LONDON, Ky. (September 2, 2022) – Saint Joseph London will host informational sessions about a new program that will ensure any patient who is nearing the end of life has someone with them when they die. The hospital plans to implement a “No One Dies Alone” program to serve dying patients who may not have family or friends at the bedside.
“During the early days of the pandemic, because of the safety precautions we needed to take to protect everyone, we found that many COVID patients were not able to have family with them when they died,” said John Yanes, president, Saint Joseph London. “But other patients are often alone due to family not being available or family members needing a break. We want to make sure that there is always someone in the room with those patients so they don’t die alone.”
No One Dies Alone was created in 2001 by an Oregon nurse, Sandra Clarke, after she was unable to tend to a dying patient because she needed to care for other patients.
While nurses and other clinical staff have often stepped in during these situations, they are not always able to fill that need. Volunteers in the No One Dies Alone program will sit with patients who are actively dying when family or friends can’t be available. A medical background is not required. Volunteers would be asked to sign up for time slots based on availability and would be called in as needed. The program would be activated when the lead nurse determines a patient would be going into comfort care and doesn’t have anyone at the bedside.
In London, John Welch, RN, asked hospital leaders about developing the program at Saint Joseph after seeing the need at previous hospitals where he worked.
“I felt compelled by something a lot higher and wiser than me to look into a solution that allowed dying patients to have someone always there with them and allow their caregivers the ability to care for them and their other patients,” he said. “Volunteers need to know that while being there for a dying patient can be heavy on the emotions, providing that comfort care is very rewarding.”
Informational sessions about the program will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 12, and again at 1 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 19, in the Administrative Board Room at Saint Joseph London. Those who are interested would be required to attend a hands-on training on the volunteer process. To learn more about the program, register for one of the informational sessions at CHISaintJosephHealth.org/NoOneDiesAlone.
About CHI Saint Joseph Health
CHI Saint Joseph Health, part of CommonSpirit Health, is one of the largest and most comprehensive health systems in the Commonwealth of Kentucky with 100 locations in 20 counties, including hospitals, physician groups, clinics, primary care centers, specialty institutes, home health agencies and an ambulatory Care Center. The hospitals in CHI Saint Joseph Health are Flaget Memorial Hospital, Saint Joseph Berea, Saint Joseph East, Saint Joseph Hospital, Saint Joseph Jessamine, Saint Joseph London, Saint Joseph Mount Sterling, and Women’s Hospital at Saint Joseph East. In total, the health system serves patients in 35 counties statewide. CHI Saint Joseph Health is dedicated to providing a wide array of services toward a goal of building a healthier future for all. CHI Saint Joseph Health embodies a strong mission and faith-based heritage and works through local partnerships to expand access to care in the communities it serves.
About Saint Joseph London
Saint Joseph London is a 150-bed full-service hospital located in London, Kentucky. Established in 1926, the facility serves patients from southeastern Kentucky, including those from Clay, Laurel, Jackson, Whitley, Knox and Pulaski counties. The current $152 million regional hospital opened in 2010, and offers all private patient rooms, with most overlooking a small lake and garden on the 52-acre healing environment.