Page 1

March - April 2013

Your life. Your choice. Your Passage.

e h T

Journey CNA is Hero of Nursing Home Fire Familiar Objects Help Dementia Patients Find Comfort

Are You Hip to HIPAA? Spring has Sprung Tips

Passages Hospice Celebrated Heart Health Month

March - April 2013 Providing Quality Care In: Bloomington, IL

404 N. Hershey Road, Ste. A Bloomington, IL 61704 Phone: 309.828.8139 Fax: 309.827.4878

Carbondale, IL

Carmel, IN

2352 Pointe Parkway Carmel, IN 46032 Phone: 317.660.6555

Livonia, MI

120 North Tower Rd., Ste. A Carbondale, IL 62901 Phone: 618.490.1040

38099 Schoolcraft Road Livonia, MI 48150 Phone: 734-744-5091 Fax: 734-744-5092

Lisle, IL

St. Louis, MO

Index: Are you hip to HIPAA.............................3-4 Congratulations to our Compliance team........................................5 Spring is Sprung..........................................6 How does your garden grow?................7 Pharmacy students join volunteers......8 Familiar objects help dementia patients find comfort ...........................................9-10

515 Warrenville Road Lisle, IL 60532 Phone: 630.824.0400 Fax: 630.395.9235

1120 South Sixth Street, Ste. 500 St. Louis, MO 63104 Phone: 314-241-5700 Fax: 314-241-0441

CNA is hero of nursing home fire..11-12

Rockford, IL

Janesville, WI

February was Heart Health Month.....16

929 S. Alpine Road, Ste. 202 Rockford, IL 61108 Phone: 815.226.7785 Fax: 815.226.7786

1828 N. Washington St. Janesville, WI 53548 Phone: 608-449-2315

Dreams are ageless............................13-15

March is Social Worker Month..............17 Letter from IL Governor Quinn............18 Live Safe, Live Happy.........................19-20

Swansea, IL

16 Bronze Pointe Blvd. Swansea, IL 62226 Phone: 618.234.7078 Fax: 618.257.7266

Holiday Party........................................21-22

Anonymous Compliance Hotline (866) 842-7093

As part of our continuing commitment to compliance we are encouraging facilities and other partners to use this number if they have a concern.

1 March - April 2013 The Journey

Executive Medical Director Rajiv Kandala, MD

Chief Marketing Officer Shelley Johansen

Social Services Roxxi Davis

Spiritual Care David Weiss

Clinical Services Carmen Velez

Physician and Hospital Services Jacob Matich

Palliative Care Emily O’Malley

Marketing Director Sherry Chappell

Public Relations and Foundation Development Kansas Swain

Phone 1-888-741-8985 Toll-free


On the web

Connect with us! See our care in action on our Youtube channel!

Contributors Editorial

Kaitlyn Henderson Kansas Swain

Art Direction Kamie Freeland


Staff photographers supplied all photos in this newsletter unless otherwise specified. All photographs are property of Passages Hospice and may not be reproduced without permission. Contact pr@passageshospice. com for permission or questions. This issue of The Journey was made available to the public on March 1, 2013 through issuu.

orch T AWARD

Marketplace Ethics

2013 Honorable Mention Trust • Performance • Integrity

HIPAA Privacy Rule Recently Strengthened The Department of Health and Human Services has recently modified the Privacy Rule part of the HIPAA legislation. HIPAA (pronounced “HIP-ah”) stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. The Privacy Rule became effective in April of 2003, but additional guidelines were released on January 17th. Passages Hospice makes privacy a high priority in any verbal, electronic or paper communications involve health information. The electronic portion of the Privacy Rule includes cell phones, smart phones, tablets, net books, laptops, and computers. Of course, all spoken and paper communication of personal health information is also included. Here are some simple “do’s and don’ts” for protecting private health information.


