All posts by admin

Elizabeth “Betty” Bulen, Founder of The Elizabeth Hospice, has died at 98

Dec. 2, 2017 – The Founder of San Diego County’s longest-running nonprofit hospice program, Elizabeth “Betty” Bulen, has died. She was 98. It is especially fitting that the compassionate, expert care Betty helped to provide to thousands of terminally ill San Diegans for nearly 40 years, was provided to Betty at the end of her life, through The Elizabeth Hospice.

“Betty was the catalyst for a long tradition of caring for those facing a serious illness. Her aspiration to bring comfort to those nearing their end-of-life journey will live on as her philosophy and desire to help others continues to inspire the team of staff and volunteers here at The Elizabeth Hospice,” said Jan Jones, president and CEO of The Elizabeth Hospice.

In 1978, few knew the word hospice. However, Betty, a registered nurse, held a vision of what this philosophy of care could mean to her community. She invited three of her friends: Betty “Elizabeth” Benz, Ann Elizabeth Warren and Kay “Elizabeth” Austin to work with her in establishing an organization of compassionate volunteers, devoted to offering care to the terminally ill and their families. That organization is The Elizabeth Hospice, which shares the name of all the founders.

As a nurse, Betty had a concern about the quality of life for those nearing the end of their journey. She wanted to bring comfort to those most in need, not only by providing medical care, but also by providing emotional and spiritual support.

Betty was fully aware of the challenges that lay ahead in the establishment of the first hospice in North San Diego County. In 1978, Betty shared with a local news reporter, “I think the main reason hospices have not been that popular in the United States is that Americans have an unhealthy attitude toward death. As the late English historian Arnold Toynbee said, ‘Americans consider death to be un-American.’”

Taking on challenges was nothing new to Betty. She spent time as an Army nurse in the Philippines during World War II, later married an Air Force surgeon and raised five children. Betty received the United Way Silver Bowl award in recognition of her faithful dedication to making her hospice dream a reality. This was followed in 1995 by national recognition for Betty when she was named the National Hospice Organization’s Volunteers Are the Foundation of Hospice Award.

To strengthen her hospice vision, Betty and Ms. Benz paid a visit to the St. Christopher and St. Barnabas hospices in London. Inspired, they came home to organize the first agency meeting and develop an inaugural board of directors. In less than a year, 20 hospice volunteers were meeting the special needs of eight terminally ill patients in North San Diego County. The Elizabeth Hospice was incorporated in August 1978 and opened its first office – a small house on Kalmia St. in Escondido with six staff members, in 1979.

The Elizabeth Hospice was only one of 59 hospice care programs operating in the United States back in 1978. Today, The Elizabeth Hospice is the largest community-based nonprofit program in the region with more than 350 paid staff and 400 dedicated volunteers, caring for patients and their families throughout San Diego County and the Inland Empire.

The Elizabeth Hospice is proud to continue Betty’s legacy in caring for terminally ill adults and children in our community. “We encourage people to live, really live, before they die. People think that hospice is about dying, but it’s really about celebrating life.”

Information regarding the memorial service and celebration of life for Betty will be announced as details become available.

About The Elizabeth Hospice
The Elizabeth Hospice is the region’s most experienced and largest nonprofit hospice and palliative care provider of medical, emotional and spiritual support to the seriously ill and their families in San Diego and the Inland Empire. Since 1978, The Elizabeth Hospice has touched the lives of more than 95,000 patients and families in the communities we serve, regardless of their ability to pay, and providing specialty services such as Veterans Outreach, Palliative Care, Pediatric and Perinatal Hospice Care. In addition to patient care, community counseling and grief support for all ages is provided through its Center for Compassionate Care, regardless of the type of illness or death experienced. To learn more, call (800) 797-2050 or visit online at www.elizabethhospice.org.

