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, www.hospice.org or www.edglenchamber.com.  

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: http://www.caringinfo.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3284. Furthermore, the Illinois Department of Public Health website, http://www.idph.state.il.us/public/books/advin.htm, 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!