Use only company-issued computers/phones with companyinstalled encryption for any work duties


Never put a resident/patient name in subject line of an email


Report all breaches to your Compliance team immediately


Report any loss of equipment to the your IT and Compliance teams


Do not text any resident/patient information


Do not use personal email addresses for any work duties


Report any violation of privacy policies and/or the Privacy Rule to your Compliance team

Protecting private health information is vital to the success of a health care organization. Keep these notes posted near your computer to help you stay hip to HIPAA!

Check out Compliance

Chief Compliance Officer Dan Untch and Director of Quality Assurance Jennifer Gibb pose after submitting their first QAPI report to CMS.


o ensure that patients and families receive the best hospice experience possible, our Compliance and Quality Assurance teams work hard to find opportunities for our staff to improve their care.

They use information from our staff and patients to identify and track trends, then create Performance Improvement Plans to adjust processes as needed. One of the current reports that our team is working on is patient and family satisfaction - an important part of our family-centered care. The Quality Assurance team spent several months reviewing patient charts, talking to staff and listening to feedback from families. We are proud to say that 82% of families rated our care Very Good or Excellent in 2012, in part due to the Quality Assurance team’s QAPI project. Last year, the Quality Assurance team also created QAPI plans for pain management, wounds and infections, and levels of care. In 2013, they will be focusing even more on pain management and employee engagement within the organization.

Congratulations to our compliance and quality assurance teams on submitting their first report to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services!

Read all about it! Passages Hospice in the media

Resolving to volunteer Jacksonville Journal Courier Alton Telegraph

Passages Hospice wins Torch Award for ethics Rockford Register Star



Rummage Bags reduce anxiety in dementia patients Bloomington Pantagraph Rockford Register Star

Organize your medical information Healthy Cells magazine

My Passage

Video memory program Your loved one’s words can be immortalized for your family’s future generations. Now, with the My Passage program, their memories, thoughts and messages can be recorded. Together, you and your loved can can select the most important topics for your family, and we will record their words into a keepsake video for you. We understand how important your family’s memories and traditions are, and want to help you keep those memories forever. The My Passage program will put your loved one’s messages into a video that can be shared at family reunions, with grandchildren or anytime. My Passage — the best way to cherish your loved one’s words....forever.

My family. My story.

Spring is Sprung Winter is on it’s way out! It’s time to freshen up our homes and habits so we can greet spring with a smile. Try these tips to dig out of your attitude rut and grow into the new season.

Go Green Green-tea drinkers are about half as likely to be depressed as those who drink other beverages. Add plenty of veggies (colors, too!) to your plate.

Say Thanks

Keep a journal of things you’re thankful for. When you have a bad day, look back through the journal for little reminders of how great life can be.

Get Moving Walking for even 20 minutes can give you a boost of mood-lifting endorphins for up to 12 hours.

Get Organized

If you spend just 10-15 minutes per day picking up and organizing, your workspace and home will have less clutter. Less clutter = less stress!

Spring arrives March 20th! With just a few changes, you can be as refreshed and ready as nature!

Get your gear here! The Passages Hospice online store is hosted by CafePress, and lets you buy customized clothing, accessories and more, all with the Passages Hospice logo! This is a great way for clinical staff to update their scrubs, and for administrative staff to get a perfect polo for casual Friday!

Activity Professionals Week was January 20-26th!

Staff at Continental Care Center in Chicago celebrated with a special recognition event where they received thank you cards from their staff.

How does your garden grow? If you've got a green thumb, consider putting it to good use and brightening someone's day. Hospice patients may not get outside often, but you can bring the outside to them. If your garden is overflowing with annuals or full of flowers, put a few in a nice pot and donate it to your local nursing facility. Everyone could use a reminder of life's beauty! * Make sure to check with your local nursing home regarding their policy for donating flowers.

h o s p i c e

v o l u n t e e r s

Have even more to give? Consider becoming a hospice volunteer and bringing your flowers (and smile!) to a hospice patient in need.

Contact to get started.