###

Media Contacts: Lisa Marcolongo: (760) 644-4426; Melissa DelaCalzada: (760) 703-6795

The Elizabeth Hospice is honored with national award from Disabled American Veterans (DAV)

The Elizabeth Hospice, an Escondido, California-based company that makes it part of their business strategy to hire veterans, received the DAV (Disabled American Veterans) Outstanding Midsize Employer of the Year award on July 30 during the 96th DAV National Convention in New Orleans.

“I am grateful they are making a singular effort to hire veterans who are able to provide comfort and care for fellow veterans entering the final stages of life.”

The Elizabeth Hospice empowers hospice professionals to meet the unique needs of dying veterans. They strive to bring comfort to patients with a history of military service by matching hospice patients with fellow veteran staff or volunteers.

The organization currently has 15 veterans on staff and is actively recruiting more through DAV Veterans Career Fairs. Eight percent of the company’s volunteers are also veterans.

“On behalf of the board of directors, leadership, staff and volunteers of The Elizabeth Hospice, it is a privilege to spend time with veterans and their families and thank them for their service to our country. The Elizabeth Hospice is proud to recognize those who have done our country a great honor, by allowing our organization to honor them with great care,” said Jan Jones, CEO and president of The Elizabeth Hospice.

“The Elizabeth Hospice combines compassion and caring to veterans who are preparing to pass on, while actively hiring veterans to care for our unique population,” said DAV National Commander Dave Riley. “I am grateful they are making a singular effort to hire veterans who are able to provide comfort and care for fellow veterans entering the final stages of life.”

“This organization recruits and hires veterans as well as seeks out veteran volunteers,” said DAV National Employment Director Jeff Hall. “This profession is truly a sacred duty, and I’m grateful for their kindness and empathy for the men and women who served.”

About DAV:

DAV empowers veterans to lead high-quality lives with respect and dignity. It is dedicated to a single purpose: fulfilling our promises to the men and women who served. DAV does this by ensuring that veterans and their families can access the full range of benefits available to them; fighting for the interests of America’s injured heroes on Capitol Hill; providing employment resources to veterans and their spouses; and educating the public about the great sacrifices and needs of veterans transitioning back to civilian life. DAV, a nonprofit organization with nearly 1.3 million members, was founded in 1920 and chartered by the U. S. Congress in 1932.

About The Elizabeth Hospice:

Founded in 1978, The Elizabeth Hospice is a pioneer in the hospice movement and regarded as the most experienced and largest nonprofit hospice program in the region, with services provided throughout San Diego and South Riverside County (Inland Empire). With compassion and expertise, our extensive array of care services include hospice care, palliative care, and counseling services are available to adults and children living with a serious illness, along with comprehensive support for their loved ones. In addition, our Center for Compassionate Care provides counseling and grief support to all ages experiencing the loss of a loved one, regardless of the type of death or illness experienced.

Communication Tips During the Holidays

As we move into the Winter season (although sunny here in California), family gatherings are commencing to celebrate holidays and religious observances taking place. But for some, getting together for the holidays with family can be very stressful. Particularly if members haven’t seen each other in awhile, or perhaps situations occurred in the past that caused tension or discord, an upcoming family gathering can be met with great anxiety.

According to Dr. Marlynn Wei, the practice of mindfulness can help to bring calm and reduce anxiety. Being fully present in the moment can help. In her recent article in Psychology Today, she explains that mindfulness is about being present in the moment – what’s happening “now” – both internally and externally, and has been shown to reduce stress in relationships, increase empathy, and reduce internal stress and anxiety.

Healthcare professionals at The Elizabeth Hospice also agree that active listening is an essential part of effective communication between family members and loved ones. Clearing your mind of other distractions and focusing on who you are with and what is being said at that moment can bring greater awareness, understanding, and meaningful connectedness with those you are with.

These tips can help to make your family gathering a time of joy, comfort, and fulfillment.

Your Primary Care Physician and the Hospice Care Team: Partners in Caring

One of the important aspects of hospice care is the interdisciplinary team approach to providing services that focus on the physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs of patients, as well as providing support and education for family members.

