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Awareness HOSPICE

October 2012

3888 Pacific Avenue, Stockton, CA 95204-1953 • 24-hour main-line: (209) 957-3888 • 3888 Pacific Avenue Stockton, CA 95204-1953

Hospice of San Joaquin

Opens First Hospice Office in Manteca

Chris McCaffrey Board Vice-President Vice-President Morgan Stanley Lou Meyer Treasurer Retired EMS Executive Leandro Vicuña, J.D.

Secretary VP, Sr. Trust & Investment Officer

Community Bank of SJ

Photo by:

Edward G. Schroeder Immediate Past-President President & CEO O’Connor Woods

Members: Jaqueline Bagatta, RN Deputy Director SJ General Hospital Scott Beattie, JD, LL.M. Beattie & Aghazarian, LLP

During the morning of Wednesday October 17th, community members and members from the Mateca Chamber of Commerce celebrated the ribbon cutting ceremony and open house of Hospice of San Joaquin’s Manteca Extension at 179 E North St., Manteca

San Joaquin’s Community Outreach Director. In addition to the visiting com mu nit y members;, Members from the Manteca C h a m b e r of C o m m e r c e were present for the official r ibbon cut t i ng a nd open house reception during the morning of October 17th. Hospice of San Joaquin is a

People Near Life’s End Choose Comfort and Control

Our Mission The Mission of Hospice of San Joaquin, a not-for-profit organization, is to provide comprehensive and compassionate medical care, counseling and support to terminally ill patients and their families, regardless of ability to pay, and to educate and collaborate with health care providers and the public in promoting quality end-of-life care.

A nonprofit agency serving the community since 1980 Hospice of San Joaquin is governed by a community Board of Directors and is recognized as a 501(c)(3) organization. Hospice of San Joaquin is licensed by the State of California as a Hospice Agency and is certified by the Centers for MediCare and MediCal Services to provide the Hospice Medicare / Medi-Cal Benefit. The Joint Commission has accredited Hospice of San Joaquin. For more information or referrals, call (209) 957-3888. Joint Comission Accredited

Officers: Gayle Riley, R.N., MPH Board President Nurse, Healthcare Administrator

Reprinted with permission by the St. L0uis Post-Dispatch by Jim Doyle August 19, 2012



Stockton, CA Permit Nº 385

St. Luis — Breathing has become increasingly d i f f i c u l t f o r Je a n n e Lampe, who spends her days hooked to an oxygen tank. Lampe, 79, has “end stage” emphysema, but still lives at home i n a s out h S t . L ou i s apartment. She’s visited twice a week by a nurse from Hope Hospice Inc., which also provides a m a s sa ge t her api s t , a social worker, a chaplain and workers to help with showers and chores — all paid for by Medicare. When the end comes, she’s r e solve d to d ie at home, on her ow n terms. “Death itself doesn’t bother me, but emphysema is a crappy death. You’re basically gasping for breath,” she said. “When I’m ready to go, I want morphine and a margarita.” L a mpe i s a mong a fa st-g row i ng nu mber of patients locally and nationally who are choosing hospice, which seeks to provide comfort rat her t han a cure. Advocates say the trend holds great potential to hold down runaway U.S. health costs by steering end-of-life patients away from more expensive and aggressive hospital care. But the industry’s rapid g row t h a lso present s

regulator y challenges to federal author ities concerned about unethical recruitment of patients and the cherrypicking of less complex but more prof itable cases. The number of hospice pat ients on Medic are doubled to 1.1 million between 1998 and 2008, according to the federal C enters for Med ic a re & Med ic aid Ser v ices. A no t he r e s t i m at e of hospic e pat ient s t h is year, from the National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization, put the number at 1.6 million. “With the aging population and many people suffering from chronic illnesses, the number of people choosing hospice h a s e x p l o d e d ,” s a i d Melissa D.A. Carlson, an assistant professor at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York. “As people understand hospice, they want more and more to stay at home with their family.” And more and more health care prov iders w a nt to ge t i nto t he burgeoning ma rket. A b out 5 8 p e r c e nt of A mer icans still die w ithout hospice care, says the National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization, leav ing ample room to grow the business. A decade ago, hospice care was a niche dominated by nonprofit organizations. But now at least t wo-thirds of

