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Kirva Hospice: Care, Comfort & Compassion

Kirva Hospice CEO JoAnne Seidner speaks at a program - Myths and Conceptions - held recently by Beth Sholom Senior Living to help community members know more about hospice.

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated since the print issue came out. The April Reflector will have updates.

Jewish Family Services and Beth Sholom Senior Living are expected to soon launch its non-profit joint venture – Kirva Hospice – to serve the hospice needs in the greater Richmond Area. Planning has been ongoing for several years and it is now waiting on final license approvals and accreditation.

CEO Jo Anne Seidner began her position on Aug. 1, 2022, and has nearly 28 years experience in the home health care and the hospice field.

She said, “We recently passed an important State Survey and now have our Virginia Department of Health license. We are currently taking pro bono cases and expect to have the Accreditation Commission for Health Care on site by late Spring to complete our survey for Medicare accreditation.”

Seidner is very proud her growing team and its name – Kirva Hospice – and the association with JFS and Beth Sholom Senior Living.

She noted, “The name evolved from the Hebrew word (keer-vah), meaning closeness, caring, and companionship. In that respect, caring for hospice patients in Richmond is not only our passion, it’s inherent in our name.”

She added, “Hospice is truly a calling and our team is very dedicated and passionate about helping individuals on their end of life journey.”

“Unlike many other hospice organizations with a national footprint, we are locally based and will be easily accessible. Our philosophy of care is deeply rooted in the Jewish traditions and values that represent family, caring for the sick and elderly, and extending concern and respect to the communities we serve.”

Kirva will serve people regardless of gender, religion, race, age, nationality, or sexual orientation.

“We are dedicated to ensuring that every patient is treated with dignity, kindness, and respect as we walk through this journey with them. Providing a peaceful, compassionate, pain-free transition for our patients, as well as support and bereavement for their family and caregivers is our top priority,” the CEO said.

The Interdisciplinary Hospice Team

Jo Anne Seidner, CEO

Valerie Pegram-Foster, RN, Clinical Director

David B. Stein, MD, Medical Director

William R. Anderson Jr., MD, HMDC, Alternate Medical Director

Rabbi Randi Nagel, Spiritual Director/Bereavement

Chaplain Whitney Daou, Spiritual Counselor/Bereavement

Nicole Fogel, MSW-LCSW, Medical Social Worker / Volunteer Coordinator

Brenda Iverson, Executive Administrative Assistant

More team members will be joining as Kirva Hospice becomes operational

Kirva Hospice Board of Directors

Stanley Ullman, Chair

Ronald Felmus, Vice Chair

Janet Gale

Michael Mandel, M.D.

Wendy Kreuter, Ex Officio

Morris S. Funk, Ex Officio

Jo Anne Seidner, CEO

Four levels of care

Routine Home Care, General Inpatient Care,

Continuous Care, Respite Care

Kirva will serve the counties of Henrico, Hanover, Chesterfield, Goochland, Powhatan, Amelia and part of Prince George, and the City of Richmond. In its early stages, it will begin with service in Henrico and southern Hanover and Northern Chesterfield counties.

Seidner continued, “Hospice is a philosophy of life. Today, about 49% of people who die are in hospice. People go into hospice when they have a life-limiting serious illness, It is important to know that the patient is in control. People are not giving up control. While hospice can be in a hospital or healthcare facility, we find people do better in their own home.”

There are many misconceptions of hospice. “The patient is in control. We honor their wishes and support their difficult decisions and and assist with their challenges.  They would work with our medical team in a very comfortable way with medicines and food.  We want people to enjoy the rest of their lives. They are not giving up hope. We want to enhance the quality of that person’s end of life journey. We also want to help their families and caregivers.”

“Our joint venture is really something quite magnificent. We will strive for excellence in our care delivery, and the compassion that we extend to every person and family that we touch. I am very proud and grateful to have been chosen and selected to become the CEO of Kirva Hospice,” she noted.


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