Friday, January 14, 2011

Hope HealthCare Services Recognized for Environmental Quality

First hospice in Florida to meet highest international standards
Hope HealthCare Services is leading a state and national trend in making facilities more energy efficient and environmentally friendly.

Hope has received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building certification for its Hope HealthCare Services Center, which opened in March in Lehigh Acres. LEED is an internationally recognized certification system that measures how well a building performs in environmentally critical categories:
  • Energy savings
  • Water efficiency
  • CO2 emissions reduction
  • Indoor air quality
  • Good stewardship of resources
The Center is the first LEED certified hospice facility in Florida and one of just four in the entire country. It is the first LEED certified building in Lehigh Acres.

“We have created an environment that adds greatly to the quality of life of those in our care,” according to Hope President and CEO Samira K. Beckwith. “Achieving the LEED standards while providing the best in safety and comfort is a significant milestone in Florida healthcare.”

Additional environmentally friendly, cost-efficient features include:
  • Solar-powered outdoor signage to conserve electricity
  • Outdoor lighting directed to minimize nighttime light pollution
  • Xeriscaping, using native vegetation in landscaping, requiring less maintenance, and no irrigation after the first year.
  • Maximized natural lighting inside the building.
  • Motion-sensitive light switches to save power when a room is not in use.
“We are very pleased that the finished Center accomplishes all of our goals, enabling us to provide the highest levels of care in an eco-friendly setting,” Beckwith said.

The 46,000 square foot Center, built by Kraft Construction, includes 24 individual hospice care suites; a PACE (Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly) facility for daily activities; a café; a chapel available for memorial services, and community meeting facilities.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

News-Press Editorial

'Death panel' demagogues win, you lose

One of the sorriest lies told in the health care reform debate last year was about end-of-life counseling for terminally ill people.

The proposed reform law provided that such counseling, routine and widely advocated by professionals, would now be specifically covered by Medicare, and thus encouraged.

Demagogues invented the phrase “death panels” to describe this counseling, claiming they would pressure elderly patients and other patients to cease medical treatment to save money. This put bill backers on the defensive.

That was despite the insistence of health care professionals that end-of-life counseling was already a routine part of the conversation between doctors and terminally ill patients, covering such issues as treatment options; when a patient wants to end life-saving treatment, if he or she does; how much pain they want to endure; and where a patient prefers to spend the time left.

The provision was removed from the law, one of several compromises deemed necessary to get it passed. Now, a directive in Medicare rules that would have allowed doctors to be reimbursed for this counseling as part of a beneficiary’s yearly exam, has been removed. The counseling can and will continue; it’s hard to imagine doctors and patients dealing with terminal illness otherwise. But the reimbursement is not specific, and this common sense and routine practice will not be explicitly encouraged in the rules.

The reason is political. The Obama administration is trying to blunt efforts from opponents who want to repeal the health care law.

The Democrats will fight to prevent repeal, but they presumably don’t want the “death panel” slander bogging down any discussions that do take place. It’s a shameful abandonment of good policy and good medicine.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Washington Post reports on PACE Programs

Reporting on PACE, the Program for All-Inclusive Care for Elderly, which provides comprehensive medical and social services to frail, low-income seniors with serious health problems. Read the full article

Learn more about Hope PACE

Hope's Adopt A Family Program

Originally published in the North Fort Myers Neighbor, Letters to the Editor

Thanks for the outpouring of generosity
To the Editor:

Each year during the holiday season, Hope Hospice works to ensure that the joys of the season are shared by those in our care through the Adopt-A-Family program.

Thanks to the outpouring of generosity from our community even during these uncertain economic times special gifts were provided to 145 families and 348 individuals in Hope's care.

You shared the holiday spirit in many forms: Warm robes and slippers to comfort the elderly spending the holidays without family; shiny new bikes and other toys that brought joy to children coping with life-limiting illness, and gift cards so families caring for a loved one could enjoy a little respite at a favorite restaurant.

Some of the most touching moments this year came from those who humbly requested the most basic necessities, like groceries for a holiday meal and shoes to replace a worn-out pair items that many of us may take for granted became cherished gifts this holiday season.

Each year during the holiday season, we're honored to have the privilege of helping our families celebrate the holidays through Hope's Adopt-a-Family.

We are deeply grateful to those of you who helped make the 2010 holiday season more special for those in our care. On behalf of everyone at Hope, I wish you all the best in the New Year.

Samira K. Beckwith, President and CEO

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Samira K. Beckwith to serve in national hospice leadership roles

Samira K. Beckwith, president and CEO of Hope HealthCare Services, has been elected to serve as vice chair for the National Hospice Foundation Board of Trustees.

In addition, Beckwith has also been appointed to a second term for the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s Public Policy Committee.

Beckwith joined Hope HealthCare Services as CEO in 1991, when the organization served fewer than 100 patients a day in the immediate Fort Myers area. Under her leadership, Hope Hospice now serves more than 2,200 people each day in Lee, Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Hendry, Glades, Hardee, Highlands and Polk counties.

NHPCO was founded in 1978 as a charitable organization advocating for the needs of people facing life-limiting illnesses. Today, NHPCO is the world’s largest and most innovative national membership organization devoted exclusively to promoting access to hospice and palliative care and to maintaining quality care for people facing the end of life and support for their families. The NHF works in partnership with NHPCO to raise funds from individuals, foundations and corporations to fund programs that make a difference in the lives of the patients and families served by NHPCO’s membership of more than 3,400 hospice and palliative care providers.

Beckwith has been recognized for professional and personal achievements on the local, state and national levels. She was recently awarded the 2010 Ellis Island Medal of Honor, one of the nation’s most prestigious awards, and in 2009 received the Alumni Medalist Award from The Ohio State University Alumni Association and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Stevie Awards for Women in Business.

Her previous honors include the APEX Award from the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce, Gulfshore Life magazine’s Woman of the Year, Survivor of the Year for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and the Junior Achievement of Lee County’s Business Leadership Hall of Fame.