A year in, HELD program at Nazareth Home demonstrates impact

A year in, HELD program at Nazareth Home demonstrates impact

In January 2022, Nazareth Home began a unique partnership with Pallitus Health Partners to better serve its residents with complex, life-limiting medical situations. Known as Helping Embrace Life Decisions (HELD), the program brings together experts from both organizations in the fields of geriatrics and complex disease management to develop plans that meet the individual healthcare needs of the Nazareth Home residents who are referred to the program.

A part of Hosparus Health, Pallitus Health Partners offers comprehensive palliative care for individuals who have very serious illnesses. Specialized services include chronic symptom and medication management, disease education, and care coordination. As of November 2022, 64 residents have been cared for through the HELD program at Nazareth Home.

“We are blessed by our partnership with Nazareth Home so that people living with advanced illnesses can be better served through the HELD program,” said Dr. Bethany Snider, chief medical officer at Pallitus Health Partners. “Creating the HELD program with a combined team of experts a year ago addressed a unique need at Nazareth Home for individuals in medically complex situations who wanted to enhance their quality of life.”

For Kathy Hargis, whose parents Mary and Joseph Bryan were residents at Nazareth Home, the HELD program provided much-needed support through a difficult time. Hargis’s parents spent the last few months of their lives together at Nazareth Home. Her mother became a resident of Nazareth Home’s Charity Court in January of 2020, while her father underwent rehab at Nazareth Home in April of 2020 and came back in February of 2022 to the long-term care program. Her father passed away in May of 2022, roughly a week after returning home, and her mother passed away in August, roughly 10 days after returning home.

“The HELD program helped us be able to figure out a timeline for both my mom and dad,” Hargis said. “Entering the program was very timely, working hand-in-hand with me, and we knew we had a short timeframe. They kept us informed constantly. The support we received from Nazareth Home really brought our family closer and helped us get through losing our parents so close together. This whole process has been an amazing journey.”

Dawn Krebs also found the HELD program to be incredibly supportive when she was helping her father-in-law, Ramon, begin rehabilitation at Nazareth Home.

“We immediately felt at peace with him coming to Nazareth Home,” Krebs said. “You can’t help but feel the presence of God there.”

Krebs’ father-in-law was sent to Nazareth Home for rehabilitation after being at Norton Audubon Hospital in Louisville due to congestive heart failure. When Krebs’ father-in-law arrived at Nazareth Home, he was evaluated and it was determined that he was in much worse condition than anticipated and would likely not make it to rehab. Krebs commended Nazareth Home’s medical director Dr. Bonnie Lazor and her efforts to thoroughly explain the HELD program and how it would help her father-in-law transition comfortably into end-of-life. She said along the way, the nurses at Nazareth Home became “like family.”

Krebs’ father-in-law passed away in August of 2022 after a little over two weeks of care at Nazareth Home.

“The biggest blessing we had was when the whole family was there just a few days after he was admitted,” Krebs said. “Sandra Buchanan, APRN for the HELD program, came in and shared that we were going to start the HELD program for his comfort. They allowed us to sit in the courtyard with him for four hours that day, the grandkids joined us, and we had a wonderful lunch together. Even the beautiful hummingbirds joined us, which were his favorite birds.”

To learn more about Nazareth Home, visit nazhome.org/about-us. To learn more about Pallitus Health Partners, visit pallitushealth.org

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