JGS awarded grants to extend programs
LONGMEADOW -- Spectrum Home Health and Hospice Care, a program of Jewish Geriatric Services (JGS) has received a renewal of funding from the Albert E. & Lillian M. Marceau Fund for the Terminally Ill for the continuation of both their therapeutic harp program and their visiting dog program. Both programs are offered to clients served by Spectrum Hospice in all of its service delivery locations their homes, at Ruth's House, at the Julian J. Leavitt Family Jewish Nursing Home and other facilities.
"We are delighted that the Marceau Foundation was able to allow us to continue these two wonderful programs," said Diane Mintz, executive director of Spectrum Home Health & Hospice Care, who accepted the grant proceeds along with JGS Board Chairman Martha Finkel Ceppetelli. "Both programs help distinguish Spectrum's end-of-life services, and they have come to mean a great deal to both our patients and their families."
Also, at JGS to recognize the gift renewal were Anne Most, hospice volunteer coordinator, Cynthia Hinckley, founder of the Bright Spot Pet Therapy, Companion Volunteer Kevin Russell, Benise Goldberg, trustee of the Marceau Fund and therapy dogs Julia, Niles and Caber.
Companion Volunteer Kevin Russell with his therapy dogs Caber and Niles visiting with a resident at the Jewish Geriatric Services Jewish Nursing Home in Longmeadow.
This will be the third year for the therapy dog program. Hinckley has a M.Ed. and has worked in the field of education for more than twenty years.
She has been working with therapy dogs since 1992 and has evaluated and mentored hundreds of therapy dog teams in Western Massachusetts and Connecticut. Through her involvement with therapy dogs, she has witnessed over and over again the magical connection between humans and canines.
JGS' bedside harp program is now in its fourth year, is managed by Donalyn Gross, Ph.D., LCSW, CMP, who has concentrated her career in an area known as Thanotology (the study of death and dying). She is also a certified music practitioner, who has been providing support to those nearing the end-of-life, as well as education to healthcare providers, for over 29 years as part of her own "good endings" program.
Binese Goldberg, a trustee of the Albert E. and Lillian M. Marceau Foundation for the Terminally Ill, shared the funds history, "William T. Marceau, son of Albert E. & Lillian M. Marceau, established this fund in memory of his dear parents, as a way to fund initiatives that bring comfort to the terminally ill."
Given the still grim financial climate, JGS staff was particularly grateful for the program's continuation. "We are chronically underfunded by third party reimbursement sources for the standards of care that we provide," said Susan Halpern, director of advancement and major gifts. "We rely upon community philanthropic support to help us maintain our high standards and introduce new programs that improve the lives of the people we serve."
"That is why it is so gratifying to be able to bring together a community funder, like the Albert and Lillian Marceau Fund for the Terminally Ill and talented people like Dr. Donalyn Gross and Cynthia Hinkley to deliver programming that touches people's lives and makes life's difficult transitions easier," Halpern added.
Jewish Geriatric Services is a leading healthcare system serving elders and their families. Programs of JGS include the Julian J. Leavitt Family Jewish Nursing Home, Wernick Adult Day Health Care Center, Spectrum Home Health and Hospice Care, Ruth's House An Assisted Living Residence, JGS Family Medical Care, and Genesis House.