Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Fall 2018 - 27

M e d i c a l R e c o R d F e at u R e

THE ST. FRANCIS HOME:
A SOCIAL MODEL
FOR HOSPICE CARE
by Mary Jo Bonner, MD, PhD

T

he first of its kind in
Pennsylvania, the St.
Francis Home's mission
statement reads as follows: "The
St. Francis Home is dedicated
to providing comfort and
compassionate care with dignity
to people with a terminal illness
in a loving, faith-based family
environment, regardless of ability
to pay." The home started as a
vision of a few people who had a
common connection to a similar
Home in Syracuse, NY which has
been in existence for 27 years. A
member of this small group donated woodland as a building site.
A governing board was formed. Status as a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit
was obtained. We reached out to excavators, plumbers, roofers,
electricians, carpenters, and businesses in Berks County for help.
With the efforts of a few people and a generous community's help,
the dream was realized.

making new friends. We consider
St. Francis Home a work-inprogress, and each resident gifts
us with new learning experiences.
We encourage each resident's
family to participate in their loved
one's care
We need more volunteers!
In order to utilize all 3 of our
bedrooms, it would be ideal to
have 600 volunteers. Today we
have a total of 40. We hope and
pray that after you read this article
enough of you will contact us so
we can triple this number. We need social media gurus, fundraisers,
hands-on care people, cooks, and grant writers. We especially need
fundraisers. We are sure that in our community there are people
who would donate an amount sufficient to offset one week or one
month of care if properly approached.
continued on next page >

What came to be six years later is a lovely residence with 3 large
bedrooms, each with a large bathroom with roll-in shower. Each
room has a large recliner, an electric hospital bed, sofa, TV, and bay
windows. The common/community areas include a large kitchen, a
dining room, a living room with a gas fireplace and TV, and a child's
play area. We also have a large unfinished basement.
We have so far served seven individuals at their end of life,
and their families. Lengths of stay have varied from less than one
week to six weeks. The organization is all-volunteer, but recently is
exploring the possibility of hiring a house manager. Our volunteers
are wonderful people from all walks of life. Our Home is tripleblessed by Christian, Jewish, and Muslim religions, but is open to
people regardless of religious or spiritual identity.
Each resident is under the care of the hospice organization of
their choice and has out-of-hospital Do Not Resuscitate status and
pre-arranged burial in place. Our volunteers leave their professional
titles at the door and follow hospice orders. But, Dear Reader, if
you were to visit us many of you would find you know some of
us. As volunteers, we do 4, 8, or 12-hour shifts and find ourselves
FALL 2018

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Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Fall 2018

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Fall 2018

Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Fall 2018 - 1
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Fall 2018 - 2
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