20 Ways We Made an Impact in 2020
Hospice of Southern Illinois had to adapt and evolve this past year due to COVID-19. We are proud to share our annual reflection piece of ways Hospice of Southern Illinois made an impact in 2020. We are a community-based, not-for-profit, free standing hospice. Even with this year’s challenges, we continued engaging communities, fostering trust, and providing excellent end-of-life care when people need us most.
We are here as we always have been. Ask for Hospice of Southern Illinois by name. Here are the 20 ways we made an impact in 2020. We are looking forward to 2021 as we celebrate 40 years of caring. We look to grow and guide as we always have through our mission, to enhance the quality of life for individuals and their loved ones touched by a terminal illness in the forefront.
Proud, Community-Based Hospice
- Served over 43,000 families since 1981 – we are your local, not-for-profit hospice with our roots starting right here in the Metro-East and Southern Illinois.
- Celebrated our 39th year of serving our communities – Hospice of Southern Illinois is an experienced leader in end-of-life care.
- Welcomed Timothy Cruz, PharmD, as our 5th PGY2 (post-graduate, year 2) Pain and Palliative Care Pharmacist – Hospice of Southern Illinois’ Pharmacy Residency Program, in collaboration with the SIUE School of Pharmacy, remains the only accredited PGY2 Pain and Palliative Care Pharmacy Residency Program fully funded by a hospice in the United States.
- Volunteers Handmade Over 4,500 Masks – Due to COVID-19, our volunteers focused on ensuring the safety of patients and healthcare professionals. They donated over 4,500 handmade masks to the community. Additionally, they delivered over 200 greeting, sympathy, and thinking of you cards to our patients and their families.
- We Launched a Podcast – “Bringing Life to Hospice” is a new extension of our services. We hope to evoke conversations without fear. It will highlight the importance of planning for a peaceful end-of-life journey and supporting families at the end-of-life sooner.
- Welcomed New Associate Medical Director – Dr. Lee, joined Hospice of Southern Illinois’ Associate Medical Director Team to contribute to and help ensure the highest standard of end-of-life care for our patients and families.
- COVID-19 Vaccines to Staff – December 2020, the first dose of COVID-19 vaccines were given to ensure protection for our patients, families, and communities!
- New Phone App Features – Care | Convenience | Connection: Our newest “Emotional Wellness” video series is a new feature to highlight positivity for the future, in addition to our innovative functions and resources you already rely upon.
- Millie, Our New Pet Therapy Dog, Joins The Team – our pet therapy program is a complimentary service and an extension of our mission. We focus on finding ways to bring comfort and peace to patients and their loved ones. Pet therapy has the power to offer additional support, while adding joy, companionship, social interaction, and emotional connection to individuals at any stage in their end-of-life journey.
- Increased Bereavement Efforts – Delivered care and comfort baskets to local healthcare facilities that were affected by COVID-19. Additionally, prayer bears, handmade by volunteers, were delivered to Hospice of Southern Illinois’ patients and families.
- Honored Veterans On Veterans Day – Hospice of Southern Illinois, with the help of local youth, delivered 38 veteran gifts and painted residents’ bedroom windows at the Anna Veterans Home. Millie, our pet therapy dog, also provided window visits to raise spirits.
- Flag Day – Virtual Folding of the Flag – Hosted our first Facebook Live Ceremony, Folding of the Flag to show our commitment to the We Honor Veterans program during the Pandemic.
- Granted A Last Wish – Everyone has something that touches their heart. Recently in 2019, a new St. Louis attraction, St. Louis Aquarium – Downtown at Union Station, grabbed the attention of one of our patients. Hospice of Southern Illinois’ nurse and the social worker asked how we could fulfill a wish for a family. We were able to help organize a trip at no-cost to the family with the collaboration of community partners’ Watermark, Monchino Management, LLC and Hotel Indigo St. Louis.
- Collaborated with Community Organizations – New Baden/Trenton COVID-19 Relief, Kassly Mortuary’s 4th Annual Terry Sherfy Christmas Food Drive, Belleville Area Chamber of Commerce’s Winter Accessory Drive for the Homeless, and Southern Illinois Street Rod Association (SISRA). Thank you to these wonderful organizations for your support year after year!
- New Patient Care Items – Volunteers created fidget sleeves and palm protectors for individuals in our program with Alzheimer’s and Dementia to increase stimulation and improve receptive or anxious habits.
- Weekly Morale Boosters – During the pandemic, we were looking for ways to engage with residents and connect our community. We found it! Our weekly morale boosters enhanced quality of life in a way we’ve never seen before.
- Christmas In July – During the month of July, we brought our own volunteer, Santa, to town for window caroling and delivering Christmas cards, cookies, and gifts to spread holiday cheer.
- FREE Virtual CE You Online Program – We moved our regular Continuing Education (CE), Educational Evening Events to a virtual online experience for nurses, social workers and the public.
- Dedicated Employees Share Their Passion – Thank you Melise Oakley (1 year), Julie Bartels (11 years), Tasha Deprow (9 years), and John Justis (15 years) for sharing your stories with us! Our core values shape and inspire our organizational culture to stay true to our mission, guide our brand and growth, empower our employees, and achieve our goals. Engaged employees are invested in the success of their co-workers, their team, and the organization, overall.
- Great Place To Work – We are proud to be named a Great Place to Work Certified company! We’re grateful to our team for the excellent service and positive culture they are committed to.