AdventHealth and Hospice of the Comforter Partner to Serve Community

Two men are hugging comfort each other in their time of need.
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Helping a loved one through the final stages of life can be one of the most challenging, confusing and scary times your family faces, but it's not something you need to do alone.

Since opening its doors in 1990, Hospice of the Comforter has been committed to providing compassionate and expert care for the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of patients and their families facing these moments.

It's a resource that has been invaluable to Aissa Ayala De Ramirez, who first turned to Hospice of the Comforter in 2007 for her mother's care. She had no idea what to expect. To Aissa's surprise, a social worker, doctor and two nurses visited the family's home the same afternoon. Today, Aissa's journey continues with her father.

If Hospice of the Comforter was not there, I would not know what to do, Aissa says. They have been angels and have provided me with such a wonderful experience.

In 2014, Hospice of the Comforter served more than 2,300 patients and families like Aissa's, and today, it's joined in its mission by a new partner: AdventHealth.

This new affiliation not only enables 100 percent of every generous gift to benefit Hospice of the Comforter, it will directly impact the patient's experiences in hospice care.

One thing that is most notably lacking in the care of most hospice patients is the continuing care of a physician, says AdventHealth's Hospice of the Comforter Medical Director David McGrew. As patients become less able to go to their physician's office and it's very difficult for doctors to come to patients homes no physician is actually seeing the patient. Now, we're actually going to have physicians seeing the patients at Hospice, coming to the right conclusions about what's going on and making sure the appropriate treatments are in place.

AdventHealth's Hospice of the Comforter not only provides care that brings comfort to people with a life-limiting illness, it enhances the remaining quality of life, says Ernesto Lopez, Vice President of AdventHealth.

Hospice of the Comforter is there to nurture, support and guide families every step of the way, from providing respite care to bereavement services for both adults and children. It's volunteer program also offers additional services that may include pet therapy, haircuts, reading, massage therapy, music therapy, and a life- reflection video or photo montage.

In 2014, more than 2,000 generous members of our community supported crucial programs, including: the second annual children's Camp Healing Hearts, which provides a safe haven and hands-on experience for grieving youth in our community; Horizons Bereavement Center, which people like Aissa say is crucial in the days, weeks and months following the loss of their loved ones; and Robison Residence, which provides patients with specialty residential care. This unique home-like, six-bed facility hosts those patients and features private rooms with TVs; an expert-care team of nurses, physicians, chaplains, social workers and trained volunteers; and flexible visitation hours for loved ones, including children and pets.

Our mission to extend the healing ministry of Christ and to provide skilled physicians, caring employees, and a great level of care will give Hospice of the Comforter a new meaning of hope and healing, said Lars Houmann, President and CEO of AdventHealth..

For 25 years, Hospice of the Comforter has served Orange, Seminole and Osceola communities to equip families with training and education to offer support during their loved one's final journey.

Lopez predicts this new partnership will change the way the entire health- care industry views and utilizes hospice care.

We feel we'll have a stronger presence in the community and we'll be able to interact in different health- care environments and continue to grow hospice services in Central Florida, he says.

With 100 percent of your generous gifts going directly to support the valuable services Hospice of the Comforter provides, you can help ensure this level of care continues for years to come, and for thousands more families in our community. Visit HospiceoftheComforter.org, to learn more.

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