Hospice is a special kind of care that focuses on improving a person’s quality of life after being diagnosed with a terminal illness. Through the provision of physical care and emotional, social and spiritual support, Winneshiek Medical Center Hospice seeks to help people live their remaining life with comfort and dignity. Hospice treats the person, not the disease. Each patient and family receives coordinated care from the Hospice Interdisciplinary Team.
WMC Hospice Mission is to provide end-of-life care that ensures quality of days, compassion and comfort for our patients and their loved ones. The hopes, wishes, dignity and comfort of the families we serve define our care.
What is Hospice?
Hospice offers palliative, or comfort care, rather than curative treatment. Under the direction of a physician, hospice uses sophisticated methods of pain and symptom control to help the patient live as fully and comfortably as possible.
Hospice care can be provided wherever the person resides, whether it be their own home, a long-term care facility or the hospital. Patients receive routine visits from qualified members of the hospice team.
Hospice emphasizes quality of life and neither hastens nor postpones death. It affirms life and regards dying as a normal process.
Your Hospice Team
WMC Hospice consists of a medical director, nurses, homemaker/hospice aides, social worker, spiritual adviser, pharmacist, volunteers, massage therapy, and bereavement services.
First row: Anntonette Meyer, home health aide; Nicole Reicks, RN; Brittney Anderson, RN; Jennifer Nahl, RN; and Jennifer Vogel, massage therapist. Second/third row: Diane Hirth, medical secretary; Mary Wagner, RN; Jill Shindelar, RN; Melissa Whelan, BSW, social worker; Caryn Buckley, reimbursement analyst; Emily Falck, home health aide; Sandra Bishop, RN; Emily Norton, RN; Samantha Sherwood, RN; Dr. Kevin Locke, Nancy Haberichter, RN, nursing director of Home Health & Hospice; and Kathy Petersburg, ARNP. Not pictured: Jaclyn Zidlicky, home health aide; Keegan Luzum, RN; Natasha Rausch, RN; Aaron Schmitt, Spiritual Counselor; and Andrea Neubauer, PharmD, pharmacist.
Volunteers are an important part of hospice care. They can assist families during the patient’s illness and perform support functions for staff.
Hospice considers the needs of the family, not just the patient. Patients and families are both included in the decision-making process, and both receive the support of the hospice team.
Hospice care does not end with the death of the patient. Hospice provides bereavement support, which may include supportive mailings and visits, volunteer follow-up and a grief support group.
Services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For hospice patients and their families, help is just a phone call away.
Who is eligible for hospice?
Hospice is recommended for anyone who is suffering from a life-limiting illness or injury where the physician has determined that life expectancy may be within 6 months if the disease or illness follows its normal course. The physician prognosis is just an estimate of time and is dependent upon the patient’s clinical status. Hospice care can be provided for longer than 6 months if the patient’s condition warrants.
Who pays for hospice?
Winneshiek Medical Center Hospice provides care to patients regardless of ability to pay. Hospice is covered under Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurance. If not covered by an insurance provider hospice will work with the patient and family to ensure services can be provided. Medicare and Medicaid do not require copay or deductibles for hospice. Private Insurance does require deductible and out of pocket max to be met. Please call hospice if there is a concern for hospice medical coverage.
What services are provided?
- Interdisciplinary case management including:
- Hospice Nurses provide disease and symptom management, teaching, and clinical expertise.
- Hospice Social Worker assists with psychosocial support, financial and emotional support.
- Hospice Aides provide personal care services.
- Clergy and Spiritual Counselors.
- Hospice Pharmacist assists with medication management and recommendations
- Hospice Medical Providers including the Hospice Physician Medical Director and Nurse Practitioner provide medical and clinical expertise on palliative care
- The Patient’s Primary Family Physician who knows the patient best and provides valued medical direction on behalf of the patient and their unique medical history
- Complementary Therapies (dependent upon plan of care) may include physical, occupational and speech therapy, massage therapy, and music therapy
- Volunteer services for companionship and assistance to caregivers
- Medical equipment and supplies including beds, lifts, wheelchairs, bathroom equipment, etc.
- Medication management and Pharmaceuticals
- Nutritional Counseling
- Psychosocial and Emotional Support Services
- Grief Support and Bereavement Services
Where does WMC hospice provide services?
Winneshiek Medical Center Hospice serves Winneshiek, Allamakee and portions of Howard, Chickasaw, Fayette and Clayton counties. If you aren’t sure if you are in our area, please call 563-387-3024.
Why choose WMC Hospice?
Winneshiek Medical Center Hospice was awarded the Mayo Clinic Excellence in Patient Experience Award. This honor is awarded annually to those who are committed to delivering an unparalleled experience to patients and families. It is presented to the top performers who consistently deliver exceptional and extraordinary human experiences as measured by patient surveys. WMC Hospice also scores extremely well on the Medicare.gov Hospice Compare website for quality and patient experience.
- WMC Hospice is aligned with Winneshiek Medical Center, the premier provider of health care excellence in NE Iowa.
This allows our hospice to have access to expertise and consultation of the many specialty services of the medical center including family practice physicians, urololgy, orthopedics, behavior health, lab services, radiology services and much more.
- WMC Hospice is a valued partner with Mayo Clinic Health System and Gundersen Health System, along with the various clinics and hospitals in our service area.
- WMC Hospice can offer hospital inpatient and respite services to our patients in local hospitals.
- WMC Hospice is contracted with 12 local nursing homes and 3 local hospitals to provide services within the nursing home or assisted living homes.
- WMC Hospice physicians and providers have been trained through ongoing educational experiences through the National Hospice and Palliative Care Association.
- WMC Hospice is an active member of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and Hospice and Palliative Care Association of Iowa. We maintain these memberships to stay up to date and knowledgeable on all new hospice recommendations and regulations.
- WMC Hospice maintains a valued relationship with the patient’s family physician, encouraging the physician/patient relationship to foster and continue through end of life.
- WMC Hospice nurses are provided with ongoing hospice and palliative care education each year through the national and state hospice organizations.
- WMC Hospice is a not-for-profit community hospice provider employing staff and providers who live and work within the communities we serve.
- WMC Hospice service area allows us to respond quickly to the needs of our patients. Nurses are on call 24/7 and are immediately available by phone when a patient calls in the evening or on the weekend.
- WMC Hospice admissions are usually within 24 hours of referral unless otherwise requested by the family.
- WMC Hospice does provide evening and weekend admissions when the need is imminent.
- WMC Hospice provides services to all patients regardless of ability to pay.
- WMC Hospice nurses are also trained in home health services that may be provided in certain cases when a patient and family are trying to decide whether hospice care is right for them.
- WMC Hospice maintains our own medical equipment inventory allowing us to quickly provide for the needs of our patients in their home or the nursing home.
Who can make a referral to Hospice?
While many hospice referrals are made through the physician, it is possible for anyone to make a referral to hospice including a family member or friend. Once a referral is received, WMC hospice will contact and coordinate with the patient’s primary physician for hospice services. A complimentary (no-charge) visit can be requested by the patient, caregiver or family from a member of the hospice team to explain hospice services and eligibility. In order for hospice to provide the maximum benefit to a patient, our preference is to be involved with care earlier so that we can provide preventative symptom management and disease management for the patient and family throughout the life-limiting condition.
Hospice nursing is unique...
“My career in nursing has been diverse and rewarding. Hospice nursing is unique because we get to help people
going through the most important journey of life. We work as a team for the same goal that focuses on quality,
comfort and peace. We spend precious time getting to know our patients and families in the most personal way
and I am honored to be a part of this wonderful program.” - Jill, RN