For Immediate Release:
July 9, 2012
Geraldine L. Thompson Care Center wins award
Prize honors excellence in patient comfort in a health care facility
WALL, NJ – The Geraldine L. Thompson Care Center has been awarded the New Jersey Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s Zachary Morfogen Prize honoring patient comfort in a health care facility. The award was presented on June 6 at the Sheraton Hotel in Eatontown.
“We are very pleased to have been chosen for this award,” said Diana Czerepuszko, Administrator, Geraldine L. Thompson Care Center. “The staff at GLT have always prided themselves on the manner in which they care for those residents who are nearing the end of their lives.”
The award is named in honor of Zachary Morfogen, an arts executive who founded New Jersey’s first hospice in the late 1970s. Morfogen also was the first chairman of the National Hospice Organization and the National Hospice Foundation.
Recently, Czerepuszko and Freeholder Director John P. Curley invited Donald L. Pendley, president of the New Jersey Hospice and Palliative Care Organization to tour the facility, nestled in a large wooded tract off Hospital Road and Squankum-Allenwood Road in Wall Township.
“There is no tougher time for a family than the end of the life of a loved one,” Freeholder Director John P. Curley said. “Staff at GLT do a wonderful job caring for our older residents, and I am pleased and honored that they are being cited for this prestigious award.”
Pendley said his organization found that the Geraldine L. Thompson Care Center excels in care and planning, utilizes complimentary therapies and offers recreation, art and music to its residents.
“The end of life is about more than the physical and medical,” Pendley said. “It’s the emotional side as well, and someone should care for that. The folks at GLT do a terrific job in all of those areas.”
In 2008, the staff at Geraldine L. Thompson Care Center created a palliative care wing dedicated to hospice. There are private accommodations which offer ample space for family visits. Chairs in each private room convert into double beds in the event a family member wants to stay overnight with a loved one. Also, each room is decorated with home-like amenities for their comfort.
“The staff pays a great deal of attention to residents in those rooms,” Czerepuszko said. “The staff believes no one should die alone. If someone is imminently dying and is alone, a staff member will go in and sit with the person until they pass away. It is a kind gesture on their part, and a reflection of their dedication to the residents. They are a special group of people who work in that unit.”
The award is a painting by Morfogen, a galleried artist, of a tree in Boonton Township, the home of Riverside Hospital where his hospice was founded. The painting will be accompanied by an engraved plaque recognizing Geraldine L. Thompson Care center as the recipient.
The painting now hangs in the front hallway of the facility.
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