LIMA — Putnam County Hospice has opened a satellite office at Lima Memorial Health System in an effort to better serve patients in Allen County and the surrounding area.
By opening a new satellite office, the organization is now able to provide services to patients in Allen, Auglaize, Defiance, Hancock, Hardin, Henry, Paulding, Putnam and Van Wert counties.
“Some people see Putnam County Hospice and they’re like, ‘I live in Allen County so you can’t help me,’ but actually if you look at the map, we now serve all of Putnam and Allen counties, as well as the areas around those two counties,” said Kendra Kuhlman, marketing director at Putnam County Hospice. “With this new office at Lima Memorial, it’s allowed us to expand into this area even more, and to show everyone that we’re here.”
The primary purpose of the office is to provide hospital and hospice physicians, nurses, pastors, social workers and volunteers a place to work that is closer to the patients they serve.
“It’s a place for them to go and do their charting, and also a place for us to have an increased presence in the area,” Kuhlman said. “It really helps when we have a patient that’s staying here in the hospital.”
Though hospice care can be provided inside the hospital, the services are also provided in a patient’s home, assisted living facilities and nursing homes.
“Hospice care can be provided wherever the patient resides,” Kuhlman said.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new office was held Wednesday as a way to celebrate the partnership between Putnam County Hospice and Lima Memorial, which was established in 2008. Dr. J. Stephen Sandy, medical director of the Palliative Hospice Program at Lima Memorial, said the partnership is beneficial for patients who need end-of-life care.
“It’s important to have a presence here and availability for patients because with hospice, many times people in the community may need services late in the evening and through the night,” Sandy said. “You need to be in a location where you can readily meet the needs at that time.”
Since 2008, Lima Memorial has served some 1,000 people through the in-patient hospice program. Sandy said that, on average, between two and six patients use the program at any given time.
Kuhlman said the ultimate goal of hospice care is to help patients achieve and maintain independence and an optimal quality of life, and to live their last days with the greatest comfort and dignity as possible.
“I think that everyone deserves to have dignity in death,” she said. “This will help them know that they have choices and resources available, and that they don’t have to die alone.”
For details about Putnam County Hospice, call 419-523-4449.
Reach John Bush at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @Bush_Lima.