Universal Home Health and Hospice Care
HomeServicesWhy Universal?Service AreaNewsContact


May 7, 2014

Camp Braveheart. Helping Children Cope with Grief

(BELLEFONTAINE) Suffering the death of a loved one can be difficult for each of us as adults but somehow we cope or at least somehow get through our pain, not that it ever goes away. But what about children who experience the passing of a loved one, who teaches them how to deal with the loss of someone close to them? Losing a parent or even a grandparent can be a pretty traumatic experience for a youngster. So would be losing a brother or sister or friend. While they can be more resilient, does it make them less likely to have feelings of sorrow and grief?

Fortunately, there’s Camp Braveheart. For several years now, the camp has grown to include 60 children ages 5 to 13, all from the area, who learn that the camp is a safe place to learn to cope with their own grief and to learn that many other children are also coping with the loss of as loved one. This year’s camp will be held Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, June 11-13 at Marmon Valley Farm.

These children often feel alone, they may even mask their grief. Sometimes they feel that adults don’t understand them or the child might be afraid to talk to an adult about their feelings. At Camp Braveheart, they are surrounded by caring adults, trained counselors and hospice professionals.

Camp Braveheart is designed for the specific needs children have when they grieve while offering them a wonderful opportunity to laugh, play and create as well as remember. Children at camp participate in horseback riding, climbing a rock wall, archery, boating and fishing, and crafts. The children will also participate in small groups to help them learn about the grieving process, to express their feelings of loss and to learn that their feelings are normal and shared by other children. Children and their families will participate in a memorial balloon release that symbolizes the release of sorrow while the memories remain in their hearts. Parents, grandparents, guardians and other family members are invited to join the children for this remembrance service on the last day of camp.

Camp Braveheart is free to campers and is made possible through contributions from local community businesses, Caring Hearts of Ohio, united Way of Logan County, and the staff of Universal Home Health & Hospice care. For more information about Camp Braveheart or if you know of a child who would benefit from Camp Braveheart, contact Cheryl Varian at 937.844.2894.

April 30, 2014

Teens Work Through Grief at Weekend Retreat

(BELLEFONTAINE) If you were to stop in at Marmon Valley Farm on a recent weekend, it would appear as normal: teens and adults riding horses, helping each other through a hay maze in a dark barn, encouraging each other through a muddy challenge course, sitting around a campfire telling stories, and of course, riding horses up a trail. What made this particular weekend different was that one group was working through the grief the group of teens suffered through a loss of a loved one, like a parent or grandparent, or a sibling, or even a close friend. Surviving Loss: The Hardest Journey of Your Life was an overnight teen retreat to help teenagers to learn that there are others like them, trying to deal with the loss but not sure how to do it. The retreat was the idea of Cheryl Varian, volunteer coordinator and retreat director for Universal Home Health & Hospice Care. "I've been wanting to facilitate something for teens for quite some time now and I felt that this was the right time,” says Mrs. Varian. "We've been running a camp for younger children a several years now, called Camp Braveheart, but I always thought we could do more for the older youth in our community.”

Sponsored by Caring Hearts of Ohio, the teens along with volunteer counselors worked through many activities that relied on each other to help them, whether it was helping someone through the darken maze or sitting around the campfire, the teens could talk about their feelings if they wanted to while providing a safe environment with teens who know what loss is. Another activity involved the teens grooming their horses after the trail ride and then painting their feelings on their horse with words and images. The horses would then be released from the corral to joining the other horses grazing nearby, symbolizing the release of sorrow while their memories remained in their hearts. While the release of the horses didn’t quite go as planned when the grazing horses decided to join the painted horse, it did create an exciting moment with the painted horses running amid the other horses.

At the end of the retreat, Mrs. Varian and the counselors all felt that everyone was able to work through some of the grief they were feeling and that some healing has begun.

Caring Hearts of Ohio is the 501(c)3 non profit fund-raising arm for Universal Home Health & Hospice Care’s hospice program that along with providing funds for loss support groups, the teen retreat and for Camp Braveheart, also provides funds to assure services to every patient in need of hospice care regardless of their ability to pay. The upcoming Camp Braveheart is scheduled for June 11-13 at Marmon Valley Farm. For more information, contact Cheryl Varian at 937.844.2894

April 2, 2014

Surviving Loss… not your typical retreat!

Caring Hearts of Ohio, the non-profit, fund-raising arm for Universal Home Health & Hospice Care’s hospice programs, is announcing the dates for Surviving Loss: The Hardest Journey of Your Life, an overnight teen retreat for teens 14-18 years of age. This teen retreat focuses on those teens who know someone who had died. It might have been a mother or father. A sister or brother. A friend. It may have happened a long time ago or just recently.

Because everyone grieves differently, this retreat creates an opportunity for teens to learn to cope with their grief and to learn that many other teens are trying to cope with the loss of loved ones, too.

