What My Hospice means is different to each individual and family we serve. For My Hospice Ambassadors, like Patty Ramsden, it means acting as a leader in their state to support Medicare’s first coordinated care model and protect the Medicare Hospice Benefit.

My Hospice Ambassadors are hospice and palliative care professionals with an interest in advocacy who work with NHPCO to facilitate on-going outreach and relationship development with federal policymakers.

Here Ambassador Patty Ramsden answers what My Hospice means to her:

Tell us a little bit about your role.

My title is Director of Admissions at Care Dimensions in Massachusetts. I have worked at my organization for almost six years in this role. Our agency has experienced tremendous growth both in census and staffing over the last six years. As director of admissions for hospice, I oversee our wonderful team of admission nurses. I feel fortunate to work at an agency that values the importance of having dedicated staff that specialize in introducing hospice care to new patients and families. Our CEO often states that the admissions team are “the ambassadors of first impressions.”  My role is designed to support our team to do their jobs with excellence, efficiency and compassion. I also take pride in the care with which I treat our employees and their families. Compassion and empathy towards each other are priorities in the stressful work we do.

How did you first get involved with hospice? Tell us a little bit about your role.

I first got involved in hospice while I was completing my undergraduate degree. One of my clinical rotations was with a community hospice program. The care and compassion that staff exhibited at the end of life touched me.  Just a few short weeks after I graduated from school, this experience would impact me in a more intimate way.  My mother in law was diagnosed with lung cancer at 55 years old and died within five weeks of diagnosis.  She was cared for by the very same hospice agency.  Being the caregiver and family member was a completely different experience.  With the guidance of our hospice team, our family was able to keep her comfortably at home for her end of life. This experience made me rethink my professional and personal goals. Five years later, I started working in a hospice role and have been there ever since!

What do you like best about your job?

The best part of my job is the ability each and every day to leave someone’s situation just a little bit better than it was before.  Sometimes this is nothing more than a kind word.  Acting as an advocate for those who don’t know how to navigate our complex healthcare system is something I am passionate about.

What motivates your advocacy and why do you think others should get involved?

My advocacy is motivated by those who do not get the care they need. There are so many patients who never have the chance to access hospice or palliative care. Those of us who hold the knowledge must use this power to raise up the stories of our patients, families, communities and colleagues. Our experiences give us the title of “experts” and have the ability to convey the needs of those we serve.

What does My Hospice mean to you?

From my point of view, My Hospice means that each and every one of us is entitled to options, control and care when facing the end of our lives.  It’s a personal, individualized plan that is supported by those around us.  It is my duty to patients, but also to myself to work towards this goal.