Page 1

March 2011

The Journey

Mike and Spencer go bald to cure cancer in kids We’ve moved: Offices, website, and more Open Enrollment Reminder

New kid in town: Dala joins the team! in




From the desk of...

Seth Gillman, Administrator


othing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” Ralph Waldo Emerson said those words. And I think, knowingly or not, we have followed them here at PASSAGES HOSPICE throughout our history. Nonetheless, there would be no need for management types, or speeches like this, if enthusiasm didn’t occasionally need a little prodding—and that’s why I’m addressing you today. I’m not saying we at PASSAGES are having particular “enthusiasm problems” currently. Although recent success has a way of luring some into complacency, we do need to take stock of all the great things we have: a great service, a stable, efficient company with a superb work ethic, great people, great clients… The list goes on and on. We need to think about all the good things about PASSAGES in a routine manner because, well... I’ll leave this one to Aristotle, who said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” There is always a complex web of reasons behind a company’s state of being. Through the ups and downs, I’ll admit “enthusiasm” isn’t always necessarily to blame or credit — but it can always, always be stronger.

The greater economy plays a role in PASSAGES HOSPICE’s current status, as does a growing geriatric population. But you, as the employees of PASSAGES HOSPICE, are the biggest factor in PASSAGES HOSPICE’s success, and you are ultimately

“Excellence is not an act, but a habit.” -Aristotle

responsible for it. As the Rev. Randall R. McBride, Jr. put it, “Success will not lower its standard to us. We must raise our standard to success.” You see, success is a work in progress. It’s not as if we reach a certain 600 patient census and can declare, “We’ve found success! Now all there is to do is coast!” I think we all know that what’s successful today might not work so well tomorrow. And when one company finds a brand, spanking new trick to spark success… Need I tell you that others will follow, leaving the innovating company on the same level as all the rest? No, success requires a commitment — and making that commitment is all the easier when we are enthusiastic about achieving it. Success itself

brings its own reasons for enthusiasm— raises, greater job security, the best attitudes from coworkers. But enthusiasm, too, is its own reward. It’s always easier to face that alarm clock when it brings enthusiasm than when it brings dread. And, of course, enthusiasm brings success, which brings more enthusiasm and… That’s a wonderful, repeating ride to experience. So enthusiasm is its own self-fulfilling prophecy. Enthusiasm causes one to make success rather than wait for it. A man named Bruce Marton said, “Most successful men have not achieved their distinction by having some new talent or opportunity presented to them. They have developed the opportunity that was at hand.” So I’ll hope you’ll all take those words to heart, go forth and find that opportunity. Better yet, just go ahead and make that opportunity. Thank you.

Congratulations on a record 200 admissions in the month of February. Keep up the good work!

February 2011


A reminder to all Passages Hospice staff members… Don’t forget to suggest the idea

of volunteering to your family members and friends! We can continue to grow the Volunteer Program with your help! Thank you in advance. Trish Thein (Reg. B) 630-945-2172 Andrew Vitale (Reg. C) 815-708-4856 Lauren Bruggenthies-Lott (Reg. D) 847-337-7940 Christa Funderburk (Reg. F) 618-792-9114

“My visits are wonderful. I really look forward to them. How lucky I am to be invited into their lives at this most precious time. To be able to share this journey with them is absolutely priceless.” - Karen Lanners, Region B volunteer

The Passages Hospice Volunteer Program is GROWING and would like to welcome the following new hospice volunteers: Humaira Ali Region B Christine Clark Region B Holly Guge Region B Farheen Hussain Region B Claire Stewart Region B Donna Walker Region C Karina Melegrito and “Cocoa”, Toy Poodle Region C

February 2011

April is National Volunteer Month! Spread the word about our great volunteer opportunities with Passages Hospice!


