Heartland Hospice Puts Focus on Patients and Families

BOARDMAN, Ohio – After a terminal diagnosis, Heartland Hospice focuses on the whole person, not just the disease.

The company, which was recently purchased by Gentiva Hospice, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday.

Heartland Hospice creates an individual care plan based on the personal preferences and needs of the patient. Services include bringing them comfort and compassion, along with providing closure for the patient and the family. The team of hospice professionals assists patients at their home, a friend or relative’s home, assisted living facility or long-term nursing homes. When medically necessary, Heartland Hospice also provides service in a hospital setting.

The team may include the patient and family, experienced nurses, chaplain and bereavement counselor, patient primary care physician, hospice medical director, social worker or hospice STNA.

“Hospice is not a place, but a philosophy of care where the focus is the patient and family – not the disease,” said Brittany Ross, executive director.

She believes it is important for someone to reach out when a diagnosis is made, not just in the waning days. Heartland Hospice can help make sure their needs are met at various stages of their illness.

Front row, from left, are Melissa Swemba, area director of business development; Jordyn Markovitch, marketing; Britney Ross, executive director; and Rebecca Marshall, patient care manager. Back row, from left, are Dr. Mark Shivers, medical director; Kevin Murphy, area vice president of operations; and Bryn Miller, nurse practitioner.

Ross said what makes Heartland Hospice stand out is its focus on sending a nurse within two hours of referral to set up an individual plan, as well as regular reassessments when conditions change. When changes happen on the weekend or late at night, a nurse is a phone call away, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“That after hours line is sometimes such a great support system for them, because sometimes when you have home patients, you don’t have that 24-hour nursing care. … If there is a need for something or you don’t know what to do, don’t call 911; don’t go to the ER. Call us first because we’re going to come make a visit.”

For those who need a nurse or an aide more frequently, Heartland Hospice has an aide available five days a week and a nurse available seven days a week.

Not only is bereavement counseling offered after a diagnosis, but family members continue to receive support throughout the process.

Ross believes word of mouth is important, and going the extra distance for patients will help them grow the business.

“When you are providing that extra quality care for someone and they really know you’re dependable and you’re going to be there for them, they’re going to talk about that,” Ross said.

Heartland Hospice was purchased April 1 by Gentiva Hospice, which has additional locations in Cleveland and Akron. When the Boardman location of Heartland Hospice opened in 2019, it was owned by Promedica. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, the business was not yet established.

Eight people are employed full time through the hospice provider, and additional resources are available.

Pictured at top: Britney Ross, executive director of Heartland Hospice.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.