New Chaplain Serves HRMC Community Hospice
April 12, 2015
HURON, S.D. – Pastor Marc Anderson is now serving as the chaplain for the HRMC Community Hospice program, according to Elizabeth Watson, RN, director of home health and hospice for Huron Regional Medical Center (HRMC).
“I am pleased to have Pastor Anderson in this role,” Watson said. “He brings first-hand experience with hospice services and a spirit of caring to our patients and their families.”
As chaplain, Anderson’s duties include providing spiritual support to hospice patients and their families, coordinating support with the patient’s own clergy, supporting the other hospice caregivers and making home visits to the patient.
“Getting involved in hospice care is something I’ve wanted to do for a while now. When my mom decided to choose hospice care last summer, that gave me the opportunity to personally experience the benefits that hospice provides to patients and families facing end of life issues,” said Anderson.
Anderson attended seminary at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. He and his wife, Carrie, who are originally from Sioux Falls, SD, returned to their home state in January 2011 to serve as Pastor at First Baptist Church in Huron.
“It is really important to meet people where they are in spiritual matters on their hospice journey – as opposed to impose my belief system on them,” said Anderson. “My goal as hospice chaplain is to listen to the patient and their family and provide them support and be an empathetic voice in what they are going through.”
The philosophy of hospice is to help patients with a terminal diagnosis who have decided to discontinue curative treatments and remain at home to live their last months, according to Watson.
“What is often misunderstood is that hospice is not about dying,” said Watson. “It is about living with comfort, care and dignity, as well as ensuring family members and the patient has the appropriate time and preparation to achieve a level of acceptance.”
HRMC Community Hospice uses a team of physicians, nurses, clergy, social workers, aides and volunteers, along with the patient and family members, to provide pain-management, symptom control, emotional and social services support, and spiritual care. In most cases, hospice care is available at little or no cost to the patient under Medicare, Medicaid, most private insurance plans, HMOs and other managed health organizations.
The coverage usually includes hospice team visits, prescriptions for symptom control and pain management, medical equipment and supplies, therapy and hospital care when symptoms are not manageable at home. Eligibility for hospice care is determined by a physician for patients who have a life expectancy of six months or less.
“Because of the lack of knowledge and awareness, people often wait until they are facing a health crisis in their family to learn about care options,” explained Watson. “It becomes very difficult to make informed decisions at times like these. The best time to learn about end-of-life care is before it becomes a serious issue.”
More information on hospice care is available by calling 353-6520 or by reading more here
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