CLEVELAND and MEDINA, Ohio, Sept. 14, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The merger between Hospice of the Western Reserve and HMC Hospice of Medina County is complete, and the agreement is fully executed. The news follows a March announcement that the nonprofit community agencies had signed a letter of intent to explore a strategic partnership. With a shared history of nearly 70 years of service in Northern Ohio, the two organizations are among the nation's oldest and most experienced legacy providers of hospice care.
For one year, both entities will operate under their own names. No workforce reductions are planned. Collectively, the two agencies care for approximately 2,300 patients and their families each day. Together, they will have cared for more than 100,000 patients by October of this year. The service area encompasses Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Medina and Summit counties.
"Healthcare reform requires greater efficiency to address rising operational costs and declining reimbursements and to maintain high quality care," explained Bill Finn, President and CEO. "Uniting the two organizations makes sense. It accomplishes these goals."
Hospice of the Western Reserve will oversee organizational, financial and leadership responsibilities. Andy Dunham, previously a member of the HMC Hospice of Medina County Board of Directors, has transitioned into a new role as a member of the Board of Directors of Hospice of the Western Reserve. A newly formed Medina County Advisory Council will play an integral role in representing Medina County, working hand-in-hand with the Board.
"We're especially excited about the expanded continuum of care that will be available for those who struggle with progressive illness," added Mitzi Kerr, Executive Director, HMC Hospice of Medina County. "Each agency has added programs and services in response to community needs. Many of our programs complement each other. Patients, families and local communities will benefit from a richer and more extensive range of services."
Some of the enhanced assets and services available through the newly merged organizations include:
- The region's largest team of certified hospice and palliative care professionals
- Three hospice house care centers to provide short-term, specialized symptom control and comprehensive support in the final days of life
- Home healthcare and private-pay services
- Palliative care (symptom management) for those with earlier-stage chronic disease
- A specialized pediatric palliative care team
- A combined force of more than 3,350 dedicated volunteers
- One of the nation's most comprehensive grief support programs, available to the community as well as patients' families
- A Hospice Institute providing fellowships, training and continuing education credits to Northern Ohio healthcare professionals, clinical research and an award-winning end-of-life library
- An advanced illness home care program offered in partnership with insurance providers to help those with earlier-stage chronic illness maintain independence and reduce hospitalizations
"Patients and families are the real beneficiaries of the merger," Finn said. "Those served by both organizations can be confident they will receive the same level of specialized, high quality care they expect and deserve." Both agencies enthusiastically endorse and support the merger, believing it will improve access to a well-coordinated continuum of care for the patients and families who need it most.
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SOURCE Hospice of the Western Reserve