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What is Hospice and Palliative Care?

Published on Wednesday, March 01, 2017

hospiceVitalCare, an affiliate of McLaren Northern Michigan, welcomes Jennifer McBride, DNP, AGNP-C, as the dedicated Nurse Practitioner for Palliative Care and Hospice at McLaren Northern Michigan hospital.

McBride is reaching out to raise awareness about the quality of care for those who are coping with life-limiting illness. “I worked as a registered nurse at McLaren Northern Michigan for over 8 years and found a passion to provide the extra care to patients who are suffering from life-limiting conditions,” stated McBride. “It is truly a blessing to be able to give comfort and dignity to patients toward the end of life. I knew I wanted to continue with my education and dedicate my professional career to this specialized care.”

Hospice and Palliative Care might be a sensitive topic, but it is important to discuss your wishes and options with a loved one. 

What is Palliative Care?
With a focus on quality of life for patients, palliative care provides patients facing a serious life-limiting illness with relief from symptoms, pain, and stress. Patients receiving palliative care do have a limited life expectancy, but they are still able to pursue active treatment options. “In my role, I work with patients both in the hospital and in the outpatient setting to form a treatment plan, and to coordinate with our Home Health service to provide care options in the comfort of the patients’ homes,” stated McBride.

What is Hospice?
Hospice is about living every day of life fully, without pain or symptoms. Hospice patients have a life expectancy of 6 months or less and are not receiving curative therapy.  VitalCare Hospice model of care treats patients and family members with the understanding that worries for the future have a genuine impact on frame of mind and personal comfort at the end of life.

VitalCare provides both Palliative Care and Hospice Services in homes across northern Michigan through Hospice of Little Traverse Bay (Petoskey area), Hospice of the Straits (Cheboygan area), and Hospice of Sunrise Shores (Alpena area). Hiland Cottage in Petoskey and Hospice House in Cheboygan both offer hospice services in a home-like facility.

“I am very excited that I am able to continue my work providing specialized medical care and comfort to patients with life-limiting conditions,” expressed McBride. “I am beyond proud to be a part of the VitalCare Palliative Care and Hospice Services, helping patients focus on living despite a terminal diagnosis and making meaningful moments possible!”

To learn more about VitalCare Hospice and Palliative Care service, visit or call (800) 248-6777.