Service Spotlight: New program aims to give comfort at the end of life

November 8, 2017  //  FOUND IN: Updates & Resources,

This fall, Michigan Medicine will debut a new program, “No One Dies Alone” — or NODA — through the Department of Social Work.

The program aims to provide compassionate companionship to patients at the end of life who have no friends or family available at their bedside.

“NODA will offer a unique opportunity to patients who would otherwise be alone at the time of their death,” said Amanda Schoettinger, social work program manager. “It is an essential program to help our organization meet its mission of providing patient- and family-centered care.”

Set to launch on Nov. 20, NODA will be carried out by highly-trained and reliable volunteers who are currently serving with the Hospital Elder Life Program. NODA will begin working on 7W, 8E, 8A and the Medical Short Stay Unit, with the eventual aim to expand hospitalwide. As it grows, NODA plans to open up volunteering opportunities to hospital staff and others — including those with Patient and Family Centered Care within the Office of Patient Experience. Stay tuned for more details as they become available.

The program will initially be focused on the adult patient population, as many adults end up hospitalized without family or friends nearby.

“One of the most memorable moments of my own father’s death was walking into the facility — after driving for hours — and hoping that I had time to see him before his death,” Schoettinger said. “When I got there, I saw a compassionate young lady sitting with my father just holding his hand. I wanted to bring that same type of compassion to Michigan Medicine.”

Medical team members may refer patients to NODA by paging #33039. Patients must be within 48-72 hours of end of life, have a DNR on their record and be receiving comfort care treatment.

For more information on the program, future training dates or other questions, contact Schoettinger at