The hospice interdisciplinary team includes physicians, nurses, home health aides, social workers, counselors, chaplains, therapists and trained volunteers. There is a misperception that once a patient elects hospice care services, they can no longer keep their personal doctor, which is not the case. The fact is, the hospice care team partners with the patient and the patient’s primary care physician in providing comprehensive services in support of the patient’s goals for care.

For more information about how hospice care, contact the professionals at The Elizabeth Hospice toll-free at 800.797.2050 or visit the website for additional details.

The Elizabeth Hospice appoints Dr. George Delgado as Chief Medical Officer

San Diego, CA – March 30, 2017 — In honor of National Doctors’ Day, The Elizabeth Hospice is pleased to announce the appointment of George Delgado, MD, FAAFP, HMDC as Chief Medical Officer for The Elizabeth Hospice. Dr. Delgado succeeds Dr. Glenn Panzer who will now become Chief Medical Officer Emeritus and will focus more on direct patient care.

Dr. Delgado will oversee all aspects of the nonprofit hospice’s medical practice and palliative care services. Additionally, another of his top priorities is to improve quality of life for patients and their families by educating physicians and the community about end-of-life care.

“We often hear families and patients say, ‘I wish I had known about hospice sooner,” said Dr. Delgado. “Quality of life can be achieved by empowering both patients and their families.”

“Dr. Delgado will build on the foundation created throughout the organization’s 39-year history, to improve the quality of life for people of all ages impacted by illness, grief, and loss in our community,” said Jan Jones, President and CEO of The Elizabeth Hospice. “In his 20+ year tenure as a physician, Dr. Delgado has earned the admiration and respect from the patients, families, and clinicians he has partnered with over the years, and we are pleased to have his expertise and leadership in enhancing our services.”

Dr. Delgado received his medical doctorate at the University of California, Davis School of Medicine. He is board certified in family medicine and in hospice and palliative medicine. Dr. Delgado is a fellow of the American Academy of Family Medicine and a Voluntary Associate Clinical Professor at the UCSD School of Medicine. Prior to being promoted to chief medical officer, he served as associate medical director and pediatric program medical director for The Elizabeth Hospice. He has been with the agency for 11 years.

About The Elizabeth Hospice
The Elizabeth Hospice (http://elizabethhospice.org) is the region’s most experienced and largest nonprofit hospice and palliative care provider of medical, emotional and spiritual support to the seriously ill and their families in San Diego and the Inland Empire. Since 1978, The Elizabeth Hospice has touched the lives of more than 95,000 patients and families in the communities we serve, regardless of their ability to pay, and providing specialty services such as Veterans Outreach, Palliative Care, Pediatric and Perinatal Hospice Care and counseling and grief support for all ages through its Center for Compassionate Care, regardless of the type of illness or death experienced. To learn more, call (800) 797-2050 or visit our website at www.elizabethhospice.org
###

Hospice Volunteer Training – Two Days: May 22 and 23, 2017

Join our 39-year tradition of caring for our community as an Elizabeth Hospice as a Patient Care Volunteer. Sign up for our next two-day Patient Care Volunteer Training on May 22 and 23 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at our CARLSBAD location.

Call The Elizabeth Hospice Volunteer Department at 800.797.2050 or email volunteer@ehospice.org for more information or to sign-up for the February/March 2017 training.

Our volunteers profoundly affect the quality of our patients’ and their families’ lives. By becoming a volunteer of The Elizabeth Hospice you can play a remarkable and enriching role in the lives of our patients and families. We currently serve communities within San Diego and Inland Empire. Volunteering will be in your own community. We offer comprehensive training taught by experts in the medical industry.

Spanish-speaking and bilingual volunteers, and Military Veterans are especially needed as Patient Care Volunteers.

Pawsitive Pet Connect Volunteer Training by The Elizabeth Hospice

The Pawsitive Pet Connect program of The Elizabeth Hospice supports patients and their pet family members.

Many people consider pets to be family. Animals can provide meaningful companionship and comforting support to their owners during all stages of life.

For hospice patients, their pets may become particularly critical to their well-being and quality of life, yet they may find it more difficult to take care of them the way they used to, as their illness progresses.