From the desk of... Timothy Mitchell, Region D

Through the Eyes of a Chaplain


n the interview for my job at Passages, Joe asked me what I envisioned would be the most difficult part of my job. I replied that it will be working with dementia patients, and as I began offering chaplain services to my patients that statement became a stark reality. It was so difficult finding things to say, and there were many awkward silences as I attempted to find a way to connect. I made a lot of mistakes. So many times I would begin the visit with “Hi, remember me? I am the chaplain from Passages,” and I would always get this blank stare. Or in order to better get to know the patient, I would find myself asking questions like, “So where did you grow up?” “What do you like to do in your spare time?” “What is your favorite movie?” I did not understand how dementia destroys memory.

Going to the dementia training offered by the company helped me better understand my patients and to never to use the phrase, “Do you remember”? That caused me to think about how much I define a relationship based upon the patient’s ability to remember. Why should I visit a patient when I know that they are not going to remember me or the interaction we had — no matter how special it may have been? I am not the only one who asks themselves this question. I have a friend that has a dementia parent in a Nursing Home facility . The friend said to me, “Why should I visit more often when she doesn’t know who is visiting her anyway?” Another course the company offers from the HEN network called “After They Forget—The Thriving Spirit of Alzheimer’s” helped redefine my relationship with patients and see patients as more than a biological memory machine. The author of that course quotes a Christian theologian Helmut Thielicke, “Something outside us gives us our dignity. Our dignity is not based on my function but my productivity. If dignity resides inside then I have the right to demand that others respect and that we can not be disregarded.” We are more than biological beings. We are spiritual beings that can respond even when our bodies are disintegrating. I now have redefined what a good visit might look like. The visit is not a good visit if only the patient responds. Because the patient may never open their eyes, may never speak to me. They may never tell me some intimate detail of their life. But when we are together and I am sharing my life with them or just sitting silently holding their hand... Or maybe I am talking about the weather, reading scripture or playing a song for them. Either way, a relationship is being established. I want to end with the story the presenter of the HEN course ended with. A nurse tells this story: I would not believe this if it didn’t happen to me. For two years I had taken care of this lady. She was unable to talk, have eye contact or respond in any way, and was this way for two years. Her husband had taken care of her during this time with a lot of love and compassion, and when she began actively dying the husband and I were in the room with her. She looks up into her husband’s eyes (this is the first time in two years she has given eye contact) and says three sentences with clarity and conviction.w“I have to leave you now to be with my sister. Thank you for everything. I love you.” Those we care for, no matter how debilitated, are worthy of our love, care and compassion.


Social Scene From the desk of... Amy Miner, Region C


How’s your sex life?

o often in the field of medicine we ask our patients to divulge all that they are. As Social Workers we discuss with our patients the most personal and private aspects of their lives. Family issues, financial struggles, abuse, and histories with drugs and alcohol are just a few pieces of their lives that we ask patients to share with us. It is easy to lose sight of all that we are asking for and assume that this is privileged information as medical professionals. It was during one of my routine visits with a patient that I was reminded, quite bluntly, of how imbalanced the patient- professional relationship is. We’ll call this patient Edna*.

Edna is a patient that is fairly independent and very witty. I have known this patient for a few months and we have developed a trusting relationship. She has been extremely open with me about what she has missed out on because of her disability. A few years ago she decided to pursue an education to become a nurse. She was just one course short of graduating when she became unable to continue. Edna has also shared her grief for the future she will not have, especially strong feelings of loss knowing that she will not be able to watch her grandchildren grow up. After we had visited for awhile it was time to conclude our meeting. I typically end my visits by asking the patient if they have any other questions or concerns to make sure I haven’t overlooked anything. Edna thought for a minute and replied “So, how’s your sex life?”

I could take this question one of two ways. I could be insulted by this direct and extremely personal question, or I could interpret the significance behind the question. Edna had given me her whole life story of losses, fears, joys and dreams. Was it so much for her to ask me for something in return, something personal? In the medical world we ask our patients to trust us and give us all we ask for with little regard for just how much we take, and how little of ourselves we give back. This is a necessary aspect in the relationship to maintain professionalism and to keep the focus on the patient. At the same time, however, I believe it is important to keep this double standard in mind and respect our patient’s willingness to be open with us. I know that in the future, when I ask my patients to allow me into their worlds, I’ll remember Edna and all that I’m asking for.

