities are greatly dependent on the generosity and dedication of volunteers due to the countless hours they give back. According to the Hospice Foundation of America, there are more than 468,000 hospice volunteers throughout the U.S. Hospice of Southern Illinois has over 400 volunteers that donate their time and talents helping with a variety of projects, tasks, and jobs within the organization.

At Hospice of Southern Illinois, each hospice volunteer goes through orientation and training before working

with our employees and with hospice patients. Our volunteers come from many different backgrounds and from a variety of different ages. These volunteers may help support patients, families, the hospice home, Relais Bonne Eau, and clinical and clerical employees, including the community and development departments.

Our volunteers are extremely important to our organization and are never left unrecognized for their giving souls and hospice hearts. So, help us and other organizations celebrate, honor, and thank each volunteer for the work they provide, expecting nothing in return. Cheers to Hospice of Southern Illinois volunteers and all volunteers who help make the world a better place!


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Celebrating 40 Years of Hospice Care

Hospice of Southern Illinois, The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO), and hospices across the United States are celebrating 40 years of hard work to make hospice care a success in the United States! The word hospice is derived from the word “hospitality,” which is a place of shelter for weary or ill travelers on a long journey. The development of hospice care has been its own journey, one that strong leadership, determination and volunteerism has allowed end-of-life care to flourish.

Physician Dame Cicely Saunders began her work with the terminally ill in 1948, and later established the first modern hospice in London, St. Christopher’s Hospice. In 1963, she brought the idea of hospice to the United States as a request from Florence Wald, the dean of the Yale School of Nursing. Wald became inspired to travel and learn the benefits of hospice care, eventually starting the first U.S program, Connecticut Hospice, in Bradford in 1974. Her work began a revolution of end-of-life care with facilities spreading throughout the United States.

After talking to two employees at Hospice of Southern Illinois, they expressed, “Hospice is important because it brings opportunities for closure for spiritual, emotional, and
physical comfort for patients and their families,” explains Roberta Baldwin, Intake Nurse. Lisa Phillipson, Community Education Manager, added, “Hospice education is important because it spreads awareness. You may not have a lot of knowledge about hospice care. We are helping with emotional and physical pain of our patients and families and educating the community on what comes next with end-of-life care. When you know what is next, things don’t seem quite as scary. At the end of the day when we have done our job right, the patients and families can breathe a sigh of relief and worry about being a family or friend, while we take care of their loved one.”

Thursday, February 27, 2014


On December 30, 2013, Hospice of Southern Illinois’ Relais Bonne Eau, Community Hospice Home, received their annual inspection from the Illinois Department of Public Health. The Illinois Department of Public Health checks certifications, licenses, sanitation, and care provided. Hospice of Southern Illinois’ Relais Bonne Eau, Community Hospice Home is proud to announce there were zero deficiencies found by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Developed and designed for individuals and their families needing end-of-life care, Relais Bonne Eau (pronounced relay-bone-o) is the first and only hospice home in southern Illinois. It is located in Edwardsville on 17 gorgeous acres. The home has 16 large rooms, a chapel, a community room, a family room, a dining room and many other amenities of a warm and inviting home. The home also has walking paths, fountains, gardens, and a beautiful pond. Relais Bonne Eau provides a very unique service, pet therapy programs, to help reduce stress and bring joy to the individuals at the home.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Hospice of Southern Illinois Circle of Care

Hospice care is so complex, but so simple all in the same. All hospices are regulated by Medicare Guidelines to provide a certain level of care.  Yet each hospice provides individualized care based on the patients’ end-of-life wishes. For this reason, there are many components that make up hospice care. These complex components all work together to make hospice care simple. How can that be? Describing hospice care as a full circle helps paint the picture of how it all works.

Medical directors, physicians, registered nurses, hospice aides, social workers, bereavement counselors, and volunteers make up the outer ring of the circle.  The outer ring builds the foundation for the support and care involved with hospice. The simplicity lies in the center of the circle, the hospice patient. All support and care provided is focused around the needs and wants of the patient at the end of life. Surrounding the patient are the family and friends who make the wishes known and supports the patient through the physical, emotional and spiritual needs through the end-of-life journey.

The end-of-life journey can bring changes in the patient’s physical or emotional condition, patient and family concern, changes in medication, changes in emotional or spiritual needs, or need for medical equipment and supplies. These changes are why hospice care is so important. The hospice team works together to meet these needs. Further, hospice care and the hospice team have the expertise about what to expect at the end of life.  Hospice of Southern Illinois’ Team has compassion for an individual’s dignity, and the experience of working with others who are going through the same things. Hospice services are so unique because they can provide all of these benefits with the help of so many, to those who need it when they are ready, patients and families at the end of life. This is why hospice care is complex, but simple all in the same: unique with so many parts, but simply for patients who need the individualized hospice care.

Help us share, educate, and reach out by subscribing to our blog and suggesting it to friends who will spread our message: Hospice of Southern Illinois is here to teach you what hospice is, what we are about, and what we can do for you and your loved ones. No one has to go through the dying process alone. Hospice of Southern Illinois can help.

Live well, laugh often, and love much,
Christine Juehne
Hospice of Southern Illinois
Community Education

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Hospice of Southern Illinois Staff Heroes

Hospice of Southern Illinois is committed to the We Honor Veterans program. As part of our commitment, we have created the {MY HERO Online Photo Storybook} where we post photos on our social media pages submitted by staff, family, friends, and patients to keep Veteran stories alive. Please enjoy this great recent submission and a past photo we are highlighting! Visit out Pinterest Page for more stories like these. Email to submit your photo today.

Bill Crawford (right) served in the 
United States Air Force for 22 years. 
He then worked another 20 years as a civilian at Scott Air Force Base. 
{Submitted by Megan Blackwell, Patient Care Supervisor}

Dale Juehne is photographed (left) to Inchon Korea in 
November of 1950. 
{Submitted by Christine Juehne, Print and Social Media Coordinator (and her father, Todd Juehne)} 

Hospice of Southern Illinois is your community not-for-profit hospice serving 27 counties in southern Illinois since 1981. Visit our website,, or download our app by scanning the QR code (or searching Hospice of Southern Illinois in your app store) to find out more about us or hospice services.