On Monday, April 23, Flushing Hospital Board Chairman, Michael Russo, along with family and close friends, gathered with hospital administration and staff to open the Maureen Russo Hospice Unit in honor of his late-wife.
After privately touring the unit, Bruce J. Flanz, President and CEO of Flushing Hospital, Michael Russo, and Dr. Anthony Vela, Medical Director of the Hospice Unit, welcomed guests and spoke briefly about the significance of the unit as well as the woman the unit was named after.
Michael Russo expressed his gratitude for the overwhelming support he’s received from family, friends, and Flushing Hospital.
“I’ve been involved in many business ventures over the years and have started several businesses,” he said. “Opening this hospice unit in honor of Maureen has been by far the most satisfying.” He continued: “Maureen cared for others her entire life and at the end of her life she had to be cared for. Hospice played a significant role in providing her with the physical, emotional, and social support she needed. It was fitting to create this unit in her name, so that others can have the final chapter of their lives filled with dignity, care, and support.”
The Maureen Russo Hospice Unit is a four-bed unit committed to ensuring that patients and their families receive a comfortable end of life experience. A team of highly-skilled and trained physicians, nurses, and social workers, will provide inpatient medical care to manage all symptoms commonly experienced by hospice patients, as well as offer a wide variety of social and support services, including bereavement services and grief counseling, family advocacy, spiritual support/pastoral care, and dedicated volunteer assistance.
“Hospice is a philosophy and approach to care, not just a place. It focuses on the need of the patient and their family,” said Dr. Anthony Vela. “The Maureen Russo Hospice Unit at Flushing Hospital will be a place to receive medical care in a comforting and caring environment and for patients and their families to spend quality time with each other.”
After remarks, attendees were invited to tour the hospice unit, which boasts extra large private patient rooms with brand new furniture, a convertible couch for overnight guests, a flat screen television, internet service, and additional home-like furnishings. The unit also includes a family room and a kitchen area, microwave, refrigerator, comfortable chairs, a big screen television, and a wide variety of reading material.