Developing Staff to Enhance Patient Care and Comfort

The conversation lasted all but ten minutes, but it made such an impact on the patient and family. “We were caring for a 33-year-old patient who was being cared for by her husband and two teenage daughters,” shared Paige Payne, Vice President, Patient Care, Hospice & Community Care. “The family had a strong faith, being open and honest with one another about the terminal diagnosis, and I discovered that they had not yet made pre-arrangements for a funeral. I encouraged the family to make plans together so that the patient could make her wishes known. The next time that I visited with the family, the husband proudly reported back to me that he, his wife and daughters had made all of the funeral preparations and had reached out to a funeral home.”

“When we do something to help further what is important to a patient and family and are able to see them take our guidance and insight and make it their own, it is so rewarding,” shared Paige. “When you take care of a patient there is an immediate connection. For me, the moments that I cherish are when we are able to make the patient and their caregiver’s experiences together meaningful.”

Paige is using that passion for helping others in her new role as Hospice & Community Care’s Vice President, Patient Care. She assumed her new position in September 2021. Paige has 36 years of experience in the hospice field and has been with Hospice & Community Care for nine years as the Director of Home Hospice in York.

“My grandfather died during my adolescence and that was a pivotal moment for me,” commented Paige. “He was my father figure. His cancer treatment and, ultimate death, impacted me. When I went to college, I was fascinated with death and dying and took a class on the subject.” At that time, the hospice industry was in its infancy with Medicare reimbursement just being implemented. “I was so energized after taking the class and learning from my own personal experiences that I pursued a career in end-of-life care,” shared Paige. She had a yearlong internship that turned into full-time employment after graduation. “It was a small hospice, but I was able to learn all aspects of the program,” commented Paige. “That sparked my passion.” Paige has Master’s degrees in Human Services Administration and Social Work.

Paige is responsible for all areas of clinical services at Hospice & Community Care, including the entire Home Hospice program; the Bob Fryer & Family Inpatient Center; developing program goals with clinical directors; supporting staff; maintaining regulations and quality; and staff and patient safety. She is also managing Covid-19 policies for staff and infection control.

“Staff development is something that I really enjoy doing in my new role— helping staff to understand and hone their own skills and abilities and working with them in the areas where they could grow,” shared Paige. “Helping my direct reports learn how to be effective supervisors has an impact on the people who they are supervising. The better prepared we are as supervisors and mentors, the better our staff will be and employee satisfaction will continue to move forward. Ultimately, translating into exceptional patient care and comfort.”

Paige will often visit with team members at all of our locations— Lancaster, Mount Joy and York— for a ‘pressure’ check. “I want them to feel confident in their abilities and make sure that they have the tools and resources to do so,” shared Paige. “Personal touch points are important to me.” Paige also loves to see projects come to fruition that involve staff. “Seeing and helping staff complete a project and knowing that everything we are doing is to take care of patients and families, is special.”

“I work with and for some amazing people at an incredible organization,” smiled Paige. “There is an intentional thoughtfulness by the leadership team that I am now able to see firsthand. It can be difficult to have personal touches when you are a large organization like Hospice, but staff safety and morale are always top of mind for leadership.”