Published on July 06, 2016

A Case Supported

By Rev. Jon Yarian, Chaplain, ACC, Genesis Grief Support

The Grief Gap

“There is no way out, only a way forward.” - Michael Hollings

“There is no way out, only a way forward” - Michael Hollings.

As a Chaplain in the Spiritual Care department of our Genesis Medical Centers, I was called on to support the families of our patients who, despite our best efforts, died while in our care. Those life-altering moments of crisis care are followed by months of seemingly insurmountable grief.

Subsequently, I became a Bereavement Coordinator at Genesis Hospice and helped the effort to provide grief support for the families of our hospice patients during and after their loved ones died. It became apparent that a significant gap existed between the extraordinary on-going support we provide the bereaved of hospice patients, and the limited on-going support we provide the bereaved of non-hospice patients.

Spiritual Care stepped up to help bridge the gap and a partnership was formed with Genesis Hospice Bereavement Services staff to help meet this need. Yet, the question remained, “Could Genesis do more to help those grieving a significant loss?"

When I was accepted to a Genesis leadership development program, I was privileged to be assigned as my mentor Doug Cropper, President and Chief Executive Officer of Genesis Health System. Once aware of this gap, he asked me to work with him to do more to bridge it.

Grief Needs Attention

The experience of loss, and the grief that follows, is universal. Our society does little to help those in the struggle with grief find healing. Genesis could do more to bridge this gap.

Currently under the Medicare hospice benefit, thirteen months of bereavement services are mandated for the bereaved of hospice patients. Because of this standard of care, these survivors are finding healing on their journey with grief.

But what about the family whose baby dies in our birthing center? Or the family of a cancer patient in our oncology department? Or the family whose loved one dies in the trauma room of our emergency department?

Furthermore, the death of a loved one is not the only reason people are subject to the pain of grief. What help is there for those grieving a significant loss of health due to a chronic disease (Alzheimer’s), the loss of a marriage, a terminal diagnosis, the loss of a job, etc.

Currently there are people in the greater Quad Cities Area who have experienced a significant loss and are now facing the magnitude of distress with grief and haven’t any professional health service to address their need.

The Bridge Is Built

“Death is not extinguishing the light; it is putting out the lamp because dawn has come. - Rabindranath Tagore

“Death is not extinguishing the light; it is putting out
the lamp because dawn has come" - Rabindranath Tagore.

It took nine months of work by many at Genesis, yet a vision from Doug Cropper became a plan and a plan has become a reality. Genesis, with financial support from the Genesis Philanthropy, took the Genesis Hospice bereavement services program and elevated it beyond Genesis Hospice to become the new Genesis Grief Support. This cooperative of Genesis is for all the patients of Genesis Health System and their families, as well as our community at large.

Genesis Grief Support will continue to meet the growing grief support needs of our Genesis Hospice while developing our health system’s grief support services to accomplish our over-arching mission of, “compassionate, quality health services to all those in need.” Help spread the word that if someone is suffering with grief from a loss, Genesis can now meet this need.

Schedule Your Appointment

If you desire to talk with a grief support specialist, simply fill out the form below. Our staff will contact you to schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience:

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