January 21, 2016

Pat Gibbons Transitions from Beacon Place, HPCG’s Hospice Home

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January 21, 2016

(GREENSBORO, NC) – Pat Gibbons will transition out of her role as director of Beacon Place, Hospice and Palliative Care of Greensboro’s (HPCG) 14-bed hospice home, effective January 31, 2016. A registered nurse (RN), Gibbons has been the director of Beacon Place since it opened in June 1996. She plans to pursue opportunities in community-based health care after her departure.

Angela Syphaseut will replace Gibbons as the director of inpatient services at HPCG.  Most recently, she served as team leader RN at a hospice home in High Point. Syphaseut has six years of hospice experience, including experience as an on-call nurse, staff nurse and team leader. She holds a bachelor of science degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with double majors in nursing and Spanish. She is also a Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurse (CHPN).

Admission to Beacon Place requires a physician’s order and offers home-like private rooms where staff provide pain and symptom management and supportive, comfort care. Anyone with a prognosis of two to four weeks who is seeking hospice care is eligible for admission to Beacon Place. Because of HPCG’s nonprofit mission and generous community donations, no one is denied service because of an inability to pay.

“At Beacon Place, we see that the strength of the nurse empowers the team,” said Gibbons. “When symptoms are well controlled, then other team members, such as the social worker and the chaplain, can connect with the patient and family, allowing the fullness of hospice to unfold.”

Gibbons has been involved in hospice and HIV care for more than 30 years and has served on a number of committees related to access, HIV, hospice nursing and international hospice care. Gibbons obtained her certification as a CHPN in 1994, and in 2013, Gibbons was the recipient of the Triad Nurse of Distinction by the North Carolina Nurses Association and the News & Record as part of National Nurses Week.

“This award was created by the North Carolina Nurses Association (NCNA) and the News & Record as a way of celebrating excellence within the nursing profession,” said Susan Cox, HPCG’s chief clinical officer. “It shows the impact nurses have on patients and the broader community.”

Gibbons’ 46-year career offers countless examples of excellence, beginning in Boston in the 1980s, when she helped to establish and operate the first hospice program dedicated to the care of AIDS patients.

“Her leadership, advocacy and outstanding clinical skills earned her national recognition in 1996, when she became the director of Beacon Place,” said Cox. “She has served on a number of committees at the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) and is a well-known national speaker on hospice and patient care.”

Gibbons is active with Triad Health Project locally, serving as a board member for three terms, but her work with HIV/AIDS patients extends beyond the triad. During the mid-2000s, Gibbons was involved in an independent documentary about HIV, hospice and community caregiving in South Africa.

“Working with a cutting-edge organization like HPCG, I have not only served in a leadership role but have been encouraged to use my initiative to share my skills with others within HPCG and beyond,” said Gibbons.

In addition to directing care, teaching others, evaluating and anticipating patients’ symptoms, Gibbons is also at the bedside of some of HPCG’s sickest patients. And there, she is always humbled by the privilege of being a nurse and supporting patients and family members at one of the most vulnerable and precious times of their lives.

As the population ages and healthcare delivery continues to change, Gibbons knows that the role of nurses as care providers and advocates has never been more crucial, especially within hospice organizations. If you have questions about admission to Beacon Place, contact HPCG’s Referral Center at 336.621.7575.

HPCG, a nonprofit organization serving Guilford County and surrounding areas since 1980, is situated on a 14.75 acre campus at 2500 Summit Avenue. HPCG provides physical, emotional and spiritual support for children and adults faced with a life-limiting illness, as well as their caregivers and families. For more information, contact HPCG at 336.621.2500 or visit www.hospicegso.org.