The keynote speaker at the 25th annual Newtown Chapter Hospice Breakfast Fundraiser, Wednesday, June 11, will be Chris Mastropietro, RN, certified hospice and palliative nurse. Ms Mastropietro is the case manager for the Regional Hospice and Home Care of Western Connecticut for perinatal and pediatric hospice patients.
A labor and delivery nurse for 11 years, Ms Mastropietro found that she was the nurse people would call when there was a fetal death. “So I left labor and delivery, and came to Hospice, ten years ago,” she said.
“We are the only program in Connecticut with perinatal hospice,” she said. Perinatal hospice addresses the care needed when a fetus is diagnosed in utero with a life-limiting condition. “It’s a relatively new practice,” said Ms Mastropietro, and offers support to families who must prepare for a limited life span of an infant.
Caring for children in hospice does differ from caring for adults. “Children are able in hospice to receive concurrent care,” she explained. Diagnostic testing and active medical treatment can be offered when a child is in the hospice program, she said, unlike adult hospice care.
In many cases, children transition out of curative cases into hospice care, said Ms Mastropietro, “and then we are already part of the team. We have a relationship with the patient and family already there, and support in place as the family makes decisions.”
While she is certified and specializes in the hospice care of patients 18 years of age and under, Ms Mastropietro also cares for adult hospice clients and their families.
The focus of her talk at the Breakfast Fundraiser will be on pediatric and perinatal care, as well as what it means for families to go through hospice care with an infant or child, she said. How Hospice supports the young patients and their families will also be addressed.
“It sounds cliché,” said Ms Mastropietro, “but it is such an honor to do this work and to work with Regional Hospice. I don’t think I could do this work without the support of my colleagues at Regional Hospice. The integrity there is outstanding. It is an honor and a privilege to go into people’s lives and offer the support that we do. That’s the beauty of working for this agency. We’re all similarly minded.”
“We are fortunate to have nurses like Christine who give unconditional love and compassion to their patients and families,” said Cynthia Emery Roy, president and CEO of Regional Hospice and Home Care of Western Connecticut.
The Newtown Chapter Hospice Breakfast Fundraiser takes place Wednesday, June 11, at the Waterview in Monroe, Route 111, from 8 to 9 am. Tables for eight can be sponsored for a cost of $125; or $500 sponsors a table for 12. Walk-ins are welcome, at $12 per person. To find out more about sponsoring a table, call Marg Studley at 203-426-3651. Proceeds from the breakfast and raffle support Regional Hospice and Home Care of Western Connecticut.