Regional Hospice Services & Palliative Care (RHS) is celebrating 30 years of providing care in our communities. Founded in 1992 by a partnership of local hospitals, the program has been a collaborative effort to make hospice care a reality for our rural communities. Today, the RHS Board of Directors continues to stand by the belief that all who are eligible and wish to receive services shall be provided end-of-life care.
Executive Director, Lynda Anderson shares, “I have been honored to be part of the past 23 years with RHS. As I look back, I am humbled by the dedicated staff and volunteers that amaze me each day with their compassion and commitment to our program. One of the greatest compliments we can receive is to have a family who has previously utilized our services call to say, ‘We are in need of hospice care, and we knew just who to call. Regional Hospice was there for our family when we needed the service before.’ We have had many of those calls over the 30 years of care which reflects the lasting impact of our local hospice program in our communities.”
In 1992, the first-year services were available, 38 patients were on hospice care. In 2021, the number of patients on hospice and palliative care was 437. At the end of 2021, RHS had provided care for 7,227 patients over the 30 years. Today RHS has an average of 50 patients per day on our program.
The area served by RHS now covers 13 counties and 15,000 square miles in Northern WI and Upper MI. On average, RHS staff travels over 120,000 miles per year to visit patients. The visits are made by RNs, social workers, chaplains, hospice aides, massage therapists, volunteer coordinators, and volunteers. In 2021 hospice RNs made over 4,000 visits to our patients. Services are provided in the setting of our patients’ home, whether it is a private residence, assisted living or skilled-nursing home.
Regional Hospice Services coordinates with hospitals, skilled-nursing homes and assisted living to provide benefits for our patients. The care team supports not only the patient, but their families and the staff at facilities. With knowledge of pain management and symptom control, RHS nurses can help provide the best care possible.
Support from RHS programs continues for families after the loss of their loved one with our bereavement program, and also community grief support groups. Our grief support groups meet monthly and 6-week sessions are available twice a year throughout our service area to serve friends and family. These groups are free of charge and open to anyone in the community who has lost a loved one, regardless of having used Regional Hospice.
Hospice volunteers help with many tasks for our patients and their families. One of the most important things a volunteer can offer is time: time to sit with them, listen to their stories and share their lives. RHS provides all volunteers with training and education to feel confident to help our patients. If you have time to share, please consider becoming a Regional Hospice volunteer.
Are you interested in a rewarding career opportunity? “Helping to support families in our communities during one of the most difficult times in their lives is very rewarding. The kind words and appreciation from those we care for are a blessing and reminds me every day why I would not want to do any other type of work,” Pam Frost, RN, Regional Hospice Clinical Director
Please explore our website for more information on grief support, volunteer and career opportunities. If you know someone who may benefit from our special kind of care, or have any questions about our program, please call 715-685-5151 or Contact Us for more information.