March is Social Work Month! Give a social worker in your area extra appreciation this month for their dedication to our patients.

February 2011


Extra, Extra! the latest from across the state


New website unveiled

assages Hospice is pleased to announce the launch of its redesigned website. The website has been streamlined to be more user-friendly, making relevant Passages Hospice and industry information more easily accessible for patients and loved ones. The website will retain its popular current aspects like the secure patient message center, map of partner facilities and family resource center. “We will always have the same dedicated commitment to care and service,” said Seth Gillman, Passages Hospice Administrator. “Our new website is simply a better, more accessible demonstration of that commitment.”

Click here to take a tour of our new website.

New kid in town: “Dala” joins PARO team P

assages adopted our second PARO therapeutic robot on February 16th. Her name is “Dala”, an Icelandic word meaning “brightness and illumination”. Dala joins our first PARO robot, Pikatti, in bringing lifelike pet interaction to patients with dementia and other memory disorders. Dala is a part of Passages Hospice’s signature Passages Through Time dementia program. Pikatti has seen great success in skilled nursing facilities across northern Illinois since August. The additional PARO robot will expand the program to serve patients around the Bloomington area and into the southern part of Illinois.

Click here to see more pictures from Dala’s adoption! Lauren and Dala on February 16th

To schedule a visit with PARO, contact: Regions B and C Corey Tague 630-659-6079

Regions D and F Lauren Bruggenthies-Lott



Extra, Extra... We’ve moved!


e have a new office that will give our Bloomington staff more space! We are currently in the process of changing all our records and notifying our patients and families in the Bloomington area. The new office is

just a few miles from the old office, but will make a big difference! The office phone and fax numbers are the same.

404 Hershey Road, Suite A Bloomington, IL 61701 The Bloomington staff are so excited for their new space! Here are a few highlights from their first week in the office. • Our own parking lot. • No more eating lunch at our desks. We can finally eat as a family. • We can walk laps around the room for exercise! • Beautiful matching furniture. • More centrally located in town. Passages staff in the new Bloomington office on March 7th

Open Enrollment We are now in the open enrollment period for full-time employee insurance coverage. During the month of March, you can: 1. Enroll for coverage if you waived coverage when you first became eligible 2. Add dependent coverage 3. Change your Dental coverage from HMO to PPO or from PPO to HMO Enrollment forms, deduction amounts and insurance plan details are available on the employee portal. Click on "Documents" then "Employee Benefits". All changes will have an effective date of April 1st. Contact Mary Whitmer with questions. 630-248-6101 847-841-3751 eFax

February 2011

Please keep Curtis Williams, Admissions Coordinator in Region D, in your thoughts and prayers.

NHPCO Membership Did you know you have FREE access to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s online resources? Just register as a member of Passages Hospice (choose your local office) and fill in your information. It’s easy to stay up-to-date on hospice news, education, advocacy and more!


Extra, Extra... The Passages Hospice Dream Foundation is now on! Each time you search the internet or shop online at one of our participating stores, a donation will be made to the Passages Dream Foundation — at no cost to YOU! How to get started: 1. Go to to download the toolbar 2. Where it says "Who do you Support?", type in Passages Hospice Dream Foundation 3. Once it finds us, it will give you an option to download the tool bar, run the program, and it will install. 4. You will have to restart your computer 5. Then feel free to Search and Shop. There are valuable coupons and offers that will benefit you! 6. Encourage friends and family to use the GoodSearch tool bar too! Websites like Itunes, Amazon, Ebay and many, many more donate a percentage of your total purchase to our Dream Foundation when you use them through Goodsearch. Plus, they offer great coupons to use at participating websites. Remember to download the Goodsearch toolbar! The more searches we make, the more Goodsearch will donate.


n February 4nd, staff across the company wore red to bring awareness of heart disease in women! The annual “Wear Red Day” is part of the Go Red for Women campaign by the American Heart Association. Heart disease is the #1 cause of death for women, but together we can lower the risk!

