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Supporting Staff During COVID-19: Cope & Hope℠

Cope & Hope℠ Program Supports Ohio’s Hospice and Pure Healthcare Staff During COVID-19

Ohio’s Hospice and Pure Healthcare are offering a new program to help their staff optimize wellness during the COVID-19 pandemic. Staff have an opportunity to receive group support through Cope & Hope℠, a program launched in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Cope & Hope program is available across Ohio to all staff members.

Due to ever-changing guidelines and advisories arising from the pandemic, staff have found that they were not able to provide the superior high-touch care and services that patients and their families deserve. Ohio’s Hospice and Pure Healthcare offer a whole-person approach to care, which includes physical, emotional, psychological, social and spiritual support. With staff facing new challenges and having to quickly adapt, it was clear that our teams needed access to this type of support for their staff.

At the end of March, Mark Curtis, palliative care APRN at Pure Healthcare, approached the Ohio’s Hospice COVID-19 task force with plans to develop the Cope & Hope program.

“The idea for an Ohio’s Hospice and Pure Healthcare community support group came about as we began to see as a nation the devastating toll from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Curtis said. “Both personal and professional lives were changed within a matter of days. We put together a team consisting of multiple disciplines, including pastoral care, bereavement counseling, social work and psychiatry. Each member of the team is experienced in facilitating group work.”

The Cope & Hope sessions began as a virtual community platform for staff to share stories and messages of hope during COVID-19. There were several sessions offered throughout each week to give all staff an opportunity to participate. The Cope & Hope team covered many topics, including mindfulness, self-care, coping skills and resilience. Staff could also share any feelings in a non-judgmental environment.

The Cope & Hope team eventually switched their program offerings to join team meetings upon request. During these meetings, a Cope & Hope team member facilitates conversations, answers any questions, or addresses any special areas of need for staff. Team members can feel free to share concerns, feelings and coping mechanisms with each other in these sessions.

“One of the prevailing themes expressed by staff attending the Cope & Hope sessions are feelings of isolation and loneliness,” Curtis said. “We frequently discuss building resilience as a mechanism for coping with any challenge, personal or professional, that one may encounter.”

Through the efforts of the Cope & Hope team, Ohio’s Hospice and Pure Healthcare are able to support its staff, emotionally and psychologically, during the COVID-19 pandemic, so that they can continue to provide superior care and superior services to the patients and families.

Ohio’s Hospice and Pure Healthcare recognize the Cope & Hope team members for supporting staff during this time. The Cope & Hope team includes:

  • Gayle Simmons, M. Div., manager of chaplains at Ohio’s Hospice
  • Lisa Balster, MA, MBA, LSW, FT, director of patient and family support services at Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton
  • Valerie Houseknecht, MD, psychiatrist, palliative care, team physician at Pure Healthcare
  • Sandra Burcham, LISW-S, APHSW-C, palliative care social worker at Pure Healthcare
  • David Hargrave, LSW, CPT, bereavement counseling professional at Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare
  • Mark Pierce, M. Div., BCC, chaplain coordinator at Hospice of Central Ohio
  • Ruth Robson, MSW, LSW, ACHP-SW, social worker coordinator at Hospice of Central Ohio
  • Holley Faulkner, BS, M. Div., D. Min., chaplain and grief services coordinator at Valley Hospice
  • Jason Lambert, LISW, manager of social workers and ancillary services at Ohio’s Hospice Loving Care
  • Laura Clemans, LISW-S, APHSW-C, manager of social workers at Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton
  • Mark Curtis, MSN, PMHCNS-BC, ACHPN, LMT, palliative care APRN at Pure Healthcare

Ohio’s Hospice is a partnership of mission-driven, not-for-profit hospices in Ohio committed to a shared vision of strengthening and preserving community-based hospices. Members of Ohio’s Hospice share the values of serving each patient in an atmosphere of hospitality, respect and caring; attending to the social, physical and spiritual needs of each person we are privileged to serve; preserving and enhancing patient dignity; celebrating the life of each individual we serve; and reducing unnecessary suffering in the communities we serve.

Affiliates of Ohio’s Hospice include: Community Care Hospice, Hospice of Central Ohio, Ohio’s Community Mercy Hospice, Ohio’s Hospice at United Church Homes, Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare, Ohio’s Hospice Loving Care, Ohio’s Hospice of Butler & Warren Counties, Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton, Ohio’s Hospice of Fayette County and Ohio’s Hospice of Miami County.

Associates of Ohio’s Hospice include Valley Hospice and Community Hospice.

Making each day matter.TM By taking a person-centered care approach and addressing more than a person’s symptoms, Pure Healthcare is working to make healthcare better. Pure Healthcare values the unique circumstance of each person it serves and develops an individual-based plan for areas they define as most meaningful to improve health and quality of life. Pure Healthcare collaborates and coordinates with primary and other healthcare professionals to provide seamless transitions across healthcare settings and ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of health care services.

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