It was 35 years ago this spring that Golden Belt Home Health & Hospice (GBHH&H) offered services to its first patient.
When 1979 came to an end, the non-profit agency had cared for 43 patients. Today, at any given time, GBHH&H is serving 60 to 100 patients for an average of almost 300 per year.
Donita Wolf, GBHH&H director, recently outlined the agency’s background and services during a Great Bend Chamber of Commerce Coffee.
Under the leadership of Sister Dominic, the local Dominican Sisters determined there was a need for home-health care, Wolf said.
“The Sisters were out in the community doing their volunteer work with the elderly and soon realized professional nursing services were needed in family homes,” Wolf explained. “Our agency became Medicare certified and began providing nursing and nursing-aide services.”
In 1982 the agency expanded to include hospice services - also in family homes. Medicare changes in 2000 brought about the closure of four other home-health agencies but GBHH&H remained open.
“We were going strong then and continue to do so to this day,” Wolf said. “We have a great staff of medical and clerical personnel. There are 21 of us who are dedicated to patients and their families.”
Home health includes a wide variety of services such as wound care; IV therapy; physical, speech and occupational therapies; and rehabilitation after an accident or stroke.
“Home-health services are available to anyone who has had a change in medical status for whatever reason,” Wolf said. “We will take care of them in the comfort of their own home for as long as there is a need for our skilled services.”
Hospice services, which also are provided in the home, are needed when the patient is terminal.
“Our hospice team provides comfort when the patient is no longer receiving traditional medical treatment,” Wolf said. “We can help manage their symptoms and be helpful to the family at this difficult time. Our grief support group also is helping many families in the area.”
In addition to the patient’s physician, the hospice team includes the medical director, nurses, a social worker, chaplain, aides and volunteers. “I am very proud of this compassionate group of caregivers,” Wolf said.
GBHH&H, 3520 Lakin, is part of the St. Rose Ambulatory & Surgery Center family. St. Rose is under the umbrella of Centura Health.
“Centura brings its expertise to us every day and is always willing to help us meet patients’ needs,” Wolf commented. “All of Centura’s home-care agencies in Colorado have been named to the 2013 HomeCare Elite, which is quite an accomplishment.”
GBHH&H serves families in Barton, Pawnee, Rush and parts of Stafford counties. For more information, call 620-792-8171.
Centura Health connects individuals and families across western Kansas and Colorado with more than 6,000 physicians, 15 hospitals, seven senior-living communities, physician practices and clinics, and home-care and hospice services.