Hillcrest Hospice Care Re-Accredited by National Organization

ACHC Accredited - Hillcrest Hospice CareThe Accreditation Commission for Health Care has re-accredited Hillcrest Hospice for another 3 years after a 3-day on-site survey. Hillcrest Hospice has maintained ACHC accreditation since 2011. ACHC is a national organization developed by homecare and alternate-site healthcare industry providers. Achieving accreditation is a process where healthcare organizations demonstrate compliance with national standards. Accreditation by ACHC reflects an organization’s dedication and commitment to meeting standards that facilitate a higher level of performance and patient care.

​“This is another way to reaffirm our commitment to excellence and enhancing the lives of aging adults,” Reggie Ripple, Vice President of Home & Community Services said. “It’s an honor to be recognized for our service by a national organization.”

ACHC is an independent, private, not-for-profit corporation established in 1986. ACHC has gained respect and recognition as an accrediting organization uniquely committed to health care providers. They have adopted a participatory approach to standards development that actively solicits the input of those most knowledgeable about current approaches to care. The result is a set of practical standards that promotes quality services and ensures optimum care for the patient. The entire accreditation process is a collaborative, educational, and genuinely patient-focused approach.

“BOOB Girls” author, Joy Johnson, one of Grief Symposium speakers

Joy Johnson - "BOOB Girls" author & Grief Symposium speakerPopular “BOOB Girls” author, Joy Johnson, is one of the key presenters at the Grief Symposium, a free event open to the public on Saturday, October 1 at Bellevue University’s Criss Auditorium. Johnson joins Jea Theis, LIMHP, LCSW and Dr. Anna Fisher to educate professionals and the public about what grief really is, so they may better help themselves and help others who are grieving.

Joy Johnson has written or edited over 100 books on grief, many for children, including a book for parents and caregivers – “Keys to Teaching Children about Death and Grief.” Her long-running comedy-mystery series, “BOOB Girls: The Burned Out Old Broads at Table 12” features four retired widows in a retirement community in Omaha. The first book is being adapted as a musical to premiere in Omaha.

Understanding Grief

“We are very excited to have such a wonderful trio of presenters, especially Joy Johnson, sharing their humor and knowledge,” said Valerie Height, Bereavement Coordinator of Hillcrest Hospice. “Grief is often overlooked in society. Many people never learned how to grieve or how to recognize that they are grieving. Yet all of us will grieve at one point in our life, whether it is due to the loss of someone or something, or a major change in our lives.”

During the symposium, participants will learn the language of grief and how it is expressed, develop insight into grief issues and gain an understanding of how to care for themselves or others who are grieving.

“This is a great opportunity for people who are experiencing or anticipating a loss to begin to understand grief and navigate their healing journey,” Height added. “In addition, professionals will be able to gain education on caring for others who are grieving while taking care of themselves.”

Please RSVP by September 26 for this event by clicking here.

Rock legend makes Hillcrest Hospice patient’s dream come true

Grand Funk Railroad-2 010Monica Roberts is a 57-year-old woman who has been battling cancer for 2 years. When she chose to transition to Hillcrest Hospice Care in May, her social worker asked Roberts if there were any outstanding “bucket list” items she wanted to accomplish. The one wish Roberts expressed was to meet her favorite rock star of all time, Mark Farner, original lead singer of the classic rock band, Grand Funk Railroad. After Farner turned away from the rock and roll lifestyle, became a born-again Christian and began a solo career, Roberts was very inspired by his Christian music. Farner’s music has made such an impact on Roberts’ life that she intends to have one of his songs played at her funeral.

Making a Dream Come True

Kayla Rempe, social worker with Hillcrest Hospice, decided to take a chance and see if she would make that wish come true. She reached out to Mark Farner through his web page with an email explaining that Monica Roberts’ last wish was to talk to him. She didn’t expect a response, but a week later Rempe received a call from Farner’s agent/wife to set up the conversation. They determined Skype was the best option, since Roberts is not able to travel and Farner is not touring near Omaha during the summer.

“I didn’t tell Monica that I’d been communicating with the agent until I was sure that it would really happen,” Rempe said. “I ended up breaking the news to her on her birthday! Monica was thrilled. Her daughter got married on Sunday, then she met Mark on Wednesday, so her week was very exciting!”

“He’s just so down to earth,” Monica said after talking to Mark for a half-hour on Wednesday. “It was amazing. I started tearing up and had to end the call. I don’t think I’ll ever get over this.”

History of Grand Funk Railroad

Grand Funk Railroad formed in 1969 as a trio with Mark Farner, Don Brewer and Mel Schacher. They enjoyed several hit songs, including “I’m Your Captain (Closer to Home)” and “We’re an American Band.” After disbanding in 1976, Farner began a solo career and transitioned into contemporary Christian music. He still performs the hits from Grand Funk’s heyday when live in concert. Grand Funk continues to tour with original members Don Brewer and Mel Schacher, who re-established the band with vocalist Max Carl of 38 Special, former Kiss guitarist Bruce Kulick and keyboardist Tim Cashion.