CNA Liz Gastmann, LPN Kim McCaslin, CNA Cristina Olivencia and Ruth in Rockford

Mandi Alexander and Elise Townsend in the Bloomington office

CNA Linda Greer in festive scrubs

Kaitlyn Henderson, Ruth Muema and Claudia Ong in the Elgin office


Get Involved! great staff, great causes


Cut to Cure

ike and Spencer of the IT department are shaving their heads to raise money

for kids cancer research. Their combined goal is $1500, and they need our help! Mike and Spencer are collecting pledges. You can view their websites online or write a check to “St. Baldrick’s Foundation”. Last year, 38,000 people shaved their heads to raise more than $14 million. Visit for more information. The shave is on at Fado’s Irish Pub in downtown Chicago on March 11th! Stay tuned for pictures!


Click here to donate to Mike!

Click here to donate to Spencer!

Call 888-899-BALD (2253) to donate!

Run to Remember

aitlyn Henderson of the PR department is running a 1/2 marathon with the National Hospice Foundation’s Run to Remember program!

Half of all donations will go directly to our very own Passages Hospice Dream Foundation,

and the other half will go to the National Hospice Foundation. It’s a great opportunity to support hospice care both in our own area and across the country! Kaitlyn will be running at the Illinois Marathon in Champaign on April 30th.

Click here to donate to Run To Remember!

February 2011


Passages Perks

View all the perks on the employee portal—on the left-hand side of the home page! Just roll your mouse over the icon to see details and discount codes. What perks do you want? Let us know which companies, services or business discounts you’d like most!

22% discount on phones and service plans.

Reward points to use for Dream Foundation.

20% discount on services at certain locations.

10% discount off any service for employees, 3% donation to the Dream Foundation! (Rockford area)

10-20% discount on car rentals, depending on location and type.

Various discounts, depending on item and price.

Free flu shots for employees (with proof) and $25 flu shots for family members at participating locations.

We’re developing more perks using your connections in the community! Know someone who owns their own business or is part of a company that could help? Send Kansas Swain ( their informatiom.


Passages Hospice Dream Foundation

Mable had a traditional cake, while Bob had a special groom’s cake — a John Deere tractor!

Mabel and Bob were married 65 years ago, in the local courthouse before Bob left for the Army. Though their ceremony was small, they promised to take care of each other in sickness or health, and to love each other faithfully. So many years later, Bob and Mabel celebrated their anniversary at Countryview Care Center in Macomb with their family and friends. It was the couple’s first real “reception”, and there was plenty of love to go around. “To celebrate such a milestone is an honor,” said Bob and Mabel’s daughter Roberta Stutes said. “They gave their all for our family, and after all these years still have an undying love for one another.” Walter and Kathryn began celebrating Valentine's Day together more than 70 years ago as high school sweethearts in Waggoner. The holiday looked a little different every year, but one of their favorite traditions was dinner at Red Lobster in Springfield. This year, Walter was determined to give his wife the same romance and attention he'd always given her. Red Lobster was brought in so Walter wouldn't have to travel — but the feeling was the same. Walter gave Kathryn roses and a card, and the couple toasted to their love and to the life they'd built together.

