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Hospice of the Northwest featured in NHPCO Pediatric e-Journal

Hospice of the Northwest was recently featured in an article published in the esteemed National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) Pediatric e-Journal. Read it here.

Going “all in” on hospice care
The article highlights our successful partnership with Seattle Children’s Hospital. Co-author Anne Anderson, RN, CHPPN, is the nurse coordinator for their palliative care program and shares the many ways Hospice of the Northwest stands apart when it comes to pediatric hospice care.

“This hospice has gone all in with pediatric care and by embracing it, they take a sense of pride in a job well done,” says Anderson. “That pride is apparent in all, from the people who answer the phone, their amazing staff, their medical directors and executive director.”

Pediatric hospice care requires a different approach than the care provided to adults. At Hospice of the Northwest, our team is deeply invested in understanding the children we care for, actively getting to know each child's individual needs, joys and goals for quality of life. We respect their choices and tailor our approach to fit their unique circumstances.

Navigating the frontier of pediatric hospice care
Our team meets pediatric patients where they are, not only in terms of their diagnoses but also in terms of where they live. “It means everything to these families to be home. It's such an honor to be able to help with that," said Dr. Anita Meyer, one of the medical directors at Hospice of the Northwest.

We provide hospice care in four counties spanning over 2,000 square miles. The article explores the unique challenges we face because of our vast service area - island communities only accessible by ferry, rural communities with limited pharmacy hours, relying on dedicated staff who live both on and off the islands and even utilizing backyard sheds for extra supplies. Through it all, our team has developed creative solutions to anticipating patient needs, ensuring we're always ready to provide care even in the most remote locations. The authors of the article credit our “frontier-type” approach to navigating these challenges with fostering our ability to navigate “the frontier of serving pediatric patients well.”

The value of collaborative care
Over the years, we've cared for pediatric patients with a wide range of conditions, from complex congenital heart disease and liver disease to severe neurologic impairment and cancer diagnoses. Our collaboration with Seattle Children's Hospital plays a crucial role in our success as a pediatric hospice provider. They offer ongoing education, 24/7 support and invaluable resources. It’s a true partnership built on communication and trust.

Guiding the way for other hospice providers
This particular edition of the NHPCO Pediatric e-Journal focuses on education and training for adult-focused hospice providers that are called upon to care for a child and family.

The authors asked two of our medical directors, Dr. Anita Meyer and Dr. Leslie Estep, for their thoughts on caring for pediatric patients. They shared valuable insights and practical advice, offering over 15 tips - ranging from creating pediatric medication reference sheets to building lasting memories for children - that serve as a roadmap for other hospices striving to successfully and respectfully provide pediatric hospice care.

Our ongoing commitment
We are incredibly honored to have been recognized for our dedication to pediatric hospice care. This article serves as a testament to the incredible efforts of our team and our unwavering commitment to providing compassionate, comprehensive support for every child and family facing serious illness. We are constantly learning and evolving to best meet the needs of our patients. Our ongoing partnership with Seattle Children’s Hospital helps ensure children in our community receive the exceptional care they deserve.