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Athena Institute grants award in support of the first Pre-Med Hospice Project


Athena Institute grants award in support of the first Athena Pre-Med Hospice Project to the Senior Independence unit of Ohio Presbyterian Retirement Services.


APRIL 2006 - In keeping with our mission to improve the quality of healthcare for women, Athena Institute awarded funds to the Ohio Presbyterian Retirement Services Foundation Senior Independence unit to enlist college premed students to volunteer time to hospice services.

With this grant, Athena Institute foresees the initial development in Central Ohio as a pilot program that could be modeled in other church-related hospice services, funded by subsequent awards from Athena Institute.

These services provide hospice care to all persons regardless of religious beliefs, race, creed, or national origin. The Ohio Presbyterian Retirement Services is the largest not-for-profit provider of senior services in Ohio.

Dr. Winnifred Cutler explains,

" I have personally met Pastor Jerry Miller who is Hospice Chaplain to Senior Independence and have been very impressed with him, his credentials and with his wife, Gerrie Miller, who is administrative assistant to the President of the Ohio Presbyterian Retirement Services Foundation. They have pointed out that the foundation was the recipient of a prestigious Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant; and that Senior Independence received the 2003 Excellence In Practice award from the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging.

With this first Athena Institute PreMed Hospice grant, we hope to help medical students better understand the humanity of the patient sitting across from the white coat, and the inevitability of the end of life. We believe Senior Independence of Ohio Presbyterian Retirement Services, and future hospice programs could benefit from local premed college students volunteering to help serve aging clients in hospice settings."

 

In turn, premed students would benefit by:

  • Gaining volunteer credentials for medical school admissions
  • Helping patients as they build relationships with them
  • Experiencing the excellent work of committed people like the founders of the Senior Independence unit of the Ohio Presbyterian Retirement Services Foundation.

Athena Institute believes this program might stimulate students to choose geriatric medicine, a specialty that is presently under-served. In addition, this volunteer program will certainly enhance the application credentials of any premed student, and prove valuable to future physicians in any chosen field.

Athena Institute looks forward to the development of this pilot program, and the intent to subsequently fund similar hospice projects as we learn its effectiveness.