1. I 1. Niravkumar Patel I 2. Haris Rauf I 3. Adam Peck I 4. Kelly Neher I 5. Crystal Ellison & Jennifer Ajide I By: Jill Hudson, Passages Hospice volunteer We are excited to announce a new partnership with the Chicago State University College of Pharmacy, a program which awards the Doctor of Pharmacy degree. This four year professional degree prepares students for pharmacy practice and focuses on patient-centered learning as part of its curriculum. In keeping with one of the College’s core values of “ preparing pharmacists from diverse backgrounds to provide care for a global community,” we are proud to welcome eight second-year students to the Passages Hospice volunteer program. Crystal Ellison, Erielle Espina, Adam Peck, Jennifer Ajide, Kelly Neher, Niravkumar Patel, Alan Do, and Haris Rauf will spend two months working with the our patients. These new volunteers from the Chicago State University College of Pharmacy are a great addition to the wonderful team of Passages volunteers, and their knowledge and service are greatly appreciated. We hope that this partnership continues for many years to come. Welcome to Crystal, Erielle, Adam, Jennifer, Kelly, Niravkumar, Alan, and Haris!

Familiar objects help dementia patients find comfort


e were recently featured in the Bloomington Pantagraph and Rockford Register Star in articles about our Rummage Bag program. Rummaging, a behavior of dementia, happens when the person feels they have lost something. As they look through their home or belongings, they can sometimes become upset or frustrated. Rummage bags offer a safe place for the person to search and find the item they’re looking for. They’re filled with common household and personal items that are familiar to the person. Our rummage bag program accepts donations from our communities. The items are packed into bags, which are then distributed to our nursing home partners and people caring for a loved one with dementia in the community! Click here to read the article in the Bloomington Pantagraph!

Volunteer Coordinator Aileen Zei helps volunteers in our Rockford office pack rummage bags to be distributed locally.

You can make a rummage bag easily from your items at home!


irst, choose a type of bag. For women, an old purse is a good option. For men, a zippered bag like a toiletry or tool bag will work.

Then, fill the bag with items with a combination of familiar and interesting things. Be careful to choose items that are safe for the person to have. Remember, someone with dementia doesn’t always know that an item or action is dangerous. Avoid small or sharp items that could be put in a mouth, eye or ear.

Familiar Items An old wallet, filled with family photos A plastic wristwatch (avoid family heirlooms) Costume jewelry Favorite magazines or books A handkerchief

Kristen, a student at Illinois State University and Passages Hospice volunteer, cuts a square of fabric to be put in a rummage bag in our Bloomington office.

Interesting Items People with dementia use their sense of touch to help them interact with the world and communicate. Adding things with interesting textures can keep the person engaged. Swatches of furry, fuzzy or textured fabric Soft, puffy balls “jelly” balls (sometimes these have lights) Yarn (6-8 inches in length)

Rummage bags can be given to the person as a purse or bag that they always keep with them, or used as an activity when they seem agitated. It’s important to supervise your loved one when using the bag for their safety, and the safety of those around them.

g n i s r

u N f o o r e e H r i s F i e A N m C o H


ur staff always goes above-and-beyond, but recently, CNA Vernita Williams proved she would do anything for her patients.

Vernita isn’t trained as a first responder. Her courses to become a Certified Nursing Assistant didn’t cover firefighting or rescue. But when a fire broke out during one of her visits to a skilled nursing facility, she did the only thing she could think of: protect her patients. Vernita visits her patients at the nursing home twice a week. She was completing paperwork at the nursing station when she heard frantic movement in the hall. When she went to check on one of her patients, a woman who was sitting nearby, and smelled smoke. "I think there's a fire," another aide said. Vernita ventured further down the hall, feeling the heat increase with every step. She soon knew that something was very wrong. "The room was just engulfed in flames," she said.