nationally recognized leader in hospice services. The notfor-profit organization cares for hundreds of patients on a daily basis at no-cost to the patient or their families. Hos pice of Sa n Joa qu i n offers innovative programs to enhance the quality of care for people when cure is no longer an option. In

addit ion to pat ient care, the agency offers education programs for physicians and healthcare professionals, caregiver education materials, cultural diversity prog rams for end- of-life care, and other resources. For more information about Hospice of San Joaquin call (209) 957-3888.

Sabrina Schneweis-Coe, Esq Attorney Downey Brand, LLP

Rev. David Bennett Senior Pastor at Central United Methodist Church Pat Collier, RN, MS Director Community Health, SJMC Barbara Galgiani, CPCU, CIC, CRM Ins. Broker & Risk Mgr Gary Giannini, CPA Principal Schwartz, Giannini, Lansberger & Adamson Jack Gilliland, MD Retired Pediatrician Margo Kozina Teacher St. Mary’s High School

Photo by: Gene Acevedo, Comm, Outreach Dir.



Permit N 557 Stock ton, CA

On Tuesday, October 17th, community members joined Hospice of San Joaquin’s profe ssional st af f a nd volunteers to celebrate the ribbon cutting of the new south county extension. “We are happy to announce t he open i ng of ou r new extension in Manteca,” said Executive Director Stephen Guasco; and he explained that, “having Hospice of San Joaquin’s team stationed in Manteca offers residents a nd t hei r ca reg iver s a prompt resource as illness trajectories advance into their terminal stages.” The new Hospice of San Joaquin’s Manteca extension is located in a central location at the corner of Main and Nor t h St reet s at 179 W. No r t h St r e e t , M a nt e c a , CA. In addition to having the first hospice office in Manteca, the new facility brings bereavement services, volunteer trainings, caregiver trainings, and other resources for terminally ill patients and their caregivers. “The new extension will be the heart of service operations i n t h e s o u t h e r n c o u nt y region; this new location represents the commitment by Hospice of San Joaquin to provide the quality endof-life care our residents of Manteca and neighboring communities deserve,” said Gene Acevedo, Hospice of

Board of Directors

Evia Briggs Moore, Ed.D. Retired College Administrator Kelly Stump, RN, MSN Hospital Supervisor St. Josephs Medical Center Stephen Guasco Executive Director Hospice of San Joaquin

Professional Staff: Robert T. Browne, MD Medical Director Emeritus

Above: Fabian Perez, Hospice of San Joaquin Volunteer visits Curtis Frazier, in-home hospice care patient.

licensed hospices in the St. Louis area are run by for-profit companies, according to the state Department of Health a nd S en ior S er v ic e s. And about 80 percent of Medicare- cer tif ied hospice providers e nt e r i n g t h e m a r k e t between 2000 and 2009 were for -prof it f ir ms, according to a study published in June b y He a lt h A f f a i r s , a Bet he sd a , Md.-ba se d policy journal. “ T her e’s obv iou sly m o n e y t o b e m a d e ,” said Carlson, who coauthored the study. In t he big pic t ure, advocates say, hospice offers more quality of life and dignity in death -- at much lower cost. I n S t . L ou i s C ou nt y, for instance, providers receive a daily rate from Medicare of $144.91 for each patient in ‘routine’ hospice care. That t y pically includes the cost of drugs, medical equ ipment, supplie s, and nursing care, but not room and board.

