By all accounts, 2020 has been a year unlike any other. We have seen a global pandemic affect just about every aspect of our work, family, and social lives. For months, we stayed inside, constantly followed the news, and for the most part, kept to ourselves. We experienced an election unlike any other, and a series of tumultuous political and social events that seemed to be an endless cycle of conflict and disagreement throughout the country. Along the way, we experienced pain, confusion, heartbreak, and fear of the future. But through it all, no matter how bad things became or have become, we also experienced a new level of kinship, togetherness, and unity. 

At Transitions, this unity and togetherness have undoubtedly surfaced as a reflection of our dedication to each and every one of our patients. I am so proud of the way that our teams have been able to persevere through such difficult times. As our campaign earlier in the year emphasized, all hospice and palliative care workers are heroes. You put patients’ health and happiness above your own needs, and it is truly appreciated by not only myself and our leadership team, but also by the patients and families that you work so hard to serve. In a time like this, your impact is felt even deeper than before. When patients couldn’t see their family, you became their support, their positive energy, and their condolence. When a son or daughter turned to you for help, you were there with open arms. In a time where many spirits have been in the depths of negativity, you provided a light at the end of the tunnel and hope for what may come. To all of you, the heroes, thank you for all that you have done in 2020 – you truly mean the world to each patients’ life that you touch. 

Through all of the chaos 2020 has brought our way, Transitions has experienced tremendous growth. By 2021, our daily census will be at 500 patients – a mark we have never reached before. In our newly organized regions, we are seeing increasing numbers each month, a sign that our marketing efforts have not gone unnoticed. We are continuously expanding to new areas as well, bringing our services to locations such as Northwest Indiana and Springfield, Illinois. Without the organizational skills of our executive team and the dedication to our model exhibited by each one of our care team members, this feat would not be possible. To that, I say thank you to our staff for their continued expression of compassion, focus, and care for each patient that crosses our path. 

Going forward, there is still much work to be done. We must continue to stay true to our commandments as we serve an increasing number of patients in an increasing number of areas. With COVID-19 hopefully drawing to a close, it is my hope that our teams can return to providing high-quality in-person care to all of our patients. However, it is important to note that new initiatives that arose in 2020, such as telehealth, are here to stay. 

When COVID-19 initially reached the US, we quickly developed and mobilized a plan to move towards an increased telehealth presence for both palliative and hospice care. Since then, we have utilized telehealth across all of our regions and with many patients – seeing clear signs of success. Obviously, we prefer to physically be with the patient, but telehealth expands our ability to reach them as often as possible, and we will, no doubt, continue to utilize it in 2021 and beyond. 

As this year comes to an end and 2021 begins, my focus is drawn to one thing: family. This year has been difficult, but at the end of the day, family is what has gotten us through it all. Whether it’s your mom, dad, brother, sister, or anyone in between – tell them you love them this year. Let them know how much they mean to you and how much you value them being a part of your life. As we hopefully begin to draw towards an end to COVID-19, family must continue to be at the heart of everything we do. 

In 2021, my goal is to make sure our teams will be able to spend more time with the people that matter most – to be there for the moments, big and small, and to cherish the time they are able to spend with their loved ones. Family is and always will be what drives Transitions to succeed, gives us a reason to live, and helps us find a purpose on this path called life.

Thank you and Happy New Year. May you all stay safe, healthy and happy this month and for the months to come.