Hospice Transitions to Help Communities Support Illness & Grief
Hospice of Northwest Michigan is excited to announce its re-launch as Northwest Michigan Hospice Assist!
When news broke earlier this year that the Home Health and Hospice division of the Health Department of Northwest Michigan was closing, it set about a need to explore the future for Hospice of Northwest Michigan as the two organizations had a long history of partnership. The initial non-profit agency, Charlevoix County Hospice, stemmed from a grassroots effort in 1982 and had partnered with the clinical team from the Health Department since 2002.
From its inception, the focus of the organization was on supporting people caring for loved ones with advanced illness in their homes. Earlier this year, the Board of Directors and Executive Director, Jeanne Marriott, engaged in the strategic planning process. When reviewing their key components, core values and gaps in end-of-life care within our communities, the mission emerged. Board President, Melissa Zelenak, shared that “What we realized is that the mission really hasn’t change from all those years ago when the agency started: we need to provide support for those facing illness and grief.”
While the agency’s name will be new – Northwest Michigan Hospice Assist – their goal is to remain a non-medical hospice agency that can provide support to people caring for their loved ones. In addition, Marriott shared that they will continue to be the ‘go-to source’ for grief support thanks to the work of David Behling. She added, “David is a well-known figure in northern Lower Michigan and remains a beloved and trusted counselor to those experiencing loss of any kind.”
Northwest Michigan Hospice Assist believes that people facing illness, death, and grief must be supported through their unique experience and across their lifespan. They are committed to helping individuals process and reconcile these transitions, with an emphasis on bereavement due to a loss of any kind. Hospice Assist embraces and advocates for the philosophy of hospice care and will collaborate with other local partners to wrap needed resources in a cocoon of comprehensive physical, emotional, spiritual and compassionate care.
Northwest Michigan Hospice Assist is a 501(c)3 non-profit, non-medical hospice service specializing in volunteer and grief support for those facing illness and loss, serving Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet and Otsego Counties. Call 1-800-551-4140 or visit HospiceAssist.org for more information on their services or to learn more about how you can help support their mission.