Vernita ran back to her patient, pushing the wheelchair down the hall and toward fresh air. She paused briefly at the nurse's station to call a code Red - the signal for fire - and instructed the receptionist to call 911. Vernita knew she, and her patients, had little time to spare. Many of the nursing facility's residents use oxygen to breathe, and she was worried one of the tanks could explode in the fire. By the time she got back to the room in flames, other staff had removed one of the patients, wheeling him out in his bed. The other bed, with a patient still in it, was inaccessible. The patient, unable to stand or walk, was stuck in bed. Vernita called into the hall for two nearby staff members, asking them for help. Together, they lifted the patient in his blankets and down to the floor. Vernita grasped the blanket in both hands and, foot by foot, dragged it down the hall to safety. She and other staff continued moving patients as far away from the fire as possible until the fire department arrived. By the time it was extinguished, the fire had consumed the entire room and was moving into the hallway. Vernita suffered smoke inhalation and was treated at a local hospital. She rested from work for a couple of days, but was eager to see her patients again. "I just did what I had to do," Vernita says about the fire. "I'm a CNA, I just do what needs to be done."

We were proud to give Vernita an award of special appreciation from her coworkers and Passages Hospice leadership. She was also recognized in the Honors Program of the National Network for Career Nursing Assistants!

Caroline Bray poses with her King, Elvis, Steve Brandis of Troy.

Dreams are Ageless As part of our holistic care philosophy, we are proud to work with Hospice Dreams, an adult wish-granting organization, to fulfill Dreams for hospice patients! Living a Dream helps our patients experience all the joy that life has to offer, and helps families make memories that will last forever.

Passages Hospice’s preferred not-for-profit organization is Hospice Dreams! 58th wedding anniversary

67th wedding anniversary

Jerry and his wife Shirley celebrated their 58th wedding anniversary at Geneva Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. Hospice Dreams provided a romantic meal, and helped Jerry give Shirley a beautiful bouquet of flowers! Read about Jerry’s Dream in the Kane County Chronicle by clicking here.

It’s a zoo out there! Mabel, a self-declared “good old-fashioned farm girl” wanted to visit with animals again at her home in Liberty Village of Pittsfield. Hospice Dreams organized a visit from the Henson Robinson Petting Zoo so Mabel could meet some new furry friends. Henson Robinson even donated their time to help grant Mabel’s Dream. Read about Mabel’s Dream in the Pittsfield Pike Press by clicking here.

Greetings from Afar! Elsie, from Mardell Manor in Pekin, and her son Gary shared a Skype video call that allowed them to see each other for the first time in more than two years. Gary, who is also ill, asked Hospice Dreams to bring a bouquet of lilies to his mother as a special gift from him.

Lights, Camera, Action Zelda Robinson has always been a big fan of musical theater. Hospice Dreams arranged for two performers from Lucky Entertainment to serenade Zelda with her favorite show tunes in her home at ManorCare in Highland Park.

Helen and Everett received a special concert from the Route 66 Barbershop Quartet to celebrate their 67th anniversary! Helen and Everett were serenaded to “Let Me Call You Sweetheart” at Villa Health Care Center East in Sherman.

Grant a Dream! Your donation in memory or to honor a loved one helps Hospice Dreams fulfill another wish. Call 888-741-9132 to donate today or visit to donate. Please help us continue to grant Dreams to deserving hospice patients.


All Shook Up

Lisa received a spirit-lifting spa day at Studio 209 Salon in Wheaton, including a brand new hairdo and a manicure. She said she felt like a whole new woman when she returned home to West Chicago Terrace. Read about Lisa’s Dream in Central Illinoisproud. To nominate your patient for a Dream through Hospice Dreams, visit their website at and click "I have a Dream." Make a Dream come true! Your family or business can become a Dream partner by donating or hosting a Dream event. Contact for more information.

Caroline is a lifelong Elvis fan who wanted to “meet” The King! Steve Brandis, a talented Elvis impersonator, gave Caroline a private concert in her home at Cedar Ridge in Lebanon. Caroline was immediately smitten with “Elvis”. Caroline’s story was featured in the Herold Times.

