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Visiting Nurse Hospice receives Medicare recognition

LAWRENEVILLE - The largest nonprofit hospice program in Georgia has been recognized by officials for its continued service to patients.

Visiting Nurse Hospice Atlanta provides home health care to Gwinnett County, as well as 24 other metro Atlanta counties, after patients leave the hospital.

"Homecare is the answer to the high cost of hospitalization and so many patients feel safer and more secure at home," said Michele Henry, Visiting Nurse Hospice Atlanta spokeswoman.

In 2004 the clinical staff, which includes nurses, aids, speech therapists, medical social workers and nutritionists, was recognized for achieving "statistically significant improvement" in their work with reducing pain that interferes with their patient's activities. This year Georgia Medical Care Foundation, a part of Medicare, paid tribute to the hospice program for maintaining that improvement over a 12 month span.

"This is a tribute to our dedicated staff," said Mark Oshmock, Visiting Nurse Hospice Atlanta CEO. "We constantly strive to provide the best care possibly for our patients and this achievement is tangible evidence of that commitment."

The program not only nurses patients back to health but also assists patients suffering from chronic or terminal illnesses. Patients can receive specialized medical, spiritual and support services in their homes or at the Hospice Atlanta center.

"Nursing and education is how we can reduce (our patient's) pain," Henry said.