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Anesthesia group gives because hospice touches everyone
The physicians and nurse anesthetists that make up Medical Anesthesia Group (MAG) spend large chunks of their time making patients more comfortable and easing their pain. For that reason alone, it should come as no surprise that the group is an advocate for residential hospice care. But for MAG, it’s also personal and relational.
“Many of us, because of our experience, both personal and professional, know how important end of life care is,” says MAG physician, Dr. Charles Ingram. “We have so much respect for Methodist Healthcare, and we see ourselves as good partners. Since a hospice residence was their mission, we were glad to make it ours as well.”
MAG is Methodist’s anesthesia partner for all of its adult facilities and surgery centers. Established in the 1960s, the group includes 39 doctors and more than 80 nurse anesthetists. From art to offices to patient care, evidence of their support of hospice care is everywhere at the Methodist Hospice Residence.
Picking up on the passion
Dr. Dennis Higdon, now retired from the group, and his wife, Joanna, shared their passion for hospice care with members of the group when Methodist’s push to build the Hospice Residence was gaining momentum. “Dennis was the first member of the group to bring the Hospice Residence project to our attention,” said Dr. Ray Wilson, another MAG doctor. “As soon as he made a presentation, we were 100 percent behind it.”
Joanna Higdon, Wilson says, was very involved with hospice. Sadly, she eventually found herself in need of hospice care. Some of the original artwork in the lobby of the Hospice Residence was purchased with a gift from MAG in her memory. Her death underscores the connection that just about everyone has with hospice care.
“It has been an awakening experience to see the need of people I know and how they have been cared for,” Wilson says. “In the past few years, I have seen an increasing number of family and friends find themselves in need of hospice care.”
Close to the heart
Another MAG partner, Dr. Paula Moffett, was killed tragically in an airline crash. The group’s first gift to the Hospice Residence named the Chaplain’s office in her memory. She was a friend to many associated with the group, Dr. Ingram said. “Paula trained in internal medicine, then in ICU pulmonology and then in anesthesia,” Ingram said. “She was an exceptional scholar and an exceptional person.”
The mother of MAG’s administrator, Glen Wimmer, was recently cared for at the Residence as well.
While it’s unfortunate that just about everyone has a hospice story, it’s a blessing that hospice care exists. MAG is pleased to be able to support the kind of care provided at the Methodist Hospice Residence. So pleased, in fact, that the group recently made a multi-year gift to provide hospice care for those who can’t afford to pay for it. “It’s important to us to support this kind of care,” Ingram says. “It’s important to help people feel good about the decisions they make around end-of-life care and that they know their loved ones are being cared for.”