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New Program at Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare Enriches Staff and Care

Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare is now offering its staff an opportunity to earn Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certification with no out-of-pocket costs. Through the Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare tuition assistance program, qualified staff members who have been employed with Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare for at least a year can complete their EMT coursework and testing to become certified in emergency medical services through the Wayne County Fire & Rescue Association Emergency Medical Technician program. 

This program came about through a need identified by Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare. Often, hospice patients need to be transported between settings in order to receive care. This may be from the home to the Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare Stanley C. and Flo K. Gault Inpatient Pavilion, from the hospital to a nursing facility, or to and from a doctor’s appointment. Transportation by ambulance is most commonly required. 

Through generous community support, Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare purchased its first Mobile Care Unit in 2019. “This has made a huge difference in the lives of our patients and families,” said Kurt Holmes, executive director of Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare. “As we continue to serve an increasing number of patients in the surrounding communities, the need for patient transportation will increase.” 

Already, there is a need for more EMTs to staff the Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare Mobile Care Unit. In addition to advertising for EMTs, Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare recently implemented its EMT scholarship program to train staff to become certified in emergency medical services.  

The EMT program is important to the mission of the not-for-profit hospice. “Growing and developing our own EMTs provides staff a chance to expand their skills and grow within the organization while meeting a huge patient care need,” Holmes said. “We expect our EMTs and the Mobile Care Unit to be more than simple transportation. It is a part of our mission to make every moment count.” 

Kandi Besancon, a personal care specialist with Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare, is the first staff member to complete her EMT training. She is grateful for the opportunity.  

“Having the opportunity to go through the EMT program was one of my greatest accomplishments,” Besancon said. “I had a great support system through my classes and from my teammates at Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare.” 

Besancon joined Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare in 2018 as a personal care specialist and has worked as an STNA for 19 years. She will continue in her role as a personal care specialist, and she also will help the Mobile Care Unit on an as-needed basis. Already, she has gone on several runs with the Mobile Care Unit.  

Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare is grateful to the Wayne County Fire & Rescue Association Regional Training Facility for its support in this endeavor. “We’re thankful for community partners such as the Wayne County Fire & Rescue Association Regional Training Facility,” Holmes said. “Through their expertise and training of our staff, we’ll be able to continue to develop our own EMTs for our Mobile Care Unit, which makes such a difference in the lives of our patients.” 

Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare has several open positions for EMTs, personal care specialists, nurses, hospitality steward and more. To apply, please visit: www.OhiosHospiceLifeCare.org/Careers.  

Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare, a not-for-profit organization established in 1982, is an affiliate of Ohio’s Hospice that serves communities in northeast Ohio. It embodies the spirit of neighbors caring for neighbors with a commitment to relieve suffering, ease fears, and provide companionship along life’s last journey. Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare addresses patient and family needs wherever the patient calls home. Services also include access to the Stanley C. and Flo K. Gault Inpatient Pavilion, providing short-term patient care to manage acute symptoms, adjust medications, or stabilize patient condition. 

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