Barbara Poe, R.N., M.S.N., M.B.A./H.C.M., has been named director of Hospice of Nelson County, a service of Flaget Memorial Hospital that provides medical and spiritual support to people in the final months of a terminal illness.
Poe, a nurse for 23 years, has worked in care as diverse as dialysis, trauma, pre-operative, recovery room and nursing home until 1995, when she began to focus on home health care.
“As I prepared for home health, I continued my education, earning my master’s degree in nursing and in business administration, with a focus on health care management,” Poe said. “After that, I spent 16 years in home health care.”
Home health and hospice care bear many similarities, the new director said.
“In the hospital environment, you have many resources at your beck and call,” she said. “In home care and hospice, you are the eyes and ears of the physician. You have to pick up on all kinds of subtle cues. I think all of my years of nursing experience have helped me to do just that.”
The Shelby County native and her husband, John, who was raised in Elizabethtown, moved from Elizabethtown to Bardstown recently because “my husband and I want to be a part of this community.” Her husband now serves as youth and children’s coordinator for the Bardstown United Methodist Church.
In her last assignment before coming to work for Hospice of Nelson County, Poe had been traveling from Bardstown to New Jersey every week to do home health marketing and community education. These skills will be useful for Hospice, she said.
“I plan to do some community forums and community education. I plan to speak to senior citizens. There are so many people who could benefit from our services, but they are just not aware of the wealth of services Hospice can provide.”
Poe will tell her listeners that Hospice treats the person, not the disease; that Hospice emphasizes quality of life rather than length of life; that Hospice considers the entire family, not just the patient, the “unit of care;” that Hospice offers help and support to the patient and family 24/7; and that the patient and family are supported by a team of professionals, including doctors, nurses, nurses’ aides, chaplains and trained volunteers.
The new director will tell her listeners that Hospice seeks to give people alert, pain-free lives so that their last days may be spent in comfort, with dignity, at home, or in a home-like setting; and that grief care for the family continues for at least a year after a patient’s death.
To learn more, call 350-5570, or visit the Hospice office at 111 N. Third.
“Barbara brings tremendous knowledge, experience and compassion to the table,” said Flaget President Sue Downs, R.N., M.S.N., C.E.N.P. “She will be an invaluable asset to the vital health care ministry that is Hospice.”
Flaget Memorial Hospital is a member of Saint Joseph Health System, a 1,012-bed, eight-facility health care system that spans central and eastern Kentucky. Saint Joseph Health System is a member of Catholic Health Initiatives, the nation’s third-largest Catholic health care system. Visit www.SaintJosephHealthSystem.org for further information.