What draws people to work exclusively with those living with life-limiting illnesses? For HPCT Social worker Judy McDonald, her journey to hospice began when she took care of her father until his death in 2005. As she learned to navigate his ever changing medical needs & medications, she found the process of being a caregiver, not only to be confusing at times, but isolating.
Today, as a licensed Social Worker she says it’s an honor to support patients and families during one of the most difficult times in their lives by giving them both the emotional support and resources to help them smooth out that journey. Judy’s goal is to help caregivers spend more quality time with their loved ones, rather than spending it trying to navigate the often complex maze of Medicare/Medicare regulations and benefits. The care and dedication shown by Judy to our patients & families has been ongoing and led to her being the recipient of HPCT Employee of the Quarter.
What draws people to work exclusively with those living with life-limiting illnesses? Ask our chaplain, Jim Thompson, and he’ll say, “My hope is to bring peace to those who need it most.”
When his mother in law’s health began to rapidly deteriorate a few years ago, Jim experienced firsthand how the right hospice team can make an extraordinary difference for families facing end-of-life issues. “The support and love we received from our hospice team allowed us to focus on making the most of the time we had left together. And we were especially grateful that it gave us the ability to let our mother die at home, surrounded by those she loved.”
After serving 32 years as a congregational minister (nearly half of them in Chesapeake), Jim’s experience with hospice was life-changing, inspiring him to redirect his focus toward patients and families facing the final phase of life. This new path led Jim to his current position as Chaplain at HPCT.
The end-of-life journey is often filled with uncertainty and fear. Jim understands the unique challenges that patients and families encounter during this final phase. He is adept at helping our patients and families process loss, while creating a foundation for the next chapter in their lives.
In June 2016, based on the praise received from families and staff, Jim was chosen as Employee of the Quarter, to recognize his consistently outstanding work. Chaplain Jim truly puts the heart in hospice! His continued dedication to bringing peace to stressful situations helps our entire team to stay centered and supported as we provide the highest level of care for our patients and families. We truly feel blessed to have him as part of our HPCT team.