A check representing collective donor gifts of $11,571.68 from the Abraham Lincoln Healthcare Foundation’s Dr. Wayne J. Schall Hospice Fund was recently presented to Memorial Home Services staff members who work with Logan County patients and their families. The memorial and Light Up A Life contributions from local donors will support hospice services for patients in Logan County.
Memorial Home Services is a not-for-profit affiliate of Memorial Health System and serves 14 central Illinois counties. Shelley Gray, RN (pictured) says she “loves the families, pharmacies, physicians and hospital in the Lincoln community.” As part of her daily routine, Gray visits hospice patients in their Logan and Mason County homes to help make their final weeks and months as pain-free and rewarding as possible. Also pictured to accept the donation on behalf of hospice are Melissa Schmittler and Gail Benton.
Gray says that the gifts from ALHF will be used to support hospice services in the Lincoln area including: on-going staff education in palliative care, bereavement and volunteer services, as well as Services of Remembrance for Lincoln-area hospice families. The gifts also will help grant wishes for local patients as part of the Memorial Medical Center Foundation’s Sharing Wishes Fund. Wishes granted to Logan County patients have included a ride in a hot-air balloon, a laptop needed to Skype with far-away family members, a hearing device, and a haircut and special dinner. Hospice staff members get to know the patients and their desires and then submit applications to the Sharing Wishes Fund to make those wishes a reality.
According to Abraham Lincoln Healthcare Foundation executive director Sarah Helm, ALMH started its own hospice program in the late 1980s and named it in memory of beloved physician Dr. Wayne J. Schall. Though the Schall Hospice Program at ALMH merged with Visiting Nurses Association of Central Illinois (now known as Memorial Home Services) in the mid-1990s, the community continued to support the Schall Hospice Fund. More than $540,600 from 6,200 donors has since been donated to the fund. In 2004, the local hospice advisory group recommended that Schall funds purchase low-air-loss mattresses and other items that hospice patients would use in their homes. Later the group approved the renovation of a hospice respite care room at the former ALMH facility and voted to use funds for pain medications that keep local hospice patients comfortable during their final months.
Gifts for the Schall Hospice Fund can be sent to the Abraham Lincoln Healthcare Foundation, 200 Stahlhut Drive in Lincoln. For more information, contact the Foundation at 605-5006 or visit ALMH.org.