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Category Archives: Hospice

Celebrating 25 Years as Executive Director

Under Marjorie Mulanax’s leadership, Hospice Austin has grown from serving 300 patients a year to serving nearly 400 patients a day. Much of the reason for Hospice Austin’s success can be attributed to Marjorie’s vision and her supportive and steady leadership.

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Paying Homage

I showed up for my afternoon shift at Hospice Austin’s Christopher House where my mother-in-law died more than 15 years ago. The walkway is made of bricks. Many of them contain names and life dates of people who had died at the hospice. Recent rains had caused dirt, leaves, and crushed granite to wash out of the shrubbery beds and onto the walkway.I decided to sweep the bricks as a prelude to visiting patients. It was a service to the dead, not to the living, grieving, and suffering people I would later visit.

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On Top of the Mountain

It’s not unusual for families to go into a tailspin during the agonizing terminal illness of a child. However, Mary Rodriguez and her husband, Ricardo Perez, traversed that difficult journey with incredible courage and grace.

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Honoring Madelyn’s Wish

In February 2017, 16-year-old Madelyn Shoales was diagnosed with a rare type of brain cancer. She underwent surgery to remove the tumor, followed by six weeks of radiation. One year later, when it became apparent that Madelyn would not survive her courageous battle, her last wish was to die at home. Her parents, Suzannah and Jason Shoales, and her Hospice Austin pediatric care team were determined to do everything they could to honor her wish. Bethany Miller was Madelyn’s RN case manager.

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Loving Spirits

Stacy Pruitt became a certified nurse aide after witnessing the subpar care her grandmother received from a nursing home in her small town. Suzanne Armistead became a CNA after seeing the excellent care her brother received. Andrew Stratman became a CNA after visiting his grandmother in a nursing home several times a day for about a year. “It was never a chore for me to help her,” he said. “I felt privileged to do it. It made me realize I have an aptitude.”

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The Beauty and the Mystery

Hospice Austin social workers are on the emotional front lines for patients and families coming to the end of life’s journey. They help families heal fractured relationships, plan funerals, access social support services, normalize symptoms, and give voice to their sadness and fear. They provide a calming presence by holding space and offering support for the social and emotional issues that arise during this agonizing time. They help patients and families build on their own emotional strength.

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Celebrating 20 Years of In-patient Care

When Hospice Austin Executive Director Marjorie Mulanax toured Christopher House in 1993 after it opened as a small AIDS hospital, she was dazzled. “Oh my gosh,” she remembers thinking, “They’ve done what we need to do!” Hospice Austin needed an in-patient facility, but Marjorie didn’t see how it would be financially possible.

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Hospice Austin Standard Bearer Brian King

Our fifth nomination for Standard Bearer of the Year:  Brian King! Brian is known to all as being ready to serve, not just our patients, but also his co workers and other staff, as well as our partners in clinical service delivery.  It is impossible to find a standard of behavior that Brian does not exemplify.  His approach with everyone is to honor them by his words and actions.  You can’t help but feel valued by the implicit appreciation he conveys.

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Hospice Austin Standard Bearer Christina Remus

Over this week we will be sharing a little about each of the six people nominated as Hospice Austin’s Standard Bearers for 2017. Here is a little bit about our first nominee, Director of Quality Christina Remus, from the colleague who nominated her.

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Bearing the Light

To borrow the words of a poem by Jan Richardson, our staff are the bearers of light in unbearable times. They are the heart of the care we provide to our patients and families. For the past year, Hospice Austin has engaged in an internal campaign that illustrates that heart through our RIGHT way Standards of Behavior that emphasize Respect, Innovation, Gratitude, Honesty, and Teamwork.

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