chapter  1
Starting a Community Hospice
Pages 19

The hospice in Escanaba is a non-profit organization offering free services. Its all-volunteer staff is paid only expenses. There is no inpatient facility; rather, a single nurse is assigned to each family unit and attempts to coordinate care regardless of the setting. The nurse provides daily contact and serves as the liaison for other services from volunteers, pastoral counselors, physicians, and social services. Families’ own physicians and pastoral care providers, if present, are incorporated as part of the care teams. The majority of care and deaths occurs in the home setting. Bereavement care for surviving family members is provided for up to eighteen months post-mortem. All services, coordinated through assigned nurses, are provided wherever patients are housed-home, hospital, or nusing home. Planning for the Bay de Noc Hospice began in spring of 1978, and patient care began in October of 1979. Community support, both in terms of new referrals and financial aid, has been outstanding, and the feed­ back of those served extremely gratifying.