Sanford Hospice is recognizing National Doctor’s Day, March 30, as an opportunity to honor Dr. Mary Jo Olson and Dr. Stephen Njagi for their much-appreciated work on the Sanford Hospice Team.
Dr. Mary Jo Olson has been the medical director for Sanford Hospice for 12 years; Dr. Njagi joined the Sanford Hospice Team as assistant medical director two years ago. These physicians meet with the hospice nurses, social workers and clergy to discuss the care and needs of their hospice patients.
Olson and Njagi are family practice physicians with Sanford Vermillion Clinic and specialize in the care of the whole family. When asked how they became interested in hospice care, Olson said, “I thought I could learn from the experience and I have learned a lot. I have learned how hospice provides help to the patient and their families at difficult times in their lives. I have learned how to help with their pain, provide spiritual guidance and make the end of life process easier.”
Njagi said,“I don’t like to see people suffer, so I can help them with comfort cares.”
Hospice provides loving and supportive care at the end of life. When the patient and their doctor determine that a cure is no longer the focus, Olson and Njagi and the hospice team are able to provide the physical and emotional care and support that is needed at the end of life.
Most hospice patients choose to remain near their family, friends and pets in the comfort of their own homes. They may also live in a nursing home or assisted living center. Hospice nurses, social workers, clergy and volunteers travel to care for them wherever they live. Because hospice is a Medicare benefit, there is often no out of pocket cost to the patient.
Sanford Hospice has been caring for hospice patients and their families for 25 years.