Donations of time, talent and funding are always welcome. There are many volunteer opportunities available across the service area - please visit https://www.bgcarenav.org/more-about-us/volunteer to learn more. Bluegrass Care Navigators welcomes monetary donations to help fund quality care for the seriously ill, bereavement for grieving loved ones plus care, support and education for the seriously ill - you can visit www.becarenav.org and click on the Teal "Donate" button to contribute online or send a check to 2312 Alexandria Drive, Lexington, KY 40504.
Providing patient-centered care to the seriously ill and their families with excellence and compassion; engaging in community partnerships, education and counseling; offering opportunities to staff, volunteers and donors to enrich lives through their gifts.
Be the leader in delivering comforting care at the right time to the seriously ill.
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In the late 1970’s, health
professionals and civic activists across the country began clamoring for a new
approach to end-of-life care – one in which terminally ill patients were
treated in their own homes, with dignity, and with their family members
close-by. A group in Lexington saw the need for this same approach in Central
Kentucky and in 1978 established - Community Hospice of Lexington. The first
patient – Gladys Dotson – was admitted in March and in that year the program
served 12 patients.
Hospice continued to grow, what began as a volunteer driven organization
blossomed into an agency serving eight Central Kentucky Counties. To reflect our
expanding service area our name changed to Hospice of the Bluegrass. In 1992, the staff had grown to more than 80
and in that year provided care to over 900 patients. During its first 15 years, Hospice focused
primarily on offering home care for terminally ill adults. Gradually, it became
clear that patients and their loved ones had additional needs that Hospice
could meet. Over the ensuing decade, Hospice would enhance the grief and loss
program by serving anyone in the community who had experienced the loss of a
loved one whether a Hospice patient or not. In 1999, Palliative Care of the
Bluegrass was established providing symptom-directed, patient-centered, life-affirming care of those
living with progressive life-threatening illnesses
the 21st century approached, Hospice expanded to 23 Central,
Southeastern and Northern Kentucky counties. A new Grief and Loss facility was
completed and Extra Care, a private duty care service, was established. In
2008, nine more southeastern Kentucky counties were added making the service
area 32 counties strong. The Greg and Noreen Wells Hospice Care Center, our
first free-standing inpatient facility opened in Hazard. KATS (Kentucky
Appalachian Transition Services) was established in 2013 helping those who
leave the hospital go home safely.
2017, we changed our name from Hospice of the Bluegrass to Bluegrass Care
Navigators to better represent all our services. Over the years, we have expanded our services
beyond hospice care, providing expert care long before life’s final
moments. That growing range of services
includes: Bluegrass Extra Care, Bluegrass Transitional Care, Bluegrass
Palliative Care, Bluegrass Hospice Care and Bluegrass Grief Care. Today we employ more than 500 staff members and
touch the lives of nearly 40,000 people a year.
The most exciting accomplishment in the past year is our new name and brand. Hospice of the Bluegrass has cared for thousands of families in local communities since 1978. Over the years, we have grown and expanded our services beyond hospice care. We changed our name to Bluegrass Care Navigators to better represent all of our services. Hospice will always be the cornerstone of our program but we offer several other services for the seriously ill and their families including Bluegrass Extra Care, Bluegrass Transitional Care, Bluegrass Palliative Care and Bluegrass Grief Care.
In 2016, we touched the lives of nearly 40,000 people between our programs and community outreach. Bluegrass Hospice Care cared for more than 5,200 patients and their families and Bluegrass Palliative Care served over 2,800 patients. Bluegrass Transitional Care provided care for 4,000 patients and Bluegrass Extra Care took care of 39 clients. The Bluegrass Grief Care program worked with more than 7,000 bereaved hospice families and community members. Our community outreach efforts reached more than 20,000 in the past year.
Hospice was once again ranked as one of the Nation’s Best by the Hospice Honors program recognizing hospices providing the highest level of satisfaction. Long-time nurse Sandy Mathis received the 2016 Medistar Nurse of the Year Award. In March, we opened the Extra Care Nurse Aide Training Center to prepare nurse aides to provide high quality care.
The primary concerns for Bluegrass Care Navigators (formerly Hospice of the Bluegrass) are obtaining resources to support unfunded programs such as bereavement (for adults and children); to support pediatric palliative and hospice care; to bolster care for all regardless of life’s circumstances and to maintain a sustainable source of funding for unreimbursed care. Those donating to our organization are invited to specify gifts for these worthwhile and necessary programs. For example, a six week Bereavement group for eight participants is $1500. A day of pediatric care is $200 and a weekend at a grief camp for a child is $175. The patient expense fund covers emergencies patients and families face when an extended illness has caused financial hardship. These emergencies include, but are not limited to, paying for rent and/or utility bills, food, providing safety items such as smoke alarms and bedding. The necessity for unreimbursed care has increased during the past two years and it is a hallmark of our mission to serve every patient with the right care at the right time, no matter the ability to pay.
