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Care in their last days

October 18, 2012
The Daily News


It's been two and half years since OSF (Order of St. Francis) of Escanaba came into our area to provide hospice services where there were none. As an OSF Hospice volunteer, I would like to give you some background into their organization and update you on what has transpired to date.

OSF's Hospice program is the oldest hospice organization in the state of Michigan and continues to center its mission on quality patient care. We strive to give our patients and their families an opportunity to make end-of-life situations as positive as possible.

Since Jan. 1, 2010, OSF Hospice has served 63 patients, and that number is growing. We have nine trained volunteers who not only provide wonderful respite to caregivers but have also brought in meals to the families, planted a beautiful memorial garden on the grounds of Dickinson County Hospital for the public to enjoy, and have become involved in community events as well as our annual Fourth of July parade.

A group of quilters from Mt. Zion Lutheran Church, which includes one of our volunteers, donate quilts for every patient in Dickinson County.

We have begun a monthly community grief support group that lends a helping hand to families who have lost loved ones. We hope in the near future to include pet companions and soothing music programs to our patients. OSF has already established a program in Delta County called No One Dies Alone (NODA).

This program benefits end-of-life patients in nursing homes who have no family in the area and are virtually alone. Our volunteers give them companionship, compassion and care in their last days.

OSF has taken a responsible lead in assuring Dickinson County has the utmost in hospice care. I, as an OSF Hospice volunteer, am proud to be a part of their organization and know first-hand what an important service they provide. Our residents can be assured that their needs are first and foremost in OSF's organization.

OSF has truly been a Godsend for patients and families. I think we've come a long way since 2010, and I can only see good things happening because of their concern for the dying.

My husband's passing, while difficult to accept, gave me the opportunity to help others.

Diane L. Schabo

Iron Mountain



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