Bozeman Deaconess
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Bozeman Deaconess Hospice Celebrates 25 Years of Exceptional Service

October 29, 2009

Bozeman Deaconess Hospice—the non-profit service offering comfort, dignity and control in end-of-life care—is celebrating its 25th anniversary.
Offering excellent symptom management to patients in the final stages of illness, "hospice provides relief of physical and emotional suffering and offers continuity through coordination of care across multiple healthcare settings," says Steve Janes, Bozeman Deaconess Hospice manager. He notes that care is provided in homes, skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities and in Bozeman Deaconess Hospital. The Bozeman Deaconess Hospice team, under the medical direction of Dr. Kathryn Borgenicht, is made up of compassionate, caring individuals who are specially trained and certified in hospice care.
Marcia Stillman, RN, a member of the Bozeman Deaconess Hospice team, says caring community members formed the volunteer-run Gallatin Hospice (the predecessor to today's Bozeman Deaconess Hospice) 25 years ago because they recognized the need to support patients and families who were dealing with death and dying. "Gallatin Hospice started with a handful of staff and very few patients," said Stillman. In the early '90s, the struggling program turned to Bozeman Deaconess for support. Stillman also said, "After lots of hard work by dedicated supporters, Gallatin Hospice, as a division of the hospital, earned Medicare certification for hospice. The program has grown ten-fold through the years since. Our staff provides 24-hour care to the Hospice patients throughout the community." Stillman concludes, "It has truly been an honor to serve these folks. I always take away more than I give from these wonderful Hospice families.”
Janes says Bozeman Deaconess Hospice follows a holistic philosophy. "We offer state of the art as well as traditional and complementary approaches to symptom management, such as music and massage therapies, all aimed at improving a patient’s quality of life," he said. Physicians and/or advanced practice nurses make in-home visits, and patients and their families receive comprehensive emotional, psychological and spiritual support, along with access to community resources, when needed and desired.
Hospice care is limited to end stages of illness. Medications, other treatments and equipment are often covered. Bozeman Deaconess Hospice is Gallatin Valley's only not-for-profit hospice and provides services to patients of all ages regardless of their ability to pay. The program is federally funded and regulated, and receives generous support from the community.
In addition to helping patients and families, Hospice offers help for doctors and other healthcare professionals. According to physician David McLaughlin, of Bozeman Clinic, "For years I have found that the Bozeman Deaconess Hospice care program has consistently offered hope in the place of despair by providing compassionate expert care, consultation in the treatment of pain, nursing support, and end of life issues."

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