Posts

Homeland Creates a Culture of Teamwork and Fun

test

homeland staff playing cornholeOver the years, Homeland has learned that bringing together a talented group of professionals working toward a shared mission results in a successful workplace. Providing opportunities for employees to get to know each other outside of their job duties builds a team and creates a culture of compassion and friendship. The staff at Homeland strives to create an engaging culture where employees have fun through volunteering and spending time together.

In April 2021, the directors and assistant directors of Homeland Hospice, Homeland HomeCare and Homeland HomeHealth formed the FUN Committee as a way for employees to take a break from the stress and demands of their jobs, which has dramatically increased since COVID-19 hit the region. The concept was to provide staff opportunities to participate in activities on a monthly basis.

“Many staff members work entirely in the field,” Laurie Murry, volunteer coordinator for Homeland Hospice says. “These activities have given us a chance to get to know our coworkers we rarely see during the workday.”

Laurie has taken the lead in organizing and implementing the activities. The first step was to survey staff to hear what types of activities piqued their interest as well as what the activities should be named. The staff voted to give back to help others as well as connect in different geographic areas throughout Homeland’s vast footprint. As for the winning name; “Staffivities!” won the day.

homeland staff volunteering at the food bankThis summer, staff held a corn hole tournament with food trucks. Staff members who didn’t know one another were paired together to play in the tournament. Since then, Homeland staff members have volunteered at the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank and collected coats for children in need living in Cumberland and Perry counties through the Warm the Children program.

To celebrate the holiday season, the staff held a cookie exchange and an office door-decorating contest. The team also helped make the holidays brighter for local children by providing gifts for children in need through a program led by Silence of Mary. This has been a Homeland tradition for many years. This year, the program expanded to include all of Homeland’s outreach programs.

Most recently, Homeland staff participated in a deeply personal and heartfelt project in honor of their coworker and beloved friend Chaplain Mark Harris who passed away this fall. The staff purchased 11 wreaths through the Wreaths Across America program, which were placed at the Dauphin County Cemetery on December 17. To know Mark was to love and respect him for his deep well of compassion. Mark served Homeland Hospice as a spiritual counselor. As a former navy corpsman, Mark was involved in Homeland’s We Honor Veterans program, which recognizes the bravery and sacrifice of veterans during their time in hospice.

homeland participates in wreaths across america“Our staff members have big hearts,” Kris Crockett, RN, BSN, CHPN, and Director of of Homeland Hospice said. “Working together to give back to the community has helped us create stronger bonds as coworkers.”

Homeland Hospice, Homeland HomeCare and Homeland HomeHealth are outreach programs of Homeland Center to provide a continuum of care for patients and families in need.

For more information about Homeland at Home services, contact us at (717) 857-7400.

Homeland HomeHealth and HomeCare: Five Years of Excellence and Counting

test

five years of caring with homeland homehealth and homecareSince 1867, Homeland Center has been committed to meeting the ever-changing needs of the community. In keeping with this tradition, Homeland HomeHealth and Homeland HomeCare were established five years ago to provide a continuum of services for patients and their families using a team-approach, which places patients at the center of care. Since the launch of these services, thousands of patients have received exemplary care by a team who treats them like family.

As the director of Homeland HomeHealth with more than two decades of experience in the field, Lora Bierce, RN, WCC, COS-C, has seen the program expand to meet the growing demand of patients who want the independence of staying in their homes as they age. The HomeHealth team includes physical, occupational and speech therapists; nurses, nutritional counselors, social workers and Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) who are dedicated to compassionate care and medical excellence.

Since its formation, Homeland HomeHealth has expanded its scope of services to better serve patients. In 2017, HomeHealth added telehealth.

“Telehealth gave us the ability to reduce re-hospitalization by more than 20%,” Lori adds. “It has also been an essential tool to our care during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Lora takes great pride in working with a staff that provides compassionate care to patients and their families.

Recently, Lora’s team had the pleasure of working with a gentleman with congestive heart failure. The HomeHealth team worked diligently to follow his wishes to remain in his home as long as possible. As his illness progressed, Lora and her team helped him transition to hospice care with Homeland for the final days of his end-of-life journey.

“We were with him every step of the way,” Lora says. “His final days were filled with comfort and peace, which is all he ever wanted.

Like Lora, Tanya Custer, LPN, Director of Homeland HomeCare, is driven by her love of helping others. Homeland HomeCare specializes in the non-medical aspects of care to include meal preparation, light housekeeping, running errands, monitoring diet and medication reminders, bathing and dressing. Personal home care can be administered anyplace an individual calls home.

In 2017, the Pennsylvania Department of Health issued a new regulation allowing home care aides to be trained to do additional tasks in the home setting. Homeland HomeCare was ahead of the game“As soon as we received word about this option we started educating our CNAs to become Direct Care Workers,” Tonya says. “We trained our CNAs on peg tube care, ostomy care, assistance with medication administration and simple wound care.”

For Tanya and her team, it’s taking a walk for ice cream or hearing family stories from their clients that make their work rewarding. Tanya recalls a gentleman who was staying with his wife in a hotel while their house was undergoing construction. The fresh paint in this home was compounding his health issues making it difficult for him to breath. The HomeCare team cared for him in his hotel so his wife could continue working.

“I’m proud to work with a creative team who goes above and beyond to provide excellent care,” Tanya says. “This work is far more than a job; it's a calling.”

Both Lora and Tanya foresee significant growth in their services over the coming five years as the baby boomer generation ages and Americans live longer than ever before. Today, 46 million adults living in the United States (15 percent of the population) are 65 or older. By 2060, that number is expected to climb to about 98 million, or 24 percent of the population (Population Reference Bureau).

“We are prepared for whatever the future brings,” Lora and Tanya say. “It’s a privilege to serve individuals and families in our community.

For more information on Homeland HomeHealth call 717-412-0166. For information on Homeland HomeCare call 717-221-7892.