Thursday, March 27, 2014

State of the Heart Hospice Reaches Milestone at Agency

Pictured is Anna Price
A co-worker of State of the Heart Hospice nurse describes Anna Price as “someone who lives on the sunny side of the street, bringing her kindness and joy with her everywhere she goes.” Many patients and families cared for by Price, of Ansonia, agree because they have nominated her ten times for outstanding care for a patient.

Two years ago, State of the Heart initiated a “Shining Star” program giving families a means of recognizing a staff member for their care of a loved one. There are various levels of the Shining Star program beginning with Bronze level, then to Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Price recently earned 10 “Shining Stars,” and is the first State of the Heart staff member to reach the Bronze level. In nominating an employee, the family member makes a donation to the nonprofit agency in honor of the employee.

“I really love my job,” explained Price who is an LPN and has been with the agency for over two years. She works from the agency’s Coldwater office. She said she first felt the “calling” to hospice work when her grandmother was cared for years ago by the agency. “I witnessed what she had: She was able to remain at home; she was comfortable, and she received the best of care. I knew that I wanted to do something that would give this same kind of care to others.”

She is a 2010 graduate of the Miami Valley Career Technology Center. Her interest in patient care has centered on caring for those facing end of life. “I find it very gratifying to give comfort and care toward the end of one’s life,” she explained.

Price has been praised by her coworkers for the help and guidance she gives to new staff members, offering her skills and insight. Families praise her for her care and compassion. One family member wrote of her, “You sure do make it easier at the end.” Gifts donated in her honor have ranged from $100 to $500, with one family honoring her with a $1,000 donation to State of the Heart.

According to Ryan Gathard, Fund Development Director for State of the Heart, the program has raised over $5,000, all of which is directed to patient care support. State of the Heart provides care to anyone who needs care regardless of ability to pay. The agency also provides free bereavement support, free music therapy, and offers a free camp annually called Camp BEARable which is for youth experiencing grief and loss.

“We know that our families are very appreciative of the care their loved one has received, and they want to express their appreciation in a meaningful way,” he said. “The Shining Star program enables them to do this.” Over 70 State of the Heart Hospice employees have received one or more Shining Stars.

Price explained how she approaches each new patient: “When I go into the house my first thought is to find out what their needs are. I listen, not just to the patient, but to the rest of the family and their friends.” She finds great satisfaction, she said, when she leaves a patient’s home knowing she has provided help and comfort to that patient and family.

Price is grateful for the support in her job from her co-workers. “They care about me,” she said. “They are very understanding and helpful. We are always aware of what one another’s needs are because we know that the ultimate result is the best help and care for the patient. The honor is nice to hear and I appreciate it as it reinforces what I do. I realize that God put me here for a reason and that is to do the job I do every day.”

State of the Heart Hospice, which is observing 33 years of service to area communities, cares for patients and families in eastern Indiana and western Ohio who are confronting a life limiting illness. The agency has offices also in Greenville and Portland. For more information visit the agency web site at

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