Honoring A Son’s Legacy

Jamaica hospital hospice One day in 2016, Jacqueline Messina received a phone call no mother wants to receive.  Her son Anthony was in the ICU and she needed to come to Jamaica Hospital.

When she arrived she couldn’t believe her eyes. Anthony was sedated and on a ventilator. He was not the 24-year-old boisterous young man she knew; he was unresponsive. While they hoped and prayed daily with Father Andre that he would wake up and return to his family after rehabilitation, the prognosis grew worse as the days past.  His brain injuries were escalating versus improving.  The hospital’s Palliative Care team came to visit her in the ICU and she completely went silent.  Jacqueline had no idea what the words “palliative care” even meant.

“It was an extremely difficult moment for our family. Who anticipates palliative and hospice care? We sat his brothers down and explained the next steps, but in our hearts, we were still confused about how his life was ending, a parent never imagines this.” One additional factor was Anthony’s grandmother.  “They were so close and she was diagnosed with breast cancer the day of his accident,” shared Jacqueline.  “I remember us trying to be strong for her despite my heart breaking because I was worried about how losing Anthony would affect her health and upcoming treatment.”

“I am not sure we could have endured this experience on our own. Thankfully we had the support of everyone on Jamaica Hospital’s hospice unit. They did so much to help my husband and boys as well as Anthony’s grandmother. They made sure the rest of our family and friends were well cared for,” she said.

Hours before his passing, Anthony was admitted to Jamaica Hospital’s Ferrara Family Center for Hospice Care after being transferred from the ICU.  Jacqueline did not know what to expect,   “I was anxious at first.  I must have asked a million questions.”

Jacqueline’s anxieties subsided when she was greeted by a warm staff that addressed her concerns and treated her with compassion. They ensured her that Anthony was in good hands and they would do everything they could to make him comfortable. “The level of service we received was outstanding. The staff did more than what was needed during his time with us and after. They were amazing,” said Jacqueline.

Jamaica Hospital Hospice

Jacqueline Messina

The staff’s devotion to Anthony and his family inspired Jacqueline to give back. She donates to the hospice every year in honor of her son’s legacy.  “When Anthony died, I wanted to make sure others had the same comfort that he did.  This is why I work hard every year to accumulate volunteer hours of which my company Bloomberg L.P.  converts into funds for charity.  The program is called “Dollars for Your Hours” and I proudly support the Ferrara Family Center for Hospice Care with this gift,” shared Jacqueline.

The Ferrara Family for Hospice Care provides comfort care for those with life-limiting illnesses. Great pride is taken by their staff in providing patients and families with quality medical services as well as the emotional and spiritual support needed to help them through a challenging time.

To donate to the Ferrara Family Center for Hospice Care, please visit https://jamaicahospital.org/ways-to-give/

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

National Hospice and Palliative Care Month

November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month.  Jamaica Hospital Medical Center (JHMC) is joining with the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO),to promote raising awareness about hospice and Palliative Care.  The theme this year is “It’s About How You Live.”  It brings focus on how hospice and Palliative care can offer a person-centered approach to treament that includes expert medical care, comprehensive pain management, and emotional and spiritual support.

When you are faced with the decision of choosing whether palliative care or hospice care better suites the needs of you, or your loved ones; it is best to know the definition and relationship between the two before deciding.

Palliative care focuses on relieving symptoms that are related to a chronic illness, such as cancer, cardiac disease, respiratory disease, kidney failure, Alzheimer’s and other dementias, AIDS, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and other neurological diseases. Palliative care can be used at any stage of illness –not just advanced stages.

Hospice care is palliative by nature, but is only offered when the patient has progress to a point where curative treatment is no longer desired. Hospice care supports the patient, and their families, on the journey to end of life focusing on relieving symptoms and offering comfort from pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, nausea, anxiety and insomnia.

Although there are differences between palliative care and hospice care, there is a relationship between the two. Knowing the treatment differences and similarities may be helpful when making your decision, including:

  • Treatments are not limited with palliative care and can range from conservative to aggressive or curative.
  • Hospice care treatments are limited and focus on the palliation of symptoms. The goal is no longer to cure, but to promote comfort.
  • Palliative care can be considered at any time during the course of a chronic illness.
  • With hospice care, Medicare requires that a physician certify that a patient’s condition is terminal. The physician must certify that a patient’s life expectancy is six months or less.
  • Both palliative and hospice care can be delivered at any location.
  • Palliative care services are typically provided through regular physician and nursing visits.
  • Hospice care services are more inclusive than palliative care services. Hospice care includes physician services, nursing services, social worker, spiritual care, bereavement care and volunteers. In some cases physical, occupational, speech and dietary therapy services, as well as other counseling services are deemed necessary as part of the hospice holistic care plan to manage terminal symptoms and provide support for the individual and their family.

It is important to know that choosing palliative care or hospice care is about comfort, control, dignity and quality of life and not about giving up. If you, or a loved one should need information on palliative or hospice care, Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Palliative Care and Hospice Care services can help. To schedule an appointment for an evaluation, or to just talk, call 718-206-6914.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Jamaica Hospital Plans To Expand and Renovate Hospice Care Unit

Doctor On Home Visit Discussing Health Of Senior Male Patient

Jamaica Hospital Medical Center has announced plans to completely renovate and expand its hospice care unit.

The hospital has provided inpatient hospice care services since 2010 and in that time has provided compassionate, comfort care to countless patients facing end of life. Their multidisciplinary team of specially trained hospice professionals offers extensive medical, social and spiritual services. “As a community-based hospital we have made a commitment to provide the highest quality hospice care services to all those who need it,” stated Jamaica Hospital President and CEO; Bruce J. Flanz.

The organization’s commitment to the community was the inspiration to conceptualize what will be the newly developed Ferrara Family Center for Hospice Care.  The unit’s redesign will provide patients and loved ones with a home-like environment that promotes privacy and serenity. The new unit will offer many upgrades and amenities including family meeting rooms as well as a relaxing lounge that offers families a space to gather, decompress or reflect.

“Every detail from the lighting to the tranquil artwork will be carefully considered to offer our patients and families a sense of peace” said Chairman of Family Medicine and Palliative Care, Dr. Alan Roth.  He continued, “As hospice professionals, we understand how important a comfortable environment is during what can be a difficult time.”

To achieve their goal of completing the new Ferrara Family Center for Hospice Care, Jamaica Hospital has embarked on a $1,000,000 capital fundraising campaign.  Numerous supporters of the hospital have already made generous contributions through naming opportunities and by purchasing memorial plaques.

The plans for renovating the hospice unit at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center have been enthusiastically received. Hospital leadership, staff and supporters are excited about the future of The Ferrara Family Center for Hospice Care, which is set to begin construction this fall.

For information about contributing to our hospice unit, please call the Development Department at 718-206-8613.

For more hospital events, highlights, health and  fitness tips, visit us on Facebook.com/JamaicaHospital and follow us on Twitter @JamaicaHospital !

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.