Early admission to hospice can improve quality of life

Hospice care provides people at the end-of-life with symptom and pain management, emotional and spiritual support, and the ability to remain at home if that is their goal. Not only does the hospice team work to make the patient comfortable, they also support caregivers and family members throughout the process as well as after the death.

However, many people never have the opportunity to experience this type of care and support, either because they do not elect hospice or because they only elect hospice in the last days and weeks of life.

Hospice isn’t just for the actively dying. Anyone with a life expectancy of six months or less may be eligible, and patients who exceed the six months can be recertified and continue to receive care as long as they continue to meet eligibility criteria. Patients who choose hospice choose to forgo further curative treatment for their terminal illness and focus on comfort instead.

A report from the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization shows that in 2016, the median length of hospice care for Medicare patients was only 24 days. In fact, over 40% of Medicare hospice beneficiaries received less than two weeks of care, and 27% received service for a week or less.

Why does this matter?

The sooner patients are admitted the sooner the care team can begin to control pain and symptoms. Researchers from the School of Medicine at Yale University found patients they were studying only experienced substantial relief of their most distressing symptoms (including nausea, depression, pain, shortness of breath) after hospice began.

Managing symptoms can go a long way in ensuring patients can remain at home. The Kaiser Family Foundation reports that 71% of Americans prefer to die at home, yet the Centers for Disease Control found that only 33.5% of Medicare patients died at home in 2009.

Not only does hospice improve patient quality of life, it can also improve length of life. A Journal of Pain and Symptom Management study showed hospice patients lived an average of 29 days longer than those who were not receiving hospice services. And a study in the New England Journal of Medicine reported hospice patients were happier, more mobile, in less pain and lived nearly three months longer.

We understand that talking about end-of-life is difficult, but with hospice services patients have a team of people working with them and their families to identify goals, set priorities and help achieve the best quality of life possible.

Who is on the hospice team?

The team is led by a hospice RN case manager and may also include:

  • Hospice medical director
  • Hospice nurse practitioner
  • Hospice nurses
  • Home health aides
  • Medical social worker
  • Music therapist
  • Grief and spiritual counselor
  • Volunteers
  • Physical, occupational or speech therapists

The patient’s primary care physician is also involved and kept informed about the patient’s condition and plan of care.

Where do patients receive care?

Hospice is a service, not a place. Most patients prefer to remain at home and the team will do everything they can to make that happen. Care can be provided in the patient’s home, the home of a family member, nursing home, senior apartments, assisted living facilities or residential hospice facilities.

Who pays for hospice?

The Medicare Hospice Benefit covers the services provided by the hospice team as well as many types of medical equipment and approved medications related to the terminal illness. Most HMO’s and private insurance companies also provide coverage for hospice services.

What if a caregiver needs a break?

Hospice can provide temporary, short-term assistance in caring for a hospice patient allowing caregivers time to recharge. Respite care comes in many forms and can be provided at a variety of locations.

What if symptoms cannot be managed at home?

In rare instances, patients who require skilled care around the clock in order to maintain comfort may be eligible for short-term general inpatient care. For qualifying patients, this type of care can be provided in a Medicare-certified facility that meets the conditions of providing inpatient care.

I’m not ready for hospice but have a chronic or life-limiting illness that is affecting my quality of life. Is care available to help manage my symptoms?

Yes. Palliative care is a type of home health care focused on helping people facing chronic or life-limiting conditions manage symptoms, pain and stress. Eligibility for palliative care is not dependent on life expectancy and can be provided at the same time as curative or life-prolonging treatment.

How can I learn more?

SSM Health at Home can provide informational visits to anyone interested in learning more about how our services can help. We are able to meet with you and your family to discuss how our team of hospice professionals can help identify goals, set priorities and help achieve the best quality of life possible. We can also discuss other services available to improve quality of life for those who do not qualify for or are not ready for hospice.

About SSM Health at Home

SSM Health at Home is a nonprofit organization providing a variety of comprehensive home care services, including home health, hospice, medical equipment, infusion pharmacy and community health. We offer informational visits to anyone interested in learning about how our services can help today or in the future. Please visit ssmhealthathomeWI.com or call 800-924-2273 to schedule an informational visit today.

