Hospice has reorganized and relocated

By Jim Grant

Mark Twain was quoted as saying: “Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” Unfortunately, similar rumors have been circulating that Hospice San Miguel, AC, has closed—that is not the truth. In order to reduce expenses and to continue to provide hospice care and palliative services to our patients and their families, we have eliminated non-essential overhead in order to more effectively concentrate our limited resources to support our doctor, nurses, volunteers, medical equipment, supplies and medications. Unlike hospice services offered in the US that are provided for under Medicaid, Medicare, and other insurance programs, Hospice San Miguel relies solely upon the generosity of our local citizens along with donations from patients and their families. As fundraising has become much more difficult and competitive in our community that strongly supports over 125 NGOs, charities and non-profits, it was imperative that we found a way to sustain our programs and maintain a level of excellence in services provided.

A number of changes have been completed that we want to share with the community:

•We have relocated our offices and greatly reduced our rent and monthly overhead. We now share office space with Dr. Haywood Hall at his PACE MD facility at Calle Canal 152. Dr. Hall has made additional space available for our medical equipment and emergency supplies.

•We have reorganized our personnel and administration for both cost savings and efficiency. Our nurses, Jael Avilés Reyes and Yolanda Ramírez Otero, continue to provide in-home hospice care to our patients, under the direction of our Medical Director, Dra. María de Lourdes Tejeida Bautista, who also serves as the assistance administrator of Hospital General.

•Bereavement services for family and friends of our patients who have passed away are now offered weekly at St. Paul’s’ Episcopal Church.

•New Board members have recently joined Hospice San Miguel:

Lic. Martha Hamill Meléndez has a B.A. from University of the Americas and a Master’s Degree in Bioethics. She is a founding member of the Department of Tanatology for the Mexico Red Cross. Martha will oversee bereavement and social services for the family and friends of Hospice patients.

Katherine Ellis, PA, is a graduate of Bryn Mawr and Hahnemann/Drexel University and a Certified Physician Assistant. She practiced for 30 years in New York, Connecticut, Ecuador and Tanzania. Kitty has also devoted her time to Patronato Pro Niños and Casa Hogar Don Bosco prior to joining the Hospice Board. She will oversee medical services and volunteer coordination.

Joining Hospice on the Advisory Board is Lic. Ana Elena Andrade López, a partner in the local law firm, SMA Grupo Juridico. Ana has her law degree from the Iberoamerican University and will be providing legal advice to the Board.

•Recently, Hospice was awarded a special grant from Secretaría de Desarrollo Social y Humano del Gobierno del Estado de Guanajuato that will allow for the purchase of six new fully functional and automatic hospital beds. This will upgrade the current bed inventory and add to the existing medical equipment available for our patients, which include oxygen concentrators, portable oxygen units, wheel chairs, walkers, crutches, and other necessary items of equipment and medical supplies for patient use.

The overall effect of the changes recently made has reduced the monthly operating budget by over 70 percent. The quality and timeliness of both hospice services and palliative care will remain at the highest level of professionalism, compassion and dedication. Our capacity and capabilities have not been compromised and we have continued to care for all of our existing and new patients during this transition.

Hospice services are available to any and all of our San Miguel residents, without regard to race, nationality, income level, education, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, or type of illness. A candidate for hospice is a person with a life-threatening illness who may have six months or less to live. We focus on the physical needs of the patient to provide for pain management and symptom relief. We also address the emotional and spiritual needs of our patients and their families to help cope with fear, anxiety, loneliness, and isolation. Currently, all care is provided in the home of the patient and family and friends are encouraged to participate in the support and care of their terminally-ill loved one.

We encourage anyone who may have a need for hospice services or palliative care to call us and find out more about what support is available for you, a loved one, or even a friend. Hospice care is a complete process and early involvement can greatly benefit the person and their family. Hospice San Miguel, AC, may be reached at 415-152-6620.


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