Happy New Year!

Catherine Hamel, President & CEO, Gilchrist Hospice Care
Catherine Hamel, President & CEO, Gilchrist Hospice Care

This year has been a significant one for us at Gilchrist Hospice Care. This is the time of year to reflect on the past and plan for the future. Here are some important reflections for this past year:

1) We celebrated our 20th anniversary. What is significant about this is that it speaks volumes to the sustainability of the organization. A recent Washington Post article noted that the length of service defines what earns a hospice organization their service reliability reputation. For us that is the platinum level of care.

2) We had our first community educational event with Dr. Ira Byock who helped remind us what is most important to our patients and families. For me, that means the relationship we build and the permission we give to meet the patient and family where they are, not where we’d like them to be. It’s about valuing the personal relationship first and then providing the best medical care possible. As we share at each and every All Staff meeting, this comes naturally at Gilchrist Hospice Care because we all see our patients and families as people first and patients second.

3) We added the important and successful Transition Program so patients and families can experience our services even if they are not yet ready or no longer qualify for our care.

4) We served a record number of children in our Gilchrist Kids program. We know this group of our most frail are underserved and to have earned the right to serve more of these very needy patients and families is incredibly rewarding.

5) We added a much needed residential care program with our “marriage” to Joseph Richey.

6) Our music therapy program expanded by adding a new intern.

7) Our volunteer program expanded services to the City of Baltimore and offers training sessions throughout our service area.

8) We offered educational services (144 programs) at Senior Centers in the City of Baltimore in an effort to decrease the service gap in care through the end of life in the African American Community.

9) We have had a record fundraising year for both Gilchrist Kids and our inpatient units.

10) We won the Global Partner Award from NHPCO for our work in Africa. Putting an ambulance on the ground is life changing for this hospice in Tanzania.

11) We have met and exceeded every billing and compliance issue that CMS sent our way and there were many!!

I could go on and on. The enhancements to our programs and services continue to be substantial and appreciated by our patients and families.

As we look forward to 2015, here are some anticipated program enhancements:

1) We will continue to expand and grow in response to our referrals sources.

2) We will continue our investment in services that serve older adults who want to know about their treatment options through the addition of our Support our Elderly Program.

3) We will enhance our services through the It’s Personal Initiative and other initiatives focused on enhancing relationship-building followed by the best medical care through the end of life.

4) We will implement new processes and procedures that will enhance the care we provide.

5) We will increase safety and quality for the patients and families who receive our care.

We/I want to thank all of you for your continued commitment to providing the finest in end of life care today and always. Your dedication and hard work is the reason we lead Maryland in the provision of this important and life changing care.

Thank you for all you do and Happy New Year to you and yours!! Cathy Hamel

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