Understanding the importance of caring for hospice patients and their families, The Elizabeth Hospice Volunteer department will now include support for the “pet family members” of Elizabeth Hospice patients, in addition to the other pet services we provide, such as our Pet Therapy Program.

Trained volunteers will provide direct service to pets of hospice patients, such as walking dogs, delivering pet food or other pet items, and transporting pets to vet and grooming appointments as needed or requested.

Training will be held on Thursday, October 27 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. at The Elizabeth Hospice Corporate Office – 500 La Terraza Blvd., Ste. 130, Escondido, CA 92025. To sign up for the training, or for more information on volunteer opportunities, contact the Volunteer Department at 800.797.2050 or volunteer@ehospice.org.

In the wake of life-limiting illness diagnosis…

Many think about grief as something that happens after a death – but grief often arrives with a variety of losses or impending loss, especially when one is diagnosed with a life-limiting illness.   At first, there may be shock or fear.  There may even be a curious calmness with the news.  But, once one begins to fully understand that the end of life is near, it is natural to begin grieving.  This grieving reaction is called anticipatory grief. Although different than the grief after the death of a loved one, anticipatory grief carries many of the same symptoms such as depression, anger, regret, guilt, even forgetfulness and fatigue.

It is important to accept this anticipatory grief response as normal and allow the feelings and expressions of loss and grief without judgment.  Although anticipatory grief is common with caregivers, it is also common with the person who has been diagnosed with the life-limiting illness – and there is support for both including support groups and counseling services.  Most important is to prioritize what things need to be done and what needs to be let go – in other words, say what is needed to be said, do what is needed to be done and make as many moments count with loved ones.

Remember, just like the grieving process, anticipatory grief is an individual process and it is a natural part of adjustment to living with loss.

If you or someone you know is living with a life-limiting illness, please know there are resources available. Ask your doctor about hospice care or palliative care services, or call The Elizabeth Hospice toll-free at 800-797-2050 or visit the website at www.elizabethhospice.org for more information.

By Donna-Marie Terranova, Staff Counselor
Center for Compassionate Care of The Elizabeth Hospice

Camp Erin San Diego Golf Tournament 2016

Join Honorary Chairs John Forst and Kristy Brehm, and Event Chair Debi Lange, for The Elizabeth Hospice’s 9th Annual Camp Erin San Diego Golf Tournament, at our new event venue at the Maderas Golf Course in Poway, CA, on Friday, September 23, 2016. Shotgun start at 12:30 p.m. Dinner Auction begins at 5:45 p.m. and non-golfing friends are invited to join us at our “Margaritaville” inspired dinner celebration.

ONLINE REGISTRATION IS AVAILABLE NOW with early bird pricing through July 23, 2016! Visit our partner site for online registration at http://birdeasepro.com/CampErin.

Proceeds from the golf tournament and dinner auction benefit our Children’s Bereavement Program, including Camp Erin® San Diego, a three-day camp for children who have experienced the death of someone close to them.

SPONSORSHIP AND UNDERWRITING OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE!. For more information, contact Korie Duke at Korie.Duke@ehospice.org or 760.796.3722.

Hospice Volunteer Training

UPCOMING TRAINING ON SATURDAYS! Sign up for our next Patient Care Volunteer Training in February 2016: Saturdays, February 13, 20 & 27.

Call our Volunteer Department at 800-797-2050 or email volunteer@ehospice.org. Participants must attend all three Saturdays.

Our volunteers profoundly affect the quality of our patients’ and their families’ lives. By becoming a volunteer of The Elizabeth Hospice you can play a remarkable and enriching role in the lives of our patients and families. We currently serve communities within San Diego and Inland Empire. Volunteering will be in your own community. We offer comprehensive training taught by experts in the medical industry.

Spanish-speaking volunteers, Veterans, Office/Clerical support volunteers, and Community Outreach volunteers are especially needed.

CLICK HERE for Hospice Volunteer Training Flyer.