Corning grant supports Transitions
Heritage Hospice’s Transitions program has received a $10,000 grant from the Corning Incorporated Foundation. The Transitions program, which began in 2001, provides clients whose life expectancy is a year or less and their families and caregivers with the services of a social worker and volunteer. "We are very appreciative of this generous donation to our Transitions program,” says Rochelle Sizemore, Heritage Hospice’s Clinical Counseling Services Coordinator and coordinator of the Transitions program. “This donation will assist us with being able to provide a much needed service to our community.” Janelle Wheeler, Heritage Hospice’s Executive Director, says the Corning Incorporated Foundation’s generous gift will have a great impact on the clients served by Transitions. “They are a great community partner committed to helping others and making a difference. We appreciate them very much.” Unlike hospice patients, Transitions clients can be receiving curative treatment, such as chemotherapy or radiation, or palliative treatment. The program’s social worker focuses on helping clients and their caregivers cope with the stress of the client’s illness, such as poor health, loss of mobility and financial pressures. In one year’s time, this program made 1,989 community contacts for its 155 patients. The contacts were made to physicians and their staff, for benefit coordination, and for assistance with finances, housing and legal issues. The volunteers’ role is to come to the client’s home and offer the caregivers a chance to leave the home and take a break from the stresses of caregiving. While in the home, volunteers offer companionship to the client. If the caregiver does not want to leave the home, a volunteer may support the caregiver by running errands. The Transitions program also offers bereavement counseling for families for 13 months after the death of a client. The program is shifting to provide more focus on post-acute patients in an effort to minimize hospital readmissions and reduce costs that ultimately affect everyone. The goal is to see patients soon after discharge from the hospital to offer access to support networks and provide links to community resources such as home health, hospice and programs for senior citizens. Accessing these types of services may help reduce clients’ need to return to the hospital soon after being discharged. By providing regular contact and support, the clients’ problems can be addressed more immediately for the best outcome for the client. Anyone with questions about Transitions, may call Rochelle Sizemore at 859-236-2425.