National Hospice Month kicks off at noon Thursday

November is National Hospice Month, and Portage Health Home Care & Hospice is inviting you to join them in celebrating by ringing bells at noon on Thursday, Nov. 1.

The annual “Bells for Hospice” is a nationwide moment that’s meant to honor all who have died under hospice care during the last year, and also in respect for their families.

“This is a special moment for all of us, and we hope you’ll join us this year,” said Marianne Berghefer, Portage Health Hospice volunteer and bereavement coordinator.

Considered to be the model for quality, compassionate care at the end of life, hospice care involves a team-oriented approach of expert medical care, pain management, and emotional and spiritual support expressly tailored to the patient’s wishes. Emotional and spiritual support is also extended to the family and loved ones. Generally, this care is provided in the patient’s home or in a home-like setting operated by a hospice program. Medicare, private health insurance, and Medicaid in Michigan cover hospice care for patients who meet certain criteria.

Work places, religious institutions, schools and any other place where people are gathered are invited to ring bells at noon.

“This is a great chance to create awareness for hospice, and a chance for people to think about hospice as a plan for care for themselves or someone close to them,” Berghefer said.

Learn more about hospice by visiting the Hospice and Palliative Care Association of Michigan at, or by visiting

In Marquette, the event begins at 11:30 at the Marquette Commons.