BIGGS Kids donates to Capital Campaign

Steve Bieganousky, founder of BIGGS Kids presents a check for $10,000 to members of the Joseph T. Quinlan Bereavement Center capital campaign. From left: Diana Sebzda, Director of Bereavement, Steven Bieganousky, Julia Quinlan, Co-founder Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice and Robin Tomlinson, V.P. Branch Sales Manager at Sussex Bank.


Steve Bieganousky, founder of the Steven P. Bieganousky Foundation for Children, Inc., presented a check for $10,000 to Joseph T. Quinlan Bereavement Capital Campaign committee members. The donation will benefit the Family Therapy/Children’s Art Room at the new, permanent home of the Bereavement Center on 5 Plains Road in Augusta. The Bereavement Center, currently located on 61 Spring Street in Newton, expects to take residence in the new center in early April.

Steven P. Bieganousky was a 21 year-old Sparta resident who died suddenly in a car accident on March 27, 2005. His father Steve Bieganousky wants to make sure his son’s devotion to children lives on.

“It was heart warming to know that Steven had positively touched people’s lives of
all ages.” -Steven Bieganousky

The Bieganousky family founded The Steven P. Bieganousky Foundation for Children, Inc., an organization (also known as BIGGS Kids) dedicated to raising funds to benefit area youngsters.

Money raised through the foundation will be distributed to local agencies providing educational, recreational and health programs for children in Sussex County.

Although The Bieganousky’s know nothing will ever make things the way they were when Steven was here, they believe the new foundation is a fitting tribute and the perfect legacy for a son taken too soon.

“I was so proud – it was what kept me going – he is my hero.” -Steven Bieganousky


  • Raise awareness for the needs of children at risk.
  • Be a source of financial support to qualified local organizations that provide opportunities to make a positive difference in a child’s life.
  • Maintain a high level of integrity throughout the fundraising process and disbursement of funds.
  • Attain these goals as Steven would in a loving, caring way, not being afraid to speak on behalf of a child’s defense.

For those wanting to learn more about the Joseph T. Quinlan Bereavement Center’s capital campaign or BIGGS Kids please call 973-383-0115. The Joseph T. Quinlan Bereavement Center provides grief support and counseling for hospice families and the community free of charge. The staff works to bring comfort and understanding to help families through difficult times. Individual counseling and ongoing support groups are offered. Support groups include: anticipatory grief support, school bereavement support, memorial services, grief lecture series, children’s bereavement art program and pet loss support.


Bump named Hospice Chaplain

Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice is pleased to announce the appointment of Dawn Bump to the position of Chaplain. Bump has been with Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice for four years beginning her relationship as a volunteer in the Sussex County area. 

“Presently, I am working towards becoming a Board Certified Chaplain, which at some point will be the standard.”

Upon graduating and ordination in 2015, Bump became a Chaplain Intern while working through her Clinical Pastoral Education. Bump’s Interfaith background has been pivotal to her chaplaincy. She is devoted to working with the terminally ill and their families. Bump’s primary area of service will be to the residents of Pike County and surrounding areas.

Chaplain Bump can be reached by calling 570-296-3591. She is based in the Milford, Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice office located on 104 Bennett Avenue, Suite 2A-2 in Milford, PA. If you know a family that is struggling to come to terms with a terminal diagnosis, please reach out to us to discuss the options.

Paying for End-of-Life Care

How to pay for the rising costs of health care? Concerns over these costs are shared not only by elected officials but by almost every family across the country. Many baby boomers are providing care for their aging parents just as they are facing their own health care issues.

Yet, for almost 30 years, the Medicare Hospice Benefit has provided a model for financing end-of-life care that can bring great relief and support to families during one of life’s most difficult times.

This benefit covers virtually all aspects of hospice care with little out-of-pocket expense to the patient or family. As a result, the financial burdens often associated with caring for a terminally-ill patient are lifted.

Hospice care also offers supports to the loved ones of the patient; this brings an added level of relief to the dying person, knowing their loved ones are being cared for as well.

Hospice is paid for through the Medicare Hospice Benefit, Medicaid Hospice Benefit, and most private insurers. In addition, most private health plans and Medicaid in 47 States and the District of Columbia cover hospice services. If a person does not have coverage through Medicare, Medicaid or a private insurance company, hospices will work with the person and their family to ensure needed services can be provided.

