Editor, Times-Union:
Kosciusko Home Care and Hospice was created by a small group of nurses in 1975 believing that the services of medical care and end-of-life care should be available in the home to all that need it without the overburden of corporate profits and motives.
I had the privilege to join the Kosciusko Home Care and Hospice as a full-time visiting nurse in 1982. There have been challenging and rewarding times in the last 32 years but I do not regret a single day.
On Friday, February 28, I and another member of our Hospice medical staff, along with one of our team social workers, were informed that we were no longer needed as a part of the Hospice team. The reason: Patient load had diminished due to competitive forces. We were escorted to the door with our personal belongings.
What a sad day and embarrassing report for such a great agency. I wish my opinion be known as to how we are here:
A) When KHC&H began we were the only provider in Kosciusko County. I think I understand and respect the free enterprise system but I think it functions best on a level playing field. KHC&H has numerous competitors today. KHC&H remains the only not-for-profit in the community. With financial incentives and proprietary products, patients receive, many times, only one choice of where to secure their service when a choice of providers is mandated by Indiana State Law.
B) There has developed a misconception and application of the Hospice concept.
Hospice is best applied in the last weeks of a patient’s life, care for the comfort and health of the patient but many times equal care is directed to the needs of the patient’s family. In today­0s environment  patients frequently delay obtaining hospice services until death is imminent, well past the appropriate application of Hospice procedures.
C) The United Way is a super stupendous program developed to bring together the serving community under one fundraising umbrella. For years United Way provided funding to KHC&H to assist in covering expenses for those with limited resources. When this resource was cut from United Way KHC&H continued these services with limited resources.
I have truly been blessed through my years with Kosciusko Home Care & Hospice. Not that I look forward to entering the job market, time will heal the current anguish for myself and my family, but greater is my concern for the patient care that has been expected and delivered through KHC&H.
Thank you to the Kosciusko Community.
Leslie Andrews
Kimmell, via e-mail