By contrast, hospit a li zat ion i n a n intensive care unit can cost upwards of $10,000 a day, including drugs, e q u ipme nt a nd s t a f f costs. “It is a phenomenal benef it to t he fa m i ly members and the patient as well as the healthcare deliver y system,” said Judy Alexander-Weber, president a nd chief executive of the Visiting Nu r se A ssociat ion of Greater St. Louis, a nonprof it whose hospic e workers visit residences and nursing homes. “It’s the most cost-effective way to manage end-oflife care.” M A IN TA INING CONTROL C o s t s a side , m a ny hospice patients choose that option out of a more fundamental desire to control their destiny and manner of dying. Benny Davenport, 84, a former flight engineer See - Many patients choosing hospice on Pg 3

James Saffier, MD On-Site Medical Director Mobin Ghavami, MD Staff Physician Rebecca Burnett, RN, BSN, CHPN Dir. of Clinical Services Kerrie Biddle, MBA Dir. of Finance Barbara Pombo, MBA Dir. of Development Gene Acevedo, MBA Dir. of Comm. Outreach Pam Byrne, Ph.D, RN Transitions Prog. Mngr. Audrey Wuerl, RN, BSN, CHPN , Education Coord. Carolyn Gomes Events Coordinator Cheryl Berglund, RN, Hospice House Mngr Becky Freeman Volunteer Manager Carrie M. Lane, M.Div. Bereavement Manager Patty A. Rieber Human Resource Mngr Leo Ronquillo Information Systems Mngr Allan Sullivan Chaplain Ulmer Photo (Tim Ulmer) Volunteer Photographer

October 2012

Message from the Director Pr inted in this issue of Hospice Awareness is the recent St. Louis Post Dispatch a r t icle, “Ma ny patients choosing hospice for end-of-life care.” The article is far reaching in its depiction of hospice care. Even though the article focuses on the St. Louis area, it is equally valid and per ti nent here in the Central Valley. We believe that the information imparted in the article is of such importance that we have asked permission to republish it here. Part of the article focused on the financial benefit to stem “runaway U.S. health costs by steering end-oflife patients away from more expensive and aggressive hospital care.” While it is fact that hospice care is significantly less expensive than aggressive curative care, this, in my opinion is far less important than the many benefits hospice care has over futile aggressive curative care. Several studies, published in major medical journals, show conclusively that patients receiving hospice care live longer and have a significantly higher quality of life than those terminally ill patients receiving aggressive curative care. One of the recurring themes of these studies has to do with the length of time a patient is receiving hospice care. The sooner a patient is admitted to hospice care the better the results in terms of life expectancy as well as quality. This fact is echoed time and time again from our patients’ families. One of the most frequent comments received from our families is “If only Hospice of San Joaquin provided care to our loved one much sooner ….. Let people know not to wait.” The growth of for-profit hospices in San Joaquin County is consistent with article’s cited growth in the St. Louis area. Thirty-two years ago, not-for-profit Hospice of San Joaquin was established when a group of community leaders invested their time and money to create a service for San Joaquin County’s terminally ill patients. Today, three for-profit hospices have opened offices in the County with a fourth for-profit hospice to open soon. The article cites the for-profits’ possible patient “cherry picking” to maximize their profits. While I do not know the for-profit hospices’ business strategies, profit is clearly the central tenet of their business plans. This is not the case for the not-forprofits. We exist to serve the community according to the principles set forth in our Mission Statements. Any and all excess revenues must inure to the benefit of the communities we serve. Hospice of San Joaquin is proud that we provide in excess of $1.3 Million in annual uncompensated care. This value is derived not from billed charges but, strictly from the direct cost (exclusive of any overhead expenses) to provide the care for which no reimbursement is received. It remains a patient’s right to choose hospice care when a life-limiting illness has been diagnosed. It also remains the patient’s right to choose the hospice that will provide that care. The time to discuss the option of hospice care is when a life-limiting diagnosis is rendered. As our patients’ families have stated time and time again, “Let people know not to wait.” Sincerely,

