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Lutheran Home Care expands, integrates with Diakon programs

By - Last modified: July 23, 2012 at 9:23 AM

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From left, Robert Rundle, CEO of Lutheran Social Services; Terry Shade, executive director and CEO of Lutheran Home Care & Hospice; and Mark Pile, CEO of Diakon Lutheran Social Ministries, sign agreements merging their home care programs.
From left, Robert Rundle, CEO of Lutheran Social Services; Terry Shade, executive director and CEO of Lutheran Home Care & Hospice; and Mark Pile, CEO of Diakon Lutheran Social Ministries, sign agreements merging their home care programs.

An organization that offers home care and hospice services in York County is joining forces with a similar provider serving the Eastern and Northeastern parts of the state.

Lutheran Social Services of South Central Pennsylvania and Diakon Lutheran Social Ministries, both nonprofits, integrated their home care operations effective July 1, with staff members of three Diakon programs becoming Lutheran Home Care & Hospice Inc. employees. Review of final licensure is pending but expected to receive approval.

"Although Diakon Hospice Saint John and Diakon Help at Home have long histories of service to people in need, Diakon Home Health initially began as palliative care and was never configured to provide the type of home care needed in today's health care environment, which demands a continuum of services," Mark T. Pile, Diakon president and CEO, said in a news release. He noted that Lutheran has long-term experience in providing home care.

"Thus, the idea of integration was born — allowing Diakon to provide home care in many of our senior living communities and in the regions we serve, and helping LSS of South Central Pennsylvania to expand its home-care operations," Pile said. "This integration allows us to pool resources and gain operational and cost efficiencies."

"LSS and Diakon share similar missions focused on serving and caring for people in need," said Robert L. Rundle, LSS CEO. "It makes this a natural partnership and gives us more opportunity to support persons in achieving an optimal quality of life while enjoying the comforts of their own home."

Lutheran Home Care & Hospice Inc. will provide home health, in-home support, home health telemonitoring and hospice care in the integrated programs' existing service territories of Northcentral Maryland, Southcentral and Central Pennsylvania, and portions of Eastern and Northeastern Pennsylvania.

All three Diakon Home Care offices remain in operation with no disruption of service to clients. Diakon will have representation on Lutheran's board of directors.

Lutheran Home Care & Hospice has been providing home health services to York County for 17 years but just expanded its hospice services from the Hanover area to all of York County on July 1.

"Through a market study of the York area, we have identified that when compared to state and national averages, a relatively small percentage of the folks who receive hospice services in York County are still living in their own home," Terry Shade, executive director of Lutheran Home Care & Hospice, said of the decision to expand..

Heather Stauffer

Heather Stauffer

Heather Stauffer covers Lancaster County, nonprofits, education and health care. Have a tip or question for her? Email her at heathers@cpbj.com. Follow her on Twitter, @StaufferCPBJ.

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