 

Care need indicators and where to find assistance

Could you or a loved one benefit from additional care or supportive services? There are underlying issues that may indicate the need for more care. Some things to look for include:

Medical

  • Acute, chronic or terminal health condition
  • Frequent hospitalizations or ER/urgent care visits
  • Home safety concerns
  • Pain control management
  • Changes in mobility

Social

  • Isolation
  • Depression

Psychosocial

  • Limited social network
  • Lack of family support

Activities of Daily Living

  • Personal care needs
  • Financial/benefits assistance
  • Medication assistance

Physical/Mental

  • Cognitive changes
  • Range of motion changes

Nutritional

  • Lack of food preparation
  • Change in appetite

Spiritual

  • Worry/concern about loved ones
  • Sense of abandonment
  • Spiritual distress

For a more extensive checklist, please visit our website at ssmhealthathomeWI.com and click Resources.

Once you have identified a need, the next step is to determine the level of care that can best meet your needs. While the goal of each type of home health care is the same – to help keep people at home – the level of care provided depends on the unique needs of each individual.

Non-medical home care provides assistance with personal care like dressing, grooming, bathing and other activities of daily living. This type of care can also assist clients with meal preparation, transportation or medication management. Non-medical home care can benefit people who do not qualify for skilled home care services, but who require increased day-to-day support due to their physical or cognitive needs.

Coverage for non-medical home care services depends on each individual’s specific circumstances and coverage. You can contact your local Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) for assistance and additional information.

Skilled home care provides patients with medical care in their home. It is provided by a licensed home health agency and must be “prescribed” by a physician. Most skilled services are covered by Medicare. There are a number of types of skilled care available and which type of care a patient receives is dependent on their individual condition(s) and needs.

Skilled home health care helps patients remain at home by providing medical care such as nursing, physical, occupational or other therapies, and medical social work. This type of care can benefit those who are recovering from an illness or injury, people who have recently had surgery, or those who are dealing with a chronic health condition. The goal of skilled home health care is to help the patient recover or manage their chronic condition(s) at home.

Palliative care is available for people who are having difficulty dealing with the symptoms of their chronic and/or terminal condition(s). Patients receiving this type of care are still able to receive curative treatment and do not have to have a limited life expectancy. The goal of palliative care is to manage symptoms in order for patient’s to live the best quality of life possible, all while remaining at home.

Hospice is a special type of care for those dealing with a terminal illness and whose physician estimates they have a life expectancy of six months or less. Care is focused on managing symptoms, keeping the patient comfortable, and providing emotional and spiritual support to both the patient and their family. Hospice is a type of care, not a place. In fact, the vast majority of hospice patients remain at home.

Many people know they need help but don’t know where to start. Navigating the maze of care options available can be stressful. While many people know that they or a loved one needs additional help, they may not know where to find it.

Your local Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) is a great place to start. You can find the ADRC nearest you at dhs.wisconsin.gov/adrc or by doing an online search for ADRC Wisconsin. You can also visit Medicare’s website at medicare.gov to search for services from doctors, to home health care, to nursing homes. Talk to your doctor and ask for recommendations from people you trust. Learn more about agencies that provide additional care and support. Medical social workers are a great resource. Schedule informational visits with care providers to see what is available.

SSM Health at Home is a nonprofit organization providing a variety of comprehensive home care services, including: home health, hospice, medical equipment, infusion pharmacy and community health. We offer informational visits to anyone interested in learning about how our services can help today or in the future. Please visit ssmhealthathomeWI.com or call 800-924-2273 to schedule an informational visit today.

News from SSM Health at Home

June 2018

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SSM Health at Home’s hospice helps keep patients at home

Thinking about hospice can be overwhelming for patients and their families. However the sooner an eligible patient is admitted to hospice, the sooner our care team can begin treating symptoms, managing pain and providing support.

Most hospice patients prefer to remain at home surrounded by the people and things they love. SSM Health at Home helps make that happen, helping patients achieve the best quality of life possible for however long they are in our care.


Sharing Helen’s stories

SSM Health at Home provides so much more than physical care to our patients and their families. It is an honor and privilege to be allowed to join an individual’s end of life journey. Each person’s journey is as unique as they, and so our care is tailored to each and every patient. For hospice patient Helen, sharing stories was a way for her to connect with caregivers and our staff.

Read more about Helen and the stories we were lucky enough to hear on her hospice journey.