Stephen L. Guasco Executive Director Hospice of San Joaquin

Season of Gratitude Fall Tea

Hospice of San Joaquin Butterfly Auxiliary - Tracy Chapter Saturday, Nov. 10th 2 – 4 p.m. Seating limited: call for reservations (209) 922-0380

Support Group for Families of Suicide Victims By: Kathy Harden HSJ Volunteer F ive ye a r s ago I became a volunteer at Hospice of San Joaquin. Over that period of time I have been impressed w ith the grow th and development of grief support services offered to the families who have lost a loved one. There are programs for adults, children and teenagers. Recently Hospice of San Joaquin also star ted a suppor t g roup for survivors who have lost a loved one to suicide. I am proud to be able to be a co-facilitator of this group. There are many groups for people who have lost a loved one but support groups specific for those of us who lost a loved one to suicide have been difficult to find. My husband chose to end his own life in 1987. There were groups in Sacramento and the Bay Area but nothing in Stockton. I never felt like I really fit in with generic grief groups and I finally chose to make the drive to see what a support group specific to surviving the suicide of a love one was like. I found that I had finally found a place to talk about how I felt with other people who were experiencing many of the same feelings I was having. For the first time since my husband’s suicide, I felt comfortable sharing my feelings.

The stages of grief are the same for anyone who has lost someone they love, but there are issues that are specific to the loss of a loved one to suicide. Many of our friends and family are uncomfortable talking about the suicide and so they say nothing at all. Sometimes it seemed to me as though my husband never existed at all. He was no-one’s brother or son or husband or father or friend. It felt like the day he was buried he ceased to exist. When someone dies, the survivors often share their memories of that person. They laugh and they cry together. It helps us stay connected to the person we loved and keep the person alive in our heart and minds. With a suicide that often does not happen. The guilt and anger when someone commits suicide are of ten much more intense. There are so many questions we want answered. “What could I have done differently so that this would not have happened?” “Why did my loved one choose to do this?” “Why did my loved one not know how his death would affect those left behind?” “Did he/she not love me enough to keep trying?” “What did I do wrong?” When guilt and anger overwhelm a person whenever he/she thinks of the person who died, it is very hard to process the grief. The guilt and/or anger can be so intense that the survivor does whatever they can to avoid even

Arms Reassuring Care

Arms A safe and understanding place for those who are grieving the loss of a loved one by suicide.


A place to connect with others who are experiencing the same kind of grief, questions, hurts, struggles


A place to freely and openly share and explore feelings and experiences about the death

Cost is FREE however, pre-registration is required for EACH group; simply call HSJ Bereavement Services at (209) 957-3888. Please visit our web site for complete listing of group dates.

thinking about the suicide. that I was still sad but I no felt guilty. It was like At the same Meetings time the suicide arelonger scheduled is there all of the time and a terrible weight had been second Monday off of me. From that the thoughts the of how the taken day forward my way to the person died never leave of each month end of the tunnel was much your mind. Grief must be felt and faster. People who have processed in order to get to the other side. I felt like I survived the suicide of their was in a black tunnel and loved one often say that there was no way out. Day things will never be the after day and week after same again and they are week, the weight of that right. Things will never be darkness pressed down the same again. The person on me like a heavy weight will never come back and until I felt like I could not the fact that they chose to possibly bear even one more end their own life will never hour of it, but I kept going go away. In spite of that, back to that support group things will be good again. even when I didn’t feel like There will be happiness it. We were all different but and laughter and happy in many ways we were the memories of the time you same. That group allowed shared w ith your loved me to work through my grief one. For me the support and eventually there was a group for survivors made pinpoint of light in that dark a tremendous difference in tunnel. It wasn’t much but the journey. I hope that the it was there and over time support group at Hospice can it got bigger and brighter. offer that same experience I remember clearly the day to other people who are I woke up and felt totally experiencing the loss of a different and I realized loved one to suicide.