As I reflect on my first two years at Hospice of the Bluegrass, now
Bluegrass Care Navigators, I am inspired by the tremendous support we receive
from our community. For many years, I had heard about this program – providing great care,
offering innovative services and winning awards. Now that I have had the
opportunity to work side by side with our amazing staff, board of directors and
volunteers, as well as get to know the communities we serve, I know why.
Bluegrass Hospice Care offers comprehensive services for the seriously ill
in 32 Kentucky counties. The hospice program provides specialized care for
patients in the last phase of life. Care is delivered by a team of highly
trained medical professionals who support the patient and family.
Bluegrass Palliative Care is designed to complement life-prolonging and
curative treatments in the hospital by providing pain and symptom control,
family support and coordination among doctors. KATS (Kentucky Appalachian
Transition Services), helps patients manage their health needs after a stay in
the hospital with a goal to help those at risk of re-hospitalization. That
program has grown into Bluegrass Transitional Care.
I am proud of the role the agency has in end-of-life education. Not only in
the community, but also in universities where we train medical fellows,
residents, students, future nurses, social workers, chaplains and other
Our many donors and volunteers are incredible. Their support ensures
patients not only receive excellent care, but special needs are met that fall
outside government and private insurance funding. The unfunded programs of
hospice – bereavement,
pediatric care and the patient expense fund, which provides everyday essentials
to enhance quality of life –
rely on donor support to serve our communities. Likewise, our dedicated
volunteers add greatly to the lives of patients and families. Did you know over
9 percent of staff time is contributed by volunteers? That is incredible
generosity from our community.
I am grateful to lead a mission-driven, legacy hospice – supported by a superior
and compassionate team of physicians, nurses, social workers, chaplains and
aides, more than 500 volunteers, a committed board and an engaged community.
Together, we are meeting current community needs while also preparing for
future end-of-life and health care needs. Thank you for taking the time to
learn about Bluegrass Care Navigators. I encourage you to share your knowledge with
others, especially those who are seriously ill. We want to help.
As board chair of Hospice of
the Bluegrass, now known as Bluegrass Care Navigators, I am awed by the exceptional
care provided every day to the more than 700 seriously ill patients and their
families throughout central, southeastern and northern Kentucky. The staff and
volunteers do an amazing job providing this much-needed service to more than
5,000 people throughout the year.
Bluegrass Care Navigators’ patients
and their families receive a variety of services specific to their individual
needs with pain and symptom management as a key component. We recently received
a letter from a grateful family and I wanted to share their kind words.
“The staff was so kind and
caring, not only for my mother but also for our family. I will always be
grateful for the support you gave us during this difficult time. Thank you for
being there when we needed it most.”
I am privileged to be involved
with this organization. Providing superior care to the seriously ill,
terminally ill, their families and the bereaved is always in the forefront. The
support received in the form of donations and volunteers are essential as
Bluegrass Care Navigators continues its important work. Thank you for taking
the time to read about our business. I
hope you will tell others as we frequently are told by our patients and their
families, "I wish I had called you sooner."
Bluegrass Care Navigators (formerly Hospice
of the Bluegrass) aims to be a leader in the delivery of expert medical care to
the seriously ill. Our continuum has expanded to not only providing end-of-life
care, but also care to the seriously chronically ill and patients needing care
in their home following a hospitalization. The Bluegrass Care Navigators mission
statement defines the work the board, staff and volunteers aim to accomplish,
specifically providing patient centered medical care to the seriously ill and
their families in the communities served by the organization. Long term success
for our organization is measured by increasing the percentage of patients and
families receiving our care each year (community penetration rate) and
continuing to receive National awards for high quality care. Success is also
measured on an ongoing basis through our partnerships with healthcare providers
and community organizations as we assess if we are meeting the care needs of
the seriously ill and end-of-life patients in our community.
In addition to providing expert medical care to patients, our
organization provides community services, including education on topics such as
care of the seriously ill, end-of-life care, bereavement needs and caregiver
needs to professionals, patients and families, institutions of higher learning
and community groups. Counseling is offered to bereaved and others in crisis.
Since Bluegrass Care Navigators strives to involve the community in our efforts
to meet our mission, volunteer and donor opportunities are available to assist
We are one of the Nation’s legacy hospice programs and are
respected nationally as a leading provider of end-of-life care. For the past 13
years, we have served as a national training site for palliative care. Most
recently, we continue our tradition of national leadership through three
demonstration project awards from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid
Innovation Center, testing new models of care.
