New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 13, 2005, New Braunfels, Texas
Page 2 — Herald-Zeitung — Tuesday, December 13, 2005
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VITAS cares for all hospice-appropriate patients referred to us, regardless of their ability to pay. Chanty care company-wide averaged IA percent of gross revenues dunng 2004— approximately $7.5 million— reportedly a higher percentage than the majority of hospice programs operating in the United States.
VITAS often admits patients that many hospices will not or cannot take under care: Patients whose treatment plan may require
palliative chemotherapy or radiation; patients with complicated diagnoses; patients without a primary caregiver in their home; patients who are not willing to sign a DNR order.
VITAS has founded two non-profit organizations dedicated to furthering the growth and development of Hospice—the Hospice Foundation of America and the Foundation for End-of-Life Care—and was a founding benefactor of the prestigious Duke Institute on Care at the End of Life.
No matter how you measure the quality of end-of-life care, VITAS stands out among hospice providers. Wouldn’t you choose America’s hospice leader'
REFERRALS, PLEASE CALL I -800-93-VIT AS
ASA PIONEER IN THE HOSPICE MOVEMENT, AS AN ADVOCATE FOR THE RIGHTS OF THE TERMINALLY ILL, VITAS HAS BEEN A LEADER IN EXPANDING HOSPICE ACCESS TO POPULATION GROUPS HISTORICALLY UNDERSERVED
BY HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS. ITS JUST ONE WAY THAT WE FULFILL OUR MISSION TO OFFER ALL WHO ARE BATTLING A LIFE-LIMITING ILLNESS THE OPPORTUNITY TO BENEFIT FROM HOSPICE CARE:
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Thrilled about December wedding
said. “Iii April, we weren’t sure if she would be able to walk down the aisle.”
Hope said she is thrilled with the idea of a December wedding. With white, red, silver and black, she is planning her special day as a winter wonderland. She said this isn’t the first holiday season made special by Hospice workers.
“Christmas for my family was made possible by them,” she said. “If it wasn’t for (Hospice), there wouldn’t have been gifts for my daughters. I’m very blessed to have them as part of my caretaking.”
Sara Taylor, Hope’s Hospice social worker, said her job is to help find resources to help the family financially, emotionally and in any other way. In the case of Hope and Roland, she’s also acting as a sort of wedding planner.
“I’m going around to different places and seeing who will help us out with donations," she said. “We had an intern who donated a dress. It had to be altered very little and fits very well."
Hope I lospice, chaplains and the Converse Cul-de-sacians have provided monetary donations toward the wedding. Sara also has gotten linen donations from Marty’s Creations in Seguin, jewelry donations from Celebrations in New Braunfels and a special honeymoon surprise from a business in San Antonio. And Sara’s not finished yet.
“This is something Hope’s always wanted to do,” Sara said. “Now when she looks back she can say, ‘I had great kids, and I
was married to someone who loves me.’”
'A TIME THAT'S SO PERSONAL
Sara said she has become very attached to Hope during the time she has known her, but her work will focus more around I lope’s family as her dis-ease progresses. As a social worker, she will check on the welfare of Roland and Hope’s daughters, 17-year-old Kristie and 14-year-old Valerie. Roland has proved especially helpful by calling Cindy when he is worried, even if Hope insists nothing’s wrong.
“I’ll be there when they need someone to answer questions,” she said. “I’m also trying to get more hours for Hope with her home caregiver, who is provided through the state.”
Cindy said they are making sure that Kristie, Valerie and Roland will have access to counseling to help them deal with any issues of grief or anger that arise from Hope’s tenrtinal illness.
“Even though the girls are teenagers and going through ‘teenageville,’ how they handle this will be very important to the rest of their lives,” Cindy said.
Sara said it is difficult but rewarding to work with people who are at the end of their lives. She finds happiness not only in watching patients fulfill their final wishes, but also by going home and spending time with her own 9-month-old child.
“I am always very grateful to families for letting me in at a time that’s so personal,” she said. “Even if the end is death, it can be pretty amazing if it is peaceful and things are done the way the patient wanted. It touches you no matter what you believe.”
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Supreme Court considers redistricting case
AUSTIN (AP) — The Supreme Court’s decision Monday to consider constitutional challenges to Texas congressional boundaries could send the redistricting map back to the Texas Legislature, if the court finds it unconstitutional.
But next year’s elections are moving forward under existing Republican-drawn districts, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said.
“The 2006 elections will proceed forward under the current map,” Abbott said.
State lawmakers, at die urging of then-
U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, drew new congressional boundary lines in 2003 during a special session called by Gov. Rick Perry. That map, opposed by Democrats and minority groups, withstood legal challenges before a three-judge federal court panel.
On Monday, the Supreme Court said it will hear arguments on a fast track, likely in March, in a consolidated case that contains four separate appeals by critics of the Texas map. A ruling from the court is expected before its term ends in June.
Already, candidates are filing with state party officials to run for Congress in the existing GOP-created districts. Texas’ primary election is March 7. So campaigns will be in full swing by the time the court hears arguments and rules on the appeals.
Abbott, whose office represents the state in court, said Texas’ congressional districts already have been okayed by the three-judge panel that “reviewed all the evidence, considered all the law and upheld the redistricting plan."
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Prenented by the
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Sokolyk: Planning background handy
he wrote. “We have also revamped our information technology function, implemented changes in our emergency management program to assure more effective response, and are in the process of redesigning our community’s code enforcement function.”
Morrison also helped Abilene acquire $17 million in special federal appropriations hinds.
Three years ago, he led a major marketing campaign for the Abilene Regional Airport, securing air service from a second airline and negotiating to bring an American Airlines maintenance facility with 300 aviation maintenance jobs to the location.
Abilene is a city of 116,000with a $127 million total operating budget, a factor that definitely appealed to city council.
District 6 Councilman Ken Valentine described Morrison’s experience in a larger city as a key attribute.
“He’ll have great insight on addressing the growth issues
we ll be facing as we double in size,” Valentine said.
District 2 Councilwoman Beth Sokolyk agreed, noting his planning background also would come in handy.
That will be a great thing for us as we are transitioning from a small town to a small city,” she said. “We really need someone who has a handle on things. I le’s the right man for the job.”
Morrison has a master’s degree in regional planning, with an emphasis on community development and land use planning, from the University of North Carolina He received his bachelor of arts degree in geography from the University of Honda.
Before working for Abilene, he served as an urban planner and in the housing and human services department for the City of Fort Worth. I Ie also has worked as a transportation planner in Raleigh, N.C.
Although Morrison’s on-the-job credentials and experience are impressive, Krueger said his volunteer work also was a tremendous asset.
“I Ie founded an organization that provided affordable housing for people in Abilene. That shows compassion and initiative that means a lot to me,” she said.
Judge orders month extension of FEMA hotel program
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A federal judge ruled Monday that a program that is putting tens of thousands of Hurricane Katrina evacuees up in hotels must be extended until Feb. 7 — a month beyond the cutoff date set by PEMA.
U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval said victims must be given more time in hotels because FEMA cannot guarantee that all applications for other aid, such as rent assistance or trailers, will be processed by the agency’s Jan. 7 deadline.
The temporary restraining order was part of a class-action lawsuit filed in November by
advocates for hurricane victims.
Attorneys pressing the lawsuit had argued that sticking to a January deadline would mean homelessness for thousands of evacuees.
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