5:30 to 7:00 p.m. Call for Support

(209) 957-3888

Hospice of San Joaquin Board of Directors Welcomes New Members

Barbara Galgiani Vice President Capax-Giddings, Corby, Hynes Insurance In response to the question, “What does your association with Hospice of San Joaquin mean to you?”, Barbara responds without hesitation: “Second to my family, it is the most important thing in my life. As a volunteer for this organization, I get so much more back than I give; the satisfaction of knowing that we make a difference for people when they need us the most is priceless.” Barbara Galgiani traces her connection to May of 2001 when her Mother died peacefully in hospice care. A year later Barbara called Hospice of San Joaquin’s Volu nteer Coordi nator, asking how she could help. Learning that ‘a group of ladies was putting together a Te a’ t o s u p p o r t t h e building of the Hospice House, Barbara was quick to volunteer. The Tea of 2002 became the event that launched the Butterfly Auxiliary. Hospice of San Joaquin Butterfly Auxiliary was chartered in October 2002. Barbara has filled many chai rs, i ncludi ng President of the Butterfly Auxiliary (now Stockton Chapt e r), Chai r of t he Champagne and English Tea and Co-Chair of the Moonlight Sip ‘n Stroll. She has witnessed the growth of the Auxiliary in Lodi and Tracy, each now with active Chapters. Barbara and her husband John Galgiani are both donors and volunteers.

Barbara Galgiani, CPCU, CIC, CRM

“I look forward to serving in another capacity on the Board of Hospice of San Joaquin and its working committees.” Pat Collier, RN MS Director of Community Health Program, St. Joseph’s Medical Center. When asked ‘what is it that drew your interest to Hospice of San Joaquin, Pat Collier gives a brief overview of her nursing career: “At St. Joseph’s Medical Center for 36 years; 16 of those serving in Home Health Care, 10 years as Director, I became very aware of hospice services. I am probably the only one that you have met who has a picture of Elizabeth Kubler Ross (author of Death & Dying, early hospice care educator) on the off ice wall. “In the health care profession, our patients dy i ng is someth i ng we still haven’t adequately

Pat Collier, RN, MS addressed in training our professionals. How to let people die, when it is their time; being there for people who are dying. I have been interested in hospice care for a long time. After my Mother died last year, I sought a way to actively serve with Hospice of San Joaquin.” Sabrina Schneweis-Coe, Esq., Downey/Brand Attorneys, LLP, Stockton Sabrina is part of her f ir m’s Tr ust and Estate practice group and is a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law, by the California State Bar. Sabrina is dedicated to helping families plan for and transition through life’s ups and downs. She provides comprehensive, highly personalized counsel in estate planning and special needs. She is a graduate of California State University and University of the Pacific, McGeorge

Sabrina Schneweis-Coe, Esq. School of Law. Sabrina is well aware of the services provided by Hospice of San Joaquin: “Personally, the family has used the services a number of times over ten years. Every time – it is like Godsend. Your staff – they are wonderful;love your organization.” Sabrina and her husband D a r r e n C o e h ave t wo children, a 13 year old son and 10 year old daughter. “I’ve been interested in helping for awhile and my kids are now old enough. Their Dad now takes the lead in getting them to their many practices and games. I am very happy to be joining the Hospice of San Joaquin Board. .” Hospice of San Joaquin Board members are elected to three year terms which may be renewed for an additional consecutive term. Each member also serves on one or more working committees.