 


Helping you heal at home

At SSM Health at Home, we are proud to offer our patients a selection of home-based health services designed to keep people at home. From skilled nursing to telehealth monitoring, chronic disease management to post-surgical care, our home health services are here to help you heal at home.

Our dedicated team coordinates with physicians, nurses and specialists to create individual care plans for patients that help treat and improve chronic conditions, support those recovering from an injury or illness, or assist people healing from surgery.

SSM Health at Home provides support to patients of all ages, providing compassionate care that travels from our home to yours.

 


Don’t let sleep apnea keep you awake at night

A good night’s sleep is important not just for our mood, but for our overall health. Sleep apnea is a relatively common condition that impacts not only a person’s quality of sleep, but left untreated, can have detrimental effects on their health.

Learn more about sleep apnea, signs, symptoms and treatment.

 


Doing all the good we can with the help of our donors

Every day, through every gift that is given, our donors help our Foundation do all the good we can.

Last fall, a donor wanted to give her Green Bay Packers tickets to a patient in our care. Due to her generosity, we were able to grant a wish for a hospice patient and his family. When we asked the donor why she had chosen to do this, she quoted John Wesley.

“Do all the good you can, by all means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.”

We later learned the patient’s family chose to share the sentiment with all who knew him by printing the quote on his funeral program.

Through your gift to our Foundation you can help us to continue to do all the good we can, by all the means we can, in all the places we can, at all the times we can, for all the people we can, as long as ever we can.

Our donors impact the lives of every senior who receives a noon meal through our Meals On Wheels program, to every family who spends final days together at our Hospice House, and to each hospice patient who plays cards with a fellow veteran volunteer through our We Honor Veterans program. Every day, through every gift that is given, a life is touched by the generosity of our donors.

Please join us in doing all the good we can, by all the means we can, in all the places we can, at all the times we can, for all the people we can, as long as ever we can. Donate today.

 


Save the Date – Heels for Meals

Save the date on August 23, 2018, and join us for the inaugural Heels for Meals event in support of our Meals On Wheels program.

Held at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery in downtown Madison, the evening will feature a four-course meal, music, dancing and much more.

Learn more.

 


Join our crew of volunteers!

Hospice volunteers are needed in both administrative and patient-interactive areas.

Meals On Wheels volunteers deliver mid-day meals, Monday-Friday in Madison, Middleton, Monona, and Sun Prairie.

SAFE at Home volunteers conduct in-home safety assessments for Dane County residents 60 or older.


Grief Support Groups

We offer grief support groups throughout our service area to anyone in the community who has experienced loss, regardless of whether your loved one was our patient or not.

Groups are offered throughout the year and across our service area. If you would like more information please contact us at 877-356-4514 or visit our website to find a group near you.

Sharing Helen’s Stories

SSM Health at Home joined Helen on her health care journey in 2012, providing in-home health care, including physical and occupational therapy. In 2018 Helen’s needs changed, and SSM Health at Home was able to transition with her, providing care and support to her and her family through our hospice services.

While home health concentrates on helping patients meet clinical goals, hospice focuses on comfort and support, not only for patients but for their families as well. Our clinicians are experts at keeping patients comfortable through symptom and pain management, but hospice is more than just physical care.

When members of our team visit patients and their families they are sharing a part of a journey, providing not only medical care but spiritual and emotional support as well.

For 102-year-old patient Helen, sharing her experiences through her stories helps her connect with SSM Health at Home’s clinical staff, our volunteers and her caregivers.

Helen is used to telling her stories. She was a speaker at the sesquicentennial in New Glarus detailing her family’s history there; her grandfather was one of the founders of the city. A few years ago she was interviewed for a Wisconsin State Journal story about riding out the summer heat wave of 1936 by sleeping on the Capital Square to keep cool.

She talks about her father and mother. How her father would warm blocks of Limburger cheese on the block of his truck, traveling to Switzerland with her mother to visit her grandfather, and watching the annual Cheese Days parade ride past the house where she grew up.

She shares memories of growing up with her brothers, all three of them, and their antics. She remembers her days as a schoolgirl in Monroe, walking to school with her girlfriends and laughing at her classmates’ pranks.

She fondly recalls meeting her husband Walter at the skating rink. He was a pilot and would buzz her parent’s house with his biplane. She talks about the first time she went flying with him, how she was scared to tell her parents because she knew they would be worried.

