Emmanuel Hospice Reaccredited by CHAP

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Emmanuel Hospice has been reaccredited by the Community Health Accreditation Program, Inc. for its industry best practices and commitment to quality patient care.

The CHAP accreditation renewal demonstrates that Emmanuel Hospice meets the health care industry’s highest nationally recognized regulations and standards. Emmanuel Hospice was awarded the renewal due to its focus on structure and function, quality of services and products, human and financial resources and long-term viability. The organization received a perfect survey with no areas of concern.

“Our goal at Emmanuel Hospice is to provide the best possible experience for patients and their families during what can be a very difficult time,” said Emmanuel Hospice Executive Director Sara Lowe. “Having the independent, third-party validation from CHAP confirms our commitment to the highest standards possible.

“We hope those we care for and their families can rest easy knowing we are being held to a high level of excellence as we offer a holistic, life-affirming experience through the end of life.”

Emmanuel Hospice first received CHAP accreditation in 2014 after its first year of operation. The new accreditation is valid through September 2022. CHAP certification also certifies Emmanuel Hospice as a Medicare provider.

“By achieving CHAP accreditation, Emmanuel Hospice has shown a commitment to excellence,” said CHAP President and CEO Karen Collishaw. “This is the second time Emmanuel Hospice has achieved CHAP accreditation, and we are excited to continue our partnership by offering support in its commitment to providing quality care and continuous improvement.”

CHAP is the oldest national, independent accrediting body for health care organizations that determines if hospice agencies meet the Medicare Conditions of Participation and CMS Quality Standards.

Since opening its doors, Emmanuel Hospice has grown to care for more than 100 families a day in a four-county area in West Michigan. Last year, the organization cared for more than 455 patients and an estimated 1,365 caregivers who supported them on their end-of-life journeys.

Emmanuel Hospice Expands into New Offices

Bolstered by steady growth since its founding in 2012, Emmanuel Hospice will soon complete a move into a new and expanded office space in Grand Rapids at 401 Hall St. SW.

The new office space is 5,400 square feet, which is an increase of 3,500 square feet from Emmanuel’s current office space at St. Ann’s Home, located at 2161 Leonard St. NW. The new office space, which is located just south of downtown Grand Rapids, includes a dedicated grief support room, collaborative workspaces, a large conference room, space for interdisciplinary team meetings and 13 private offices.

The new space also offers convenient access to US 131 and I-196, as well as free and abundant parking.

The move comes two years after the faith-based nonprofit provider of hospice care expanded its former headquarters at St. Ann’s to accommodate new team members. Since then, Emmanuel’s team has continued to grow, adding 45 employees and expanding programs, such as its complementary therapy offerings.

“The growth of our organization has just been incredible, and it would not have been possible if it weren’t for the support of St. Ann’s and the Carmelite Sisters along the way,” said Sara Lowe, executive director of Emmanuel Hospice. “This expansion will allow our staff the space and resources they need to continue to provide quality and compassionate care to our patients.

“As we continue to refine our services in our new space, it’s important to us to honor St. Ann’s and the Carmelite Sisters for being the supportive roots from which we could flourish. Our partnership will remain strong with St. Ann’s and our other partners, Clark, Porter Hills and Sunset.”

Since opening its doors, Emmanuel Hospice has grown to care for more than 95 families a day in the four-county area. Last year, the organization cared for more than 455 patients and an estimated 1,365 caregivers who supported them on their end-of-life journeys.

Additionally, Emmanuel Hospice has:

  • Provided grief counseling and support services to 3,025 family members and friends
  • Served 915 community members through grief support programs
  • Provided education on end-of-life issues to 3,165 area residents
  • Benefited from more than 40 volunteers who donated more than 9,100 hours of time to provide comfort, care and support to patients and families

Emmanuel Hospice recently hired a massage therapist to support the organization’s growing portfolio of complementary therapy offerings, which includes music therapy, massage therapy, companionship and journaling sessions, as well as acupuncture and acupressure. Emmanuel also offers a pet visitors program and essential oils.

Emmanuel Hospice Awarded Photojournalism Grant Through Funraise

Emmanuel Hospice has been awarded a photojournalism grant valued at $35,000 by digital fundraising platform Funraise to capture patient stories and the unparalleled compassion of employees.

