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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Hospice of West Alabama Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Hospices, Human Services

Mission: Hospice of West Alabama (HOWA) provides support and care for persons in the last phases of incurable disease so that they may live as fully and as comfortable as possible. HOWA recognizes dying as part of the normal process of living and focuses on maintaining the quality of life. Hospice affirms life, and neither hastens nor postpones death. It is a coordinator program of palliative and supportive services provided in both home and inpatient settings, which provides for a physical, psychological, social and spiritual care for dying persons and their families.

Target demographics: terminally ill patients

Direct beneficiaries per year: 846 patients

Geographic areas served: West Alabama

Programs: Hospice provides a mulit-disciplinary program of care in the final stages of a terminally ill patients' life and support for the family. The organization offers both in-patient and out-patient services. Approximately 80-90 patients receive care per day. Expenses include direct medical care costs including: drugs, medical equipment and supplies, nursing care, social workers, and chaplains.

Community Stories

27 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hospice of West Alabama served our family during my father-in-law's final illness, pneumonia secondary to end stage Alzheimer's disease. I cannot imagine more stellar care than he was given by the knowledgeable and compassionate staff and volunteers. However, HOWA didn't just care for the patient. They offered supportive care to our entire family --- preparing us for what was to come, walking us through the process, helping us to understand what my father-in-law was going through, helping us to deal with our grief in a healthy way. Since that time, we have referred numerous friends and family members to HOWA. Without fail the staff and volunteers at HOWA helped them and their families through the most difficult of times with the maximum understanding, compassion and professionalism. I give Hospice of West Alabama my highest recommendation.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

HOWA has helped care for several of my close friends and families. Hospice orchestrated comfort and care to their loved ones that allowed the families to feel comfortable and peaceful during such a difficult time.

Shanon Price Lyles

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hospice of West Alabama has a wonderful group of caregivers. My fathers last 7 days of his life were spent here two years ago. I pretty much stayed with him during this time. No one said anything to me about me sleeping on the side of his bed, even though they have excellent reclining chairs in the rooms, and when he passed I was allowed to lay with him for around 30 minutes before they had to start removing his medical appliances. When my husband and I were leaving one of the nurses walked with us up to the front. She proceeded to ask me if I wanted to go into the little chapel room and light the candle in his honor. We walked in, lit the candle (light bulb) and she asked if she could pray for us. This was one of many touching experiences our family had.

Our family did not want for anything while we were here. The volunteers that bring food daily were such a blessing because we did not have to leave to go find something to eat.

That's my wonderful father in the picture with me on my profile. He was 75 when he passed.

1

Client Served

Rating: 1

Do not use Hospice of West Alabama. If your family member goes in, they will be in excruciating pain and be gone within days. They do not care about their patients. The president or Dr.Miller, threatens his patients into believing this is the only hospice in Tuscaloosa, and if they tried to go with another hospice, he “couldn’t see them anymore”.. this should be illegal.

Comments ( 1 )

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Melinda20 10/31/2018

ttown031, It is our goal to provide the best possible care for all of the patients we serve, and symptom control is a top priority. We are happy to discuss your concerns. If you would like to share your experience, please feel free to contact our office at 205-523-0101.

Client Served

Rating: 1

My grandmother's doctor did not give her a choice of hospice. He told her this was the only one. Her doctor then refused to give her pain medicine even though she was crying in pain. She was days away from passing and he refused her medication because it would cause her to become groggy. The nurse finally got fed up with the doctor after a day of my grandmother crying in pain and called the medical director who prescribed pain medicine. I was beyond disappointed with the way my grandmother was treated and a bit disgusted with what she had to endure as her life ended. It was heartbreaking and her doctor seemed not to care. The nurses were very kind. We tried to contact the management at the hospice after my grandmother's passing to let them know how disappointed we were, however they failed to return phone calls or respond to the letter my family wrote.

Comments ( 1 )

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Melinda20 10/31/2018

hope205, I am sorry to hear that you were disappointed with the care your grandmother received from Hospice of West Alabama. It is always our goal to provide the best service possible. Hospice care is based on a team approach, which includes the patient's community physician. Some community physicians aren't as comfortable prescribing the medications that are needed to manage symptoms at end of life. Unfortunately, sometimes this causes a delay in the treatment process. As for not responding to your calls and letter, our Executive Director takes complaints very seriously and would like to speak with you directly about your concerns. Please contact our office at 205-523-0101 and ask for Latrelle. If she isn't available you can leave her a voicemail and reference this message. Thank you for sharing your concerns. It is very important for us to know where our weaknesses are in order for us to continue to improve.

Barbara L.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have visited hospice patients for about 3 years and have admired the entire staff from the sweet lady who cleans, the caring nurses, the volunteer coordinator right up to the director. The facility is top notch but can't compare with the staff inside. They are the most dedicated group of individuals I have been associated with.