She tells tales of working at the Swiss Colony as a young married woman. Then later she talks about shopping in Chicago for the fashions sold at the women’s clothing store she owned and operated in Brodhead in the 1950’s.

She reminisces about her 100th birthday party only a few short years ago. Her only living brother, who traveled all the way from California to attend, hid a hundred dollar bill in her purse to surprise her, an old family tradition her father started with her mother.

She speaks about her caregivers, her son and daughter, her four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. She remembers her granddaughter who comes to dance for her and the SSM Health at Home music therapist who comes to see her and play songs that she once played on the piano.

These stories are just brief moments from a long and rich life. We have cared for many hospice patients over the past 29 years, each on their own unique journey with their own special stories to tell. SSM Health at Home was honored to be part of their journeys just as we are honored to have been part of Helen’s.

Employee of the Month

Congratulations Maureen K.

Maureen has been with SSM Health at Home for over 27 years as an RN Case Manager for our Reedsburg office. Always willing to help out her home health team and the hospice team, she will assist on her days off, at night and on the weekend with no complaint. Maureen is a true team player and maintains a positive and professional attitude at all times. She is kind, caring, compassionate, and her patients always come first as seen in the many positive comments and cards the office receives from her patients and families. From individualized patient-centered goals to informing patients of SSM Health at Home services, one of Maureen’s strongest attributes is the care she provides to patients. She has been described as the Florence Nightingale of SSM Health at Home! Maureen is dedicated to SSM’s mission and values, and it is seen in her work with patients and families every day.  Please join us in congratulating Maureen on this recognition!

What do you enjoy most about working at SSM Health at Home?

Things have changed so much over the years at Home Health United/SSM Health at Home but I guess the most of what I enjoy without a doubt are the patients. People are so appreciative of what we do for them. They are so happy to be able to stay in their homes. What we do for our patients today, I did for the patient’s in the hospital setting years ago. It is even more complicated today than it was then and we do it in the home! Medicine has changed so much. People would stay in the hospital until they were well. Now they go home once a discharge has been made and the home health nurse gets them to care for. I really love it! Every day you learn something new – so many things to learn all the time. My patients are the reason I’m here. I enjoy them and when they are happy with what I have done for them they have made my day.

What does Employee of the Month mean to you?

What can I say……I was completely shocked. It was unbelievable to me….the first employee from the Reedsburg home care team. I am so appreciative and excited, completely humbled, it was so unexpected. It could have been anyone of us. We all work hard and help out one another all the time. There is always a place to help. I have made many friends and lasting friendships with patients and fellow colleagues over the years – a lifetime of friendships. Being chosen as “employee of the month” builds from a lifetime of working together and is so meaningful to me. It is awesome. I want to thank everyone for this incredible honor. Thank you!

 When you’re not at SSM Health at Home, what do you enjoy doing?

My hobbies have changed over the years. Guess that comes with age. I use to be a big runner – every waking free time – even got the whole family involved many times. I have lots of medals and ribbons from my running days. My hobbies today are my flower gardens. I just love what I have been blessed to do – my flowers are beautiful. I have many different gardens – grandchildren, Angel, Brett Favre, and a memory garden for my parents to just name a few. It’s wonderful—lots of work but wonderful.

My husband has rejuvenated his musical talents so I have become a “groupie”. He plays the guitar and sings. He has a band so we entertain when we have time. It is a lot of fun. We also like to travel. We go south for a couple of weeks each year and this year we will be playing at a resort in Key West, so a true “groupie”!

I also have two sons and their families which includes five grandchildren, ages 4-16. Family is very important to me. The kids grow up so fast – you have to enjoy them while you can.


Past Winners

May 2018 – Janet B.

April 2018 – Christina W.

March 2018 – Jim T.

January 2018 – Linda W.

December 2017- Renee K.

November 2017 – Layna H.

September 2017 – Sue W.

August 2017 – Nancy J.R.

July 2017 – Sean M.

June 2017 – Mike G.

May 2017 – Laura A.

April 2017 – Paulie S.

March 2017 – Cyndy T.

January 2017 – Julie W.

December 2016 – Kay F.

November 2016 – Jean B.

October 2016 – Jody S.

September 2016 – Alecia C.

August 2016 – Krista B.

July 2016 – Ben C.

June 2016 – Joy N.

May 2016 – Sally Z.

April 2016 – Ray F.

