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Published on May 28, 2019

Help your patients live well with hospice care

When you refer a patient or loved one to Hospice at Gundersen Health System, you are giving a gift of hope—hope for a life well lived, on the person's own terms, to his or her final day.

Larry Skendzel, MD

Larry Skendzel, MD

With a focus on making the most of the time people with a life-limiting illness have left, Hospice brings compassionate care into the place where your patients often feel most secure and comfortable: their home. Gundersen Hospice providers help patients determine what is most important to them and use those goals to shape their care plan. It's a task that requires creativity and compassion, especially when patients' priorities can evolve monthly, weekly or even daily in hospice care.

"There are all sorts of ways we can help your patients live as long as possible and as well as possible, even when they have a life-limiting illness," says Larry Skendzel, MD, Hospice.

Unfortunately, too many people are not receiving the support hospice offers patients and families. In La Crosse County, only 42 percent of Medicare patients who were eligible for hospice care took advantage of the services in 2016—the third worst performing county in the state and far below the state average of 75 percent of eligible patients. Most surrounding counties ranked similarly to La Crosse or worse.

The good news is that with your help, we can make sure families know hospice is an option and significantly improve the quality of life for people in our communities with a life-limiting illness.

"We are here to be fierce and fight fiercely for whatever goals your patients have," Dr. Skendzel says. "We want your patients and families to be supported and know there are things to hope for regardless of circumstance. Our job is to make life as good as possible."

Gundersen Hospice is available in most of the communities Gundersen serves. For more information or to make a referral, contact MedLink at (800) 336-5465 or (608) 775-5465 in La Crosse.

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