October 2012

and auto mechanic, re side s in St. Cha rle s C ou nt y w it h h i s w i fe Martha — and wants to keep it t hat way unt il his death. SSM Hospice is helping his wife take care of him as his lung cancer spreads through his body. “I want to clone my nurse,” Davenport said. “I’m as happy as I can be.” In the St. Louis region, hospice care is growing and becoming more competitive. Smaller forprofit firms like Ballwinbased Hope Hospice and n at ion a l c h a i n s s uc h a s Mia mi-ba sed V it a s Hospice Ser v ices have entered t he market, competing for patients against local non-profit heav y weights like BJC Healthcare, SSM Health Care, and Mercy Health. Larger nonprof it health systems such as BJC Healthcare enroll many hospice patients at their own hospitals. Sm a l ler a nd m id- si z e operators, who claim they offer more individualized care, compete to recruit hospice patients before admission to a hospital. B JC Ho s pi c e le ad s the local market, w ith about 16 perc ent of hospice admissions. BJC’s “Wings” program helps children who have had long-term hospital stays move to home care and supports the family after the child’s death. L o c a l ly, dem a nd i s driven in part by local demographics. St. Louis is ranked No. 5 in the nation in the number of adults per capita ages 65 and older, and No. 10 nationw ide in the per capita number of adults 65 and older who live alone, according to the “2009 American communit y sur vey” by the U.S. Census Bureau. The state of Missouri ha s more t ha n 100 licensed hospice providers, and about 25 of those serve the St. Louis area. It also allows dozens of u n lic ensed hospic e providers to do business, if accredited by professional organizations. Typically, hospice care is delivered in homes, hospital rooms, nu r sing home s, a nd assisted living facilities. In Missouri, the average leng th of stay for hospice patients is 79 d ay s, ac c ord i ng to the state’s 2011 repor t on hospic e prov ider s. But about 28 percent of hospice patients statewide receive this care for less than seven days. At BJC Ho s p i c e , t h e m e d i a n length of stay is 11 to 14 days. Greater use of hospice by terminally-ill patients, ad vo c ate s s ay, w ou ld improve quality of life and help save Medicare funds for future generations. Hospice is “the best, well-rounded care because you have all the disciplines involved,” said Jane Moore, executive director of the Jefferson Cit y-based Missour i Hospice & Palliative Care Association. Helen Cassidy, director of Mercy Hospice, said that as a nurse she grew tired of seeing people die in the hospital without the

Photo by Roberto Cohen, St. Louis Post-dispatch

Many patients choosing hospice: the Next Level of Care

comfort of loved ones and familiar surroundings. “When it’s your own home, you maintain control,” she said. “For dying people, it’s important to maintain control.” Wa l t e r S a n d e r s , a cancer patient who will turn 80 on Wednesday, has been in hospice care with the Visiting Nurse Association since June 15. The retired Continental Can worker lives in south St. Louis with his disabled son, Gary, 55. “At home, you have more freedom,” he said. “If I want to go out in the yard and sit I can do that. I can look at my flowers.” CHERRY PICKING The r ush into t he ho s pic e m a rk e t pl ac e , h o w e v e r, h a s r a i s e d concerns from regulators, investigators and academic s about t he potential for unethical operators. C a rl son que st ione d whether for-profit hospices may be “cherry pic k i ng ” t hei r m i x of patients to increase their profits. “A longer leng t h of stay is more profitable for a hospice,” Carlson said. “They tend to have patients with non-cancer diagnoses … My guess is that they aggressively seek out patients w ith other diagnoses.” A study published last year in the Journal of the A mer ican Medica l Association found that for-prof it hospice prov iders were more likely to have patients who require less complex, less costly care — but stay longer in hospice. The study found, for instance, that for-profit f irms have a higher propor tion of patients residing in nursing homes. These patients are more likely to have dementia, which means they probably will live longer but have fewer needs than cancer patients. A no t h e r s t ud y, publ i she d i n 2010 by the Journal of Palliative Me d ic i ne , fou nd t h at for-profit hospices often employ lower proportions of more highly qualified staff, such as nurses and medical social workers, than nonprofit hospices. The national hospice association has proposed federal legislation that

Did You Know?