Employee of the Month – May 2018

Congratulations Janet B.

Janet has been with SSM Health at Home for over 28 years and has held various positions within the company. In her current role as Outreach Manager Janet meets with referral sources, community leaders, patients and family members to provide education on SSM Health at Home’s services. Janet also represents SSM Health at Home in community groups, provides student education, trains new hires, volunteers to help out MOW routes and has been our United Way key leader for several years. Janet brings a professional, calm and positive attitude to work every day. She is an asset to our company serving as a resource for our staff, as well as to the community as seen in numerous letters of praise and recognition received from people outside of our organization. She is very dependable, self-motivated and her customer service skills and follow through are top notch! Janet is a passionate ambassador of our services and a wonderful role model for staff members. Please join us in congratulating Janet on this recognition!

What do you enjoy most about working at SSM Health at Home?

In my tenure at Visiting Nurse Service/Home Health United/SSM Health at Home, I have been offered wonderful opportunities from field work as a medical social worker, management of the Social Workers and Spiritual Counselors, program development as well as outreach and business development. I truly believe the primary reason for enjoying my work is because I strongly believe in the vision and mission of the company by helping people stay in their homes with needed support. Another very important part of my satisfaction is due to the people I work with! I enjoy meeting and building relationships with our referral sources.

What does Employee of the Month mean to you?

I am honored to be presented Employee of the Month! It’s humbling to know that others recognize and appreciate your hard work and dedication to the company!

 When you’re not at SSM Health at Home, what do you enjoy doing?

My family and friends mean the world to me so spending time with them is my highest priority. My husband and I have been married almost 32 years; I have a daughter who is 23 and a big lab puppy! We all enjoy time together! I enjoy the outdoors, bonfires, Harley road trips and suspenseful shows and movies.

 


Past Winners

April 2018 – Christina W.

March 2018 – Jim T.

January 2018 – Linda W.

December 2017- Renee K.

November 2017 – Layna H.

September 2017 – Sue W.

August 2017 – Nancy J.R.

July 2017 – Sean M.

June 2017 – Mike G.

May 2017 – Laura A.

April 2017 – Paulie S.

March 2017 – Cyndy T.

January 2017 – Julie W.

December 2016 – Kay F.

November 2016 – Jean B.

October 2016 – Jody S.

September 2016 – Alecia C.

August 2016 – Krista B.

July 2016 – Ben C.

June 2016 – Joy N.

May 2016 – Sally Z.

April 2016 – Ray F.

Employee of the Month – April 2018

 Congratulations Christina W.

Christina has been with SSM Health at Home for a little of a year as an HME Specialist-Retail. She started in our Sauk store and now works in our Baraboo location.  Christina is a positive, hardworking part of the team.  She is a team player ensuring our patients and referral source needs are met.  Christina is always doing something extra to help her team out in any way she can.  Flexible and supportive of change, Christina is not afraid to complete difficult tasks or learn new ones.  Christina treats everyone fairly and always has a smile on her face.  Please join us in congratulating Christina on this recognition!

What do you enjoy most about working at SSM Health at Home?

The absolute best part of this job is getting to work with such awesome people.  I have had the privilege of working at all but one of the medical equipment stores.  Every branch has made me feel welcome.  It was super easy to fall into their routine and it was like I had known them all for years.

What does Employee of the Month mean to you?

Employee of the month is a privilege to even be considered for.  To know that I was chosen means that I have a positive impact on those around me and that makes me so happy!

 When you’re not at SSM Health at Home, what do you enjoy doing?

When I am not working I spend my time with my family.  My mom, son, fiancé and I all live together so I have all of my favorite people in one place, which is fantastic.  We never turn down the opportunity for a new adventure.  We like to spend time at the zoo, play games and even exercise together.


Past Winners

March 2018 – Jim T.

January 2018 – Linda W.

December 2017- Renee K.

November 2017 – Layna H.

September 2017 – Sue W.

August 2017 – Nancy J.R.

July 2017 – Sean M.

June 2017 – Mike G.

May 2017 – Laura A.

April 2017 – Paulie S.

March 2017 – Cyndy T.

January 2017 – Julie W.

December 2016 – Kay F.

November 2016 – Jean B.

October 2016 – Jody S.

September 2016 – Alecia C.

August 2016 – Krista B.

July 2016 – Ben C.