Medicare covers these hospice services and pays nearly all of their costs:

  • Doctor services
  • Nursing care
  • Medical equipment (like wheelchairs or walkers)
  • Medical supplies (like bandages and catheters)
  • Drugs for symptom control and pain relief
  • Short-term care in the hospital, including respite and inpatient for pain and symptom management
  • Home health aide and homemaker services
  • Physical and occupational therapy
  • Speech therapy
  • Social work services
  • Dietary counseling
  • Grief support

Medicare will still pay for covered benefits for any health problems that aren’t related to a terminal illness.

Hospice and palliative care involves a team-oriented approach to expert medical care, pain management, and emotional and spiritual support expressly tailored to the patient’s needs and wishes. Families making end-of-life decisions for a loved one need compassion and support, not financial worries. The Medicare Hospice Benefit helps alleviate these concerns.

How to Choose Hospice Care

Hospice provides support and comfort for people who need end-of-life care. Opting for hospice care is one of the most compassionate decisions you will ever make. You will find hospice workers in assisted living centers, nursing homes, hospitals and residential facilities. Some patients may even receive care in their own homes or the homes of friends and family,

According to the Hospice Foundation of America, a third of all Americans choose hospice care when they are dying. But hospice isn’t only for the dying. Loved ones also benefit from hospice care, as workers will support them through some of the most difficult moments in life.

And while all hospice centers are regulated by the government, each facility has meaningful differences in personnel, policies and facilities.


Hospice specializes in making the patient feel as comfortable as possible. Care can take place anywhere. Patients can even receive treatment in their own homes, where they are most comfortable.

Some diseases may require more specialized care than others. The patient can also choose to stay in a facility that can give them easy, 24-hour access to nurses, medication, and medical equipment needed for their comfort.

It is always best to consult with a doctor regarding this decision. The hospice staff will meet with the patient’s physician to talk about the current symptoms, medical history and life expectancy. Then they will let you know which options are available to you.


Pick a hospice service that helps you feel at ease. You are going to have to ask and answer some extremely difficult questions. Death is a tough subject to discuss. Clear, caring communication is absolutely essential.

A quality hospice program will give you all the time and personal attention you need to ease your mind.

Part of picking hospice involves having the right feeling. If the hospice staff is personable and makes you feel comfortable, that’s a good sign.


Every patient who receives hospice treatment must be qualified by a physician. Usually, this means there is a life expectancy of six months or less.

Since some physicians may hesitate to broach the subject of hospice care, you may need to bring it up yourself. Ask whether hospice care would be appropriate and which services might be most helpful to ease the end-of-life process.

You can also approach a hospice facility directly to ask about their services. They will help you determine which care is most appropriate.

Hospice care has been growing since the 1990s. Many people are realizing that it is possible to die with peace and dignity. Hospice can help the end-of-life experience a little easier for the patient and loved ones.

When is it time for hospice?

“When is the right time?” A growing number of caregivers are finding that the correct answer to the question is, “As early as possible,” as they discover all of the advantages hospice has to offer the patient as well as the caregiver.

Special needs require the services of specialists. Hospice professionals are specialists in end-of-life care, and should be called upon during the first stages of a terminal illness.

Six Months or Less to Live

A person of any age is eligible for hospice after being certified by a physician as having a life expectancy that may be six months or less, depending on the course of the disease. If a patient lives beyond six months after admission they can continue to receive services as long as a physician continues to document the patient’s eligibility.

Hospice services are covered by Medicaid and many types of insurance, although many not-for-profit hospices generally provide services regardless of the person’s ability to pay.

Making the Most of the Final Stages of Life

Hospice care enables the individual and their families to experience the final stage of life together, in the setting most comfortable for them. In most cases, the person remains at home, close to family and friends while under professional medical supervision. Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice, like many hospices around the country, assigns a care team to each hospice patient. The hospice interdisciplinary team may include a physician; nurse; social worker; bereavement counselor; chaplain; and volunteers. Each team member is focused on the person, not the illness, making sure that all physical, emotional and spiritual needs are met.

Pain Management

Hospice has a unique approach to pain management – another advantage of entering hospice care earlier. The care team always works to manage the patient’s pain as expediently and efficiently as possible. Addressing pain and other symptoms in their early stages, rather than waiting until they become severe, is a priority.

