I am pleased that Dr. Deanna Duncan’s request for a CON for another Chattanooga Hospice was granted. Dr. Duncan is an experienced hospice physician and her staff, families, and patients love the care and support she shows them. She truly is interested in their outcomes and is compassionate about the care they receive. I worked with Dr. Duncan for several years and know that she will do what is best for the community. This community is her community, too. She grew up in the Chattanooga area and will have a positive outcome wherever she goes.
Competition is always good, leaving patients and families a choice. It also keeps other agencies on their toes, forcing them to give the best care possible. Not everyone knows how to deliver hospice care. As a Hospice Educator, this came to light when educating staff to the different aspects of the dying process. Few medical personnel have specialized hospice training. Dr. Duncan has that and will train her staff to be educated on the Living with Dying processes. What a wonderful thing Hospice is, if it is delivered properly. I hope the Chattanooga area will continue to support her in her efforts.
Judy Weinmann, BS, RN
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It is interesting to note Dr. Duncan was willing to work with “other hospices” in the area but this does not seem to be the mindset of Hospice of Chattanooga. The fact there have been recent layoffs at Hospice of Chattanooga is not a reason for the new Hearth Hospice not be allowed to serve the community. The recent layoffs at Hospice of Chattanooga are not because of a doctor wanting to serve her community, but a clear signal of terminal disease that has plagued Hospice of Chattanooga since the new administration took over. Hospice care is a ministry to dying patients and their families.
Dedicated nurses, doctors like Dr. Duncan, social workers, bereavement counselors, certified nursing assistants and many more behind the scenes support staff built HOC with hours of care and compassion that went beyond the call of duty and certainly were never concerned with their annual bonuses. Hospice of Chattanooga had been built on how it operated to earn its position in the community as a loved and respected safe haven for families in their time of need. Many of the old faces that served so well, the ones the families remember are no longer part of that organization due to changes over the last several years.
Hospice Of Chattanooga has become top heavy with highly paid administrators, attorneys, and marketing consultants. More than likely, if you run into your nurse, social worker at the mall who helped you through an unspeakable time in your life, they are gone. How can Hospice Of Chattanooga spend the money designated to provide care to the dying on corporate lawyers and marketing spokespeople like Gary Mac who have never driven across town in the middle of the night to aid a family in need?
Diane Case, RN