Garrett Regional Medical Center, Hospice Of Garrett County, Inc. Partner to Provide End-of-life Care

Pictured from left to right are Kendra Thayer, vice president of clinical services and chief nursing officer, GRMC and Potomac Valley Hospital; Jeannie Miller, director of patient care management and population health, GRMC; Kim McFadden, social worker, GRMC; Donna Brenneman, executive director, Hospice; Ashley Colmer, human resources director & volunteer coordinator, Hospice; Amy Welch, financial administrator, Hospice; Lisa Sypolt, RN, Hospice.

Providing enhanced end-of-life care and support to the residents of Garrett County is the nature of the collaborative partnership between Garrett Regional Medical Center (GRMC) and Hospice of Garrett County, Inc.

Garrett County residents with terminal conditions who are unable to return to their homes are provided with end-of-life care at Garrett Regional Medical Center.

“When there is no caregiver available, or the nature of someone’s illness does not allow the patient to return to their own home, patients are able to stay in GRMC’s subacute unit,” explained Donna Brenneman, executive director of Hospice for Garrett County, Inc. “We work directly with the hospital to get any patient back into their home, with their familiar surroundings, family, and pets, but that’s not always possible.”

The sharing of resources, knowledge, and experience between the two organizations directly support the mission of Garrett Regional Medical Center.

“GRMC is very blessed to be able to collaborate with Hospice of Garrett County, Inc., as we strive to care for our patients like members of our own family,” stated Kendra Thayer, vice president of clinical services and chief nursing officer of Garrett Regional Medical Center and Potomac Valley Hospital. “Their expertise, compassion, and support allow us to better care and support our patients and their families during a very difficult time.”

The knowledge of the Hospice of Garrett County, Inc. staff is a critical component to the partnership’s success.

“The staff at Hospice of Garrett County, Inc, are very experienced. They have a high level of education and training in end-of-life care that supports both the patient and family and provides support through the grieving process,” said Thayer. “It’s a huge advantage for our staff and our patients to be able to collaborate with Hospice regarding end-of-life care and support.”

Outside of providing end-of-life care, Hospice of Garrett County, Inc. provides numerous support services to patients and families, including loaning medical equipment to Garrett County residents, delivering medicines and wound care, routine hygiene services, offering Chaplain services and spiritual support, and performing light housekeeping and meal preparations.

“Our volunteers are able to sit with patients while caregivers attend appointments and meetings, make a trip to the grocery store, run errands, or just catch their breath,” Brenneman noted. “We also celebrate holidays and special occasions with gifts and food, including caroling at homes at Christmas.”

Hospice of Garrett County, Inc. also goes the extra mile to deliver special requests for their end-of-life patients.

“When a special need is voiced, we fulfill that need through our Dream Come True program,” stated Brenneman. “We have built wheelchair ramps, rented a van that enabled a family to take a beach trip one last time, provided Christmas celebrations for families that were unable to do so, and so much more. We also make FaceTime calls for families who are unable to come home in time to say goodbye to their loved ones.”

GRMC and Hospice of Garrett County, Inc. are already looking to the future for ways to enrich their partnership.

“Hospice of Garrett County, Inc. is currently helping us have discussions with our patients to better explain the many services they can offer,” said Thayer. “We truly work together as a team to support our patients and their loved ones.”

“The relationship between Hospice of Garrett County, Inc. and GRMC comes down to neighbor helping neighbor, family helping family. Our community is so fortunate to have medical personnel that are so caring and compassionate,” Brenneman added. “When we all work together as a team, with patient-centered care leading the way, it provides the experience that we strive for. That is what we are all about.”

For more information on Garrett Regional Medical Center, visit To learn more about Hospice of Garrett County, Inc. and available services, visit