In addition to determining the appropriate medications for pain and other symptoms, members of the care team identify the best ways to administer the medication to the satisfaction of the individual patient. 

When is the right time to have that “difficult” conversation

We Procrastinate.  We’re not proud of it, be we all do it.  It’s no secret that many of us “hit the ground running” each day; come up for air on weekends and marvel, perplexed and vexed, at the passage of time.  No wonder talking “face to face” has been put on hold.  Multi-tasking and technological advances, such as voicemail, email, facebook, tweeting and text-messaging, have nearly rendered dialogue as an archaic art form.


And yet, we know there are really important circumstances that warrant more than a perfunctory “fly by” chat with our spouse, child, colleague or friend.  Serious illness is one of the critical issues requiring a deliberate and sensitive discussion with our loved ones.  The value of having a true “heart to heart” talk with our family regarding our health, health care wishes and future health care cannot be underestimated.


A recent survey, conducted by the Conversation Project, reported that 90% of people say that talking with their loved ones about end-of-life care is important, but only 27% have actually done so.


80% of people say that if seriously ill, they would want to talk to their doctor about end-of-life care. 7% report having had an end-of-life conversation with their doctor.


Similarly, 70% of people surveyed say they want to die at home, but in reality, 70% die in hospitals or institutions.


            I would urge everyone to make the time for meaningful, albeit challenging, conversations about life-changing issues.  If you find the task daunting, there are many wonderful social workers, counselors and clinicians in your community that are trained to help.  You’ll be so glad you did!

What type of support, services can I expect when placed in hospice care?

Hospice provides support and comfort for people who need end-of-life care. Opting for hospice care is one of the most compassionate decisions you will ever make. You can receive hospice care in your own home, a residential facility, such as the Karen Ann Quinlan Home for Hospice in Fredon, or in assisted living centers, nursing homes and hospitals. Some patients receive care in the homes of friends or family.


According to the Hospice Foundation of America, a third of all Americans choose hospice care when they are dying. But hospice isn’t only for the dying. Loved ones also benefit from hospice care, as workers will support them through some of the most difficult moments in life.


Here are some of the support services you can expect from Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice:

  • Every patient who receives hospice treatment must be qualified by a physician. All care is directed by your primary physician.
  • Nursing care and services are provided by or under the supervision of a registered nurse. At Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice our nursing staff is available to patients and families 24-hours a day.
  • Medical Social Service is provided by a qualified social worker under the director of a physician.
  • Our hospice Medical Director will oversee the general needs of the patient working in tandem with the attending physician which includes palliation and management of the terminal disease and related conditions.
  • Home Health Aides provide personal care services. Aides’ services are provided under the general supervision of a registered nurse.
  • Chaplain Services are available to provide/facilitate spiritual counseling.
  • Volunteer services are available to assist the patient/caregiver in any one of a multitude of ways from providing comfort and respite to the family, an avenue of socialization for the patient; assistance with shopping, etc. All volunteers have completed a Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice training course.
  • Bereavement Services are provided for 13 months following the patient’s death to family and significant others. Additionally, the Joseph T. Quinlan Bereavement Center holds bereavement and grief recovery support groups in all the communities served by Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice.


The staff at Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice is trained to offer peace of mind in addition to medical care. We hear it so many times, patients and families tell us: “We wish we’d called hospice sooner.” Patients and families can benefit most from hospice care when they seek support earlier rather than in a crisis.


The best way to determine if you or your loved one could be helped by hospice is to call us at 800-882-1117. There is no cost and calling does not commit you or your loved one to hospice care. Perhaps there are other resources in the community that could be of help to you; our social workers or nursing team will help guide you.

Who chooses my hospice provider?

You do. It can be in consultation with your physician or you may consult with the hospice of your choice. According to Medicare today, “a patient is free to choose any qualified agency offering him/her services.” Your physician or the hospice professional staff can determine if your illness is hospice appropriate according to Medicare/Medicaid guidelines.

Sadly when you or family members speak to the doctor or a hospital social services department about hospice, asking the right questions can come with a lump in your throat. Once we come face to face with that difficult decision, it will be a very trying time; a loved one has been diagnosed with a terminal illness.