Bluegrass Care Navigators (formerly Hospice of the Bluegrass) offers a
variety of services to the seriously ill in Central, Southeastern and Northern
Kentucky. Hospice care is the largest of the services offered and is very
comprehensive. Nurses, physicians, social workers, chaplains, bereavement
counselors, certified nursing aides, and volunteers provide supportive care to
dying patients and education and support to their families. Pharmacy and home
medical equipment is supplied. Services are available 24/7/365 in the home,
nursing facility, hospice care centers and contracted hospitals.
are continuing to expand our services beyond hospice care providing expert
connected care long before life’s final moments. Bluegrass Extra Care offers a private pay,
personalized care service for clients in their own home. Bluegrass Palliative
Care provides specialized medical care focused on symptom relief and stresses
of a serious illness. Bluegrass Transitional Care makes the move from hospital
to home easier and safer. Bluegrass
Grief Care offers unique counseling support and guidance through anticipatory
grief and bereavement.
A hallmark of our success is the strength of the partnerships in the
communities that we serve. Through collaboration with hospitals, nursing
facilities, physicians, other healthcare providers and community groups, we
increase the access to hospice patients and the other services we offer to the
chronically and seriously ill.
Our strategic approach includes:
1) Delivering high quality medical and hospice care;
2) Partnering with healthcare providers and community organizations;
3) Operating an efficient and financially sustainable business;
4) Employing and retaining highly skilled employees who are committed to our
5) Providing new and innovative services to meet the healthcare needs of the
residents of the communities that we serve.
Bluegrass Care Navigators (formerly Hospice of the Bluegrass)
has been providing quality care for the seriously ill and their loved ones in
these communities for almost 40 years. An expert staff, including board
certified physicians; nurses, social workers and aides certified in hospice and
palliative care; senior leaders who serve in national advisory roles; a core of
over 500 volunteers and an involved Board of Directors committed to the
sustainability of the organization are our key strengths. Ethical and mission
driven business practices ensure our financial stability. Strong community
partnerships throughout the service area assist us with meeting the health,
social and spiritual needs of our patients and families. Successful fundraising
and stewardship of donor contributions to further our mission assure the
organization’s sustainability and ability to care for patients regardless of
their health insurance status or ability to pay for services. An administrative
structure including finance, philanthropy, human resources, quality, compliance
and information technology support the clinical and educational work outlined
in the mission. Additionally, each year the organization participates in an
external audit and industry benchmarking to assure exemplary business
The organization has a variety of ways to track progress such as measuring
the numbers of patients referred and admitted to each of the services, the
number of volunteers and the amount of time they contribute, and the ratio of
hospice patients to deaths measured in each county. Most importantly,
patient/family satisfaction is measured and benchmarked against similar
organizations. For organizational quality improvement, clinical factors
including measuring the ability to resolve symptoms (such as pain and shortness
of breath) quickly, as well as adverse events for various parts of the program
(i.e. falls, infections etc.) are monitored. Philanthropy measures statistics around donors
and dollars. Progress is also measured by retaining key partnerships and adding
new partners in caring for this vulnerable population.
Bluegrass Care Navigators has a robust QAPI (Quality Assessment Performance
Improvement) program that includes participation from the Board of Directors.
Each year, performance indicators as described above are established to monitor
performance. When indicators require improvement, a performance improvement
project is initiated utilizing the PDSA (Plan, Do, Study, Act) methodology for
Bluegrass Care Navigators (formerly Hospice of the Bluegrass)
has accomplished the development and implementation of an array of services for
the seriously ill in our diverse service area. All services touched the lives
of nearly 40,000 families in a service area that extends from the Ohio River to
the heart of Appalachia. Yet to be accomplished is making sure that all the
mountain communities can benefit from the same services as the urban and
suburban areas. The organization is also challenged to meet patient needs as
the health care system changes with new systems and potential partners
emerging, declining reimbursement and increasing regulatory requirements. While
the organization uses much more technology than at any other time in our
history, determining how to better include technological solutions to assist in
our work remains a seemingly ever changing goal.
Elizabeth (Liz) Fowler is the President and CEO of Bluegrass Care Navigators (formerly Hospice of the Bluegrass). Fowler has more than 30 years’ experience in health care and non-profit administration within acute care and community based organizations. Her primary expertise includes hospice, palliative care, PACE, home health, private duty nursing and geriatric case management. Liz is a recognized leader in hospice care at the national and state level. She is an active member of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s public policy committee and on the board of directors for the Kentucky Association of Hospice and Palliative Care and a member of the community advisory committee for Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. Fowler received her Master of Public Health degree from the UCLA and a bachelor of science degree and a Certificate in Gerontology from Syracuse University.
Bluegrass Care Navigators provides counseling,
palliative and supportive care to the seriously ill and their families
through the following programs: - Bluegrass Hospice Care – Bluegrass Extra Care
– Bluegrass Transitional Care – Bluegrass Palliative Care – Bluegrass Grief
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
Copyright © 2014 Blue Grass Community Foundation
499 East High Street, Lexington, KY 40507