Wednesday, July 24, 2013


In hospice every other week we hold meetings where the entire team comes together to discuss all patient care plans.  These are called IDG, or Interdisciplinary Group, meetings.  During this time the nurses, aides, chaplains, clinical manager, medical director, social workers, chaplains, and volunteers are provided the opportunity to discuss any developments of patients physical, spiritual, psychological, or emotional needs over the previous two weeks.

Before we begin our IDGs at Medi, one of our chaplains usually takes time to reflect on a local or national event which may have impacted us and offer a prayer, song, or reading.  These spiritual moments can help center the team and can give everyone a renewed or unique perspective to take with them through the coming days.

Last week Chaplain Erin was kind enough to share some thoughts about "breaking down" which I would like to share with all of you.  Often times in life we feel special moments passing us by.  There are sights, sounds, smells, conversations, and much more we experience on a daily basis.  We may wish that we could stop time, break down, and hold on to these experiences longer.

It could be a gold, summer sunset.
A long talk with your parent.
The homemade taste of a dinner freshly cooked.
A hug from someone you love.

I was reminded of a scene from one of my favorite shows "Mad Men".  In this scene ad man Donald Draper is pitching his idea for advertising a new product Kodak developed to some of the execs of Kodak.  Draper wants these execs to buy into his advertising approach.  The background information on this scene is less important than the feelings it evokes.  Don's words as he flips through pictures of his family can be both haunting and touching, regardless if we know his story or not, because we can relate to his ideas.  Captured in the soft music, smokey room, and Don's voice is a yearning for the past.  The wish to stop time.  To go back and experience things we once had.

These moments can be beautiful, meaningful, and insightful.  And we may wish to hang on to them a little longer than time allows us.  On the other side of these moments is a pain in knowing that they do not last forever.  As if we are passengers on a train chugging down a track, our lives keep moving forward despite the passing of these experiences into memory.  All we are able to do is lock away those memories in our minds and reflect while making the best of the present.  Pictures, songs, thoughts and other things serve as nostalgic tools to bring us back to days gone by.

At the end of her spiritual reflection, Erin shared with us a song.  I share the same song with you here...  And if you are in need of a "breakdown", a little time to stop and take in the moment around you, I hope it comes your way soon.   

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

We Honor Veterans

Medi Hospice in Petersburg Reaches Level One Recognition

As a proud partner of the national We Honor Veterans program, we continue our efforts to promote awareness of veteran end of life issues in our south side Virginia community.  For those of you in our faithful readership who missed the big announcement, here is the link to the post back in January.

This program looks to create a health care system ready and able to accommodate the unique needs military vets and their families may have at the end of life.  Hospices across the country strive to accomplish these goals of accommodating and appropriately respecting our veterans with this special campaign.  Through continued staff education on topics such as post traumatic stress disorder , community partnerships between organizations providing care to veterans, and events recognizing the sacrifice made by our military personnel, we hope to ensure that veterans are able to enjoy the highest quality of care and life possible while dealing with terminal illness.

The program consists of four achievement levels required of hospices to gain recognition and continue to increase the reach of the We Honor Veterans message, all the while providing practical, useful information to health care providers regarding veterans and recognizing veterans for their sacrifices.  Each level asks hospices to complete specific tasks as a systematic, grassroots way of spreading the We Honor Veterans campaign.   Progress through the four levels is tracked and approved by We Honor Veterans, with level four being the highest, most difficult achievement.

To reach Level One, for instance, a hospice must provide 3 educational in-services on the We Honor Veterans program to its own staff.  The hospice must also reach out to community partners to advertise the program and establish a contact person at a nearby Veteran Affairs office.  In addition to those requirements, a hospice must create and implement a Military History Checklist into the admission process for patients.  The checklist provides the hospice an opportunity to gather details of the patient's military service, such as the branch, time period, and locations they may have served.  Implementing this individualized information into the plan of care allows hospices to understand the patient's military past and see that they are receiving the benefits available to them in their time of need. 

Medi's Partner Level 1 certificate

Medi Home Health & Hospice of Petersburg, VA is proud to announce that we have achieved the Level One milestone as set forth by the We Honor Veterans program!  We are already working hard towards Level Two and would love your help along the way!  If you or someone you know would like to get involved as a volunteer of our hospice, please contact Travis Kennedy, the Volunteer Coordinator at 804-732-0108 or via e-mail at  We would be especially grateful for any military veterans who are willing to take the time to visit veteran patients for at least one hour per week, serving as a friend and companion.  A volunteer may be one of the last good things to happen in a patient's life, so please consider donating a little of your time to others.