Harbor Hospice

7th Annual Veterans Chili Dinner to Honor Our Local Heroes

West Michigan – Harbor Hospice, Clock Funeral Home, and Muskegon County Department of Veterans Affairs are partnering to present a special community event to honor and thank our local heroes. All veterans and their families are invited to the 7th Annual Veterans Chili Dinner on Tuesday, December 7th at Clock Funeral Home.

“We are so thrilled to be hosting this event as we continue to come out of COVID. Every year we have amazing food, but we are expecting this year’s selections of chili, mac and cheese, desserts, along with all the trimmings to be over the top! Food equals love,” said Dale and Jodi Clock of Clock Funeral Home. “By sharing a meal with those who have served and protected this country, it is our way of saying thank you!”

This will be an open house-style event 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm with fellowship, story sharing, a pinning ceremony and a variety of homemade chili and desserts.

“This annual event is very special for our veterans, and they look forward to it each year!  They have a chance to reminisce with old friends while enjoying a wonderful dinner together.  Harbor Hospice acknowledges the service of our veterans at this event with our “We Honor Veteran’s Program”.  As part of this program, we will be pinning all veterans prior to dinner. We are proud to partner with Clock Funeral Home and the Muskegon County Department of Veteran’s Affairs for this event!” said Lori Goudie, community engagement specialist, Harbor Hospice and Harbor Palliative Care.

This event is free to attend for veterans and their families; for questions or to RSVP please call 231.722.3721. RSVPs are encouraged but not required.

COVID-19 Vaccination Mandate for Harbor Hospice Agency

Forwarded on behalf of Susan Houseman, President and CEO, Dr. Gerald Harriman, Medical Director, and Stephanie Fiebig, Human Resources Manager

Good afternoon –

As you know, there have been many questions regarding the position of Harbor Hospice regarding the potential mandate of the COVID-19 vaccination.  Our approach thus far has been to strongly encourage the vaccine for all our employees, volunteers, and contracted workers.  In September, after several health systems were moving forward with a vaccine including Trinity Health, we discussed whether we should procced with a mandate.  After an in-depth review, we decided with the support of the Board of Directors, to continue our approach of encouraging those who work for Harbor Hospice and do business with us to get the vaccine and to continue to take appropriate precautions to mitigate risk and the spread of the disease through masking, sanitizing, distancing, and other appropriate measures.  To date, over 70% of our employees have been fully vaccinated.  Through the efforts from our town hall meetings provided by Dr. Harriman and other educational resources, we have gradually increased our organization’s vaccination rate since the vaccine become available.  However, in anticipation that we could potentially be impacted by a Federal vaccine mandate and we began to work on a preparation plan. 

On November 5th, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid issued an emergency regulation requiring the COVID-19 vaccine for all health care staff who work in organizations that participate in Medicare and Medicare Programs.  This national requirement protects patients at nearly 76,000 providers and covers more than 17 million health care workers.  Hospice organizations fall under this emergency regulation.  When health care staff cannot work because of illness or exposure to COVID-19, the strain on the health care system becomes more severe and further limits patient access to safe and essential care.  Your safety and the safety of our patients and families is our top priority.

Therefore, effective November 23rd, Harbor Hospice will require for all employees, volunteers, students, and contracted workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19.  Please click here to see the memorandum for additional details, required action items and timeline. 

Raising Awareness of the Benefits of Hospice and Palliative Care

Harbor Hospice & Harbor Palliative Care Celebrate November’s National Hospice and Palliative Care Month


[Muskegon, Michigan] – Throughout the month of November, Harbor Hospice and Harbor Palliative Care will be joining organizations across the nation hosting community activities in recognition of National Hospice & Palliative Care Month.

For more than 40 years, hospice has helped provide comfort and dignity to millions of people, allowing them to spend their final months wherever they call home, surrounded by their loved ones. Hospices ensure that pain management, therapies, and treatments all support a plan of care that is centered on the person’s goals. Hospice care also provides emotional support and advice to help family members become confident caregivers and adjust to the future with grief support for up to a year.

“It is essential that people understand that hospice and palliative care is not giving up, it is not the abandonment of care, and it is not reserved for the imminently dying,” said Edo Banach, president and CEO of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. “Hospice is a successful model of person-centered care that brings hope, dignity and compassion when they are most needed.”

In 2018, 1.61 million Medicare beneficiaries received care from hospices in this country, reports NHPCO. Hospice is unique in that it offers an interdisciplinary team approach to treatment. Caring for the whole person allows the team to address each patient’s unique needs and challenges.

“Until you are confronted with a life limiting illness many people are unaware how Palliative and Hospice services can help support conversations with loved ones about what is really important to you,” notes Pamela Wingard, social work & counseling services manager for Harbor Hospice. “Palliative and Hospice care teams offer resources, education, and support to explore how your illness impacts your life and your loved ones. With this information you can make plans and decisions that suit you and what you want, allowing you to get back to focusing on what makes every day count.”

As John Smith, a hospice volunteer at Main Street hospice noted, “Someone asked why I spend time volunteering for hospice. It’s because hospice was there for my family at a difficult time in our lives, and because hospice staff provide the best care possible when you need it most. And I want to help other families get that same level of care.”

Hospices are also some of the best providers of community-based palliative care. Palliative care delivers expertise to improve quality of life and relief from pain. It can be provided at any time during an illness – during and after treatment, from diagnosis on.

More information about hospice, palliative care, and advance care planning is available from Harbor Hospice & Harbor Palliative Care by visiting HarborHospiceMI.org or from NHPCO’s CaringInfo.org.

