A person departs Bartlett Regional Hospital on Wednesday morning. Hospital officials said Tuesday they expect to begin providing home health and hospice care services as soon as Thursday, after they were halted last October by an organization which had provided such services locally for 20 years. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

A person departs Bartlett Regional Hospital on Wednesday morning. Hospital officials said Tuesday they expect to begin providing home health and hospice care services as soon as Thursday, after they were halted last October by an organization which had provided such services locally for 20 years. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Hospice and home care services to resume this week, Bartlett officials say

Hospital expects to accept first patient by Friday after taking over program suspended last year

Home health and hospice care services in Juneau, which were shut down last October, are scheduled to resume during the next few days at Bartlett Regional Hospital, a director of the program said Tuesday.

“We will start seeing our first patient by the end of this week,” Kim Stout, the hospital’s executive director for post-acute care, told Bartlett’s board of directors at its meeting Tuesday night. She said care for that patient could begin as soon as Thursday.

Services will be limited during the initial stage, Stout said.

“We still just have one nurse trained right now,” she said. “But we have two more arriving by the end of August. And so we can’t just accept a large number of patients. They have to be on-call 24/7. But we’re here, we’re going to do a slow opening and we’re going to start accepting patients.”

Other staff includes home health and hospice clinical managers, two chaplains, and an administrative assistant/volunteer coordinator. The program will also use the hospital’s physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, social worker and dietician employees to help deliver care services.

The hospital now has a hospice page at its website detailing services that will be available, eligibility requirements and other information.

There has been a gap in such services since Hospice and Home Care of Juneau closed last Oct. 19, citing a lack of registered nursing staff, after being operated by Catholic Community Services for about 20 years. Discussions to have Bartlett provide such services began even before the shutdown occurred, but getting the required state certification and other operational necessities in place took longer than hospital officials originally predicted.

An office for Bartlett’s hospice operation and employees is located downtown, but the care itself will take place in people’s homes, said Erin Hardin, a spokesperson for the hospital. The hospital earlier this month also officially acquired Wildflower Court — a 61-bed independent nursing facility, which officials said will help address the gap in such care.

• Contact Mark Sabbatini at mark.sabbatini@juneauempire.com or (907) 957-2306.

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