Free Dreamin’! Passages Hospice is proud to work with the nonprofit organization Hospice Dreams. Did you know you can support Hospice Dreams for free? Here’s how: 1. Download the GoodSearch toolbar. Every time you use the toolbar to search, Hospice Dreams earns a penny. Every little bit adds up! 2. Use GoodShop through the toolbar. You get discounts on your online shopping, and Hospice Dreams gets a donation from the store! 3. Register for GoodDining. Just register and link your credit card to your account. Every time you eat at one of the participating restaurants, a portion of your automatically donated to Hospice Dreams. Help Hospice Dreams make money with no additional cost to you! The toolbar is certified safe for your computer.

February was Heart Health Month We partnered with our nursing facilities and local communities to raise awareness. Thank you for committing yourself to heart health!




Staff at Fairview Care Center in Joliet wear red in recognition of Heart Health Month.


Juanita at Blu Fountain Manor in Godrey, gets a bright red manicure from Passages Hospice and Palliative Liaison Amy Muschany so her friends know she supports heart health.


Passages RN Betty Johnkin and Keisha from Belhaven Nursing in Chicago show their support for the American Heart Association.


Media Relations Specialist Tracy Antenucci in our in our Livonia, Michigan office paints a patient’s nails red during a Red Nail Revolution event at Redford Geriatric Village.


Kankakee Valley Park District changes their exterior illumination to red for the month of February in support of Hospice Dreams



Do you know your risk of heart disease?

Click here to find your risk and what you can do to improve your heart health.

“You have to know what to say, and the right time to say it.”

Holding hands, helping hearts


arch is Social Worker Month! Every month, Passages Hospice social workers provide almost 1500 hours of care, helping guide patients and families through a difficult time. Social workers help us navigate relationships with ourselves, our family and those around us. Sometimes we carry emotional baggage – pain and anger toward others that make the end of life even more challenging. Social workers ease that change by being a voice of reason and understanding. They let patients and families talk their way through concerns, worries and stress to find an agreement or solution. “There are a lot of people involved,” says social worker Melissa Kline. “You have to know what to say, and the right time to say it.” Hospice social workers visit each patient on a regular basis and meet with family to address concerns. Then the social worker meets with other members of the

hospice care team, to help everyone understand what challenges they might face in caring for the person. Some common concerns for hospice patients are questions about death and leaving loved ones behind. Social workers help patients and families find their own answers to these questions. Years of education and experience help them sort through sometimes complicated feelings to find out what’s most important. They might make suggestions or give advice, but often they just provide a listening ear. And while they’re listening, they sometimes hear more than worries. They hear wisdom. “I’ve learned more about my own life from working with those near death than I learned throughout all my years in school,” a social worker said. “I’ve learned more about my own life from working with those near death than I learned throughout all my years in school,” a social worker said.

Get more information about Hospice Social Workers by clicking here or contacting

Being recognized by the Governor of Illinois was a great addition to our Torch Award win. Governor Quinn congratulated us, saying, "Because of your hard work and dedication, you were honored before your peers. I am proud to support all businesses that promote this kind of standard."

See Passages Hospice Founder Seth Gillman’s message as he accepted the award by clicking here!



Are you doing everything you can to keep your loved one or residents safe? In March, we recognize Patient Safety Awareness Week. Make sure your home or facility is in tip-top safety shape with these guidelines from the Department of Health and Human Services.

Skilled nursing facilities

1 2 3

Clearly mark entrances and exits, and have buzzer or alarm systems in place if needed. People with dementia often wander, and can put themselves in danger without realizing it. Hire staff with specific experience working with seniors and those with memory disorders. The Alzheimer's Association and other groups offer special training to help staff offer the best care. Give your staff adequate breaks and time off. Caring for others is hard work, and it benefits everyone to have a clear head and calm mind.

Get more safety tips from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration by clicking here.

