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Rotary Hears About Hospice

November 3, 2015       Leave a Comment
By: Stephen Kent

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Bonnie Marsh
November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month. Introducing her topic by saying "Thank you for stay because this is not a fun topic", Rotarian Bonnie Marsh of Heartland Health added "but if I can leave one thing with you, it a better understanding of what hospice and palliative are so that you know more now than at a time when you really, really need it." Too often, families are forced to make tough decisions about advanced care at a time of stress and emotion.

Hospice is defined as "comfort care that provides patients and families relief from symptoms of pain and stress from terminal illness." Palliative care starts with that definition but adds what Heartland calls "Advanced Disease Management" or ADM. That includes pain and symptom management, psychosocial support and advanced disease planning. There is a large gray area between the two, but basically ADM provides a higher level of pain management and related service. In either case, families are a big part of the process.

Hospice and ADM patients are not required to be in a facility. The terms define a condition and treatment, not a place. Patients can be in a Hospice center, a hospital, nursing home or at their own home.

Conditions include more than just medical issues. "If you're a 50 year old and have a wife and young children and you're looking at a future, all of a sudden your life is turned upside down." There are many psychosocial things to think about.

People often jump to the conclusion that hospice and ADM patients have cancer. In fact there are many other diseases that qualify. Fragile patients, those wanting aggressive treatment but with uncontrolled symptoms, some who are "not ready for hospice", and others who have been discharged from hospice but need symptom management.

Doctors sometimes have a problem with hospice. They are trained to treat and cure disease and suffering. It's hard to make the call that a patient is at the end. But to enter hospice requires a doctor to state that a patient is likely to die in the next few months. That doesn't mean that they will die, but it's highly probable.

Among the common myths is that hospice patients an no longer go to the hospital. In fact, a hospice patient always has the choice to go to the hospital. Hospice is not a place, it is a philosophy of care and "can be provided any place the patient calls home". A "Do Not Resuscitate" (DNR) is not required for hospice. About 1/3 of people who need hospice get it. The median length of service is 3 weeks.

Most hospice and ADM care is 100% covered by Medicare and other insurances. Those rules may change, and sometimes have changed, but in general they hold. ADM companies are paid a fixed amount and agree to provide virtually anything that is needed for the patient's care while they are in hospice or ADM. Patients and providers are both re-certified on a regular basis.

What do patients want? Simply this:
  • To die at home
  • symptoms controlled
  • To be surrounded by family
  • No artificial modalities
  • Not to be a burden to family


Exchange student "Print"
Rotary met off site at the Lumber Barons on Nov 3. Lee Newton, who with wife Molly is hosting our current exchange student, introduces Chawanrut Boonrapongcharoen, who goes by the name "Print". She spoke briefly about her visit to this point. A longer program will be presented in the future.

Connie Schweitzer presented a Paul Harris Fellowship to Rotarian Ed Clements. Thanks to Ed for his service to Rotary.

Following the opening, President Brenda gave a limited report on the success of the recent Zombie Run.

Brenda also reminded everyone that Vocational Day is next week. Everyone is encouraged to attent. The Doubletree will be providing a large room to accommodate the crowd. Congressman Dan Kildee is the scheduled speaker.

City Manager Rick Finn reported that 25 blocks of city streets have been resurfaced and repaired. If the state comes through with potential funding Rick said "we could do 20 times that much".

The Board Meeting has been moved from the second Tuesday (Nov 10) to the following Tuesday (Nov 17) due to Vocation Day.

The district Rotary Gala is coming up on Nov 20 in Frankenmuth. For tickets and information contact Bob Chadwick. We hope to fill two tables.

Nov 24 will be the club's annual Homecoming day. The Rotary Outstanding Service and Excellence (ROSE) award will be presented. Wear your school colors and bring a guest!

SPECIAL NOTE to accommodate Vocational Day, the board meeting has been moved from the 10th to the 17th.

ALSO NOTE Next week's meeting, November 3, will be at the Lumber Barons.

Andrea needs a second host family for the Spring school session. She also says that the exchange for next year is being scheduled now and she needs a first host family on file so they can get busy on obtaining a passport.

The current and past DISTRICT DISPATCH newsletters are available in the LINKS section below.


November 10, 2015: Vocational Day - Congressman Dan Kildee is the scheduled speaker. The club expects 100+ students. Rotarians are encouraged to attend. The Doubletree will be providing plenty of room!

The November 10, BOARD MEETING HAS BEEN CHANGED. Due to Vocational Day, the board will meet the following week, November 17.

November 20, 2015: Rotary Gala in Frankenmuth - Make reservations with Bob Chadwick.

November 24, 2015: Rotary Homecoming - Hosted by Rob Clark. Wear your school colors. Rotary Outstanding Service and Excellence (ROSE) award will be presented.

Upcoming Programs

(See the official schedule at )

November 10, 2015: Vocational Day - Congressman Dan Kildee is the scheduled speaker. The club expects 100+ students. Rotarians are encouraged to attend. The Doubletree will be providing plenty of room!

November 17, 2015: Bay Arenac Community High School presented by Superintendent Erin Sullivan. The presentation will highlight students, faculty and staff and their efforts to lead the State of Michigan as the only High School to obtain 'Great Expectations' status.
BOARD MEETS AT 11:00 - one week later than usual.

November 24, 2015: Rotary Homecoming Hosted by Rob Clark. Wear your school colors. Rotary Outstanding Service and Excellence (ROSE) award will be presented.

Rotary is an intimate affiliation of carefully selected business and professional people,
having as its objective the promotion of high ethical standards in private, commercial
and civic life, and dedicated to the ideal that the basis of all worthy endeavor is unselfish service.

Current and past DISTRICT DISPATCH newsletters are available on the District site shown in the LINKS section below.

Get connected with ROTARY on Facebook.
Over 450 people like us. Let's go for 500 people liking our page!

Rotary Bay City on Facebook
Rotary Bay City on Facebook!
Click on the Blue Facebook to visit us there.

Remember! Check attendance sheets at the front desk.

District 6310 Web Site District Dispatch Archive
Rotary International Make-up On-Line at
The Rotary Global History Fellowship
Rotary Global History.

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Stephen Kent

Steve Kent and his family have lived in Bay City for 40 years. He is VP of Technical Services at MMCC which produces MyBayCity.Com. Kent is active in many Bay City civic organizations.

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