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Rebekah's Pathway opens in Lockport

by jmaloni

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Wed, Feb 5th 2014 01:20 pm

First and only designated hospice unit collaboration in eastern Niagara County

Odd Fellow & Rebekah Rehabilitation & Health Care Center and Niagara Hospice held a grand opening for Rebekah's Pathway today. Rebekah's Pathway is a new collaboration between Niagara Hospice and Odd Fellow & Rebekah Rehabilitation & Health Care Center that provides the first and only dedicated hospice unit in eastern Niagara County.

"We have had a positive working relationship with Niagara Hospice for a number of years, and both organizations have a strong sense of pride and a desire to honor our similar values," said Odd Fellow & Rebekah Rehabilitation & Health Care Center CEO/Administrator Eugene Urban. "We believe that health care is local and it is our responsibility to provide our community with the best possible quality of care; and to deliver that care with the utmost respect, compassion and dignity."

Local officials, as well as Niagara Hospice and Odd Fellow staff, volunteers, residents and family members were on hand for the ceremonial ribbon-cutting that took place Wednesday. Rebekah's Pathway has nine dedicated beds for residents in need of hospice care. The unit consists of one private room and four double rooms, a lounge area for residents and family members, a hospitality room for visiting family, and a landscaped and furnished outdoor courtyard during summer months.

Odd Fellow & Rebekah Rehabilitation & Health Care Center staff have completed specialized training with the Niagara Hospice multidisciplinary team to addresses the special needs of residents nearing end of life.

Hospice is a way of caring for patients with end-of-life illnesses and supporting patients' family and loved ones. Niagara Hospice is a not-for-profit organization that serves nearly 155 patients per day. The organization has been providing end-of-life care since 1988, and is the only hospice provider in Niagara County. Odd Fellow & Rebekah Rehabilitation & Health Care Center is also a nonprofit facility, sponsored by the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, which provides long-term care and rehabilitation services as well as respite care.

In addition to the individualized care received from the Odd Fellow & Rebekah Rehabilitation & Health Care Center staff, Niagara Hospice complements that care by providing additional staff, resources and services to the residents and their families. Each resident in the hospice program has an individual plan of care developed to meet the resident's physical, spiritual and psychosocial needs, as well as maximize quality of life.

Niagara Hospice President and CEO John Lomeo said, "The addition of Rebekah's Pathway fills a need in the eastern end of the county for our most seriously ill residents. By concentrating hospice services in one location, we are able to ensure the gold standard of care for every patient, every family, every time. These individuals deserve our best, and together we accomplish that mission."

Additional benefits of the collaboration include reduced hospitalizations and fewer emergency room visits.

"Our primary goals are to increase and improve efficiency, clinical practices, compliance with new regulations and, most significantly, to provide the best quality of service to our hospice residents and their families," Urban said.

Kay Dekker, vice president of hospice services at Niagara Hospice, said, "Collaborations such as this are unique, and their success depends on every individual involved. We are fortunate to have an exceptional partner here in Lockport in the dedicated Odd Fellow staff, and we look forward to providing additional resources for the benefit of their seriously ill residents."

Dekker said that when a resident receiving hospice services passes, the door is not closed on the family. Family members have the benefit of bereavement services from Niagara Hospice for 13 months.

"These services are extended to the staff who often become very much like family to the residents they care for," she said.

Hospice care is appropriate for individuals when the prognosis is approximately six months or less to live if the disease were to run its normal course. Many patients live beyond six months and can continue receiving hospice care by meeting criteria set by Medicare.

For more information about Niagara Hospice, visit www.niagarahospice.org or call 716-439-4417. More information about Odd Fellow & Rebekah Rehabilitation & Health Care Center can be found at www.oddfellowrehab.org or by calling 716-434-6324.

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