Bluegrass Care dispels myths about hospice for Chamber

Published 11:42 am Tuesday, April 18, 2023

The Harlan County Chamber of Commerce heard a presentation given by a representative of Bluegrass Care Navigators, a hospice provider serving the region, during the Chamber’s regular monthly meeting for April.

Bluegrass Care Navigators Associate Director of Philanthropy Chas Gayheart spoke to the group.

“I’m so glad to be here,” Gayheart said. “This is important for us to do because people hear hospice, and they think gloom and doom. They think it is just so depressing, and it really isn’t.”

Gayheart explained her company provides many additional services.

“We offer so many services other than hospice,” Gayheart said. “Of course, our biggest service is hospice.”

Gayheart pointed out that once Bluegrass Care Navigators is notified, services may begin immediately.

“If you have someone you think can benefit from hospice, you don’t have to have a doctor to refer you,” Gayheart said. “You can refer them yourself if it’s a friend or family member. Even the patient can refer themself. It’s a very easy process.”

Gayheart mentioned hospice is often misunderstood by many people.

“They think you are literally a day or so away from passing away,” Gayheart said. “That is not true at all. Anybody who has any type of disease that is chronic has the opportunity to be on hospice care.”

Gayheart noted cancer patients are not the only individuals who qualify for hospice.

“We have COPD patients, we have people with heart disease, there are so many different things that we treat,” Gayheart said. “It can last months. I will say it’s rare, but there have been people that come in and get so much better they release them.”

According to Gayheart, hospice can provide supplies, equipment and medications.

“We deliver the bed, any kind of equipment you need, and all of the medicine,” Gayheart said. “This service is free because we know the family already has enough on their plate to worry about. We are able – because of the very generous people in this area – to be able to provide that for free … We do charge Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance, but what isn’t covered, we cover.”

Gayheart mentioned grief counseling is also offered, including a day camp for children.

“We have a camp for kids. It’s in Knott County,” Gayheart said. “It is kind of a long drive, but kids that from ages 6 to 17, if they have had any kind of trauma, they have a free day to come and do arts and crafts, music, and ways to get them through grieving.”

For more information on hospice care and Bluegrass Care Navigators, call 855-492-0812 or go to Bluegrass Care Navigators (