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Mercy Home Health Adds Hospice Care

December 13, 2012

Heidi Harris/Times-Record Staff of Mercy Home Health Care and Hospice pose for a photo Wednesday. Pictured left to right are Becky Compson, social worker; Lisa Johnson, patient care coordinator; Kim Haarsager, director; Leslie Struble, secretary; and Susanne Olson, liaison/fund development.

Mercy Home Health Care recently added Hospice to its line of services and consolidated all offices in the region to Valley City. The expansion also resulted in the addition of two new employees in Valley City.

Mercy Home Health Care added Hospice services at the beginning of their fiscal year in July. Kim Haarsager, registered nurse, became director of Mercy Home Care and Hospice Oct. 1, and Susanne Olson became Liaison/Fund Development in November.

Mercy Home Health Care is owned by parent company Catholic Health Initiatives and is a part of Health Connect at Home in the Fargo division.

In order to be more efficient and provide better care to patients, Mercy Home Health Care offices across the state combined. These communities include the areas of Valley City, Lisbon, Oakes, Devils Lake and Carrington.

Devils Lake and Carrington had already had Hospice services with their home health services, so they added Hospice to other communities as well. Valley City then became the central hub office because of its geographical location.

“All business flows through here,” Haarsager said.

Home health care is more of a rehabilitative care that gets patients back to their highest level of functionality, Haarsager said; whereas, Hospice provides end of life care and focuses on providing comfort to patients.

People of all ages and with all diseases can benefit from Hospice, Olson said.

“When there are no longer treatment options, or when (patients) choose not to have treatments, they choose Hospice,” Olson said.

“I personally feel that people across the country don’t use Hospice to its full potential because they’re comfortable with their home health nurses, so this is an easy transition to get them the care they deserve,” Olson said, adding that another nice thing about combining home health with Hospice is that it’s now just one number to call.

The number for questions is available 24/7 and is (855) 860-3464.

Both home health and Hospice care can be provided wherever the patient’s home is, even and especially at assisted living facilities.

“The goal of both is to keep them home with additional services,” Haarsager said.

Because rural areas often struggle with a lack of services, Mercy Home Health Care and Hospice chooses staff that are in the rural areas.

“Nurses, home health aides, care coordinators and social workers are all local to the communities we serve,” Haarsager said.

“With expansion in health care, it’s good to have multiple offices and resources available,” Olson added.

Both women agree that home health and Hospice are growing industries.
The Mercy Hospice is not affiliated with the Hospice of the Red River Valley, which also has an office in Valley City.

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