When met with the prospect of hospice care, first ask for what hospices are available and then if you need to get information from the hospice of your choice, there are very basic questions that should be asked.

• What specific services are offered?

• How often will a nurse or hospice staff visit?

• Are they accredited?

• Is care available seven days a week, 24 hours a day?

• Does the hospice provide pharmacy and home health equipment?

• What social services are available?

• What spiritual support and/or anticipated grief counseling is provided?

• Do they have certified trained volunteers?

• Can the hospice provide services in a nursing home, hospital or a home for hospice?

Patients have the basic right:

• To choose any Medicare-certified agency.

• To be told when Medicare will not cover a service.

• To receive services the doctor ordered.

• To be involved in care planning.

• To choose to transfer to another hospice provider if unhappy with current agency.

Do hospice patients live longer than those who do not choose hospice?

Recent studies have shown that hospice care may prolong survival as much as 29 days or more for terminally ill patients. Two studies in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management in 2004 and 2007 reported in both cases patients who chose hospice care lived an average of one month longer than similar patients who did not choose hospice care. In addition, a new study released by the New England Journal of Medicine found that some cancer patients who received palliative care lived, on average, almost two months longer than those who received standard care. Researchers also found that patients receiving palliative care correlated a higher quality of life through the final stages of their illness. “With earlier referral to a hospice program, patients may receive care that results in better management of symptoms, leading to stabilization of their condition and prolonged survival, “ wrote the authors of the study from the New England Journal of Medicine.

“There’s an inaccurate perception among the American public that hospice means you’ve given up,” said J. Donald Schumacher, president and CEO of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. “Those of us who have worked in the field have seen firsthand how hospice and palliative care can improve the quality of life and indeed prolong the lives of people receiving care.”

Researchers cited several factors that may have contributed to longer life among patients who chose hospice. Patients in a weakened condition sidestep the risks of over-treatment when they make the decision to receive hospice care.

Second, hospice care usually improves the monitoring and treatment patients receive.

And primarily, the hospice model of care provides a team focused on the emotional and spiritual wellbeing, as well as the physical health of the patient.

Support and training for family caregivers are provided as well. Combined, this may increase the patient’s desire to continue living and make them feel less of a burden to family members. In total, facing end-of-life decisions is being proven to be more stable when the body is being treated in its entirety, mind and spirit.


Thanks to Thorlabs

Click on the photo to learn more about the Joseph T. Quinlan Bereavement Center

We like to thank Thorlabs for allowing us to present at the Sussex County Chamber of Commerce B2B breakfast on Tuesday January 10. We were able to announce the location of the new permanent home of the Joseph T. Quinlan Bereavement Center to over 250 Chamber members. Here’s a quick overview of our presentation. If you would like to donate to the capital campaign to help us with the purchase please visit

New Year’s Resolution – Prepare Advance Directive

All adults can benefit from thinking about what their healthcare choices would be if they are unable to speak for themselves.  These decisions can be written down in an advance directive so that others know what they are.  Advance directives come in two main forms:

  • PROXY DIRECTIVE(Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare)
    A proxy directive is a document you use to appoint a person to make healthcare decisions for you in the event you become unable to make them yourself. This document goes into effect whether your inability to make healthcare decisions is temporary because of an accident or permanent because of a disease. The person that you appoint is known as your “healthcare representative” and they are responsible for making the same decisions you would have made under the circumstances. If they are unable to determine what you would want in a specific situation they are to base their decision on what they think is in your best interest.
    An instruction directive is a document you use to tell your physician and family about the kinds of situations you would want or not want to have life-sustaining treatment in the event you are unable to make your own healthcare decisions. You can also include a description of your beliefs, values, and general care and treatment preferences. This will guide your physician and family when they have to make healthcare decisions for you in situations not specifically covered by your advance directive.


ADVANCE DIRECTIVE:  Your Right to Make Health Care Decisions

 You have the right to:

  • Ask questions about your care.
  • Completely understand your medical condition.
  • Accept or refuse any treatments.
  • Make future decisions by completing an Advance Directive.
  • If you have a life-limiting illness – you have the right to choose the hospice of your choice.

Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice has ready-made packets with current Living Will information available FREE.  Please stop by our office at 99 Sparta Ave, Newton, NJ and request one at the desk.  You may call us at 973-383-0115, or at 800-882-1117 and we will have one mailed to you.