No One Should Die Alone: The Gift of Being There for Patients

The Spiritual Care Department at MedStar Washington Hospital Center has launched the Not Alone Transition Companion program, to provide critically ill or dying patients with a companion when family members or friends are not available. Companions sit with patients, read to them or even hold a hand in their final days or hours, so that patients are not alone at the bedside.

November 3, 2015

Spiritual Care Department Launches Program to Provide Companionship to Seriously Ill or Dying Patients 

 

Washington, D.C., November 3, 2015 – The Spiritual Care Department at MedStar Washington Hospital Center has launched the Not Alone Transition Companion program, to provide critically ill or dying patients with a companion when family members or friends are not available. Companions sit with patients, read to them or even hold a hand in their final days or hours, so that patients are not alone at the bedside.

Dot-King,-Not-Alone-Transition-Companion-021“It is so good to tell a relative who cannot get to the hospital that their loved one is not alone” said Father Anthony Akinlolu, assistant director of Spiritual Care at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. “The comfort and the presence of a companion at the bedside can lessen a patient’s anxiety.”

This is the first volunteer program the department has established and the team is actively recruiting compassionate, personable and caring individuals to volunteer. So far, both Hospital Center employees and individuals in the community have signed up to volunteer and make a difference. Dot King, a senior administrative assistant in the Hospital Center’s Engineering Department, truly cherishes her new role.

“It is a blessing to me to be there. We are all going to leave here one day, and no patient should be left alone,” added King.

All volunteers are required to attend a short training session at the hospital. If you have a passion for caring and would like to offer support, please call the Department of Spiritual Care at 202-877-2045 to find out more information or visit http://bit.ly/1GP9AhK.

 

MedStar Washington Hospital Center is a 926-bed, major teaching and research hospital. It is the largest private, not-for-profit hospital in the nation’s capital, among the 100 largest hospitals in the nation and a major referral center for treating the most complex cases. U.S.News & World Report consistently ranks the hospital’s cardiology and heart surgery program as one of the nation’s best. It also is a respected top facility in the areas of cancer, diabetes & endocrinology, Ear, Nose & Throat, gastroenterology & GI surgery, geriatrics, gynecology, nephrology, pulmonology and urology. It operates MedSTAR, a nationally-verified level I trauma center with a state-of-the-art fleet of helicopters and ambulances, and also operates the region’s only adult Burn Center.

Media Contacts:

Sylvia Ballinger
202-877-7072
[email protected] 

So Young Pak
202-877-2748
[email protected]

 

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