The memorial and
Light Up A Life contributions from local donors will help promote a
bereavement support group and support the final wishes of local
Memorial Home Services is a not-for-profit
affiliate of Memorial Health System and serves 14 central Illinois
Dr. Mary Bretscher, associate medical director for Memorial Home
Services Hospice, provides medical guidance to the Lincoln-area
hospice team and consults with primary care physicians to coordinate
hospice care services.
Shelley Gray, R.N., says she "loves the families, pharmacies,
physicians and hospital in the Lincoln community." As part of her
daily routine, Gray visits hospice patients in their Logan and Mason
County homes to help make their final days, weeks and even months as
pain-free and rewarding as possible.
Gray says that the gifts from ALHF will be used to support a
bereavement support group, which meets from 5 to 6:30 p.m. the
second Thursday of every month in the Steinfort Room at Abraham
Lincoln Memorial Hospital.
The gifts also will help grant wishes for local patients as part
of the Memorial Medical Center Foundation's Sharing Wishes Fund.
Wishes granted to Logan County patients have included a ride in a
hot air balloon, a laptop needed to Skype with far-away family
members, a hearing device, and a haircut and special dinner. Hospice
staff get to know the patients and their desires and then submit
applications to the Sharing Wishes Fund to make those wishes a
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According to Marty Ahrends, executive director of the Abraham
Lincoln Healthcare Foundation, the Lincoln hospital started its
own hospice program in the late 1980s and named it in memory of
Dr. Wayne J. Schall. Though the Schall Hospice program at ALMH
merged with Visiting Nurses Association of Central Illinois (now
known as Memorial Home Services) in the mid-1990s, the community
continued to support the Schall Hospice Fund.
More than $529,000 from 6,000 donors has since been donated to
the fund. In 2004, the local hospice advisory group recommended that
Schall funds purchase low-air-loss mattresses and other items that
hospice patients would use in their homes. Later the group approved
the renovation of a hospice respite care room at the former ALMH
facility and voted to use funds for pain medications that keep local
hospice patients comfortable during their final months.
Gifts for the Schall Hospice Fund can be sent to the Abraham
Lincoln Healthcare Foundation, 200 Stahlhut Drive in Lincoln. For
more information, contact the foundation at 605-5006 or visit
[Text from file received from the