June 2016 – Joy N.

May 2016 – Sally Z.

April 2016 – Ray F.

Don’t Let Sleep Apnea Keep You Awake at Night

Catching some Zzz’s. Getting your beauty sleep. Hitting the hay. Whatever you call it; sleep is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. But while you may think you are “out like a light” you may not be getting the quality of sleep you need. A common sleep disorder could be causing you more than just sleepy days; it could be seriously impacting your health.

Sleep apnea is a common disorder in which breathing stops or gets very shallow while sleeping and can be very serious. According to the American Sleep Apnea Association it is estimated that 22 million American adults have sleep apnea, but around 80% of people with the disorder are undiagnosed.

The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea. In people with obstructive sleep apnea, the airway collapses blocking the flow of air into the lungs and causing an interruption in normal breathing. When this happens, the amount of oxygen in a person’s blood may drop. Normal breaths then start again with a loud snort or choking sound.

For those suffering from sleep apnea, sleep is not restful because sufferers move out of deep sleep and into light sleep many times during the night, resulting in poor sleep quality. And as everyone knows, when sleep is upset throughout the night, you can be very sleepy during the day.

While not everyone who snores has sleep apnea, people with sleep apnea often snore loudly. Most people don’t know they are having problems breathing while they are sleeping. Often, a spouse or bed partner may notice the signs of sleep apnea first.

Signs of Sleep Apnea

  • Loud snoring
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Waking up at night short of breath
  • Breathing stops for short periods a night – this is usually observed by someone else
  • Dry mouth or sore throat in the morning
  • Chest pain upon waking
  • Morning headaches
  • Mood instability
  • Insomnia
  • Hypertension

According to the National Institutes of Health, sleep disorders are associated with a growing number of medical problems including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity, hypertension, and cancer. In addition to putting you at risk for certain diseases, excessive daytime sleepiness can increase your odds of injury in work-related or automobile accidents.

If you think you might have sleep apnea, talk with your doctor. They may order a sleep study, a test that is often done in a sleep center or sleep laboratory. The study is painless. You go to sleep as usual while staff monitors your sleep throughout the night. The results are analyzed by a sleep medicine specialist to determine if you have sleep apnea, how severe it is, and what treatment may be recommended.

Treatment is aimed at restoring regular nighttime breathing and relieving symptoms such as very loud snoring and daytime sleepiness. Treatment may also help associated medical problems such as high blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is the most common treatment for sleep apnea. CPAP users wear a mask during sleep which blows air into the throat at a pressure level just enough to stop the airways from getting too small. The increased airway pressure keeps the throat open during sleep and prevents apnea.

If you think you or a loved may be suffering from sleep apnea, don’t let sleeping dogs lie. Encourage them to seek medical attention. Not only will it improve their ability to get a restful night’s sleep, it could also improve their health and potentially protect them from future medical problems.

SSM Health at Home is a nonprofit organization providing a variety of comprehensive home care services, including home health, hospice, medical equipment, infusion pharmacy and community health. We offer informational visits to anyone interested in learning more about how our services can help, whether their needs are today or they are planning for tomorrow. For more information or to schedule an informational visit, contact us at ssmhealthathomeWI.com or call 800-924-2273.

Employee of the Month – March 2018

Congratulations Jim T.

Jim has been with SSM Health at Home for almost 10 years and has worn multiple hats – from PT to Ergonomics Specialist and now the Ergonomics Program Coordinator. Jim has also recently been named the organization’s new Safety Officer and serves on multiple committees. Jim supports all employees through his safety and ergonomics programs. He is a resource on safety concerns and works to ensure that both our staff and patients are safe. Jim is cheerful, supportive and sets a great example for staff to follow with his “can do” attitude. Jim’s experience and expertise are invaluable to SSM Health at Home. Please join us in congratulating Jim on this recognition!

What do you enjoy most about working at SSM Health at Home?
Working for a company that does so much good. Think about how many people have benefitted from SSM Health at Home’s services and products. Consider how many people could not stay in their homes without our services. Imagine how much pain a patient would endure if they had to go to a clinic three times a week to get their wound care done. Imagine how many people could go hungry without Meals On Wheels.