February 2011


Passages Hospice Dream Foundation

Memorial Gifts

In Memory Arthur Patay Of... Marilyn and Ahmed Sameh George and Muriel Patay Imre and Marie-Christine Pinter August Mayerck Geraldine Mayerck

Marla Alfrey Bloomington Offset Process, Inc. Sandria Blaser Dale and Pamela Dumas Richard and Leta Snyder

Cindy Bringle Clifford and Sue Gump

Russell Bradley Marilyn Bradley Max or Barbara Ellerbrock Patrick and Sherri Ruyle Judy Farmer John Ormond Jaime Myers-Lemarr Mary Armstrong Donald and Linda Looker Ken Bradley Debra Myers

Earl Cortner Connie Esker

Toni Mariacher Wilfred and Deanna Hebert

Floyd Thornton Linda Reneau

Wade Winstead Bernice Winstead Clyde and Irene Canovi

Beulah Hance Richard McCarty Carol Hopkins Gail Ball Angela Price Jo Lynn Carver

Helen Retzer Betty Noble Betty Lutomski Frank and Diana Stanley James and Margaret Ringhausen

William Lutz Jean Lutz

John Wunderink Gretchen Tello, Dawn Food Products Tommy and Sheryl Germany Stephen and Carol Socha Max Waagner

"You matter because of who you are. We will do all we can, not only to help you die peacefully, but also to live until you die." — Dame Cicely Saunders, founder of the modern hospice concept



to our new staff in January Jerry Adams Thomas Rowley Jolinda Howell Shaun Johnson Kathleen Blume Rebecca Crow Angela Russell Jessica Yantis

Admissions Admissions Admissions Admissions Admissions Admissions CNA CNA

Region B Region B Region C Region C Region F Region F Region D Region D

Gabriela Bock Jessica Flynn Stephanie Sullivan Monika Barriffe Suzanna Kopec Linda Acker Rhonda Urazoff Angela Urban

Human Res. LPN LPN RN RN RN RN RN On Call

Region Z Region D Region D Region B Region B Region D Region D Region F

Staff Anniversaries Five Years Edna Coleman Jennifer Diaz

Four Years John Carlson

Three Years Alice Amro Emily Chance Corey Tague

February 2011

Two Years

Michelle Boland Ruth Goodson Cherie McCormick Tori Oberhelman Tina Prasanesouk David Weiss

One year

Kiaka Blunt Candice Edwards Michelle Lin Jennifer Lopez Juanita Moore Sally O’Banion Mary Richey

Stephanie Riggins Beverly Sandifer Barbie Stover Christina Talley Tara Weston Anabel Wilkes Alicia Woldeit

“Never do we forget that the fuel that keeps this engine speeding are the people who make up Passages Hospice, who proudly represent us, who never judge, never disappoint and always deliver.”

— Seth Gillman


Happy Birthday Carrie Compton 3/1 Beverly Sandifer 3/2 Elizabeth Matthews 3/2 Areli Garcia 3/2 Kourtney Lutes 3/4 Edna Coleman 3/5 April Martinez 3/5 Sarah McClelland 3/6 Danielle Mitchell 3/6 Scott Barron 3/7 Eric Fisher 3/7 Heather Greer 3/7 Jessica McNamara 3/7 Meghan Switzer 3/7 Andrew Vitale 3/10 Lena Schleder 3/10 Dora Clark 3/10 Alissa Brown 3/10 Joe Barefield 3/11 Mandy Bowman 3/11 Todd Adams 3/13

Dana Sellers 3/15 Angela Armenta 3/15 Emily Chance 3/16 Erin Richardson 3/16 Melissa Whittle 3/18 Rebecca Williams 3/19 Embarina Mediola 3/20 Betty Johnkin 3/21 Christa Funderburk 3/22 Evelyn Banie 3/23 DeJanae James 3/23 Richard Kuklinski 3/24 Denise Brownlee 3/26 Amanda Benge 3/26 Crystal Datil 3/26 Tom Lehan 3/27 Melissa Weber 3/27 Brandy Lagesse 3/28 Vanessa Vaughn 3/30 Cristina Olivencia 3/31 Nikki Clayton 3/31

In Appreciation... “Your care for my mother was beyond what words can express. Thank you for all the coordination and support.” — Alfredo Rodqriguez

