The Volunteer Program at Rush Hospice

Daily Point of Light # 1066 Mar 5, 1998

The Volunteer Program of Rush Hospice Partners (RHP) was started in April of 1995, when several community-based programs combined to provide awareness and access to compassionate hospice care. The program is dedicated to excellence in patient care by providing diversified services, education and research.

RHP provides end of life care to terminally ill patients, as well as support for their families. They also unite patients with their families in their homes, which makes them more comfortable than being alienated in a hospital. They offer companionship to the families and assistance during periods of bereavement. RHP looks at both the patient and the family as the unit of care. They want to extend hospice care to whoever needs it and educate people to help meet the needs of everyone.

Volunteers are members of the community who come from all walks of life. There are attorneys who offer legal services, public relations specialists who assist with grant and newsletter writing and religious leaders from all denominations who provide spiritual guidance for both patient and family. RHP volunteers also assist in filing and administrative duties. There are also many children and teenagers from the communities who offer their help whenever possible.

Funding comes from a variety of ways. RHP receives insurance reimbursements and assistance from Medicare and Medicaid. RHP also applies for grants and holds fund-raisers.

RHP services the Chicago metropolitan area and since its inception has expanded over a seven county area, known as the collar counties. There are approximately 100 volunteers and nurses who are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.