The weekend retreat is designed for the specific needs of teens and offers them a wonderful environment to laugh, socialize, and heal, as well as remember. The teens on the retreat will participate in activities like horseback riding, challenge courses, movie-time, and more as well as a service of remembrance.

The retreat is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, April 26-27 at Marmon Valley Farm, 7754 SR 292, Zanesfield, Ohio.

Guidance counselors at all area schools have additional information on the camp along with applications for the retreat. There is no cost for teens to attend the retreat and is made possible by donations to Caring Hearts of Ohio, United Way and staffing from Universal Home Health & Hospice Care. If you know of a teen that could benefit from the retreat, don’t hesitate to contact the teen’s guidance counselor or Cheryl Varian, Retreat Facilitator, at 937.844.2894 or by email at cheryl_varian@uhcinc.org.

March 20, 2014

Universal Home Health & Hospice Care Celebrated Certified Nurses Day March 19
By Honoring the Two Board Certified Nurses on its Staff

(BELLEFONTAINE) CEO Anne Shelley is pleased to announce that Universal Home Health & Hospice Care Care celebrated Certified Nurses Day, Wednesday, March 19th by honoring its board certified nurses. Universal Home Health & Hospice Care has two nurses being recognized for their professionalism, leadership, and commitment to excellence in patient care:

Melanie Gossard, board certified in Medical-Surgical Nursing; Hospice and Palliative Care
Karen Schlinglof, board certified in Hospice and Palliative Care

Board Certification of nurses plays an increasingly important role in the assurance of high standards of care for patients and their loved ones. Nursing, like health care in general has become increasingly complex. While a registered nurse (RN) license provides entry to general nursing practice, the knowledge-intensive requirements of modern nursing require extensive education, as well as a strong personal commitment to excellence by the nurse.

Universal Home Health & Hospice Care encourages national board certification for all its nurses. Patients are encouraged to inquire whether there are certified nurses on staff when they visit a hospital or their primary care provider. There are many nursing certification specialties such as medical-surgical, pediatric, pain management, cardiac vascular, oncology, hospice, case management, emergency nursing, critical care and many others. Many nursing certification bodies exist to serve the full range of specialized nursing care offered in the contemporary health care system; national nurse-certifying bodies should be accredited by either the Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification (ABSNC) or the National Organization for Competence Assurance (NOCA), or both.

Please join Universal Home Health & Hospice Care and the nation’s national nursing certification organizations in honoring those hardworking, dedicated nurses for their professionalism, and a job well done!

December 04, 2013

Universal Home Health & Hospice Care Named to the Top 500 of the 2013 HomeCare Elite

BELLEFONTAINE, OH, November 25, 2013 — Universal Home Health & Hospice Care today announced that it has been named to the Top 500 of the 2013 HomeCare Elite™, a recognition of the top-performing home health agencies in the United States. Now in its eighth year, the HomeCare Elite identifies the top 25 percent of agencies and highlights the top 100 and top 500 agencies overall. Winners are ranked by an analysis of publicly available performance measures in quality outcomes, best practice (process measure) implementation, patient experience (Home Health CAHPS®), quality improvement and consistency, and financial performance. In order to be considered, an agency must be Medicare-certified and have data for at least one outcome in Home Health Compare. Out of 9,969 agencies considered, 2,496 are elite.

The award is sponsored by OCS HomeCare by National Research Corporation, the leading products for home health metrics and analytics, and DecisionHealth, publisher of the most respected independent newsletter in the home care profession, Home Health Line.

“The 2013 HomeCare Elite winners demonstrate a commitment to providing patient-centered care and serving as leaders in the home health community. Their success is a tribute that managing healthcare data and utilizing it for improvement initiatives lead to high quality care, and we recognize them for their outstanding achievements,” said Mary Oakes, senior vice president of post-acute at National Research. We congratulate Universal Home Health & Hospice Care on being one of the top 500 home care agencies in the country.”

Universal Home Health & Hospice Care, Anne Shelley, CEO, credits their nurses’ experience and passion to restoring patient’s health as factors for the agency’s ability to achieve recognition as one of the HomeCare Elite. "I’m extremely proud of our staff. This recognition is a direct reflection of the compassion and care they have about the nursing care they provide to our patients,” said Shelley.

“HomeCare Elite recognition is a significant acknowledgement. The shift from fee-for-service to pay-for-performance payment models is reshaping the healthcare profession. And home health is proving to be an integral part of the continuum. In the face of value-based purchasing and care delivery model changes, the metrics that make up HomeCare Elite methodology shine an accountable light on an industry that may be the lynch pin to achieving affordable care at home,” said Marci Heydt, Product Manager for the post-acute care business group of DecisionHealth.

