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Morning Light News from 2020

Morning Light News from 2020

For all of us, 2020 was a uniquely challenging year. But with your help, the Morning Light team was able to continue our critical work providing free hospice care in Indianapolis.

Beach Ball Breaks Records for $$$ Raised!

For the third consecutive year, record results for the Beach Ball, our annual fundraiser to benefit our free hospice residence, the award winning Abbie Hunt Bryce Home! For the first time ever, we groseed more than $80,000 and netted more than $60,000! Those all time highs were bolstered by a 17% increase in sponsorships to $40,365; almost $4,000 in pre-event donations; unprecedented Fund A Cause results of $22,545; and our second highest auction total ever at $10,242! For the second consecutive year the event was sponsored in part by: PNC; The Naked Monkey: FORUM Credit Union: and Eskenazi Health! Dean Metcalf and Julie Patterson also hosted again and kept the evening rolling, through their quips and reminders that those who attended also support the idea that everyone, no matter what life challenges they face, should be surrounded by care and compassion in their final days!

The March 7th event was held at Ivy Tech’s Culinary and Conference Center. Guests were once again treated to music by The Tempos!


Did you miss out? You can still support free hospice care by clicking here. See you next year at the 18th Annual Beach Ball!

New Referrals/Admissions Process

May 1, 2020

  • Contact the Provider Relations Specialist for any new referral.
    Phone: 317-989-6164
    E-mail: pdavis@morninglightinc.org
  • Discuss the patient’s health condition, current living situation, and patient care needs
  • COVID-19 screening: The hospice provider and the patient will be asked screening questions regarding symptoms and potential exposure to the Covid-19 virus. We will also be requiring a negative test result for the virus. While we recognize this requirement places an additional burden to our providers and their patients, we are making every attempt to prevent an outbreak within our Home
  • Have the completed application, face sheet, history and physical, medication list, recent chest x-ray to r/o tuberculosis (within 6 months), scanned and e-mailed to the Provider Relations Specialist
  • Set up a time for a virtual evaluation with the patient, family if desired, and hospice provider to include but not limited to discussions of:
    • the services and responsibilities the Home
    • the responsibilities of the hospice provider
    • the admission process
    • care plan meeting – to facilitate a positive communication pathway, we request the hospice provider coordinate a virtual care plan meeting upon admission with our Operations Manager
    • modified Isolation precautions: as an extra measure of safety we are requesting all new admissions be on modified isolation precaution for the first 7-14 days. This includes having the resident remain in their room during this time frame and wearing a mask if able when care is provided and leaving their room
    • home restrictions
    • visitor restrictions
    • Resident Agreement- discuss the rules of the Home, and signature of the Home agreement. The form can be printed off, signed and scanned back to the Provider Relations Specialist, or signed upon admission in to the Home
  • Admission Process: once approved, coordinate the admission to the Home with the hospice representative, the Provider Relations Specialist and the Operations Manager
    • DME delivery 24 hours before admission if possible
    • Medications brought with the patient or available at the Home upon admission
    • Supplies- mask for the patient, empty pill boxes to set up medications, empty syringes to pre-fill liquid medications, any supplies pertinent to the resident’s care brought upon admission
    • Nurse to be present prior to patient arrival in the home for admission

Please note: Home discharge may be considered for a resident that tests positive for the COVID-19 virus

Key screening questions:

  • Have you been within 6 feet of a person with a lab-confirmed case of COVID-19 for at least 5 minutes, or had direct contact with their mucus or saliva, in the past 14 days? Yes/No
  • In the last 48 hours, have you had any of the following symptoms?

          Check all that apply.