Home Caregivers

1 2 3 4 5

Consider having a buzzer or alarm system on doors and windows. People with dementia often wander, and can put themselves in danger without realizing it. Put locks on medicine cabinets, stoves, and other dangerous places. Remember, someone who’s memory is failing may not even realize what they are doing. Keep a thorough health and medication history, and have it readily accessible. If your loved one has a medical emergency, you can save valuable time by providing the doctor with all the information he or she needs. Give yourself a break. Caregiver exhaustion is common among people caring for a loved one at home. You will be a better caregiver if you have to explore your own personal health. (Don’t forget to get enough sleep!)

Ask for help if needed. Palliative care and hospice programs can provide experienced caregivers to supplement your own care. In addition, their programs offer support to you and other members of your family involved in the caregiving process.

Passages Hospice and Passages Palliative Care have staff in your area that can help. Call us at 888-741-8983 to speak to a member of our local team.

National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) is April 16th! On NHDD, everyone is encouraged to sign their Advance Directives. Advance directives documents spell out the kind and amount of care we want if we’re unable to make the decision for ourselves. Along with a list of surgeries you’ve had, medications you’re taking and a health history of your family, these legal documents will help ensure your wishes are honored.

Who would speak for you if you couldn’t make your own healthcare decisions?

Tweet us at @PassagesHospice and use #speak4me.

Want to host a National Healthcare Decisions Day information event? Contact to get on our schedule!

Holiday Gathering

Chief Compliance Officer Dan Untch and HR Generalist Chris Canedy join the live band for a special performance

Director of Clinical Services Carmen Velez thanks our many nurses and CNAs for their amazing work in 2012.

Hospice and Palliative Liaison Nancy Pajak picks up her raffle prize from Media Relations Specialist Stacy Barclay.

We got a special treat when two of our own joined the band for a special musical performance! Chief Compliance Officer Dan Untch, on guitar, and HR Generalist Chris Canedy, on drums, rocked out to “Bright Lights, Big City�, and impressed their coworkers with their talent. Watch the video on our Youtube channel by clicking on the photo to the left!!

Social Worker Kelly Derr and RN Julie Weishaar waited patiently to see if their raffle tickets were winners! Accounts Payable Specialists Jennifer Cwiak and Alba Lopez enjoy the night.

Passages Hospice founder Seth Gillman receives a certificate of appreciation for his leadership and his vision of what outstanding hospice care should be.

Our staff enjoyed a well-deserved evening of fun at our holiday party, held at Untitled in downtown Chicago. It was a great chance for these hard-working caregivers to unwind and think back over the incredible care they offered in 2012. We presented many awards for outstanding performance, and staff celebrated and congratulated each other. Local and large businesses even donated some great raffle prizes that staff could win!

We know you like us, but do you us? We're on Facebook!

Like our page for the latest news about our staff, programs and care. Passages Hospice is on Facebook as a company, so your personal profile isn't visible to us. Like us to get all our updates straight in your Newsfeed.

Be our Tweep!

Follow @PassagesHospice on Twitter for quick bits of news. Get your #hospice info in 140 characters or less!

Check us out on Youtube!

See our care in action on our Youtube page. Our Walking with You video series offers 2-minute primers on hospice care and the hospice team. They're an easy way for families to share the hospice process and learn about their loved one's care.

Where's the connection?

Passages Hospice staff can join our LinkedIn group to share networking and information with fellow staff.

Your life. Your choice. Your Passage. We are dedicated to enhancing quality of life by promoting superior end of life care, easing the suffering, and providing continued compassion for the sick and dying in a way that ensures dignity and respect. We are dedicated to promoting realistic outcomes. 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 being receptive to each patient and family’s social, emotional, intellectual, safety and physical needs. We are dedicated to a level of care that encourages the safe and cost-effective delivery of hospice care.

We are dedicated to the human spirit. Passages Hospice

888-741-8985 Call us to be connected with someone in your area.

The Journey March - April 2013  

The Journey March - April 2013

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you