The hospice donation program was developed by the Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Bank (RMLEB) in conjunction with an interdisciplinary group of hospice professionals. Following a written survey, RMLEB conducted several focus groups, which outlined the key features hospices needed. The program was tested by Exempla Lutheran Hospice at the Collier Center. Secondary testing was done at Pikes Peak Hospice & Palliative Care. The program is now ready for any interested hospice.
Features of the program:
- No phone call is necessary to determine a patient's eligibility to donate. This is done using a simple algorithm supplied by RMLEB.
- The program is adaptable to the internal process of the hospice. Once it is up and running, RMLEB is only involved when there is a consented donor at the time of death.
- RMLEB will assist the hospice in setting up the program, making recommendations on implementing the necessary steps in the process.
- RMLEB provides training to personnel the hospice identifies on how to offer the option of donation to patients and families in a sensitive and neutral way. The goal of this training is not to get more donation but to facilitate family discussions that lead to informed choices.
- A hospice-only, toll-free telephone number is provided for checking the patient's status on the Colorado Donor Registry and to make referrals at the time of death for patients that have consented to donation.
- RMLEB provides follow-up letters to all donor families explaining the outcome of the donation. This includes whether or not a transplant could be done as well as information about the recipients (age, gender and state). Families are given the opportunity to write to these recipients through the eye bank. If the eye tissues were transplanted internationally, the eye bank has letters translated at no cost to the family. This is the only communication RMLEB has with donor families, so it does not interfere with the hospice's bereavement support.
To get started, call the Public & Professional Relations Department at 800-444-7479, option #3. We'll set up an appointment to meet with you, give a presentation or just answer any questions.
If you'd like to speak to hospice colleagues using the program, contact either of the following:
Rebecca Wood, Psychospiritual Services Manager, Pikes Peak Hospice and Palliative Care: 719-844-6558.
Anne Meier, Lead Social Worker, Exempla Lutheran Hospice at the Collier Center: 303-403-7255.