Avow Enhances Services FOR THE COMMUNITY

Sandra Lee Buxtonby Sandra Lee Buxton

Avow Hospice has been a trusted provider of care and  comfort in Naples since 1983. Some things are changing  and new programs are being added, however their  commitment to exceptional service is an unwavering constant. Dr  Cynthia Nehrkorn assumed responsibility as Medical Director  early this year, but this is not new territory for her. She joined the  Avow team in 2003 and is extremely proud of the advocacy work  that has been provided to the community. Board Certified in  both Internal Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine Dr  Nehrkorn enjoys teaching and offering guidance to staff, family  members and patients. This busy mother of two feels that sharing  and caring is not just what you do it represents who you are. She  is committed to her patients and feels that being allowed to share  space and time with families at a vulnerable time in their life is
sacred. Dr Nehrkorn values hearing the patient’s life story and  providing an environment where respect, dignity and comfort is  the standard. New programs and initiatives will unfold during  this next year and she expresses excitement about meeting  additional needs and reaching out to a new demographic.

Palliative Medicine: The primary purpose of this medical  model is to offer modalities to alleviate discomfort thereby  improving the quality of life. Individuals with chronic diseases  (heart, lung, kidney or cancer) would benefit as physical as well  as psychological pain is addressed. It is important that emotional  support for both patient and family is provided and the patient may retain their private physician while utilizing this service.



Children’s Services: Children with a terminal illness require  Pediatric Hospice Professionals but Avow recognizes that an  entire family is in crisis. Support is available for the entire family  and the child may benefit from music and massage therapies.

An RN is on call 24/7 to answer questions or concerns that  the family may have. Avow is currently fundraising to expand  pediatric palliative care. As with the adult program, this will be an  interdisciplinary approach for children who do not need Hospice  care but who are dealing with chronic or a serious illness.

Children’s Bereavement Services: This important program  is designed for children between the age of 5-18 and focuses  on support and companionship. It is important to acknowledge  that children process and understand loss very differently than  an adult. The loss may be due to death of a parent, family  member or even a friend. Monthly support groups are held  on the Avow campus which provides a safe nonjudgmental  milieu to work through this painful and confusing experience Currently there is a plan to offer a day and  overnight children’s grief support camp which  may be initiated this summer.

The Naples community should look forward  to an increase in educational presentations this  year as Avow stresses that they are much more  than terminal care. Support for children, adults  and caregivers are available at no charge and  the benefits are immediate and long lasting.

A few of the topics covered are understanding  the disease process, how to offer physical care  to a loved one, evaluating family dynamics and  simply learning to cope. Dr Nehrkorn feels  strongly that taking care of oneself enables an  individual to better manage difficult situations.

The good news is that help is only a phone call  away. If you or someone you know could use  more information about these or other Avow  programs/services then call 239.261.4404.  Avow has solutions!

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