NIAGARA HOSPICE AND NORTHGATE PARTNER ON CENTER FOR EXCELLENCE
Niagara Hospice and The McGuire Group's Northgate Health Care Facility have collaborated on a unique unit designed specifically for residents receiving hospice care in a long-term care setting. Redevelopment of the 22-bed unit at Northgate, located at 7264 Nash Road in North Tonawanda, began in January and is now complete. The unit, affectionately named "Hospice at Jeanne's House - A Northgate and Niagara Hospice Collaboration" after a beloved Northgate employee who utilized Hospice services herself, is devoted to meeting the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of terminally ill residents requiring both 24-hour skilled nursing care and the unique services that only Niagara Hospice can provide. A Grand Opening celebration was held Thursday, May 17 where the family of Jeanne D'Arc Abou-Antoun performed the official ribbon cutting.
Residential care is co-managed by both organizations and is notably, the first of its kind in New York State. Decreased Medicare funding requires providers to find economies of scale while providing uncompromised service - this collaboration not only does that, but also enhances the hospice services residents receive in one setting by allowing staff to see more patients by spending less time traveling from place to place.
According to a study sponsored by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO), only 6% of nursing home residents in the U.S. currently elect the hospice benefit, even though nearly one-in-four deaths in the U.S. occur in a nursing home. There are a number of reasons for this including the territorial nature of health care providers, conflicting regulations and Medicare reimbursement. The collaborative teams at Niagara Hospice and Northgate have chosen to take a more positive approach, working together to create medical protocols and a physical environment that can deliver a breadth of progressive, comprehensive services in a setting where it is needed the most.
The unit features beautifully decorated private and semi-private rooms; a lounge with access to an enclosed and furnished outdoor courtyard; comfort areas for family and other visitors. Services include volunteer companions; music and pet visits; advance care planning and bereavement services for family members. Medical services include 24-hour skilled nursing care; IV therapy for pain and symptom management; pharmacy consultations; oxygen therapy; and other specialized services, as needed.
"This collaboration is a natural extension of a Journeys program for end-of-life care that has existed at Northgate for many years," stated Terry Collins, RN and Administrator at Northgate. "Our partnership with Niagara Hospice has given us the ability to expand the program's mission and philosophy and offer a comprehensive level of services to those who are at this stage in their lives."
Niagara Hospice Vice President of Hospice Services, Stephen Schinnagel said, "This collaboration is the first of its kind in New York State and we are grateful for the opportunity to work more closely with the staff at Northgate. Rated 5 out of 5 Stars by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the excellent care provided by Northgate staff to each of their residents parallels the care that Niagara Hospice has also become known for."
Hospice is specialized care for the terminally ill. Niagara Hospice provides support services to both the patient and family - providing comfort, dignity and choice. For more information, call 439-4417 or visit www.NiagaraHospice.org.
The McGuire Group's Northgate Health Care Facility provides 24-hour skilled nursing care, subacute and outpatient rehabilitation, memory care and respite/short-term care. For more information, call 694-7700 or visit www.McGuireGroup.com.