Meadowlark Hospice Celebrates National Hospice and Palliative Care Month

(Clay Center, Kansas) – Throughout November, Meadowlark Hospice will be joining organizations across the nation in hosting community activities recognizing National Hospice and Palliative Care Month. This year’s theme is “Courageous Conversations.”

Meadowlark Hospice is planning proclamation signings throughout our service area of Clay, Cloud, Marshall, Republic, Western Riley, and Washington Counties. In addition, we are working with local public libraries to coordinate educational displays, helping those in our service area to educate themselves to start their own “courageous conversations”.

In a culture that often teaches us to resist mortality and a healthcare system defined by interventionism, the seemingly simple act of having a conversation about dying can have a profound impact. If I am faced with a terminal diagnosis, how would my values shape my end-of-life journey? How do I want my loved ones to engage with me toward the end of my life? It’s difficult to think about these questions but having these courageous conversations with ourselves, family, friends, and doctors can mean the difference between having the type of death a patient wants – one that matches up with their values and desires – and one that doesn’t allow them to have a say in their own end-of-life journey. Throughout Hospice and Palliative Care Month this November, NHPCO is encouraging everyone to have these Courageous Conversations to start a meaningful dialogue on “dying a good death.”

Each year, over one million Medicare beneficiaries receive care from hospices across the United States. Hospice teams craft plans of care that ensure pain management, therapies, and treatments all centering on the patients’ and their loved ones’ goals and wishes. Hospice care also provides emotional support and advice to help family members become confident caregivers and adjust to the future with grief support for up to a year.

For more than 39 years, Meadowlark Hospice has helped provide interdisciplinary, supportive care, allowing patients to spend their final months wherever they call home, surrounded by their loved ones.

In our own Meadowlark Hospice community, a family member of a patient recently said, “It is with tremendous thanks that we offer our appreciation for you all. The nurses who provided love and care as well as everyone behind the scenes were all instrumental in helping care for our loved one. Thank you for your attention to all the details and for the work you do day in and day out.”


National Hospice and Palliative Care Month – November 2023


WHEREAS, for more than 40 years, hospice has helped provide comfort and dignity to millions of people, allowing them to spend their final months at home, surrounded by their loved ones;

WHEREAS, the hospice model involves an interdisciplinary, team-oriented approach to treatment, including expert medical care, quality symptom control, and comprehensive pain management as a foundation of care;

WHEREAS, beyond providing physical treatment, hospice attends to the patient’s emotional, spiritual, and family needs, and provides family services such as respite care and bereavement counseling;

WHEREAS, since its conception, the hospice benefit’s holistic approach has helped patients prepare for and face death, and their loved ones carry on supported in the wake of it;

WHEREAS, 1.72 million Medicare beneficiaries living with life-limiting illness and their families received care from the nation’s hospice programs in communities throughout the United States in 2020;

WHEREAS, hospice and palliative care organizations are advocates and educators regarding advance care planning that help individuals make decisions about the care they want;

WHEREAS, the central philosophy of hospice care puts patients first, ensuring a coordinated and person-centered approach to care, protecting patient choice and access to individualized services based on a patient’s unique care needs and wishes.

WHEREAS, since 1985, Meadowlark Hospice continues to meet patients where they are in Clay, Cloud, Marshall, Republic, Western Riley, and Washington Counties;

WHEREAS, Meadowlark Hospice is ranked 2nd for quality of all not-for-profit hospice organizations in the state of Kansas by the National Hospice Locator;

NOW, THEREFORE, be it resolved that I, Chairman Fritz Blaske, by the authority vested in me by Marshall County, do hereby proclaim November 2023 as National Hospice and Palliative Care Month and encourage citizens to increase their understanding and awareness of care at the end of life, discuss their end of life wishes with their families, and observe this month with appropriate activities and programs.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this 6th day of November 2023 and caused this seal to be affixed.

Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2020 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.


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