Flushing Hospital Opens New Hospice Unit

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Natifia Mullings


April 23, 2012 (Flushing, NY)‰ÛÓ Caring for a loved one who is suffering from a terminal illness can be a stressful situation for both the patient and their family. The right kind of care, offered by the right kind of facility, however, can provide everyone with peace of mind.

To help patients and their families cope during this difficult time, and ensure that their medical, social, and spiritual needs are met, Flushing Hospital recently opened a four-bed hospice unit on the third floor of the facility. The Maureen Russo Hospice Unit at Flushing Hospital was named in honor of the former wife of Michael J. Russo, current Chairman of the Board of Trustee at Flushing Hospital. Maureen Russo battled cancer for 5 å? years and received hospice care during the final stages of her life.

The Maureen Russo Hospice Unit at Flushing Hospital is staffed by a team of interdisciplinary and experienced professionals, who have all received specialized training and will offer a variety of comfort care services to hospice patients. Comprised of physicians, nurses, and social workers, the unit‰Ûªs team provides exceptional inpatient medical care to manage all symptoms commonly experienced by hospice patients. Additionally, the facility offers a wide list of social and support services, ensuring that patients and their families receive a comfortable end of life experience.

The unit offers the following ancillary services:

Bereavement Services and Grief Counseling. Social workers provide families and friends with the support they need to deal with the grief and loss of their loved ones. Specifically, the hospice team conducts individual and group grief counseling, conducts ongoing bereavement follow-up calls, and hosts a yearly bereavement gathering.

Family Advocacy. Hospice staff is available to assist patients and their loved ones with end-of-life planning. Staff helps families make difficult decisions regarding Advance Directives, Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) requests, healthcare proxies, and much more. Social workers also provide families with referrals to local community services.

Spiritual Support/Pastoral Care. Prayer and spiritual support is provided to patients and their families, as requested. The hospital has affiliations with many religious organizations in the local community, enabling the unit to meet the spiritual needs of all of its patients.

Volunteer Services. Specially trained volunteers assist in aiding patients and their families during their difficult time.

‰ÛÏCommitting to hospice care is an enormous decision for both patients and their family,‰Û said Catherine Ferrari, Administrator of Professional Services at Flushing Hospital. ‰ÛÏAt Flushing Hospital, we remember that hospice care is about providing patients and their loved ones with comfort and dignity through this transition.‰Û

The Maureen Russo Hospice Unit at Flushing Hospital boasts extra large private patient rooms with brand new furniture, a convertible couch for overnight guests, a flat screen television, internet service, and additional home-like furnishings. The unit also includes a family room and a lounge with a kitchen area, microwave, refrigerator, comfortable chairs, a big screen television, and a wide variety of reading material.

Individuals who meet the following criteria are eligible for admission into the hospice unit: have six months to live; whose medical needs cannot be cared for at home; and/or can be medically stabilized to continue care at home.

For more information about the Maureen Russo Hospice Unit at Flushing Hospital, please call 718-670-8900.

Flushing Hospital Medical Center serves a community of over 1.9 million residents throughout Queens. This 293-bed facility is an accredited community teaching hospital that has over 40 general and specialty clinics, including Internal and Pediatric Medicine, Ophthalmology, Podiatry, OB/GYN, Dentistry, and Mental Health. The hospital also has the only patient Geriatric Medical Unit in Queens and an extensive Community Outreach Department. In 1999, FHMC was credited with discovering an outbreak of the West Nile Virus. Flushing Hospital Medical Center‰Ûªs mission is to provide superior service to patients and the community in a caring environment. For additional information, please contact Public Affairs at 718-670-8930.


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