RVNA is pleased to announce that Leslie Chiaramonte, MSN, BS, RN, CHPN, has joined the staff as director of the agency’s future service to the community – Hospice by RVNA. In this role, Chiaramonte will lead a team of specialists certified in hospice and palliative care. A certified trainer for the End of Life Nursing Education Consortium, Chiaramonte will personally lead her staff through the education and certification process, ensuring the highest quality outcome. The addition of Hospice by RVNA means that RVNA will now offer the complete continuum of care – providing for patients of all ages, from birth to end of life.
Chiaramonte’s early experiences caring for patients with cancer have given her a unique perspective not only on curative patient care, but also on end-of-life care. She sees hospice – the care of patients in their last stages of a terminal illness – as a natural and potentially beautiful part of the life cycle. Those are not often words associated with dying, but Leslie describes hospice care as a way to bring dignity and compassion to patients and their families during a difficult time. The focus then becomes offering care and comfort for the patient, plus education and support for the family who are helping to provide that care.
“What will set RVNA apart from other hospice providers is that all of our nurses will be certified specialists in the field,” says Chiaramonte. “What’s more, RVNA believes in an interdisciplinary approach, bringing our hospice nurses together with staff physicians and social workers, as well as chaplains in the community to offer complete care.”
Hospice by RVNA will also provide families with 13 months of bereavement support after their loved one has passed on. Studies have shown that families often experience the most difficulty on or just after the one-year anniversary. Hospice by RVNA will also be dedicated to supporting the family through this difficult time.
Chiaramonte was first exposed to hospice early in her nursing tenure while working in an oncology unit. She began to see it as an indispensable part of the cycle of care, and soon went on manage two hospice units in assisted living and senior residence communities in the Bronx, NY. A move to Florida to run two hospice units added to her experience, but also made her realize that the New York area was further along in its acceptance and development of the specialty. She returned to the New York metropolitan area to be closer to family and join RVNA to develop and launch Hospice by RVNA in Connecticut.
“Hospice care enables a patient to live life to the fullest for as long as he or she lives,” says Chiaramonte. “RVNA is gratified to be able to expand our services and meet that need in our community.”