WATCH: Meet the Team at St. Francis Reflections Lifestage Care That Offer World Class Assistance for Children

By  //  March 29, 2021

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Uplifting Lives, Each Other, and Our Community

WATCH: Who takes care of our children when they are sickest? The highly skilled professionals at St. Francis Reflections Lifestage Care provide world class assistance for children needing palliative care. Meet Lauren Loftis, Gina Crane, and Kathryn Sparger as they discuss how they provide care for critically ill children.

BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Do you know someone with chronic health problems? St.Francis Reflections Lifestage Care is there to help.

For more than 40 years, Hospice of St. Francis has served Brevard County as a compassionate provider of hospice services.

Over time, the organization has developed expertise and services across all stages of end of life care, from pre-hospice to post-hospice.  The legacy of care established by founder Emilie Sasko and a group of volunteers in 1977, has grown to become a multi-faceted provider of care and resources for the residents of Florida’s Space Coast.

The organization’s scope of services has progressed to include a non-hospice palliative care program for individuals coping with serious illness, and a robust grief support program including extensive program offerings for both adults and children.

As a service to the community, the organization also provides large-scale community memorial services, a pet placement program for hospice patients, and specialized programming in support of the large population of veterans.

In honor of their legacy, and to inspire their future, they have carefully chosen the name St. Francis Reflections Lifestage Care as a reflection of the broad scope of compassionate care, service and commitment to the community.

As they uplifted the lives of so many in so many different stages of life, St. Francis’ leadership came to realize that the name, Hospice of St. Francis, was not fully reflective of the broad scope of services offered.

When the St. Francis leadership explored new names, they found that Hospice of St. Francis had earned a great reputation in the community, and was highly regarded for its compassionate approach.

ABOVE VIDEO: Do you know someone with chronic health problems? St.Francis Reflections Lifestage Care is there to help. Space Coast Daily’s Giles Malone sits down with Program Manager Andy Robinson and Nurse Practitioner Trinity Graham to learn more about how St. Francis provides world-class palliative care.

From focus groups to online surveys, their staff and their community told them that St. Francis was a brand that resonated with their mission: Uplifting Lives. Uplifting Each Other. Uplifting Our Community.

Thus, the new, carefully chosen St. Francis Reflections Lifestage Care is a name that reflects the organization’s legacy of care and compassion along with its present day depth of services.

The new color scheme is evocative of the natural elements in its beautiful coastal environment.

In 1977, Hospice of St. Francis was founded by Emilie Sasko, a Titusville nurse and mother of 12.

Emilie realized the need for greater comfort, understanding and compassion for people nearing the end of life.

She had a dream that she was being called to create a hospice, and supported by her deep faith, family and friends, founded the second hospice in the State of Florida. Emilie inspired others with her belief in the concept of neighbor-helping-neighbor, and Hospice of St. Francis began as an all-volunteer organization.

In 1990, Hospice of St. Francis became certified by Medicare as a not-for-profit hospice provider. With a strong corps of dedicated volunteers and a highly skilled professional staff, the organization has expanded Emilie’s mission to encompass a variety of services for individuals and families, throughout the entire 72-mile stretch of Brevard County.

Now known as St. Francis Reflections Lifestage Care, they continue to care for the community as an independent, not-for-profit provider.

The scope of services includes palliative care, hospice, pediatric palliative care, and the Space Coast’s most extensive array of grief support programs. Complemented by our robust community engagement program and energetic volunteer services team, Emilie’s founding principle of neighbor-helping-neighbor is always in the forefront of our minds and our hearts.

Pediatric palliative care is specialized medical care for children with serious illness. This type of care is focused on providing children with relief from the symptoms, pain and stress of a serious illness, whatever the diagnosis.

Pediatric Palliative Care: Specialized medical care for children with serious illness

Pediatric palliative care is specialized medical care for children with serious illness. This type of care is focused on providing children with relief from the symptoms, pain and stress of a serious illness, whatever the diagnosis.

The goal is to improve quality of life for both the child and the family. Palliative care is provided by a team of doctors, nurses and other specialists who work with a patient’s primary health care team to provide an extra layer of support and multi-disciplinary services for the child and for the child’s family.

Pediatric palliative care is appropriate at any stage in a serious illness, and can be provided together with curative treatments​ such as chemotherapy, surgery, radiation, hospitalization.

Who We Treat

We treat a wide range of conditions, including:

■ Cancer

■ Genetic disorders

■ Premature birth

■ Heart and lung conditions

■ Neurological disorders

If your child’s condition is not listed, please contact us to learn how we can help.

 Our Services

Our team provides a variety of support services, including:

■ Easing pain and other symptoms. We improve the patient’s and family’s quality of life by easing the child’s pain and managing symptoms.

■ Establishing goals of care. The palliative care team works closely with the family and the child’s health care providers to establish treatment goals and clarify priorities of care.

■ Health care decision making. Our team explains complicated terms, discusses care options with the family and helps them make decisions based on their values, traditions and preferences.

■ Emotional support. We provide emotional, social and spiritual support to help patients and families carry on with everyday life.

■ Communicating with providers to coordinate care. We provide communication among the patient, family and health care team to give families the information and guidance needed to make the best health care decisions for their child. We also promote continuity of care between services and multiple admissions.

■ Sibling support. We understand that when one family member is hospitalized, the entire family is affected. Our team helps siblings understand their brother’s or sister’s diagnosis or medical care. We also help support continued bonds and normal family experiences during extended separations and disruption to family routines caused by hospitalization.

■ Integrating community resources. We work with community resources to link hospital programs with community-based home care.