August 27, 2013

Loss Support Sessions Scheduled

(BELLEFONTAINE) Dealing with the loss of a loved one can be difficult. Each individual grieves in his or her own way. While many people will find that they do not need or want help with their grief, some people will seek individual counseling. Others want group support. Every loss is different in some way, but grief often shares common characteristics of leaving people feeling isolated by feelings of sadness and loss. Through support groups, individuals can find validation and feel like they are not alone.

Universal Home Health & Hospice Care is sponsoring two Loss Support Group sessions beginning Tuesday, September 10th and running each Tuesday for the following five weeks (September 17th, September 24th, October 1st, October 8th, and October 15th) one session from 10:00 am to 11:30 am, the other session from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm, at Union Station, 613 Hamilton Street, Bellefontaine. There is parking in the rear lot of the building. There is no cost and anyone is welcome.

The sessions are facilitated by Karla Gingerich, LISW-S, social worker with Universal Home Health & Hospice Care. Contact Karla at 937.884.2426 to register or if you have any questions.

August 2, 2013

CDs Bring Ray of Sun to Hospice Patients

(BELLEFONTAINE) Students of Bellefontaine Northeastern Elementary School's Helping Club created a project that is brightening the days for local hospice patients. The club, led by teacher Katie Gallaway, created a CD disk entitled "We Would Like to Make Your Day," with a recording of the students singing, "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah!" and then telling a few jokes that make patients smile. The club presented the CDs to Universal Home Health & Hospice Care to give to their hospice patients.

Once the recordings were burned onto the CDs, the students created the jewel case artwork with each one individually hand drawn and colored, with no two alike.

"We are so blessed to serve hospice patients in such a caring community," states Mary Taylor, director of hospice. "It's amazing how such a small, thoughtful gift like a CD can lift the spirits of a patient who may otherwise not be having a good day. Progressively, we're seeing music as an opportunity to enrich the therapies we utilize in hospice care."

Universal Home Health & Hospice Care provides hospice care to patients who have a terminal illness with a life expectancy of six months or less. The goal is to ensure the patient has the best quality of life possible in the months and weeks they have remaining.

With nurses, social workers, chaplains and volunteers to care for patients that are dying, Universal Home Health & Hospice Care's hospice team see first-hand the benefits that hospice provides to the patient and their family and believe the student's CDs will bring a smile to their patients' faces and will truly "make their day!"

The hospice has an office located at 701 S. Main Street in Bellefontaine and serves patients in Logan, Champaign, Hardin, and Union Counties.

July 8, 2013

Universal Home Health Grows Again

(BELLEFONTAINE) Universal Home Health & Hospice Care CEO Anne Shelley introduced new staff members at a June 25th agency meeting at the agency's main office. Ms. Shelley introduced Amber Sorgen, RN, who joined the Universal Home Health group as a nurse, and Amanda Daft, RN, who has been added to the agency's hospice team. In addition, Anabel Calderon, LPN, was introduced. She joined the company to assist in nursing care and to provide home health aide services to Universal home Health & Hospice Care's patients.

"The aging senior population, which is going to continue to grow in the decade ahead, necessitates the additional staff so that Universal can continue to provide the highest level of patient care that physicians expect for their patients at home," said Ms. Shelley. "We realize that we enjoy a wonderful reputation for outstanding patient care in our home health and our hospice care. We have to ensure that we can continue to offer our patients that quality care."

June 18, 2013

Camp Braveheart... not your typical camp!

Camp Braveheart, a very special day camp for children who are grieving the loss of a parent or sibling, took place at Marmon Valley Farm, June 5th - 7th.

This year, 53 children aged 5 to 13 attended camp and learned that they weren't alone in their feelings of loss. They were surrounded by caring adults, trained counselors and hospice professionals who helped them learn about the grieving process, that it was okay to express their feelings of grief, and learned that their feelings of grief are normal.

The children still participated in normal summer camp activities like horseback riding, rock wall climbing, challenge courses, archery, boating/fishing, crafts, and a visit of animals from the Columbus Zoo, but it was during some of these activities that the hospice professionals were able to connect with the children. For instance, one of the craft projects was taking a clay pot, shattering it, and then putting it back together again except some of the pieces were missing. This exercise symbolized the feelings they may have felt when their loved one passed and even though some pieces of their life are missing, they learn they can move on.

The camp concluded on the last day of camp with a memorial balloon release that symbolized the release of sorrow while the memories of their loved ones remain in their hearts. As each child's name was called, and the name of their loved one read, they came forward to get their balloon. Parents, guardians and family members were invited to attend this symbolic, but emotional portion of the camp.

Here's a small glimpse of the last couple of hours at this year's Camp Braveheart:

View Older News Posts »

Home   |   Services   |   Why Universal?   |   Service Area   |   News   |   Contact   |   Employee Resources
All Rights Reserved 2018, Universal Home Health & Hospice Care   |   Web Site Developed by Alt Media Studios