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Mount Evans Home Health Care & Hospice Named ‘Top Company’ Finalist in Health Care

Mount Evans Home Health Care & Hospice was recently recognized as a finalist at ColoradoBiz Magazine’s “Top Company” awards in the health care category. Hundreds of nominees are judged on community involvement, outstanding achievement, financial performance, and other intangibles by a panel of 11 business leaders and community stakeholders . For each category, 3 finalists are selected.

“We celebrate and congratulate our nurses, CNA’s, therapists, social workers, physicians and support staff,” says President and CEO, Charley Shimanski. “They pour their hearts and souls into the work we do each and every day, and this nomination and selection as a Top Company finalist demonstrates a broad recognition of their commitment.”

Sylvia Harmon, Publisher of ColoradoBiz magazine shared insight on our being chosen as a finalist, What stood out to the judging panel was the large scope of services Mount Evans provides, without turning away patients who have need. In addition, you have a wide variety of impressive community engagements over several counties in Colorado.  This prestigious statewide competition looks for the best of the best in Colorado business.  Your solid growth numbers helped you stand out.”

This Top Company title demonstrates the extraordinary passion and compassion that our nurses, therapists, social workers, support staff, and volunteers put forth. Our patients and their families know of the devotion that our staff and volunteers give, but earning this title demonstrates the unmatched heart, comfort, and love we provide to patients and their families.

For those of us who choose to live in a rural community, we willingly forfeit some of the conveniences and comforts of larger populations. We know that the positives of a smaller and beautiful community far outweigh the lack of some services. However, this award demonstrates that, for our small community, outstanding home health care is not compromised. Our being recognized as a top health care provider in Colorado should bring immense comfort to those in need of home health care after a surgery, suffering a loss and in need of support services, or facing end of life.



The Top 10 Hospice Myths

A lot of myths are just harmless fiction, simple fables recited because they sound like truth. Unfortunately, few topics are more clouded by myths than hospice. Believing those tales can prevent the dying and their loved ones from experiencing the valuable and positively life-altering benefits that hospice care brings.


The professionals at Mount Evans Home Health Care & Hospice have a whole world of compassionate care to offer the terminally ill and their families. Sadly, too many people allow far too much time to pass before asking for help because they don’t fully understand the hospice mission, or worse, misunderstand it entirely. I know, because I WAS ONE OF THOSE “MANY” who waited far too long to seek hospice care when my own mother was dying from lung cancer many years ago.


I’d like to take a moment to sweep away a few of the most stubborn clouds surrounding end-of-life care by addressing some of the most common and damaging myths about hospice.


Myth: Hospice is a place.

Hospice is a philosophy, not a facility. The sole and essential purpose of hospice is to help the terminally ill live as comfortably and fully as possible in the time that remains to them. While those services can be performed in hospitals and residential care centers, the great majority of hospice care is provided in the familiar comfort of a patient’s very own home.


Myth: Only a doctor can refer a patient to hospice.

Anyone – family, friends, clergy – can refer someone to hospice with a single phone call to Mount Evans. We will then work with the patient’s physician to determine if hospice care is appropriate and, if so, arrange for services to begin.


Myth: Hospice care is too expensive.

Most patients are insured by Medicare or Medicaid, and both health plans cover a wide range of critical hospice services such as doctor fees, skilled nursing, social and spiritual support, medical equipment, prescription drugs to control symptoms, and in-home hospice aid. Mount Evans will work hard to ensure hospice care is provided to all those in need.


Myth: Hospice is only for people with six months to live.

There is no “time limit” for hospice. Disease doesn’t always follow a prescribed course, and while Medicare and Medicaid do require a doctor-certified life expectancy of no more than six months before authorizing hospice benefits, once the decision to enter hospice has been made, legislation passed by Congress in 1998 ensures that both Medicare and Medicaid coverage will be there for the duration, however long that might be.


Myth: Hospice means giving up control.

It’s exactly the opposite. Patients are able to consult with their hospice team, their physician, and their own loved ones to choose when, where and how their individualized program of care will be administered. Preparing the advance directives that will ensure that their final wishes are known and respected is important. Moreover, with pain controlled and worries eased, along with the help of our team of therapists, counselors and social workers, hospice patients are better able to direct other aspects of their personal and financial affairs.


Myth: Strong pain medications deprive hospice patients of awareness.

The point and purpose of hospice is to help the terminally ill maintain the best possible quality of life, and to allow each patient to participate as fully as possible in the life they have remaining. Ensuring dignity at the end of life is essential.


Myth: Once you enter hospice, there’s no turning back.

