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Hospice program gets new name

Friday, January 17, 2014

The hospice program at Memorial Hospital in Martinsville has a new name, but there have been no changes in how services are provided to patients and their families, according to a hospital spokesman.

In October, Memorial’s hospice program merged with Legacy Hospice of the Piedmont, the hospice program of Danville Regional Medical Center, and took the Legacy name, said Leslie Smith, director of communications for LifePoint Hospitals’ south central Virginia market.

LifePoint owns both Memorial and Danville Regional. The two hospitals have formed a regional health care system, officials have said.

Memorial announced Thursday that Registered Nurse Betty Smith has been named the hospital’s transitional care coordinator for its hospice and home health programs.

Leslie Smith said the merger of the hospice programs was part of an effort to improve services.

“We’re trying to make sure patients and their families have the best end of life care (for the patients) as possible,” she said.

She emphasized that local hospice patients, prospective patients and their families will continue to be served at Memorial. They will not need to call or visit Legacy’s office in Danville to receive services, she said.

Hospice, according to Memorial’s website, provides nursing, psychological, emotional, spiritual and bereavement care to terminally ill patients and their families. The emphasis is on providing services at home, but patients can be admitted to the hospital if needed, Leslie Smith said.

Leslie Smith did not know how many beds at Memorial are reserved for hospice patients. Other hospital officials could not be reached for comment.

Betty Smith has held various jobs at the hospital during her 29 years there. For the past 14 years, she was coordinator of quality and performance improvement.

“Betty is ... a principle contact for our physicians, care coordinators and clinical teams needing assistance with hospice and home health referral and information,” said Kofi Cash, Memorial’s director of quality and performance improvement.

“She will play an integral role in supporting and educating our patients and families, as well as our staff and physicians,” Cash said.

Betty Smith has a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Old Dominion University and an associate of applied science degree from Patrick Henry Community College, according to a hospital news release.

In 2012, she received the Mercy Award, the highest honor that a Memorial employee can earn for providing superior customer service, the release said.


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