Grief and the Holidays Group Support Event – November 9th

Harbor Hospice’s Scolnik Healing Center offers grief and loss support for navigating through the holidays


These last two years coronavirus has taken over our personal and professional lives in ways we never imagined, and as a result, there are many who are grieving many types of losses including those related to COVID-19.

These losses will be difficult with the approaching holidays, winter months, and may encroach into the new year for many of our friends and family.

The Bob and Merle Scolnik Healing Center of Harbor Hospice will be offering their annual Grief and the Holidays group event on Tuesday, November 9th at 6:00 PM. The event will take place virtually. Join us for meaningful insights and ideas to help navigate holidays and other special days after a loved one has died. If you are experiencing the death of a loved one because of COVID19 or any type of loss, please register in advance for Grief and the Holidays group event. Pre-registration required online: http://weblink.donorperfect.com/GriefandHolidays2021

The Scolnik Healing Center began in 2012 as a means of providing grief support to our West Michigan community as well as our hospice families. Our grief counselors are specialists in grief and trained in trauma and adverse childhood experiences – both of which significantly influence grief reactions following a death or other significant loss.

All the services offered through the Scolnik Healing Center of Harbor Hospice are available to anyone in the community at no cost. This is possible through generous donors and special fundraisers held throughout the year. 

Harbor Hospice and Palliative Care now offer Harbor Tele-Health services, which enable us to continue to meet with clients and facilitate grief groups online through HIPAA compliant platforms.

If you or a friend or family member would like to talk to a grief counselor, please call us at 231.728.3442/1.800.497.9559 or email info@HarborHospiceMI.org

Harbor Hospice Named as Prestigious 2021 Hospice Honors ELITE Recipient

[West Michigan] — Harbor Hospice has been named a 2021 Hospice Honors Elite recipient by HEALTHCAREfirst, a leading provider of billing and coding services, CAHPS surveys, and advanced analytics. This prestigious annual review recognizes agencies that continuously provide the highest level of quality care as measured from the caregiver’s point of view. It acknowledges the highest performing agencies by analyzing the performance of the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) hospice survey satisfaction measures.

“Hospice Honors Elite recipients are industry leaders in providing quality care and constantly seeking ways to improve,” said Ronda Howard, Vice President Revenue Cycle and CAHPS at HEALTHCAREfirst. “We are honored to be aligned with such high performing agencies like Harbor Hospice and we congratulate them on their success.”

Award criteria were based on Hospice CAHPS survey results for an evaluation period of October 2019 through September 2020. Award recipients were identified by evaluating performance on a set of 24 quality indicator measures. Performance scores were aggregated from all completed surveys and were compared on a question-by-question basis to a National Performance Score calculated from all hospices contained in the HEALTHCAREfirst’s Hospice CAHPS database. Hospice Honors recipients include those hospices scoring above the HEALTHCAREfirst National Performance Score on 20 of the evaluated questions. HEALTHCAREfirst holds a special recognition, Hospice Honors Elite, to honor hospices scoring above the HEALTHCAREfirst National Performance Score on all 24 of the evaluated questions. Please visit HEALTHCAREfirst’s website at www.healthcarefirst.com to learn more about HEALTHCAREfirst’s Hospice CAHPS survey program as well as the Hospice Honors awards.

“Our dedicated staff and volunteers of Harbor Hospice have achieved this special designation in demonstrating unwavering excellence in end of life care in the most challenging of circumstances during a global pandemic. It is our privilege to be able to offer essential and  valuable care and services to the communities we serve. We thank patients and families for trusting us with their care and for providing feedback that validates that we are making a difference,” said Susan Houseman, President CEO.

For more information about Harbor Hospice and Harbor Palliative Care please call 231.728.3442 or visit www.HarborHospiceMI.org.

For more information about HEALTHCAREfirst, please call 800.841.6095 or visit www.healthcarefirst.com.



5K and leisure bike ride held virtually to remember, and honor loved ones.

The community in Muskegon County and beyond took to the streets and trails to run, jog, walk or bike – and support a great cause, May 22nd – 29th. To everyone who participated and shared in our Annual Run and Ride to Remember, THANK YOU!

Due to CDC and Michigan guidelines and regulations, we were not physically able to hold large gatherings for these events. Many participants still took part in the virtual formats enjoying some fresh air while practicing safe social distancing during the week.

Proceeds from the virtual 5k and bike ride events help sustain the Leila & Cyrus Poppen Hospice Residence, a program of Harbor Hospice. Located in Fruitport Township, the fourteen private patient room residence has been a welcoming home with compassionate and expert care for over 3,000 terminally ill patients since it opened in 2005.

Thanks to all our participants and donors, the staff and volunteers at the Poppen Residence will welcome patients into a home where every detail has been thoughtfully provided and no one is turned away regardless of ability to pay.

It is through the help and generosity of our community that we can continue providing compassionate and expert care to people who are terminally ill and in the final stages of life, when providing care at home is no longer the best option. The Poppen Hospice Residence exemplifies the unique vision of Harbor Hospice providing people with the opportunity to live out their journey – on their terms – with the help of our expertise.

“Although our event looked different this year, The Run and Ride to Remember continues to help sustain the Leila and Cyrus Poppen Hospice Residence. The event is successful because of the participants, Fruitport Lions Club, Fruitport Chiropractic, and X-Cell Integrated Health. Thank You!!,” said Ammy Seymour, Director of Development for the Harbor Hospice Foundation.

5K, crowdfunding, and more details can be read by visiting HarborHospiceMI.org/runrideremember. We look forward to holding in-person events for the annual 5K and bike ride in 2022! Save the date for Saturday, May 28!