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Hospice continues mission of care

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BY AMELIA HARPER
Staff Writer

Sunday, August 26, 2018

The Nash County Home Health Agency may have been sold recently to a third-party provider, but the Nash UNC Health Care Hospice and Palliative Care program is still doing business the way it has been doing for more than 30 years.

“I think some people were confused by the coverage of the recent sale of the Home Health Agency, but we are still a part of Nash UNC Health Care,” said Sherri Alligood, director of the Hospice and Palliative program, which has been owned by the hospital for more than 30 years.

 Dr.Doulgas Boyette is the medical director of the program that provides home care for patients whose doctors certify they need end-of-life care for the remaining months of their lives. These services can be provided at home or a nursing facility.

“We provide home care wherever they call home,” Alligood said.

Alligood said that hospice is a multidisciplinary group of physicians, nurses, nursing assistants, social workers, chaplains and volunteers who work with patients and their families to make these days as easy and painless as possible. Alligood said she loves her work with hospice care because it offers a valuable service to families during a tough period of their lives..

“Most of our staff would agree that this is the most rewarding thing we have done,” Alligood said. “It is a privilege to be invited in by people at such an intimate time in their family’s life.”

For many patients, this personalized care comes at no cost to the family.

“The care is normally paid at 100 percent by Medicare for those who qualify, and most insurance policies follow their lead,” Alligood said. “This generally covers staff, medications and anything related directly to the terminal illness.”

Alligood said patients don’t leave home to visit doctors or hospitals when they are under hospice care.

“Part of the benefit is that these patients receive their medical care in their home without having to make trips to the doctor’s office or hospital,” Alligood said. “We work closely with the referring physician regarding their care and keep their primary physician informed of their progress.”

While some people may consider hospice work depressing, Alligood said the opposite is true.

“This job is humbling, difficult and sometimes sad, but it is not depressing — because we know we are making a difference in the live of these patients and their families.” Alligood said.

For more information about the Nash UNC Health Care Hospice and Palliative Care program, go to https://nhcs.org/hospitals/hospice.

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