Hospice Month: My, how we have grown
“Time is a brisk wind, for each hour it brings something new... but who can understand and measure its sharp breath, its mystery and its design?” - Paracelsus…that says it all.
Where did the time go? I’m going to try to describe this 20 year odyssey called Crossroads Hospice.
For me, it began when I walked into an office in Tulsa, OK to apply for the nursing position I had seen in the local newspaper. This was before Facebook, social media, Internet and electronic applications.
The office was bare bones. No pictures on the wall. Sporadic pieces of furniture. I began to wonder if I made a mistake and was almost ready to walk back to the elevators.
About that time, I heard a voice down the hall. A blonde-haired, cherub-faced man grinned, waved and warmly welcomed me into his office. This began my interview with the owner Perry Farmer and the agency to be known as Crossroads Hospice.
After about 10 minutes of visiting with Perry, I was in tears. I knew right then and there, I had to be a part of this company. His passion was infectious. I wouldn’t work anywhere else. Nothing else would do.
I knew in my soul that this person really cared for the patients that would someday be entrusted into the care of Crossroads Hospice. I knew that this company would make a difference. Luckily for me, he offered me the position.
As the days turned into months, and months turned into years, Perry and I learned about hospice together. We had a great group of employees. We had great group of owners. Clayton Farmer, Perry’s uncle and business partner, joined us, and, eventually, we began to add more and more locations.
We knew that what we had was special. We knew in our hearts that caring for someone with a terminal illness came with great responsibility. We also knew that there were no “do overs,” no “mulligans” in hospice. We had to get it right the first time and get it right every time.
We began to set the bar higher and higher. With each location we added, more expectations were put into place. The hospice industry was changing. More and more regulations were being mandated. However, more regulations were not necessarily a bad thing.This would ensure that everyone that provided hospice services would be expected to follow the same rules. Regardless, we wanted to ensure that we were the best. We wanted to make a difference.
I remember when I first started working at Crossroads Hospice, the lack of education and understanding of the hospice industry was much more prevalent. Someone would ask “What do you do?” and I would answer with a smile and state, “I’m a hospice nurse.” Many times, the person wouldn’t understand and would say, “I thought that was for cancer patients.”
I would explain hospice and tell them that our mission is to help the individual enjoy what life is left. As hospice professionals, we treasure life and want to honor the life of the patient and help him or her live out the remaining days in comfort and surrounded by those that care.
We know we cannot change the outcome. What we do know that we can make a positive difference.
Now, I can say that the best thing of all is the growth and expansion of Crossroads Hospice. When I started in 1996, we had one location. Now we now have 14 locations in seven states.
During our growth, we’ve made it a point to provide unique opportunities and benefits to our patient and their families. To give you an idea of what really makes Crossroads Hospice different from other hospice services, here are some of our programs:
- We offer our Gift of a Day® program which was based on a book by Jim Stovall. This concept was imagined by our passionate leader Perry. It allows the patient to answer the question, “If you had one special day, what you would do and what would that day look like?” We strive to help make that happen. We carefully plan every Gift of a Day event.
- We don’t take the sacrifices of our Veterans lightly and want to honor them, so we created the Veteran’s Recognition Program. This too, is carefully planned to ensure that we get it right.
- We understand how precious and unique every patient’s life is, so we started the Life Journal Program. We have a huge volunteer program which provides unique and professionally bound journals to the patient and their loved ones as a written legacy. Something that can be treasured for generations.
As a 20 year employee, I can say without a doubt that I’m blessed to have been given the opportunity to work for such an amazing organization. The owners are amazing. Our staff are incredible. Our mission is life changing.
Happy birthday Crossroads. I’m glad to be a part of this amazing organization. I wouldn’t change one single day of this incredible journey.
DeAnna Looper RN, CHPN, CHPCA
If you found this information helpful, please share it with your network and community.
Copyright © 2015 Crossroads Hospice. All rights reserved.