The global health emergency of COVID-19 has transformed the perspective towards healthcare. With the advent of the pandemic, there was a huge surge in the need for remote health care services and supplies. While telemedicine gained popularity amid the crisis, simultaneously, the demand for hospice health care also surged. Despite the pandemic, hospice aides and schedulers have formed meaningful relationships and obtained the trust of patients. The service delivered by the hospice aides and schedulers has been profoundly important underlying their importance in healthcare. In 1975, By the Bay Health was established with a vision to be recognized throughout the Bay Area as a progressive and innovative leader in home-based and end-of-life care.
By The Bay Health is the second oldest non-profit hospice in the nation and the first in California. It provides compassionate end-of-life care for patients, support for their families, and grief counseling to people coping with loss. In the long term of service, there is no hospice-appropriate patient who is ever turned away, regardless of his or her ability to pay. The organization aims to be the resource and provider of hospice, home health care, and palliative care services vital for obtaining quality life and will set the standard for compassionate care and support in the Bay Area.
At By the Bay Health, the team is dedicated to promoting wellness along the continuum of care, as well as preventing and treating distressing symptoms or conditions that might otherwise threaten the quality of life for its patients and families. The company offers expert care services to the patients, regardless of the location is their home, skilled nursing or residential care facility, or in a hospital.
Skilled Home Healthcare: Skilled Home Health Care is ideal for otherwise healthy individuals recovering from surgery, or managing chronic conditions such as heart disease, COPD, or diabetes.
Palliative Care: Palliative Care is for people coping with life-limiting conditions, such as COPD, cancer, end-stage liver disease, and congestive heart failure. With palliative care, the patient can continue to pursue their treatment.
Hospice Care: Hospice Care addresses the desire of patients who say they would prefer to spend their final days and months at home, in familiar surroundings, and the company of loved ones.
Pediatric Care: Pediatric Palliative Care and Hospice Care are for infants, children, and teens coping with chronic, serious, or life-limiting health conditions.
By the Bay Health team works alongside community health professionals to ensure that their patients receive the highest quality end-of-life care for their patients. The team of experts collaborates with physicians and facility staff to provide a constant line of communication and support.
By the Bay Health has assimilated a mission-driven group of individuals to lead the organization. The team is built with professionals and volunteers from all backgrounds who are driven by a commitment and passion to serve others. By the Bay Health is recognized for its dedication to patients, their families, and the community, and for the quality of people who make the team a success. The organization offers tools for staff excellence, including a team environment, flexible schedules, and competitive salaries, making it an employer of choice. For the individuals interested in working for the welfare of others, By the Bay Health arranges volunteer opportunities. “Regardless of job title, each person who chooses to work with us has a passion for caring and dedication to our mission. In the field, By the Bay Health Trans-Disciplinary Teams provide outstanding patient care and mutual support,” quotes Kitty Whitaker, CEO at By the Bay Health.
Kitty Whitaker is a veteran in the home health industry with over two decades of progressive experience holding both clinical and administrative roles throughout her career. She shares a passion for hospice and home health care since her days as a nurse when she worked closely with patients and their families. Kitty’s experience in the frontline of healthcare has endowed her with a leadership style that puts the patient and family first. Moreover, she exhibits the ability to balance the mission and vision of By the Bay Health with astute fiscal oversight showcases her commitment to ensuring that medical services in the home are available to anyone regardless of their life circumstance or their ability to pay.
Kitty has completed her BA in Sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles, and has a BSN in nursing from Dominican University. She has completed her Master of Science in Nursing Administration from the University of California at San Francisco. Kitty has also presented at state and national conferences on topics including, Hospice along the Continuum of Care, Bridging the Gap between Clinical and Financial, Building Successful Partnerships between Hospice and Hospital, and Looking at your Organization from the Outside In. Kitty became part of By the Bay Health in 2014 and since then has continually strived to expand the range of home health services available for patients throughout the Bay Area to include hospice, skilled home health, palliative care, pediatrics, and more.
Home health became an essential service amid the pandemic. As most of the healthcare facilities were crushing beneath the rising cases, people relied on telehealth and home healthcare. Challenges were always a part of healthcare, but with COVID-19, the By the Bay Health team was facing new obstacles to deal with. Despite the overwhelming situation, the team faced the obstacles with courage and compassion. “The compassion that our aides and schedulers hold in their hearts allows them to understand why individuals have become fearful,” explains Kitty.
The key to thriving in this unprecedented crisis is to practice open communication. The fragmented communication and social distancing norms have further augmented the importance of human connection. By the Bay Health has ensured that the aides and schedulers create meaningful relations and bonds with the patients and the families they serve. This approach has proven beneficial and the team continues to take care of the individuals adhering to COVID-19 guidelines. “While their work environment has become more isolated, our patients and families have welcomed them with open arms, albeit at a distance for the time being,” concludes Kitty.