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Blog: Hospice Views

Relationships to Last: Kathy Decker Brings Care to Kansas City

undefinedFor many throughout the Kansas City area, Kathy Decker is the face of Crossroads Hospice. As the regional provider relations lead, she informs local long-term care and nursing facilities about hospice and what Crossroads can do for their residents.

For Decker, it’s a way of combining her marketing skills with her passion for helping others. The way she sees it, they go hand in hand. It’s easy to convince others that Crossroads is the best place for patient care when she believes it so strongly herself.

Called to Serve Others

When Decker graduated from the University of Central Missouri with a Bachelor’s degree in marketing, she wanted to use her talents in a meaningful way. In her first job as a nursing home marketing coordinator she was exposed to Crossroads and saw firsthand the company’s dedication to patients and their families. After earning her Master’s in Social Gerontology at night, she learned of the provider relations opening at Crossroads and jumped at the opportunity. Seven years later, she’s still making the relationships that help patients get care.

Forging A Relationship That Lasts

The face of Crossroads, Decker travels throughout the region, meets with nursing home directors and explains the difference between Crossroads and other hospices.

“My initial goal was to get contracts at nursing facilities in three new counties,” she says. “Now, we are the hospice of choice in all three.”

So confident of Crossroads’ excellence, Decker has a hard time taking no for an answer, politely calling on nursing facilities again and again.

“It took six months of meetings with one nursing home that had negative experiences with another hospice,” she recalls. “I explained Evenmore Care®, The Watch Program and Gift of a Day. They gave us a try. Now, they might have ten patients at a time on service and they look at us as the experts at end of life care.”

Decker and her team also host educational events throughout the community to dispel myths about hospice. In many cases, they make lasting impressions.

“People come up to us afterwards and ask questions. Several months after one event, a gentleman asked us to care for his mom. He still had my card and remembered our presentation. It’s fulfilling to know that my words helped him choose hospice and Crossroads.”

In addition to forging new relationships with nursing homes, Decker maintains them, fielding phone calls and remedying any concerns they have. She also supports other Kansas City team members, available whenever they need help answering questions for facilities or with patient-specific care contracts.

A Different Kind of Care

Decker relishes the opportunity to use her marketing skills to inspire decision makers. It is not the same as hands-on comfort, but it’s just as crucial for the big picture.

From time to time, though, she gets to participate in special programs like Gift of a Day and meet both patient and family.

“One patient wanted to take a last motorcycle ride. We surprised him with a Patriot Guard and Combat Veteran Association to go along. To see the look on his face, the wind blowing through his hair, I was so happy to be a part of that. I’ll never forget it.”

Decker values the opportunity to care in multiple ways alongside her team.

“I like the fact that at my job, I get to do a little bit of everything,” she says. “And we have a great team. Everyone here works towards the same goal, making sure the patient and family get the best care. It was a great day when I heard we were opening the satellite office where I work now. Our whole team worked so hard to make that happen.”

Honoring Our Provider Relations

We’re proud to honor Kathy Decker as our Crossroads Hospice “Staff Spotlight” recipient of the month, and recognize our other provider relations who work to provide care for our patients each day, such as: Bennie Cates in Lenexa, Dee Taylor in Memphis, Larry Hendrickson in Northeast Ohio and Carolyn Browne in Philadelphia.

For more information about Crossroads Hospice, please call 1-888-564-3405.

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