Emmanuel Hospice applied and received the grant near the end of 2018, chosen from several hundred applications due to its extraordinary care and devotion to their patients and outlook on the end-of-life journey.

Emmanuel’s application read in part: “Caring for the dying is not a glamorous job. In fact, it can be messy, emotionally draining, and exhausting. But it can also be joyful. It can be funny. And it can certainly be rewarding. That’s what we would love to have captured through professional images. To share the full experience of the dying with our community, and beyond. To show people that this work, while it is difficult, is also deeply profound.”

The grant will engage California photographer and videographer Alexander Pavone for one week, including his travel and lodging. Pavone will spend the week at Emmanuel Hospice in the late summer, documenting patient stories and employees’ dedication to upholding patient dignity in end-of-life care to be used for Emmanuel’s website, social media and promotional materials.

“We are really looking forward to seeing Alex’s work and how he sees our work through the lens,” said Katie Joseph, director of development at Emmanuel Hospice. “Our goal is to offer a glimpse into the reality of dying, which we believe is foundational in helping our society embrace death and live well.”

As noted in its mission statement, Emmanuel Hospice strives to provide exemplary spiritual and physical care and creating a peaceful experience for the dying. Pavone’s videos will not only provide those researching end-of-life care for their loved ones’ peace of mind, but also demonstrate the deep faith, passion and dedication at the root of all care services at Emmanuel.

Known for working with nonprofits, Funraise chose to allot a portion of its own marketing budget into several grants for capacity building, staff training and more.

Gene’s Story

My Dad, Gene, was what you’d call a “people person.” He loved to reminisce about the old days, share a laugh with a friend, or discuss the meaning behind his favorite hymns. And boy, did he get his fill of good conversation in his last few months with us.

In the spring of 2017, after a string of hospital visits, we knew we needed more help to meet Dad’s needs. At 95 years old, his health was declining, and he was tired. We were all tired, and a little overwhelmed. So we made the call to Emmanuel Hospice.

I don’t think any of us knew what to expect when we made that call, or the relationships we would build. Emmanuel Hospice ended up caring for my Dad for 14 months, with nursing visits, massage therapy, spiritual care, music therapy, and more. We could all see how much he meant to them, not just as a patient, but as a person. We knew from the first visit that Dad was in good hands.

Even as his health declined, Dad was always ready for a
good conversation. I’m not sure that Dad ever fully understood the hospice concept, but he sure did love his visitors. In fact,
I think his enjoyment of life actually increased during that last year. He interacted with so many new people and had many great conversations.

Every person that he came in contact with made him feel important. Anna, his Hospice Aide, could carry on conversations with him even when he was confused, and his speech was difficult to understand. His Massage Therapist, Brenda, made him feel relaxed and softly encouraged him. And Vern, his Spiritual Caregiver, ministered to his soul through prayer and hymns. There were others, too – his Nurse, Social Worker, Volunteer Companion, Music Therapist – who cared for him deeply, with great attention to his needs.

I know how lucky we were to have them. It breaks my heart that many seniors are forgotten in our society, when they have so much spirit left. That’s why Emmanuel Hospice was such a gift to our family. They brought extra meaning to his life that we couldn’t give him alone. With every visit, they made Dad feel special. They remembered little details about him and found ways to connect, even when his illness made it hard.

Emmanuel Hospice treated my Dad with care and dignity, especially at the very end of his life. His Hospice Aide, Anna, was the last person to see him. She didn’t have to,
but she washed him up, shaved him, and got him looking good in his last hours. She treated him like he was a member of her own family. After Dad died, his Nurse Jennifer led our family in a blessing of thanks. Dad had lost his hearing, eyesight, and speech in those final days, but as we stood over him and thanked him for the ways his body and mind had blessed us over the years, I was struck with how dignified those final moments were.

That’s the kind of care that every person deserves at the end of their life. It’s also
the kind of care that Emmanuel Hospice can only provide with your help. Emmanuel Hospice treasures every person they care for, and every family they meet. They
made my Dad feel important and valued, and we are so grateful for that. I hope you understand how meaningful it is to receive that level of care in today’s society. Please consider making a special year-end gift to Emmanuel Hospice, so that this important work can continue for more families. Your financial support brings dignity and comfort at a difficult time, and it means more to us than you can know.


Mitch Newenhouse
Son of Donald “Gene” Newenhouse