Getting to Know Community Hospice

News

We would like the community to get to know some of the dedicated people that help make Community Hospice an excellent quality care provider. We’ve talked with Lois Andreas, one of Community Hospice’s Board Members:

How long have you been involved with Community Hospice?
I have been involved since before Community Hospice existed. In the early 1980’s, I, along with 5 others, formed a task force to begin Hospice of Tuscarawas County (the earlier name of
Community Hospice). So at least 35 years!

What motivated you to become involved with the organization, and what has your involvement looked like over time?
As a nurse, I always thought there was a better option for end of life care that encompassed all aspects of a person’s life, and included care of family as well. Hospice was a relatively new
concept back then, but one that had already taken hold in other countries and larger cities. Over the years, I have been involved in organizational development, Medicare certification, the Board of Directors, policy development, quality improvement, compliance, education, etc. I even was a hospice nurse in the early days.

What makes Community Hospice mission meaningful to you?
The mission encompasses the dignity of life even during the dying process, recognizes the person holistically and includes the family. As a nursing student at the Ohio State University, this was a cherished aspect of nursing, yet one that often did not carry over to medical model clinical settings after graduation.

How long have you been a board member?
I was a board member on the original board in the 1980’s, and I returned as a board member in January, 2019.

How would you characterize the board’s role in the nonprofit organization?
The board’s role, to me, is to represent our communities to the best of our ability. We are not in the business of profiting financially from the services we offer, but to offer the best and most
comprehensive care/services we can. Different members bring different skills. Mine are clinically oriented, along with quality of patient/family care. We are also responsible for hiring and oversight of the President/CEO, and providing input to the decision-making process.

How has the board and organization changed during your involvement with Community Hospice?
In my opinion, the focus is still the same over all these years, and true to hospice’s mission. But growth, financial stability and keeping up with, and accountable to, changes and regulations
in health care and government systems has been massive. It is difficult to stay a step ahead of the fast paced and ever-changing healthcare and insurance environment in today’s world.

How would you describe the goals of the organization, and how does the organization achieve these goals?
The goals remain aligned with the mission. Strategic planning is always in the forefront. Foresight into emerging health care and government regulations and issues helps to keep hospice
ahead of the game. A strong leader and leadership team, who seek out and are open to input, keep a strong direction for the organization. Quality and compliance teams, along with dedicated staff and volunteers insure best care practices are implemented.

What do you see as the greatest challenges facing Community Hospice?
Although, our communities are financially supportive of hospice, I see financial issues as thebiggest challenge. Medicare and insurance regulations are always changing the playing field.
The mantra seems to be “do more with less.”