At San Gabriel Hospice we make it a point to hire individuals who not only meet high professional standards, but who are also gentle and compassionate. They all have special training for working with the seriously ill and understand that our care extends beyond the client to his or her family members as well.
Caring for the seriously ill involves more than just the physical aspect. We recognize that this is a time of deep emotional and spiritual significance for everyone involved. Therefore, we work as a team, with a medical staff, social workers, chaplains, and volunteers. Everyone contributes their expertise so we can deliver a plan of care that is responsive to the needs of each individual and his or her family.
Hospice patients remain under the care of their chosen primary physician. In addition, they have the benefit of our medical director, Peter Mattar, MD. Dr. Mattar is a graduate of Loma Linda University School of Medicine with over 10 years of experience and special training in treatments designed to keep patients comfortable and pain free. He works closely with our nurses. For instance, if on a home visit a nurse feels that a change in medication is advisable, he or she can call the doctor and get a prescription that day.
Helen Lamaria, RN, MSN manages each of our patient’s care and coordinates with the rest of the care team to ensure that the patient’s and their family needs are met. Helen has over 24 years of nursing experience. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Pines City Education Center in Baguio, Philippines. Helen also received her Master of Science in Nursing Administration from California State University at Dominguez Hills.
Many people experience a crisis of faith during the course of a serious illness. Even family members find themselves facing tough ethical and spiritual questions. Our pastoral staff is especially skilled at helping people look within and find their own answers. Our chaplains are trained and experienced in helping people find their own sense of meaning and purpose in a situation that may bring up strong feelings and challenge deeply held beliefs. If the patient also prefers, we can also enlist the help of clergy of their own faith to minister to them.
Part of our team approach includes the services of a licensed social worker. Social workers are especially knowledgeable about insurance, financial aid programs, and other community services that can prove invaluable when caring for a seriously ill family member. In addition, they have training to help you, your loved one, or other family members cope with difficult emotional issues that often come up in the context of serious illness.
Our entire clinical staff is supported by our Administrator. Judith Nivera is the focal point for San Gabriel Hospice’s operations. She ensures that the nursing staff is empowered to provide the compassionate service that all of us have committed to providing for each of our patients. Judith has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Saint Louis University and a Master of Science in Nursing Leadership from Seattle Pacific University. Her 30 plus years of experience includes teaching as a clinical instructor, hospital nurse educator, call center triage, home health and hospice visiting nurse and nurse manager.