Lewiston, Maine 3.2.15 - The Heart of Hospice Award is presented to individuals or organizations that understand and embrace the mission of Androscoggin Home Care & Hospice (AHCH) and its hospice program; those awarded put the patient and family first, provide accessible, compassionate, expert hospice and palliative care to members of the communities.
It was with great respect that AHCH's hospice program awarded Paul Gosselin and the entire team at United Ambulance the Heart of Hospice Award. Nominations for this award come directly from the hospice interdisciplinary staff to honor those who demonstrate exceptional commitment, compassion and shared support of hospice patients and the hospice team at AHCH. "United Ambulance, under the direction of Paul Gosselin is ensuring the comfort and safety of our patients as they receive end of life care. Paul and his staff are our heroes and truly exemplify the heart of hospice," shares Karen Flynn, AHCH's Hospice Director.
United Ambulance has consistently received praise from staff in AHCH's visiting program and at the Hospice House. "We had a very ill elderly patient at home, whose pain was increasing despite efforts to improve her comfort. She was extremely anxious about transferring to the Hospice House for more intensive pain management as she believed that every patient admitted to the inpatient unit died and she would not see her home again. She very reluctantly agreed to be admitted. The two staff from United arrived at the patient's home to facilitate the transfer. They immediately took their cues from the Hospice RN, assessed the patient's fears and gently provided support and reassurance, verbalizing that the Hospice House was a peaceful and healing place, and that as EMTs, they frequently brought patients in for treatments, and then picked them up days later and brought them home again", shared an AHCH Hospice House staff member. There have been many examples where the United staff partner with the patient to provide the appropriate early interventions. For example, medication to reduce pain, making the transfer more comfortable, emotional support to reduce fear and anxiety, and a calm non-threatening presence to patients who are confused and overwhelmed. Whenever possible, the United staff includes the families in their offering of education and support.
United Ambulance recognizes that hospice and palliative care is a specialized type of medical intervention and that the operational and reimbursement structures for hospice must be taken into consideration when assisting in care delivery. With this understanding, United invited AHCH's hospice program to participate in their staff orientation and education programs. As first responders in the community, United staff are uniquely positioned to recognize a hospice patient in crisis. They communicate with emergency room staff and contact AHCH's hospice program with critical information about the patient's emergency status. United agreed to provide AHCH with contact numbers to their staff so that they can direct AHCH patients appropriately. This results in avoidance of unnecessary hospital admissions and transfers from location to location. AHCH's interdisciplinary team appreciates these timely updates about their patient and family care needs. This collaboration has led to improved outcomes for hospice patients and their caregivers and the reassurance they feel when they experience true, visible collaboration between United Ambulance and Androscoggin Home Care & Hospice.