Where Change Happens


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Maine Hospice Council Holds Community Listening Sessions

A collaboration made possible by a generous grant from the Rita and Alex Hillman Foundation.


Maine Hospice Council Executive Director, Kandyce Powell, in collaboration with, Northern Light Palliative Care Medical Director Dr. Vanessa Little; Beth C. Wright Cancer Resource Center Executive Director Michael Reisman; Hospice Volunteers of Hancock County Executive Director Jody Wolford-Tucker, would describe the first ‘Listening Session’ as an interactive success.

The October 1, 2021, virtual event, focused on the greater Ellsworth area.  Future listening sessions are being slated for several other areas of Maine. Maine Hospice Council is currently planning to hold events focusing in Jackman, Dover-Foxcroft, Brigton, Greenville and Washington County to name just a few.

The goal of each listening sessions is to learn how conversations about serious illness can be more user friendly for patients and families.   We know that health care discussions with friends, family members and medical teams can be difficult, often confusing and frustrating. During the conversation at the listening session, we asked some important questions:

  • How can we all do better?
  • What role does the patient or family member play?
  • What questions need to be asked?
  • What elements are necessary for thoughtful, sensitive conversations, especially around patient wishes?

Also, during the listening sessions, information and discussion about Advance Care Planning documents (Advance Directives) and POLST.

To learn more about a listening sessions for your area, please contact the Maine Hospice Council.

(207) 626-0651

beth wright cancer center             northern light            Hospice of Hancock logo

Maine Legislature honors Down East Hospice Volunteers 40 years of Compassionate Care

On October 13, Representative Anne Perry and Senator Marianne Moore presented Down East Hospice Volunteers Executive Director Barb Barnett and Board President Paul Strickland with a Legislative Sentiment. This Sentiment is signed by President of the Senate Troy Jackson, Secretary of the Senate Darek Grant, Speaker of the House Ryan Fecteau and Clerk of the House Robert Hunt. It was introduced by Representative Perry and cosponsored by Senator Moore.

“Given this fourteenth day of September, 2021 at the State Capitol Augusta, Maine

Be it known to all that We, the Members of the Senate and House of Representatives, join in recognizing Down East Hospice Volunteers,

of Calais, which has served the people of the State for 40 years by providing compassionate care and companionship to the terminally ill and their families and 

caregivers and bereavement support to those touched by the death of a loved one. We extend our appreciation and best wishes; And be it ordered that this official expression of sentiment be sent forthwith on behalf of the 130th Legislature and the people of the State of Maine.”

For information about receiving free volunteer hospice services, to become a hospice volunteer or to donate to DEHV, call 454-7521 extension 126, or visit www.downeasthospicevolunteers.org or downeasthospice @yahoo.com.


(from left Senator Marianne Moore, Paul Strickland DEHV Board President, Barbara Barnett DEHV Executive Director

and Representative Anne Perry)

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Court Upholds Vaccine Mandate Again

Legal challenges to vaccine mandates continue. One of the most recent challenges already addressed by the Court is Christy Beckerich, et al v. St. Elizabeth Medical Center, et al [Civil Case No. 21-105-DLB-EBA, (E.D. Ky. Sept. 24, 2021)]. In this case, the Court rejected employees’ request for a Temporary Restraining Order and/or Preliminary Injunction to block vaccine mandates based on its conclusion that private employers can modify employment conditions to require employees to be vaccinated in response to an unprecedented global pandemic. The Plaintiffs in this case are a group of healthcare workers, both past and presently employed by St. Elizabeth Medical Center and Summit Medical Group. 

Read more: Court Upholds Vaccine...

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Pleased to present to you our upcoming events! Click on the link below.

Upcoming Events Flyer

Janet Durgin

It is with heavy hearts that we share the news of the passing of Janet.

Janet accepted the clinical director position at Aroostook Home Care Agency, where she worked hard to bring many other services into the program. Janet then had a vision and passion for hospice care and again worked tirelessly, and with the help of others was able to form Hospice of Aroostook. Janet also taught nursing classes at NMCC for more than ten years, and enjoyed passing on her passion and knowledge to others.

Janet will be greatly missed.

For Janet's full obituary please click on the link below.

