The New Samaritan
Compassionate healthcare that’s so much more than hospice

Having earned its reputation by providing comfort and dignity to families during the most difficult time of life, South Jersey’s leading provider of hospice care and palliative medicine is marking its 40th anniversary with the rollout of new programs, expanded services and even a new name.

“We are refreshing our brand and standing on the name that our friends and neighbors have been requesting for years – Samaritan,” says Mary Ann Boccolini, president and CEO of Samaritan (formerly Samaritan Healthcare & Hospice). “While we remain dedicated to the vision of our founders to provide essential hospice services to help our patients live with comfort and dignity in their final months, we are also committed to helping people earlier in more ways.”

Through their newest service, HomeVisit Physicians, Dr. Kenneth Giacobbo and the primary care team provide house calls when office visits are not possible. No matter where patients live, including nursing homes or assisted-living facilities, they get the full range of primary care services they need in the convenience of their homes, Boccolini says.

“For years, we’ve focused on the final months of life,” says Stephen Goldfine, MD, chief medical officer at Samaritan. “Hospice has been our mission, but what we’ve realized is that becoming involved in a patient’s life earlier enables them to have better control of their
medical care.”

“With Samaritan’s expanded care options, patients benefit from more specialized services to manage symptoms of illness and pain,” Dr. Goldfine says. “That’s when our Palliative Medical Partners can help.”

Samaritan’s board-certified palliative physicians help patients express their goals of care and then coordinate services with their other healthcare providers to ensure their wishes for care, treatment and quality of life are honored, says Dr. Goldfine, noting that these services provide an added layer of supportive care to help patients, and those who care about them, with the stress of illness either in the hospital or the comfort of home.
Especially now, home is still where Samaritan’s patients want to be.

COVID-19 has disrupted so much about the delivery of healthcare and even the ability of families to be with their loved ones in person.

“For Samaritan, the changes needed to keep patients safe from the virus have enabled us to improve how we care for the people of South Jersey,” says Dr. Goldfine. “Through telemedicine and updated in-person visit protocols, Samaritan’s physicians, nurses, social workers, spiritual-support counselors and certified home health aides have continued to connect patients with the care and services they need – present while taking every precaution and meeting new mandates for everyone’s safety and protection.”

The Samaritan team understood and embraced the opportunity to serve and adapted rapidly in these unprecedented times. Its COVID Task Force, led by Dr. Goldfine and COO Marjorie Ivins,
assured the best possible care without interruption for all Samaritan patients and seized the opportunity to innovate through the rollout of telehealth services.

“Traditionally, we’re a very hands-on, high-touch organization,” says Dr. Goldfine. “Our response to COVID-19 has included a focus on creating that same experience with telehealth visits, especially for our palliative medicine and primary care patients.”

“Quite honestly, the delivery has changed to some extent, but the quality of services we provide has actually increased,” Dr. Goldfine adds. “Now I can reach patients easily and directly without the challenge of them coming into the office.”

The team also led the transition of Samaritan’s Mount Holly inpatient center to care for COVID patients.  Samaritan’s support team virtually extended the healing power of music therapy, meditation and other web-based resources to provide relief from stress and anxiety for patients, staff and the community.

Samaritan recently moved to its new South Jersey administrative headquarters in Mount Laurel to support its growing number of programs. The 27,600-square-foot building is now home base for Samaritan’s staff and volunteers. The building includes Samaritan’s Center for Grief Support, which provides counseling, support groups and more for anyone who is coping with the loss of a loved one.

“As a locally-based, not-for-profit provider, maintaining our South Jersey roots shows that Samaritan is essential to the fabric of our community,” says Phillip W. Heath, chief administrative officer at Tabula Rasa HealthCare, and chairman of Samaritan’s volunteer Board of Trustees. “We are especially grateful to everyone who has helped Samaritan reach these significant milestones, from the extreme compassion and expertise of our staff, to our dedicated volunteers, generous donors and community partners, we are truly honored to be embraced by the South Jersey community.”

The headquarters is also home to Samaritan’s expanding Institute for Education, Research & Innovation. Samaritan is well known for its scholarly contributions in the fields of palliative and hospice care as well as extensive community outreach. The Institute also provides internships and other learning opportunities for students, including Samaritan’s Fellowship in Hospice and Palliative Medicine, in collaboration with the Rowan School of Osteopathic Medicine.

“At a time when healthcare is rapidly evolving, we’ve been able to innovate and offer new services designed to respond to the needs of all our patients and their families,” Boccolini says. “The more we can do, the greater impact we will have on the quality of life of those we serve.”

“We have so much to offer the community through our expanding life-enhancing care options,” she adds, “and that’s reflected in our fresh, new brand.”


August 2020
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