Celtic Honored in Health Care Heroes Ceremony

Updated on October 24, 2013

CelticIt was a great privilege for Celtic Healthcare to be recognized in the Pittsburgh Business Times’ Health Care Heroes Awards Ceremony on October 23 at the Omni William Penn Hotel in Pittsburgh. PA.

The gala dinner celebrated the people and organizations in Pittsburgh’s regional health care industry who are instrumental in making this region one of the premier health care centers in the world.

Celtic was nominated by Jodi McKinney, Director of Corporate Communications, with the following submission:

Celtic recently developed our Journey Program recognizing that life is a journey – a journey all about choices. At Celtic, we recognize that every one of us is individual & unique & so are our illnesses & our responses to treatment. During the end-of-life part of our journey, we need to assure care is about these individual choices – the choice of each individual patient to receive the right care at the right time in the right place. Some may want every advanced medical treatment available & others may simply seek comfort & quality, but it must be an individual choice, & something we are all willing to discuss.

Medical advancements continue to lengthen our quantity of time at end-of-life, but at what value?  What true quality of life is achieved when 75% of Americans die in a hospital or skilled nursing facility, when most would have preferred to be at home?  When Medicare physician visits per enrollee for the last 6 months of life average 40 visits?  When 46 percent of those enrollees saw 10 or more different physicians during that time; & during the last 26 weeks, they averaged 6 physician visits per month?

After all of this time & effort spent to postpone death, & with spending at over $60 billion in Medicare funds for doctor & hospital bills in the last 2 months of life (more than the entire budget for education or homeland security), 20-30 percent of that $60 billion has ended up having no meaningful impact.

Celtic embraces the knowledge, the ability, & also the great privilege to change these situations & improve these end-of-life experiences. During the end stages of life, we provide emotional & psychological support as well as the medical care & pain management most patients desire at this sacred time. By doing this, we’re also improving, appropriately reallocating, & reducing excessive Medicare & other healthcare spending.

The concept of “Ministry of Presence” is one we focus on strongly in our hospice program. We understand that many times care is more about our nurses, aides, social workers, volunteers or chaplains just showing up & being present than it is on accomplishing life-sustaining efforts. Showing up to listen, not preach; watch with & not look at; enter into a patient’s pain & listen to their anguish to show them love & mercy & bring joy & peace.

Sometimes that presence comes in a furry-four-legged form – like Jackson Colgan, a 6-ft long, 160 lb rescued Great Pyrenees/Akbash, who is a certified hospice therapy dog. Jackson’s greatest joy & purpose in life is to give love & attention & just hang out with our hospice patients to make them feel better. His dad, Josh, recognizes this & allows him to fulfill this purpose, making him one of Celtic’s most popular volunteers!

Sometimes that presence comes in the form of music therapy – like Celtic’s harpists & other musicians that understand music can often speak to & evoke feelings, memories & emotions like no words can come close to touching.

Many of our nurses, aides & therapist go above & beyond daily. There are as many stories of commitment, dedication, & sacrifice as there are team members.

Mari, CNA, recently agreed to cover a patient for 7+ days in a row to maintain her continuity of care. She put her own schedule aside even on her weekend off to meet the needs of the patient.

Another nurse recently stayed with her patient through a tornado watch, taking him & his family to the basement & waiting there until safety was assured, delaying her own trip home for the evening.

Often times, our most important job might be to fulfill last wishes.

If you had one wish, what would you wish for?  For one 66-year-old Celtic Hospice patient – that was an easy question. His wish was a wish to fish.

Chris has been an avid fisherman all of his life. As a child, he recalled lazy, sunny, summer weekends with his father – fishing rod, squishy, wiggly worms & tackle box in h& & visions of “the big catch” in his head. When he became a father himself, Chris shared his love & passion for fishing with his sons.

In assisted living with end-stage Parkinson’s disease, all Chris could think about was getting out again to fish – at least one more time. Chris shared this wish with his hospice nurse & chaplain.

Well… it just so happened…A private lake was stocked & just waiting for a challenge…A local ambulette driver preferred the scenic route through town to the boring highway when transporting VIPs such as Chris…Chaplain Matt had a few hours to spare & a passion himself for fishing…Nurse Penny was excited to cast her first line…& Nurse Marianna thought the beautiful day deserved a picnic lunch. The Dream Team from Celtic Hospice had a mission – a mission to go fishin!  & so they did.

During the end stages & all stages of life, our Celtic team makes it our goal to consider patient-centered, value-based care. We are simply good people with caring hearts, commitments to our communities & advocates for the cause. We work together to create meaningful, memorable, peaceful & joyous journeys for all of our patients. We’re not just post-acute care providers. We’re dream teams, ministers of presence, & journey guides. We don’t put homecare or hospice in a neat little box.  We make it as unique as each individual patient we serve. & that is why Celtic Healthcare is a team of Health Care Heroes!


Our Heroes are not only in the Pittsburgh area, Celtic also has many heroes in Central PA, NE PA, and Maryland.

To learn more about our services, please visit our website at http://www.celtichealthcare.com/

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