(LEXINGTON, Ky.) – Bluegrass Care Navigators in April is celebrating the one-year anniversary of the hospice care center at UK HealthCare. Since its opening in spring of 2018, more than 500 patients have benefitted from this dedicated hospital space for hospice care.
The care center provides a comforting place for patients and families to have quality time together while facing the final stages of a serious illness, while also benefitting from the full-time nursing and physician care provided in the hospital setting.
Bluegrass Care Navigators identified a need for a dedicated unit while caring for patients and families throughout the hospital. Inpatient hospice care made a difference for Sarah Guthrie, who was able to have a special father-daughter dance with her dad during his hospital stay and hospice care.
“In the four short weeks I had with my father in the hospital, [Bluegrass Care Navigators] helped me fill our remaining time together with love, compassion, understanding and, most of all, dignity,” noted Guthrie.
Inpatient hospice care involves expert symptom management for hospice patients in a homelike hospital setting, providing round-the-clock medical and nursing care to manage distressing symptoms. Specially trained staff and volunteers carry out a patient-focused plan of care developed by the hospice team in collaboration with the patient, family, and attending physician. Both patients and families can receive emotional and spiritual support from Bluegrass Care Navigator social workers and chaplains.
“Everyone deserves compassionate and expert care when facing a serious illness,” said Stephanie Greene, Chief Hospice Officer for Bluegrass Care Navigators. “Our inpatient unit allows us to extend that opportunity to patients who are unable to be cared for at home.”
Located on the third floor of UK's Ben F. Roach Building, the hospice care center has 10 private rooms and a common room and kitchen to provide many of the comforts of home for families and patients. Additionally, the center has expanded visitation hours to allow the family more time with their loved one.
“It has been a privilege to see this unit grow over the past year, and to have the opportunity to provide 24-hour specialized end of life care to the patients and families at UK HealthCare,” said Dr. Natalie Houghton, Associate Medical Director at Bluegrass Care Navigators. “UK has been an enthusiastic and supportive partner that has prioritized compassionate end of life care for their patients.”
The facility is one of only a handful of hospice inpatient care centers in the country located in an academic medical center. This unique collaboration offers opportunities to provide expert care as well as training and education on hospice and palliative medicine.
Bluegrass Care Navigators provides hospice care in 32 counties across central, eastern and northern Kentucky. In addition, the agency supports those facing serious illness or chronic disease with private duty nursing, home primary care, transitional care, adult day health care, and palliative care services.
For more information, call 855-492-0812 or visit our home page.