Dream Foundation Partner Interview: Amedisys Foundation

Deana Wilson, RN Senior Vice President of Hospice Operations, Amedisys Hospice

Deana Wilson has served hospice patients for more than 25 years with Amedisys and her passion for fulfilling final Dreams has shaped the company’s partnership with Dream Foundation.

“We are passionate about changing the way hospice is delivered in this country,” Wilson shared. Our Amedisys, Inc. culture is the POWER OF YES and putting our patients and family’s needs above our own. “Providing final Dreams was something we couldn’t do without Dream Foundation and now WE can. Some of the Dreams simply take my breath away.”

She recalls a young patient whose Dream was to visit New York City. The Dream was delivered by her Amedisys Hospice Care team in N.C. and they all wore Statute of Liberty crowns and “I Love New York” T-shirts. But it was the image of the patient’s wedding photos in the background, juxtaposed with her Dream delivery team that stands out to Wilson.

“It gives me goosebumps to just think about it. It is the WHY we do what we do—not the what. She passed just shortly after the trip.”

“Hospice is the only part of healthcare that truly makes sense to me,” Wilson shared. “Being there with a family at that most sensitive and vulnerable time of their life is so very humbling and rewarding.”

“One of our patients in N.H. Dreamed of going on a whale watching tour. And this past summer, thanks to our partnership with Dream Foundation, his Dream was granted. He attended a private whale watching tour with his family and his care team, including his nurses and physicians,” Wilson recalled. “Within five weeks he passed away, but he spent his last weeks talking about the tour and how much it had reconnected him to his love of the water. It was the closure he needed.”

“We believe in what Dream Foundation is doing for people with a terminal illness. There isn’t another organization quite like this one. We want to encourage other hospices to work with Dream Foundation to help grant final Dreams,” said Wilson.

“The heartfelt feelings that have been created among staff members, our patients and families is priceless each and every time we complete a Dream. Our teams carry those positive feelings with them to help reinforce WHY we do what we do in Hospice. I encourage all of you to allow your teams to experience that and help them find their ‘why’,” she observed.

Wilson recalled another recent Dream in W.Va.. The patient’s wife, who passed away one year ago was an opera singer and he played in the orchestra. He was too ill to travel to the opera, so the Pittsburgh Opera came to him. They performed for him and his closest friends and family for more than an hour. Their final song was the one his wife was famous for singing.

“I’ve seen so many Dreams play out beautifully. Our job is to meet patients where they are and to help them find hope. It’s about living your last days of life, not dying and creating the best possible Hospice experience.”