Jewish hospice accreditation renewed

Community Hospice of Northeast Florida was recently re-accredited as a Jewish hospice by the National Institute for Jewish Hospice (NIJH), joining more than 60 hospices nationwide.
The accreditation process provides staff training, insights on treating Jewish patients who are seriously ill, and access to resources and education about Jewish customs and practices that may arise while caring for a Jewish patient near the end of life.

“While Community Hospice is a non-denominational organization, we strive to meet the spiritual end-of-life needs of all patients and family members in our care,” said Mary McElroy, chief nursing officer for Community Hospice, who attended the 28th annual accreditation conference in New Jersey.
Rabbi Joshua Lief of Temple Ahavath Chesed, noted “As a member of the Executive Board of Community Hospice, I am very proud of our efforts to provide a compassionate guide for end-of-life care to all patients, regardless of faith. That we go a step beyond, to support individuals of all faiths, and their families, at such a difficult time, is what makes Community Hospice truly special.”

Community Hospice, as part of its multi-disciplinary approach to care, recognizes the need to manage not only the physical symptoms associated with a serious illness, but also to alleviate the spiritual and psychological distress patient’s face when diagnosed with a life-limiting condition, according to Rabbi Mona Decker, a member of the Chaplain staff at Community Hospice who is also active in the Jewish community of Northeast Florida.

“The NIJH curriculum addresses the unique concerns Jewish patients and their families may have about choosing Community Hospice to care for their sick loved one,” said Rabbi Decker. “It also provides guidance on end-of-life issues and discusses Jewish rituals at death and during the mourning period. Our staff is coached to identify specific beliefs, customs, laws and needs of Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and secular or non-practicing Jews.”

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