Tree Tree of of Lights Lights 2011 2012 Remember Remember Your Your Loved Loved Ones Ones

During this special season, honor or During this special season, honor or remember a loved one through Hospice of remember a loved one of San Joaquin’s “Tree ofthrough Lights”.Hospice Your gifts San Joaquin’s “Tree of Lights”. Your gifts directly benefit patient’s quality of life directly benefit patient’s quality of life

would require states to perform sur veys, or periodic inspections, of hospice providers every three years. Faced with a budget crunch, Missouri regulators have cut back surveys from every three to every five years. Lisa Coots, director of the bureau of homecare and hospice for the M i s s ou r i D epa r t ment of He a lt h a nd S en ior S e r v ic e s , de c l i ne d to comment. Fe d e r a l r e g u l a t o r s have voiced concerns that some hospice providers are paying kickbacks or offering other financial inducements to ent ice nursing home directors or their staf fs to refer patients to hospice care. Last year, the federal Office of Inspector General began investigating hospice marketing practices and the business relat ionships bet ween hospice prov iders and nursing homes. The probe was prompted in par t by a repor t to C ong re ss i n 2009 by the Medicare Payment Advisor y Commission, which found that hospices were aggressively “trolling” for patients in nursing homes and using market ing mater ials that did not use terminal illness as a Me d i c a r e c o v e r a g e requirement. Some la rge hospic e providers in the St. Louis area have of fered free lunches, ice cream, and part-time nursing labor to lu r e nu r si ng home directors and staff to refer patients for hospice care, said Laura Bilbrey, vice president and cofounder of Hope Hospice, whose employees visit patients in homes a nd nursing facilities. Nationally, there have been at least four major prosecutions of hospice prov iders this year involving allegations that they submitted Medicare claims for patients who were not terminally ill. Odyssey HealthCare Inc., a nat iona l cha in owned by Atlanta-based Gentiva Health Services Inc., agreed in Ma rch to pay $25 m i l l ion to set t le a llegat ions t hat it f r audu lent l y bi l le d Me d ic a r e for ho s pic e ser v ice s. Odyssey ha s local offices in Maryland Heights. “ C h o o s e c a r e f u l l y.

D o y o u r h o m e w o r k ,” said Gail Bar w ick, patient coordinator for the nonprofit Fern and R u s s e l l F. d e G r e e f f Hospice House, which is located on the campus of St. Anthony’s Medical Center. “A ll the clients in hospice at some point become vulnerable. Not everyone appears to have the same code of ethics.” SI X MON T HS TO LIVE A patient can qualify for hospice care if physicians certify that the person’s life expectancy is six months or less and the patient agrees not to pursue a cure. But hospice patients can rescind that choice at any time, and a few decide to leave hospice and seek more aggressive treatment. Others leave hospice simply because they get better under the care they receive. Medicare does not l i m it t he nu mb er of hospice days. But hospice providers must per iodically document that a patient is continuing to decline. Though patients increasingly are turning to t he hospice option, m a ny do c tor s r em a i n reluctant to refer patients to hospice care. To some, it represents giving up. “Doctors are taught to save people, not to let them die. Putting someone on hospice is a failure to them,” said Bilbrey, of Hope Hospice. “But what they don’t realize is that all that time the patient s p ent i n t he ho s pit a l could have been spent with the patient’s family, spending some qualit y time — letting that person die with dignity.” L a mp e, t he r e t i r e d nurse in hospice care, is taking the time to make e n d - o f- l i f e d e c i s i o n s and say goodbye to her two grown children and f ive grandchildren. In a pinch, she can press a button on her wristband to su m mon help f rom Hop e Ho spic e, r at her than calling ‘911’ and be taken to an emergency room. She has certainly seen bet ter days. But given her current options, she can’t think of a better way to go. “I’m totally spoiled,” she said. “I love it.”

Hospice of San Joaquin is Joint Comission Accredited. The Joint Comission’s vision is that all people always experience the safest highest quality, best-value health care across all settings.