Hospice is a specific program of medical care, not a definitive sentencing. Symptoms may change, prognoses may change, and hearts may change, which is why hospice patients are free to discontinue participation in hospice any time they wish. A hospice patient might decide to resume a course of curative treatment, for instance, or their medical situation might simply improve beyond the scope of hospice care, as was the case with my own father-in-law some years ago.  In either case, Mount Evans will stay with them every step of the way through an open-ended program of palliative care. Former hospice patients are also free to re-enter hospice any time they choose, provided they still meet the medical eligibility criteria.


Myth: Hospice is giving up.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Hospice isn’t about surrendering to death. At its heart, it really isn’t about death at all. Hospice is about making the most of life by living as fully and richly as possible. It’s about meaningful time spent with family, quiet spiritual contemplation, experiencing new things and savoring the past. It’s a comprehensive system of care and support designed to uplift the dying, and to comfort and assist the loved ones who will survive them. The earlier you call, the more care, support, comfort, and assistance we can provide.


Hospice is about quality of life, and Mount Evans is committed to making every day of every life the best it can be.






No-Shave November

Clear Creek sheriff’s office dedicates ‘No-Shave November’ to Mount Evans

(back row, l-r) Mount Evans board member Marvin Geisness. Captain Jeff Smith, Undersheriff Bruce Snelling, Captain George Weidler, Sergeant Seth Marquardt, Lieutenant Matt Brown, and Captain Rick Safe. (front, holding check, l-r) Mount Evans President & CEO Charley Shimanski and Clear Creek County Sheriff Rick Albers.

(Back row, l-r) Mount Evans board member Marvin Geisness. Captain Jeff Smith, Undersheriff Bruce Snelling, Captain George Weidler, Sergeant Seth Marquardt, Lieutenant Matt Brown, and Captain Rick Safe. (Front, holding check, l-r) Mount Evans President & CEO Charley Shimanski and Clear Creek County Sheriff Rick Albers.

Nearly a dozen men of the Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office put their best face forward last month, laying down their razors and picking up a pretty penny for Mount Evans Home Health Care & Hospice.

The occasion was No-Shave November, a national campaign that turns fruitful follicles into free-flowing philanthropy and a win-win proposition that relieves participants of the daily annoyance of shaving while helping to relieve stretched nonprofit budgets.

“Nationally, ‘No-Shave November’ is usually about helping cancer organizations, but we decided to do it for Mount Evans,” explained Clear Creek County Sheriff Rick Albers. “They’re an important resource for the Clear Creek community.”

Indeed, for a county with no doctor in residence, Mount Evans’ long list of essential services often means the difference between doing better and doing without for many of Clear Creek’s roughly 9,000 souls. The way Albers and his bushy band saw it, dedicating their muttonchops, Vandykes and assorted chin-curtains to Mount Evans was simply repaying past kindnesses.

“They’ve helped several of our deputies and their families, and they were there for my wife’s father,” said Albers. “Mount Evans is near and dear to our hearts.”

Clean-shaven fellows of all ranks laid down $25 apiece for the cause. First they laid down blade and Barbasol. Then they started picking up sponsorships from a county-wide cadre of keen supporters.

“It was Lieutenant Matt Brown and some of the guys in Detention who came up with the idea to do this,” said Undersheriff Bruce Snelling. While Snelling entered the face-race too late to cultivate a profitable crop of whiskers, he was happy to put his money on more fertile fields.

“We also put the challenge out to other departments. The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office took it up, and so did the Idaho Springs Police Department, although they chose their own charities.”

On the wonderfully appropriate morning of Colorado Gives Day, Dec. 8, Sheriff Albers invited Mount Evans board member Marvin Geisness and the organization’s president and CEO, Charley Shimanski, to drop by Clear Creek’s county building in Georgetown. Not surprisingly, talk turned to beards.

“In 35 years with this department I’ve never had a beard,” smiled Albers. “I’ll probably never have another one. The last two weeks…well…it just wasn’t me.”

Sheriff Albers’ wife, Joni, is a Clear Creek County Advocate. Joni stood four-square behind No-Shave November and, like her husband, Joni was relieved when her husband finally scraped off a month’s-worth of crumb-catching gold.

“I didn’t like it,” she said. “I thought it looked scruffy.”

With little in the way of ceremony and much in the way of mutual good will and gratitude, Sheriff Albers presented Geisness and Shimansky with a check for $1,000. It’s an impressive sum for so small a department in so small a county, and in Mount Evans’ capable and compassionate hands it will yield untold dividends in help and healing and hope.

“In many cases, Mount Evans is the last resort, or only resort, for people in need,” said Shimanski. “Twenty percent of our clients are uninsured or under-insured, and 25 percent of our budget depends on charitable donations just like this one. This $1,000 gift will go a long way to help us serve the people of Clear Creek County.”

And that’s not just chin-music.

“We and Mount Evans are both dedicated to protecting and serving the community,” said Sheriff Albers, “and I consider it our privilege to support them.

“Mount Evans rocks.”

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