New Dimensions launches palliative care program [UPDATED]Published 6:04am Monday, December 31, 2012 Updated 8:05am Monday, December 31, 2012
New Dimensions Home Health Care has announced the launch of its Palliative Care Team, and the hire of two additional staff members to help operate the program.
The nurse managers of the program are new employee Sue Risbrudt, and Terri Randall, who was already employed at New Dimensions. Joan Moerke also joined the agency as a licensed social worker. Physical Therapist Tessa Thomas and Occupational Therapist Mindy Zimmerman round out the New Dimensions Palliative Care Team.
Risbrudt explained that palliative care is a cutting-edge movement in health care delivery that treats clients with life-limiting illnesses such as cancer, Alzheimer’s and chronic heart failure.
“They’re still trying to arrest or slow down the disease process,” Moerke added.
The focus of the program is improving the quality of life while continuing aggressive medical treatment, utilizing clinical expertise in symptom control and management.
By managing pain and symptoms at home and coordinating with the treating physician, the palliative care program can deliver high-quality results with fewer hospital readmissions, Randall said. In addition, Moerke works with a client’s family and existing clergy to bring emotional and spiritual support to enhance the medical treatment.
New Dimensions built the palliative program after discussions with a local oncologist highlighted the need for in-home follow-up with patients who may or may not have a terminal diagnosis, and are actively fighting their disease.
The New Dimensions Palliative Care Team began accepting referrals in November and has limited availability.
Sue Risbrudt has an associate degree in nursing from M State Fergus Falls, and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Minnesota State University Moorhead. She has 15 years experience at Lake Region Healthcare as an acute care registered nurse, five years experience as a hospice nurse, and has worked as a nurse educator for M State in Fergus Falls.
Terri Randall has more than 15 years of home care experience, including case management and administration.
She has her own nurse consulting business, and has more than 5 years experience working with the local detox program. She has a background in palliative care and hospice.
Joan Moerke is a licensed social worker who was previously a co-owner of a residential service program for developmentally disabled adults. She has experience working in hospice as well as long term care in a nursing home setting.
New Dimensions Home Health Care is a Medicare-certified, Class A agency operating in Fergus Falls since 1993.
To learn more about the program, contact Sue Risbrudt or Terri Randall at (218) 739-5856 or talk to your doctor.