Posted tagged ‘anniversary’

Party time!

March 10, 2015

by Andrea Powell, HPCCR Marketing Manager

?????????????????????????????????????????It’s time to pull out the paper party hats, turn off all the lights, and fire up some candles!  We’ve got a lot to celebrate this week at HPCCR!  If it were up to me, I would have baked a cake (it’s kind of my thing), but the people in my office would have (lovingly) kicked me out the door and locked it firmly behind them.  (Summer is right around the corner, after all!)

Anyway, on to our celebrations.  On Sunday, Hospice & Palliative Care Charlotte Region turned 37 years old.  That might not be old for us humans, but trust me, for a hospice organization, 37 years puts you in the class of “seasoned”, to say the least.

Also, on this very day five years ago (my, how time has flown!) I published the very first post on our blog, Hospice Matters.  Five years.  I actually can’t believe it.

First let’s talk about HPCCR.  We became an organization on March 8, 1978.  But we didn’t take our first patient until November of 1979.  And then we took eight more that year, bringing our total to a whopping count of nine.  Ok, let’s compare.  In 2014, we admitted over 3,000 hospice patients and somewhere between 1,000 to 2,000 palliative patients.  That’s some serious growth, folks.  In fact, since that first patient was admitted back in 1979, our total hospice admissions to date (through December 2014) is over 40,000 patients.  Not to mention the fact that we have grown from serving just Mecklenburg County in NC to now serving 11 counties in North and South Carolina.   That’s just outstanding.  It means that we have touched the lives of over 40,000 families in our large region, showing compassion and exquisite care to each and every one.  Every person in this organization factors into this equation.  Because, ultimately, we are all in it for the same reason.  To make end of life honorable, peaceful, and beautiful.

On to the blog.  I am very proud to say that during the five years that this blog has been published, not one week has gone without a post.  Not one.  This post, in fact, will be our 356th.  Our readership continues to increase as our social media presence grows and, as this blog habitually goes out on Facebook and Twitter, the reach of our blog is several thousand people each week.  Upshot?  Several thousand people know just a little bit more about end-of-life care than they did the week before.  Hospice Matters is a virtual stage with which we educate our community and where we demonstrate the impact of hospice care on real people who have benefited from our services.  These stories honestly write themselves; they are always emotional, sometimes uplifting, occasionally heartbreaking, but always worth reading.  They reflect the very heart of what we do and I am overwhelmingly honored to (so often) be their conduit to the “outside” world.

So in honor of these important “birthdays”, I am going to close my eyes and make a wish.  A wish that hospice care becomes the preferred choice at life’s end, that the fear surrounding death be relinquished, and that our enthusiasm for life continues until the very last beat of our hearts.

Of course, you can’t make a wish without cake. . . .


March 12, 2014

by Andrea Powell, HPCCR Marketing Manager

36th anniversaryWe are patting ourselves on the back here at HPCCR.  Why you ask?  Well, because we reached a couple of milestones over the past week and we’re pretty proud.

On Saturday, March 8, we marked our 36th year of providing end-of-life care in the Charlotte region.  President and CEO Pete Brunnick pretty much sums it up, “For some of us, that seems pretty young, but what an ever-changing and dynamic life our organization has had.  To think that just 36 years ago we were literally a ‘church basement organization’ and to see what we are today really is amazing.  I have always emphasized that we are not good just because we are big.  Rather, our patients and their families choose us because of our excellence in care and our commitment to always put them first.”  Yep, we have honed our skills over the years and we know what we’re doing.  You can plan on us being around a LONG time!

On Monday, March 10, we marked the 4th year of this very blog, Hospice Matters.  I can’t tell you how gratifying it’s been to see readership grow, to see the effect our stories have on those of you who tune in week after week.  Since we started this blog, we’ve posted over 300 times and we’ve not missed a single week!  You know what that means?  It means that we’re not just dedicated to our patients and families, we are also dedicated to YOU, loyal readers!

We would be remiss if we did not thank everyone who supports this organization and what we do.  Without you, we would most certainly not be celebrating these milestones.  And for that, you have our sincere appreciation.  So I guess you can give yourselves pats on the back as well (on our behalf).  And maybe go get a cupcake.  We won’t tell.

The importance of time

September 6, 2012

by Andrea Powell, HPCCR Electronic Communications Manager

Thankfully, we’re not like this.

My daughter has a doctor’s appointment today.  Just a routine yearly checkup, but I already know how it’s going to go.  I’ll get there early (why I’m always optimistic, I do not know) and we’ll sit in the waiting room for 25 minutes before we get transferred to the checkup room, where we’ll wait for another 15 minutes or so.  Then the doctor will come in, hurried of course, and spend exactly 10 minutes with us, talking a mile a minute and leaving me breathless and scattered by the time she leaves.

I know it’s not her fault.

Doctors are under immense pressure to see as many patients as possible in their 10 (or so) hour day.  They get paid by the number of appointments they have, so the office squeezes patients in like clowns in the tiny car at the circus.  And a circus it becomes.  If they spend even a few extra minutes with a patient, it throws off the entire schedule and everything gets backed up.  Unfortunately, I don’t see this pattern changing any time soon.

At HPCCR, we are lucky.  The doctors and nurses in our palliative program, Palliative Medicine Consultants, don’t have to work on the same model as most other physicians (the reimbursement is different).  They have the liberty of time and they take advantage of it.  And do you know why that’s so great?  Because our patients are often overwhelmed; they’re confused by a complicated healthcare system, and that’s on top of dealing with severe pain and other frustrating symptoms from a serious illness.  They need someone to talk to, someone who will listen, answer all of their questions, and make them feel better.  And that’s exactly what our Palliative Medicine Consultants practitioners are able to do.  They will give a patient as much time as he or she needs.  They will stay until both sides are satisfied with the outcome.

I highlight our palliative program for two reasons: one, September is National Pain Awareness Month, and two, we are celebrating the ten-year anniversary of Palliative Medicine Consultants.  You know what that means?  That for TEN years, we have been not only aware of pain, but we’ve been doing our best to ease it for literally thousands of individuals in the greater Charlotte region.  That’s right, thousands.  As of the beginning of the year, the number was over 15,000 patients.  (Imagine what it is now!)  If you multiply that number by the extra 30 minutes or so that each of those patients received from one of our physicians or nurse practitioners, it’s a mind-boggling amount of time.  More importantly, it’s a lot of peace of mind that we’ve been able to give.

So while I sit there in the doctor’s office today and stew over the long wait and the precious few minutes of face time that my daughter and I will have with the doctor, I will be thankful that it’s not like that everywhere.  Because for us, it’s just a minor inconvenience on a random day.  But for those who are confused, frustrated, and continually in pain, it could be a whole lot worse.  Thank goodness for our Palliative Medicine Consultants, a group of folks who are giving those individuals exactly what they need.  A friendly face, a comforting touch, and time.

Happy anniversary, Palliative Medicine Consultants.  And thank you.