Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Hosted by Yolo Hospice
1909 Galileo Court, Suite A, Davis, CA 95616
Judy Alexander’s Bio:
Two years after the initiation of the Hospice Medicare Benefit, I started my hospice career in Los Angeles in 1985. Hospice programs were able to bill Medicare and be reimbursed for end of life care they provided to patients and families.
I worked as a hospice nurse in Los Angeles for 4 years. I was fortunate to have the supervision and guidance of Virginia Shubert. At that time she was considered the queen of hospice care knowledge. I moved to Sonoma County in 1989, and was employed at Home Hospice of Sonoma County in Santa Rosa, where I worked for the next 3 years.
After my partner was hired at UCDavis, I moved to the town of Davis in 1992. Walking through town, we discovered Yolo Hospice. It looked small, with a temporary-looking paper sign. I wondered if it was a “full service” hospice. When I decided to apply for the position of Clinical Coordinator, I learned that Yolo Hospice was a small, volunteer hospice whose only other paid employees were an executive director, an administrative assistant, and a thrift store manager.
The Yolo Hospice Board of Directors learned that if a hospice serves more than fifty patients a year, they must become State Licensed and Medicare Certified. They voted to go for it, and I was hired to oversee this enormous task. This was an opportunity to create a hospice program and improve upon some of the issues I had experienced from my previous jobs. I knew the “Federal Regulations” well, however bringing a hospice to meet those regulations was a hefty challenge.
We started with the clinical program and continued to expand our services. Aside from regulatory work, my job also involved supervising volunteers (patient care and bereavement), admitting patients, and calling physicians to “recommend” current state-of-the art pain and symptom management. In 1994, Yolo Hospice passed all surveys and became State Licensed and Medicare Certified.
As I look back on all the growing and expanding, I am filled with so many sweet memories of the people hired since 1994, and I feel blessed to have been a part of this incredible ride!