Hospice of Ukiah Newsletter
Hospice Care and Palliative Care
Dr. Cicely Saunders
Hospice actually was started a few years earlier in England by Dr. Cicely Saunders as a place and service for terminally ill patients. St. Christopher’s Hospice in London was designed as a home-
The Birth of Hospice of Ukiah
In 1980 a community meeting was held chaired by Bob Alto from Mendocino County Community College to discuss Hospice care, a brand new concept. It was agreed that a Hospice team and service was needed in our community. Dr. William Lamers, Medical Director of the Hospice of Marin came to Ukiah and gave a slide presentation, encouragement, and advice. And so, our young community Home Health agency started the first Hospice in Mendocino and Lake Counties. It became Hospice of Ukiah delivering coordinated team support to terminally ill patients and their families. This community resource has continued this mission uninterrupted right up to the present.
Three decades later Hospice of Ukiah is also providing “Palliative Care”. This is coordinated team care and support for non-
Service for All
Palliative Care is largely unfunded by the Government and Health Insurance. However Hospice of Ukiah, as a volunteer hospice, delivering all of its hospice services at no charge and without government or insurance payment, has successfully coped with this problem over the years. We chose to refuse Medicare certification and funding 30 years ago because their program excluded terminally ill patients who chose to continue to fight their disease with chemotherapy, radiation, or dialysis treatments. We couldn’t deny these patients and their families, who also needed hospice care.
Without government funding and without government restrictions, Hospice of Ukiah was free to care for those who were not terminally ill. They and their families needed support, sometimes for years. These problems included old age debility, dementia, dialysis, emphysema, etc. With the recent recognition of palliative care, our census has grown dramatically for patients at home, in assisted living, and in nursing homes. Hospice of Ukiah depends totally on donations, grants, bequests, and proceeds from our Thrift and Gift Store.
Annual Music Benefit
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