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Hospice offers workplace help

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By Todd Cohen

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Nearly two out of three Americans responsible for the life and routine of another person have jobs, and the demands on them as caregivers cost their employers more than $11.4 billion a year in lost productivity, according to research estimates.

To help employers help employees cope with caring for seriously ill family members, or dealing with grief or workplace crisis, Hospice and Palliative Care of Greensboro has launched a training initiative it also is offering to other Hospice groups throughout the U.S.

After piloting it last fall to Wrangler and the Center for Creative Leadership, Hospice is offering “Transitions and Life Changes/TLC in the Workplace” to area employers.

Hospice also has teamed up with the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization in Alexandria, Va., to help its members train employers in their communities.

“We want to make sure we can share our expertise and provide expertise to the workplace as employees are dealing with all these issues,” says Galen Miller, the national group’s executive vice president.

Pam Barrett, president and CEO of Greensboro’s Hospice, says the program grew out of a need to help employers deal with issues affecting a growing number of employees and employers.

Hospice has developed a manual and half-day sessions to train human-resource officers and other executives and supervisors, with costs ranging from $1,950 for employers with more than 100 employees to $500 for smaller employers, says Paul Russ, Hospice’s director of resource development.

The National Hospice organization will co-brand the materials, and print and help distribute and store the manuals.

At the national group’s conferences this spring and fall, Greensboro’s Hospice will train other Hospice staffs so they can offer the program to their local employers.

“We’re trying to balance the personal needs of the employee with the business needs of the employer,” says Barrett, who expects to train at least 50 companies over the next two years.

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