Hyunjin Gina N.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Every single person at HOWA, including volunteers, are true angels and extemely dedicated people. Just calling them "professionals" is not good enough to truly describe them. They walk every single step with you at one of the hardest time of any body's life with such caring and comforting manner.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Hospice provided care to my father-in-law as an outpatient and to my mother-in-law as an inpatient. With both experiences our family received outstanding care.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hospice of West Alabama is a great community partner and works to enhance the lives of the patients and their families. They are the perfect balance of medicine and ministry. They took care of my mom in the last phase of Alzheimer's. They were able to give her medications and keep her calm when she was no longer able to swallow pills. They provided grief counseling to our family as we learned to live without her. Now, They care for my dad who is literally dying from a broken heart. They give us the support we need, as well as joy each time they visit. Our family would not have the peace in the dying process without their team. We love them and can't imagine life without Hospice of West Alabama!

Client Served

Rating: 5

This agency cared for two of my grandparents, and two of my aunts. Every staff member and volunteer approached the care with love, patience, compassion, and competency. Tuscaloosa is so fortunate to have this group of people to serve families in their home settings but also in the inpatient facility. I highly recommend Hospice of West Alabama.

Client Served

Rating: 5

When my grandmother was diagnosed with aggressive cancer, she immediately knew she was going to choose to spend her remaining days with the wonderful people at HOWA after working with them through Women of the Moose (Lodge).

They were amazing to not only her, making sure she was as comfortable as possible, but also took fantastic care of my grandfather that was having a difficult time. They also helped me and my entire family through the entire process. I am so touched by the great care HOWA gives to all people that comes in contact with them.

Karen288

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Compassionate, professional, trusted caregivers, from the aides to the chaplains to the social workers to the nurses to the physicians - all excellent and dedicated to their calling.

Previous Stories

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The nurses, aids, social workers, chaplains, counselors, volunteers, and all the supporting staff are the best in the country. I feel so honored to be a small part of this wonderful organization. Our area is very lucky to have this facility and this service available.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My mother was at this facility in her final days. While it was such a hard time for my family, the entire staff was so caring, helpful, and loving.

2

Client Served

Rating: 1

The perception was far from the reality. The hospice 'visits" were little more than that - take temp, blood pressure, and make small talk with family. My parent suffered and they did nothing to offer relief. I regret their involvement. They took an already heart-breaking situation for my family and made it worse.

Comments ( 1 )

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Melinda20 10/14/2014

dcsav, I apologize that your experience with Hospice of West Alabama was unsatisfactory. It would be extremely beneficial for our agency, patients, & families if we knew more about your particular experience. Please contact our office at 205-523-0101 or online at www.hospiceofwestalabama.com to discuss your concerns. It is our goal to provide the best possible care, and we hope that you will share more details with us so that we may improve our quality of care.

Dona A.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hospice of West Alabama is such a blessing to anyone that comes there. Be it for your love one, or a friend. These men an women are truly Angels to all. They have hot meals for all to share, cold or hot drinks. They go above all expectation! I have never felt so loved and well cared for. Thank you for all you do! Dona Faye Amerson

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

It is such a joy to be part of the HOWA family as a Chaplain. We consider it a privilege and an honor to serve our patients and their families, and each day is filled with blessings. The staff is dedicated, professional, and compassionate, and that is reflected in the excellent care we bring to the community. The love and care the staff provides for each other creates one of the best working environments I have ever experienced. Thank you, HOWA and West Alabama!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Hospice of West Alabama provides professional, compassionate, and ethical care to patient's in their final months of life. I know because not only am I honored to be a part of the team providing care, I am also a family member whose loved ones have received care. My father was a patient for several months prior to his passing from kidney cancer. He eventually came into the inpatient facility and passed after several days of around the clock care. As a nurse it was a great relief for me personally to be able to spend my dad's last days with him as his loving daughter instead of as his nurse. My sister-in-law had a very different experience. She came from the hospital to the inpatient facility as she ended her fight with a brain tumor. My family was so grateful that there was a place she go go in her last days that provided comfort, peace and respect for someone who had fought so valiantly up until her final days. Hospice of West Alabama was there for me and my family!

Roxanne J.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My dad was suffering from bone cancer in 1992 when we were referred to Hospice of West Alabama. We didn't have them long but the time we had made a huge difference in our lives. It gave us a peace like no other. It changed my life and when I became a nurse I knew I wanted to serve this organization and its clients. My time working with Hospice of West Alabama has changed me as a nurse, as a person, and as a caregiver. It has forever changed me and I wouldn't give anything for that. Each person, volunteer, doctor, family member, patient that I have encountered has made me who I am.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My sister is a RN with Hospice of West Alabama and she is absolutely amazing. She has expressed to me that her patients and their families mean so much to her. I have to say that she definitely has a servant's heart. Knowing that she is sacrificing time with her husband and children to serve others makes my heart so full and I just couldn't be more proud of her. Hospice cared for our dad over 20 years ago when he was dealing with bone cancer and it touched my sister so much that she knew this was the area of nursing she wanted to serve in. I pray that her patients and their families know what a beautiful person they are encountering when they meet her. God Bless Hospice of West Alabama :)

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Hospice of West Alabama is a wonderful organization. The staff work hard everyday to provide the best care possible to our patients and their families. I am blessed beyond measure to be able to work for a wonderful organization.