How Donations to Hospice Help Support End-of-Life Care

How Donations are UsedAs a nonprofit organization, Hospice of the Red River Valley receives funds from a variety of sources, including Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance. But we also rely heavily on community support to enhance the care and services we provide to those with terminal illnesses and their families.

Deliberate acts of generosity ensure our compassionate care will continue, well into the future, and help fulfill our mission to provide comfort at the end of life’s journey—to everyone who needs it, regardless of ability to pay. The generosity of individuals and businesses also help narrow the gap between insurance reimbursement and the actual cost of the care we provide.

Our Hospice team consists of pain and symptom management experts who are also specifically trained to provide compassionate, respectful care. The highly skilled team includes a physician, registered nurse (RN), certified nursing assistant (CNA), social worker, chaplain and trained volunteers. This multifaceted team collaborates to provide the very highest level of medical, emotional, spiritual and grief support to those with life-limiting illnesses.

Donations to Hospice of the Red River Valley support many programs and services, including:

Bereavement Program Our bereavement department consists of a team of grief specialists, all of whom are licensed social workers and/or licensed counselors. Our grief specialists offer one-on-one visits, phone calls and literature to loved ones for up to 13 months following the patient’s death, depending individual needs and comfort level.

Additionally, we offer a variety of grief support groups, classes and support in the communities we serve—even to those whose loved ones were not cared for by Hospice of the Red River Valley. These services are often free of charge and specifically designed for children, teens and adults to help them activate a support system, regain balance and resume healthy living.

Grief support is also available to our community partners in other care settings following the death of a resident who was under our care. Hospice of the Red River Valley also hosts an annual educational opportunity, the Journeying Home Conference, for community members and health care professionals.

Medical Care At Hospice of the Red River Valley, comfort, compassion and respect are the pillars of our care and remain our focus. Our medical team consists of two physicians, nurse practitioners and registered nurses (RNs), offering the highest quality end-of-life care and support.

Hospices of the Red River Valley nurses are specially trained in pain control and symptom management. Patients under hospice care experience fewer trips to the clinic and hospital because we manage all the care, including equipment, medications and supplies related to the terminal diagnosis, in the home. Nurses visit as often as necessary to assess a patient’s medical needs, and nurses can serve as the link between the patient and his or her physician, which means no longer waiting for return calls from the doctor’s office.

Our nurses also offer education and support to help caregivers feel confident in their roles. If questions arise, a Hospice of the Red River Valley nurse is always available to speak with a patient or family member, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Spiritual Care Our chaplains are professional clergy who are well-versed in spiritual needs at the end of life. Using a variety of mediums, including music and imagery, chaplains provide support to patients based on individual personal beliefs. Their support may or may not be linked to a particular religion, rather the spiritual concerns of each individual patient. Chaplains can also serve as a link to a patient’s church or other faith community.

Community Education & Outreach Hospice of the Red River Valley provides free, educational resources and presentations to a variety of communities, including medical and care facilities, faith communities, businesses, service groups and grief and loss support to schools. Education includes matters related to end of life and grieving. We also offer educational opportunities, including seminars and lunch and learns, to health care professionals for continuing education credits.

Emotional Support Our social workers are knowledgeable in the emotional aspects of late-stage illness, and help manage the stress patients and their loved ones may feel. They also work closely with patients and families to identify local and county services and resources for additional support. Hospice of the Red River Valley’s social workers also provide guidance to families regarding interpersonal relationships, conflict resolution and insurance questions.

Personal Care Hospice of the Red River Valley’s certified nursing assistants (CNAs) provide personal care assistance to patients, such as bathing, grooming, allowing the patient to retain his or her dignity through the end-of-life journey. CNAs also provide light housekeeping services in patient homes.

Volunteer Program Volunteers are a very special part of the Hospice team. They provide essential support in our day-to-day work—serving as companions to our patients and families, helping with administrative tasks at one of our offices or assisting at Heirlooms, our resale store. Hospice of the Red River Valley is fortunate to have more than 350 trained volunteers agency wide.

Last year, our volunteers dedicated 16,952 hours. Their work and dedication equals the time of 8.15 full-time staff members.

Continuing Education of Hospice Staff As an organization, it is critical we offer our employees educational resources and opportunities to grow and expand their skill sets in end-of-life care. We also encourage our staff to attain credentialing and licenses specifically related to hospice care, such as Hospice and Palliative Nurse (CHPN) Certifications obtained through the National Board for Certification of Hospice and Palliative Nurses (NBCHPN) and Thanatology Certifications from the Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC).

The purpose of CHPN certification is to promote delivery of comprehensive palliative nursing care through the certification of qualified hospice and palliative professionals. Certification in hospice and palliative care is highly valued and provides formal recognition of hospice and palliative nursing or administration knowledge. The purpose of the certification in Thanatology is to enhance professionals with an educational background in dying, death and bereavement.

Technical Support Just as any other organization, we have technology and equipment requirements to enable our staff to be more efficient and productive, while ensuring patient confidentiality. We work diligently to provide the most up-to-date tools for our employees so they can focus on providing the most effective care to our patients.

Transportation Costs We care for our patients wherever they call home, and in many cases, their homes are located in rural Minnesota or North Dakota. The cost of mileage is not reimbursed through Medicare and Medicaid. Regardless of where a patient resides, we believe everyone deserves access compassionate, end-of-life care.

In 2019, Hospice of the Red River Valley staff traveled approximately 1.5 million miles to care for our patients and their loved ones.

For more information on opportunities to support Hospice of the Red River Valley, please call (800) 237-4629, email or visit our website.