Photo: Tidewell telehealth.
As Tidewell Hospice (based in Sarasota, Florida) remains focused on providing quality care amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a $40,000 grant from the William G. and Marie Selby Foundation has permitted Tidewell to obtain iPads for its hospice houses, as well as for use when caring for patients in their homes, long-term care and assisted-living facilities.
Since receiving the grant, Tidewell staff have received training on using the nearly 100 WiFi and cellular-enabled iPads, allowing Tidewell physicians and clinical staff to deliver care remotely when necessary.
“The Tidewell Foundation is so grateful to the Selby Foundation for its very rapid response to our need for support to expand Tidewell Hospice’s telehealth capabilities,” said Tidewell Foundation President Debbie Mason. “In addition to providing the clinical support, these iPads can make a huge difference for us to use in connecting distant families with patients.”
Access to telehealth is critical during the pandemic, as it allows patients who are in isolation to continue receiving Tidewell’s medical services and complementary services such as music therapy, grief and spiritual support. Additionally, it provides a safe way for patients to connect and communicate with their loved ones.
“Constant communications between healthcare professionals, patients and families is always important in any healthcare setting,” said Tidewell Hospice Chief Nursing Officer, Pauline Mailey. “Yet, at the end of patients’ lives, it is of critical importance. We can’t thank the folks at the Selby Foundation enough for understanding the power of those last conversations.” “The Selby Foundation has a long history of funding significant community needs through providing funding for capital needs,” said President and CEO of the William G. and Marie Selby Foundation, Carol Butera. “At this time, we are especially pleased to be able to provide assistance to Tidewell Hospice in their care of the critically ill through the purchase of equipment in their delivery of telemedicine services.”
Serving more than 1,000 patients daily in Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte and DeSoto counties, Tidewell Hospice is one of the largest not-for-profit hospices in the U.S. Home-based comfort care is the basic premise of Tidewell’s services, involving the support of physicians, registered nurses, social workers, certified nursing assistants, chaplains and volunteers, all following a prescribed plan of care. Tidewell’s services are available to everyone, regardless of ability to pay.
Founded in 1980, Tidewell has grown significantly in the past three decades, now caring for nearly 9,000 patients every year. Although hospice is often misunderstood as care just for cancer patients, Tidewell cares for patients with a broad range of diagnoses, including heart and lung disease, AIDS, renal failure, ALS and end-stage Alzheimer’s. Any disease with a predictable prognosis of six months or less is within Tidewell’s admission criteria.