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HORC to Begin New Pediatric Program


Pediatric Program

Deavion Davis, pictured on the cover with Hospice Home Care Coordinator, Beverly Logan, was interested to learn about the new Kids Path® program recently implemented by Hospice of Rutherford. Deavion’s grandmother was a patient at the Hospice House when Deavion was only two, but her older brother and sister were provided grief counseling during that time. Hospice is now formalizing that ability to provide counseling and support. As of November 17, Hospice of Rutherford became a licensed Kids Path® provider, enhancing its ability to care for grieving and seriously ill children.

Kids Path® is a unique program for children and families. The program was founded in Greensboro, North Carolina, by Hospice and Palliative Care of Greensboro, and has received national recognition as a program model. Kids Path® provides interdisciplinary, team-based care for children who have serious and potentially life-limiting illnesses. Kids Path® also offers age-appropriate grief support for children who have experienced the death of a loved one. “We sought to become a Kids Path® provider because we wanted to enhance and formalize our pediatric program,” said Rita Burch, Hospice of Rutherford CEO. “Medically fragile children have unique care needs and often have limited access to pediatric palliative care services. In addition, children coping with illness and loss grieve differently than adults. We will use the proven “best practices” developed by the Kids Path® model to improve our care for children and their families.”

Hospice of Rutherford is the twelfth hospice to be licensed to offer the Kids Path® program, joining other providers in North and South Carolina, West Virginia and Louisiana. Children ages 0-18 are eligible to receive service if the child has a diagnosis of a illness or condition that is progressive with potentially limited life expectancy if it follows the expected course. The attending physician must agree to direct the medical plan of care and participate in the interdisciplinary team. The trained pediatric team offers, physical, emotional and spiritual care with the goal of enhancing the quality of life for children and teens and their families. Services are available at the time of diagnosis and can assist parents and guardians navigate the healthcare system. The Kids Path® team may include a registered nurse, social worker, counselor, nursing assistant, physical therapist, chaplain and other disciplines as appropriate. Grieving children will have the opportunity to participate in the Hospice of Rutherford annual Camp Erin™, individual counseling if appropriate, or group support within the school system.

As part of the Kids Path® program, Hospice of Rutherford staff will be available to speak to community groups wishing to learn more about children coping with illness, grief and loss. If requested, HORC will also be able to provide consultation services with community professionals who are working with children with life limiting illnesses.

Hospice of Rutherford has been providing hospice care for terminally ill patients and their families since 1982 and palliative care since 2004. HORC has also been providing grief counseling services for anyone in the community who has lost a loved one since 1993. The organization is constantly striving to provide more much-needed services to the communities served. Kids Path® and all other services are currently provided by HORC in Rutherford and McDowell counties. All contributions to Hospice of Rutherford County ensure these programs and services continue. For more information about Kids Path®, contact Kim Lowery at (828) 245-0095.