“Passages provided excellent service to my mother-in-law Marla Alfrey. Please continue to provide this excellent service to other families in their time of special need.” — Cathy Alfrey “Thank you all for the kind words of encouragement during my time of grief from the loss of my loved one. I can’t express in wors what I feel in my heart at this time.” — Telia Stark, Social Worker, Region F






National Nutrition Month Spiritual Wellness Month March 3 — Region F Meeting March 7 — Regional Staff Meeting March 10 — Region B Meeting March 14 — Brain Awareness Week March 17 — Region C Meeting March 20 — Wellderly Week March 24 — Corporate Staff Meeting March 25 — Region D Meeting March 28 — New Employee Orientation (Region D) March 30 — Doctor Appreciation Day


National Stress Awareness Month National Minority Health Awareness Month April 4 — Regional Staff Meeting April 4 — National Public Health Week April 7 — Region F Meeting April 7 — World Health Day April 10 — National Volunteer Week April 14 — Region B Meeting April 21 — Region C Meeting April 25 — New Employee Orientation (Region B) April 28 — Corporate Staff Meeting

February 2011


M arch is S piritual W ellness M onth

Complete the crossword puzzle and find the secret word for a chance to win a $25 giftcard! Just solve the clues, fill in the answers and unscramble the highlighted letters to find the secret word! Email the secret word to to be entered in the raffle.

ACROSS 1. You can laugh, sing, dance and be _________. 4. Spiritual wellness includes a search for meaning and _______ in your life. 6. _____ the choices you make. Be concious about your own happiness. 8. Practice _______ that life is as it “should be.” 9. An important part of wellness is _____ time for prayer or meditation. 10. Grief and ______ are learning experiences that are okay to feel. DOWN 2. As you develop spiritual wellness, you will gain an _________ for life. 3. Like life, spiritual wellness is a journey or _____. 5. Take “_____ breath breaks” during your day. 7. Your beliefs and ______ should guide your decisions.

Need a hint? Click here for clues! Congratulations to RN Alesia Winchester for finding February’s secret word - facts!


Over the next few months, the staff newsletter will see a lot of changes. As the company grows, we’ve noticed the need for a The Editor newsletter designed especially for our patients and their families. This newsletter will include national hospice news, Passages updates and more. If your families have requested information on a certain topic, please let us know so we can include it.

From the desk of...

We will still produce a short, staff-only will just look different! Stay tuned for updates. Happy (almost) spring! Kaitlyn Henderson Director of Corporate Communication “Like” us on Facebook! (link) 630-940-9863

Follow us on Twitter (link)

Watch our videos on Youtube (link) Our Mission and Philosophy We are dedicated to the requirement of excellence and family-centered care. We are dedicated to being receptive to each patient’s social, emotional, and intellectual safety and physical needs. We are dedicated to enhancing quality of life by promoting and restoring health, calming suffering, and possessing continued compassion for the sick and dying in a way that ensures dignity and respect. We are dedicated to working with professionals who follow the highest values of excellence to establish an individualized plan of care offering personal choices and decisions, while still maintaining each patient’s uniqueness. We are dedicated to a level of care that encourages the safe and cost-effective delivery of hospice care, maximizing patient sovereignty and coordination of community and agency resources, and promoting optimistic outcomes.

We are dedicated to the human spirit.

February 2011

Providing Quality Care In: Belleville, IL 134 N. 28th Street Belleville, IL 62226 Phone: 618.234.7078 Fax: 618.257.7266 Bloomington, IL 404 N. Hershey Road, Ste. A Bloomington, IL 61701 Phone: 309.828.8139 Fax: 309.827.4878 Elgin, IL 134 N. McLean Boulevard Elgin, IL 60123 Phone: 847.695.1431 Fax: 847.329.9215 Rockford, IL 929 S. Alpine Road, Ste. 202 Rockford, IL 61108 Phone: 815.226.7785 Fax: 815.226.7786 Southfield, MI 21411 Civic Center Dr., Ste. 101 Southfield, MI 48076 Phone: 248.569.4610 Fax: 248.569.4764


Passages Newsletter  

March 2011