Bangor Daily Obituary for Janet Durgin

forest pathPatients’ Right to Freedom of Choice of Providers: Complaint by Provider against Hospital Substantiated by State Surveyors

©2021 Elizabeth E. Hogue, Esq. All rights reserved.
No portion of this material may be reproduced in any form without the advance written permission of the author.
Providers must have a steady stream of referrals in order to be viable. By the same token, all patients have the right to choose the providers who render care to them.
Several sources affirm the right of patients to choose their providers, including the following:

Read more: Patients’ Right to...

orioleHome care providers of all types; including home health agencies, hospices, private duty agencies and HME companies; that receive any monies from federal or state programs; such as Medicare, Medicaid, Medicaid waiver, or Tricare; must make fraud and abuse compliance a top priority. As patients and their families become more familiar with fraud and abuse in the Medicare and Medicaid Programs and in other state and federal health care programs, the number of communications related to this topic from patients and their families is likely to increase. A crucial question for managers is how to handle these allegations.

Read more: How to Handle...

Autumn LeafCMS Posts Memorandum on Nursing Shortage: CMS states that findings from the Bureau of Labor Statistics continue to forecast a shortage of nurses through 2024 with a job growth rate that is faster than the average. In remote instances, a hospice provider may find that a shortage of nurses creates a temporary impact on its ability to provide nursing services to patients and as a result may create an access to care concern for hospice beneficiaries.

To read full article, click here

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Maine Hospice Council Receives Grant Funding for Trauma-Informed Care for Veterans on Hospice Initiative

Augusta, ME – The Maine Hospice Council and Center for End-of-Life Care (MHC) has received one of 13 grants to work in partnership with the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s “We Honor Veterans Program” (NHPCO/WHV) and the US Department of Veterans Affairs. The goal is to increase awareness of PTSD, Moral Injury and Suicide and the subsequent impact on end of life and palliative care. This will be accomplished in partnership with community organizations, and our long-time partners at Togus VA Medical Center (TVAMC).

Read more: NHPCO/We Honor Veterans...


Great News! The Maine Hospice Council and Center for End-of-Life Care has been awarded grant funding from NHPCO’s We Honor Veterans Program and Department of Veterans Affairs  for Trauma-Informed Care for Veterans on Hospice Initiative.

To read full press release, click here!

The Maine Hospice Council is partnering with Maine Veterans Hospital, mental health organizations, and state hospice volunteer programs to create educational trainings to be implemented statewide.

Keep watch for your opportunity to participate in one of these educational trainings!

CandlesUpon election of hospice the patient should expect the hospice to provide for all services related to the patient’s terminal illness and related conditions, including ensuring the patient’s rights are respected. Failure of the hospice to comply with the Medicare requirement related to patient’s rights has the potential to lead significant consequence, such as patient neglect which may cause harm to the patient.
“Neglect in hospice may be difficult to identify and may result from inaction on the part of the hospice or its employees.” Examples of neglect may include:

Read more: Hospice Patient’s...

loonDear MaineHealth patient,

As the world-wide coronavirus outbreak continues to dominate our news each day, we know this may be a source of growing concern for you and your family.

MaineHealth and its family of health care providers across Maine and Carroll County, N.H., stand ready as a resource for the communities we serve. We want to assure you that keeping our patients, families and staff safe and well is our top priority during this time.

To that end, we want to share with you, in question and answer format, some important information about COVID-19 and how we can all work together to minimize its impact in our communities.

Read more: A Message from Maine...


November 8, 2019

On November 7, 2019, Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) introduced S. 2807, a bipartisan bill entitled the Hospice Care Improvement Act of 2019, specifically written to address the concerns identified by the HHS Office of Inspector General about hospice survey deficiencies and patient harm. NHPCO supports many of the policies in the bill as it closely tracks NHPCO’s recommended Hospice Program Integrity Initiatives. Thank you to the Legislative, Regulatory, and Quality Committees for their work on vetting and approving many of the program integrity measures that were included in this legislation. NHPCO will continue to engage with the sponsors of the legislation and hope to further refine the legislation to include enhanced access to hospice.

Read more: NHPCO is Supportive of...

Summary of CMS Final Rule


Final Rule on Discharge Planning, Interoperability and Patient Preferences

Summary at a Glance

On September 30, CMS published a final rule which:



1024px Seal of the Governor of Maine.svg

LDL1313 (Death with Dignity Act)

The Maine Hospice Council has been listed as one consulting entity for the Department of Health and Human Services as part of the major substantive rulemaking process and as part of its broader data collection and analysis of trends and practices.

To read the full Executive Order, please click the link below.

Govenor Mills Executive Order


Maine is #1 in Hospice Utilization Growth!

hospice growth

Spotlight on Seniors Interview with Kandyce Powell, ED of the Maine Hospice Council





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Maine Hospice Council

295 Water Street, Suite 303, Augusta, ME 04330

P.O. Box 2239, Augusta, ME 04338

(207) 626-0651





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