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Hospice Awareness is a bi-monthly newsletter published by Hospice of San Joaquin located at: 3888 Pacific Avenue, Stockton, CA 95204 (209) 957-3888 • Gene Acevedo, Director of Community Outreach: Editor Barbara Pombo, Director of Development: Co-Editor HSJ Professional Staff: Article Contributions Bilingual Weekly, LLC, Design & Layout Tim & Sue Ulmer, Ulmer Photography, Header Photo: Stockton waterfront by Monica Andeola, www.texmexphoto.como Comments, questions, sponsorship opportunities or if you wish to be removed from our mailing list, please contact our office at (209) 957-3888. Visit our website for more information about Hospice of San Joaquin,

October 2012

Photo In-Review Photo by: Gene Acevedo, Comm, Outreach Dir.

(right) Stephen Guasco, Executive Director of Hospice of San Joaquin shares the agency’s history following the 32-years of service as he introduced the Galaxy of Compassion - an invitation to bring the light and comfort of hospice and bereavement to the next generation. The event was hosted at Scott & Kathy Beattie’s residence during the evening of October 11th.


Photo by: Gene Acevedo, Comm, Outreach Dir.

(Left) Rebecca Burnett, BSN, RN, CHPN, Director of Clinical Services at Hospice of San Joaquin receives a donation from the San Joaquin County Sheriffs Association Golf Tournament. Presenting the Donation were Lieutenant Delanie Pimentel and Investigator Brian D’Acorn. The donation was in honor of Jack Nayer, DA Investigator.

(Below) Hospice of San Joaquin professional Staff and Volunteers pose with the 2012 Camp Caterpillar participants. Camp Caterpillar is a day camp experience for grieving children.

JOIN THE TEAM Volunteer at Hospice of San Joaquin

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Experience the rewards and satisfaction of making a difference in the lives of others

Volunteer Training

Upcoming Events

Tree of Lights

Ripon — Tree of Lights Friday, Nov. 30, 2012 6:00 PM Mistlin Park, East Main Street and Oak Avenue City of Ripon

Tracy — Tree of Lights Friday, Nov. 16, 2012 6:00 PM Tracy Outlets 1005 E. Pescadero Ave. City of Tracy

Rio Vista —Tree of Lights Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012 5:30 PM Rio Vista at City Hall One Main Street City of Rio Vista

Stockton — Tree of Lights Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012 6:00 PM San Joaquin Delta College 5151 Pacific Avenue City of Stockton

Manteca— Tree of Lights Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012 6:00 PM Manteca Doctor’s Hospital 1260 E. North Street City of Manteca

Lockeford — Tree of Lights Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 6:00 PM Preceding the Cowboy Craft Faire 19000 N. HWY 88 City of Lockeford

Lodi — Tree of Lights Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012 5:30 PM Lodi City Hall 221 W. Pine Street City of Lodi

Coping Poinsettia with Sale the Holidays Place your order by Saturday Nov. 10th 9:00 AM to 12:00 noon Wednesday, Nov. 14th 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM Designed for families experiencing the holiday without a loved one. Event scheduled at Hospice of San Joaquin’s Administrative Building located at 3888 Pacific Avenue, Stockton, CA Must pre-register at (209) 957-3888

Butterfly Aux.

November 19th During the month order your poinsettias in time for delivery during the Holidays, Cost: $10-$30 Proceeds benefit Hospice House. For more information call (209) 922-0380

Volunteer Training Save the date for March 5 to March 29

Mondays and Thursdays 6:00 to 9:00 PM Contact Becky Freeman, Volunteer Coordinator (209) 957-3888

March 5th to March 29th, 2013 2012 Monday & Thursday Evenings 6:00 to 9:00 pm For further information or to register, call the Volunteer Coordinator at

(209) 957-3888

Hospice Awareness fall 2012  

A Newsletter published by Hospice of San Joaquin, a not-for-profit agency established since 1980

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