Nathan Adelson Hospice in Las Vegas takes care of its own—and its community.
Spearheading both sides of that equation is Carole Fisher, the facility's president and CEO and an honorable mention for Modern Healthcare's inaugural Community Leadership Award
To help the hospice's own employees, Fisher set into motion the Angel Tree Program, which has provided lower-paid workers with $50,000 worth of school supplies, food, clothing, furniture, toys and other donations from their colleagues since 2006.
“Some of our employees work hard and don't get paid very high wages. I'm very mindful of that,” says Fisher, 54. “The Angel Tree Program is an opportunity at holiday time for our families to make sure they get what they need for their children. … It's all anonymous, so you can't tell who it is (giving or receiving).”
Inspired by Fisher's own experience caring for her mother-in-law when she was in hospice, Nathan Adelson has launched a meal-delivery program for patients' families. The local Three Square food bank has partnered with the hospice, mindful that “people in that situation have a hard time just taking care of themselves with meals,” Fisher says. “I learned first-hand what it's like to be a caregiver and have a full-time job. It's hard stuff, coming home at the end of the day.”
Also, the organization has recently stepped up efforts to properly recognize and celebrate veterans who are receiving hospice care, Fisher says, by providing official certificates of appreciation for their service and “ensuring that their basic needs were met, outside the hospice benefit,” for clothing and other items, she says. “That really has been a wonderful initiative that we just started, and we'll build on that.”
The hospice also has adopted a third-grade classroom at Robert Taylor Elementary School in suburban Henderson, Nev. Nathan Adelson staffers visit the classroom to teach the students about health-related topics such as proper hygiene during cold and flu season as well as broader studies such as Nevada state history.
Inspired by Fisher's relationship with a patient who had worked at the school, the “school adoption” program recently expanded to include a program that provides incentives for children—such as healthy snacks or educational toys—to improve and excel in reading. “This is a school where children are not as fortunate, in terms of their family situation, and we do what we can to support them,” Fisher says.
Nathan Adelson also participates in clothing drives for women who need business attire as part of the United Way Women's Leadership Council. “One thing they do is provide clothing for women going back into the workforce,” Fisher says. “We just got done collecting hundreds of items that went to these women.”