  • Fever of 100.5 F (38 C) or above, or possible fever symptoms like alternating shivering and sweating
  • New cough
  • New trouble breathing, shortness of breath or severe wheezing
  • New chills
  • New muscle aches
  • Sore throat
  • Diarrhea
  • Recent loss of smell or taste, or a change in taste
  • Lethargy
  • Increased confusion
  • Change in baseline condition
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting

It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

Life certainly has a way of refocusing a person on what is really important. Morning Light staffers Felencia, Madison, Rachael and Penny found that out first hand thanks to a celebration held July 24th at our Abbie Hunt Bryce Home. We marked another Christmas in July! The event was supported this year through a Samerian Foundation grant.

It’s a reality of what a hospice residence is all about: those living under our care in mid-year may not see another traditional holiday season. Folks like Ken, who is dealing with a cruel terminal illness. This day we took care of that. We put a smile on his face. 

Resident Deb was so excited she didn’t want to let her afghan go- a donation for all residents from Home supporter Christine Merzario -even though it was hardly chilly!

A modest holiday feast, with festive desserts, and gifts that reminded our residents just how special they are.

Home admissions halted for a few months. Pennwood activities were suspended. Rolling For Hope- cancelled. The annual Memorial Garden Remembrance on October 10th now being planned as a virtual event.

All that somewhat forgotten this day by remembering that the next day was July 25th- six months before Christmas. It was our privilege to make sure that 10 hospice residents got that special holiday feeling at least once more.

O – O- Tidings of comfort and joy-comfort and joy!

—by Tom Fodor, Executive Director CEO

Morning Light’s Madison Gonzalez in Fundraising Spotlight

Morning Light’s Community Involvement and Events Manager, Madison Gonzalez, was a National presenter at the Annual Raise Conference on September 15th. She presented on Morning Light’s Award-Winning Storytelling Campaign method and over 1,200 non-profit professionals registered for the talk. Madison was able to share the stories of Abbie Hunt Bryce Home residents Richard Duarte and “Mr. Dewey” and shed light on why sharing stories is so important to make lasting impact. To quote Abbie Hunt Bryce Home resident Richard, “Too many of us leave this world with our stories untold.”

A Heart For Hospice

—by Tom Fodor, Executive Director CEO

Paul Fouts, Jr. passed away recently after a short illness. He’s pictured here in 2013 with fellow VNS Foundation Board members Andy Mattingly (at left) and Tanya Scott. This photo shows him in the background but that wasn’t Paul Fouts! He was always out front, making sure that a newly independent Foundation (which was renamed Morning Light in 2014) was poised to deliver on its community promise to provide free residential hospice care!

He became an evangelist for our Abbie Hunt Bryce Home in many ways, always ensuring that the Visiting Nurse Service, which founded the Home in 2004, was giving the program the attention and resources it needed. When Morning Light assumed oversight, he wrote the first check that launched the Commitment Circle for top annual donors. When staff created an elaborate rating system to hire our first outside accounting partner, he brought the proceedings to an immediate halt. One firm out of the eight prospects clearly had the lowest and best bid so he called for a vote. He apparently didn’t want to waste time he valued. Not when it could be spent dropping by the Home or leaving the winter behind for his southern retreat!

As Treasurer he made sure that everyone knew we might be spending too much cash. However, he balanced that observation with sound advice on how the organization could best use investments to support operations. We had no idea that Morning Light was entitled to receive annual developer fees from our Pennwood Place senior apartments until he asked the right questions. He literally kept asking –and asking- until we got the answer!

By the way that first Commitment Circle check he wrote formed the basis for the forty or so $1,000 contributions we annually receive from Commitment Circle members. And now, upon his passing, he and his family identified Morning Light to receive memorial gifts. This latest generosity proves what many already knew: There may be no end to Paul Fouts Jr.’s love for The Abbie Hunt Bryce Home and for those it continues to serve!

Resident Rooms Upgraded!

Thanks to connections made by Board Member Hitesh Patel, all twelve of our resident rooms at The Abbie Hunt Bryce Home are looking better than ever! Each resident room has received upgraded granite top dressers and side tables generously donated by Dhiren Patel. Wheaton World Wide Moving kindly moved the old furniture out and the new furniture into the Home! This is what community teamwork looks like!