Palliative care suite complete at Hazel Hawkins

From left: Sunny Underwood, Pam McHam, president of the Hazel Hawkins Hospital Auxiliary, and Mary Dixon show pose in the palliative care suite at the hospital.

Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital opened a palliative care suite in May to expand the resources for terminally ill patients at the hospital.
The Hazel Hawkins Auxiliary donated $6,000 toward the project of transforming an existing room on the medical surgical floor into a suite. The room was painted with new floors installed in it as well as a big screen television and DVD player. It has two beds, one for family members to stay in overnight, loveseats and chairs. The room has books and DVDs for both children and adults donated by members of the community as well as Hazel’s Thrift Shop.
“Collaboration is the key to success,” said Sunny Underwood, the palliative care coordinator at Hazel Hawkins, in a press release.
Since it opened in May, several terminally ill patients have used the suite in their final days to allow for family members or friends to stay with them in a less clinical setting than a typical hospital room.
“We hope the patient and their families feel at home even though they are in the hospital,” Underwood said, “giving them the opportunity to enjoy their time together during a very stressful time.”
Hazel Hawkins staff members involved in the creation of the suite included Underwood, Mary Dixon, a registered nurse, Dan Price, the medical surgical director, the engineering department and purchasing departments. Volunteers from Hazel’s Thrift Shop donated an entertainment center and end tables. Robert Rocco, a doctor, donated his paintings for the room.
Underwood said she was thankful to the hospital administration and the district board for approving the project.
The Hazel Hawkins Palliative Care Program provides care for patients with serious, chronic or advances illnesses. Unlike hospice care, terminal patients who receive palliative care can continue to receive treatment for their illness. Palliative care provides pain and symptom management, psychological and spiritual care, and bereavement counseling for patients or their families. The Hospice Foundation, a nonprofit based in Monterey, has provided grants to the Hazel Hawkins program since 2003.

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