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Staying true to their calling — Hospices continue to provide end-of-life services

Even as most Mississippians — along with people all over the United States — are being ordered to stay at home because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare workers continue to risk their lives to provide essential healthcare services, and end-of-life services keep going.

“There’s one thing that’s not on hold,” Hospice Ministries Community Relations coordinator Shannon Miller wrote in a blog post Monday. “There are thousands of healthcare workers who have stayed true to their calling of providing care in every circumstance to patients in need. Many of those patients have tested positive for COVID-19.”

Healthcare workers are facing a number of challenges in the midst of the pandemic, and Miller said Hospice workers are no exception. Miller noted  when healthcare staff working for Hospice Ministries visit patients, they do so wearing full personal protective equipment gear. They are also increasing the services they provide remotely.

“We are increasing every protection for our staff, but also utilizing technology by making phone calls and telehealth visits,” Miller said. “We are protecting the patient’s family and patient, Hospice Ministry staff and our families.”

“We’re still providing excellent care,” she said. “But it’s hard. It’s case by case, day by day.”

Registered Nurse Patient Care Coordinator Angela Jackson said Hospice Ministries will continue to care for their community, even during the most difficult times.

“We will continue to provide end-of-life care, taking care of patients during this time of their life,” Jackson said.

Hospice Ministries has served Brookhaven for 30 years. In better times, they would be celebrating their anniversary. Now, Miller said their staff continue to walk into danger every day.

“Hospice is essential, and a positive end-of-life experience is essential,” she wrote. “The employees and staff of Hospice Ministries are heroes in every sense of the word. Hospice is not an elective medical procedure or something anyone chooses; it’s the end of life, and we exist to provide quality care for patients who are dying.”

Lawn signs in front of Hospice Ministries this week read “Heroes Work Here!”