I also appreciate that SSM Health at Home is committed to keeping its employees safe while performing their jobs. I spent 20 years working as a Physical Therapist in outpatient clinics. I witnessed hundreds of times the adverse effect workplace injuries can have on someone’s and their family’s lives. The pain, disfigurement and financial disruptions caused by these injuries can be extreme. These injuries can make simple tasks impossible, take the joy out of life and lead to chronic pain.

I am proud to be a part of SSM’s Health at Home’s safety efforts. We have consistently been able to keep the number of employee injuries well below industry averages. This means we likely prevent about 10-30 people from getting hurt on the job each and every year. That gets me jazzed up!!! For the injuries that do occur, SSM Health at Home works aggressively to get the injured employee the care they need to heal as quickly as possible.

What does Employee of the Month mean to you?
That my efforts are appreciated, for which I am grateful. It also makes me think about how many of my co-workers deserve this award.

When you’re not at SSM Health at Home, what do you enjoy doing?
Spending time with my wife of 25 years and our two daughters. Together we enjoy traveling, cooking/eating, going to musicals and snow/water skiing. When they need a break from me I go deer hunting, fishing or get lost in a book.

 

Past Winners

January 2018 – Linda W.

December 2017- Renee K.

November 2017 – Layna H.

September 2017 – Sue W.

August 2017 – Nancy J.R.

July 2017 – Sean M.

June 2017 – Mike G.

May 2017 – Laura A.

April 2017 – Paulie S.

March 2017 – Cyndy T.

January 2017 – Julie W.

December 2016 – Kay F.

November 2016 – Jean B.

October 2016 – Jody S.

September 2016 – Alecia C.

August 2016 – Krista B.

July 2016 – Ben C.

June 2016 – Joy N.

May 2016 – Sally Z.

April 2016 – Ray F.

Employee of the Month – January 2018

Congratulations Linda W.

The Rewards and Recognition Committee is pleased to announce SSM Health at Home’s Employee of the Month award to Linda W. Linda has been with SSM Health at Home for 16 years as a Home Health Aide and is a knowledgeable asset to her team and other aides. Linda is also a member of the Honoring Veterans Committee and worked hard to assist in accomplishing the Level IV award for the company. Linda always comes to work ready to help her team and adjusts her day to accommodate both her patients’ and team’s needs.

In addition to being acknowledged by families and staff alike with notes and cards, Linda has received a total of 23 Guardian Angel pins and numerous Shining Stars so far. Linda is very kind and encouraging to her patient’s and to staff. She works hard to make the patient feel comfortable in her care and acts as an advocate when needed. Her continuous smile and awesome words of praise for staff and for patients is a great light to all. Please join us in congratulating Linda on this recognition!

What do you enjoy most about working at SSM Health at Home?
Easy – of course the flexible hours. But mostly the great group of people here at Madison East! They aren’t “just: co-workers”. They are dear friends! I have made some very deep friendships here! We are family. We have great team-work and great comradery here together!

What does Employee of the Month mean to you?
My co-workers like me! It is a great honor to me, to know my co-workers/friends here think of me like that. I am so greatly appreciated beyond words!

When you’re not at SSM Health at Home, what do you enjoy doing?
Photography. I’m an amateur photographer! I carry my camera everywhere – always watching for that sunrise, sunset, or nature photo opportunity. You never know when you are driving and spot a hawk, owl or just a cool nature picture. I have gotten several of my pictures featured on Wake up Wisconsin and Channel 3! I am working on the magazine contests now. I love flower gardening in the summer which butterflies and humming birds love! I also love volunteering with the Badger Honor Flights. I get to meet the vets and their families when they come into the airports. Seeing the looks on everyone’s face when the vets return to the airport is such a high. There are very few dry eyes. The vets are very appreciative of our help but I tell them WE appreciate them because if it wasn’t for all they did for us, serving our country, we may not be here. That is a very rewarding experience!

Past Winners

December 2017- Renee K.

November 2017 – Layna H.

September 2017 – Sue W.

August 2017 – Nancy J.R.

July 2017 – Sean M.

June 2017 – Mike G.

May 2017 – Laura A.

April 2017 – Paulie S.

March 2017 – Cyndy T.

January 2017 – Julie W.

December 2016 – Kay F.

November 2016 – Jean B.

October 2016 – Jody S.

September 2016 – Alecia C.

August 2016 – Krista B.

July 2016 – Ben C.

June 2016 – Joy N.

May 2016 – Sally Z.

April 2016 – Ray F.