A Message From Our Director
Mark your calendars! Tuesday, May 8, 8 AM to 9:15 AM, Craven County Hospice is hosting our Annual Spring Breakfast Fundraiser at New Bern’s Riverfront Convention Center. This is a great time where our community comes out to express support for our Hospice Program through their generous gifts which enable us to do some creative work above and beyond the minimum requirements of Medicare. Words cannot express our sincerest “Thank You” to our community, for your support of our Hospice Agency. We are now moving toward our fourth decade of service to the residents of Craven and surrounding counties. Our agency has survived and is thriving through many changes which have taken place as Hospice transitioned from a volunteer, non-profit/not for profit service to becoming a major healthcare industry. What began as simply a philosophy of care, has evolved into a highly regulated part of the health care continuum. Like all health care delivery systems, Hospice has changed and will continue to change as our nation tries to focus health care spending toward care models which produce both quality of care and higher patient satisfaction. Healthcare is a very personal decision in many ways and it is very important that we look at the care we want to receive as a “practical” plan which eases pain and suffering and can bring more satisfying results as well. In order for that to happen, everyone needs to think about their priorities would be if faced with an illness or condition which results in a limited life expectancy. One of our themes this past year is encouraging everyone to think in terms of their “mortality”. We will all face the moment in life where life as we know it is no more. When faced with such a reality, what really matters to you (and me)? If our priority is to extend our life, no matter what the side affects, pain and suffering we might go through or endless repetition of decline, hospitalization, decline, hospitalization, if that is your choice…then that is a valid choice. However, if you would prefer to face your last months/days with your family, at home with an extra level of support that allows you to do so (which is the choice of a majority of persons), then Hospice would be your choice. The irony of the whole health choice dilemma is studies have shown that persons who choose hospice as opposed to continued aggressive treatment especially nearer the end of effective treatment will many times live longer than the person who continues to seek extra treatment. If faced with a diagnosis of an illness or condition which your physician determines you have limited life expectancy, ask about Hospice Care when diagnosed. That way, you and your physician can design a care plan that includes treatment which will provide relief and longer life yet when that is no longer the case, let your doctor know you are willing to accept Hospice Care.
What do you look for in a Hospice Provider? First of all, trying to decide on a Hospice provider is generally not something anyone does unless you find yourself in a situation where you have exhausted all possibility of finding a “cure” for an illness or condition. Such a decision is often born out of necessity rather than a voluntary act. Always remember, if your doctor diagnoses you or a loved one with an advanced illness, you can choose to ask for and seek Hospice care instead of treatment. Just as you choose your primary medical provider, choosing a Hospice should also be a decision made deliberately after asking your friends and family for suggestions. We have received many positive comments about our television commercials. Each person in our commercials has a story to tell and we simply attempted to capture part of their story in a 30 second commercial (which is nearly impossible…and for each person in our commercials, we had hundreds more who could share similar yet different stories). Craven County Hospice has been a part of the fabric of the New Bern and surrounding areas since 1980. Our hospice provided end of life services before Hospice evolved into an “industry”. We are not part of a regional or national organization. We have always been “not-for profit” since our beginning. We have literally served generations of Craven, Pamlico, Carteret, Lenoir and Jones County citizens. Remember, you have a choice of Hospice providers (there are multiple providers in our area who provide good care). When it is time, please ask for us by name, Craven County Hospice. It is our pledge to offer you the very best end of life care possible. You have our history and you have my word on it. We cannot change the outcome, but we can help change the experience. Let us be your Health Care Partner. Thank you for your trust and your support for over 35 years.
Dr. Cecily Saunders, credited with being the founder of the modern day Hospice Movement once said: “You Matter because you are you. You matter to the last moment of your life, and we will do all we can, not only to help you die peacefully, but also to live until you die…” These words summarize the mission of Craven County Hospice.