Harbor Light opens in Liberty

LIBERTY – With a goal of assisting Trumbull, Mahoning and eventually Columbiana County residents with their end-of-life journeys, Harbor Light Hospice has opened an office in Liberty Township.

While the local services of Harbor Light Hospice are not new, the company’s offices at 4531 Belmont Ave. are. Previously, the company serviced the Mahoning Valley from an office in Akron, officials said.

Executive Director Linda Ambrose and patient care manager Debbie Glessner-Moreck, who helped cut the ribbon and took part in an open house Thursday afternoon, said the new Liberty office employs eight people, including four new employees and four others who transferred from other company locations.

Since its inception in 1996, Harbor Light Hospice has grown to be a provider of hospice care in 11 states. It has been operating in the Mahoning Valley since 2008. The company already operates five offices in Ohio.

On average, Harbor Light Hospice handles 20 to 25 Mahoning Valley patients at any one time, Glessner-Moreck said.

Known for comfort and coping services, the company’s goal, said marketing liaison Shelley Zimmerman, is that once an end-of-life prognosis is given and a referral is made for hospice care, the agency is able to send nurses, aides, volunteers, social services, a chaplain or others as needed.

“We are intermittent care, though. We are not 24-hours a day,” Ambrose explained.

The agency also offers help with medication or health care equipment, respite assistance for caregivers and even bereavement services for surviving family following the patient’s death.

“We don’t do the counseling, but we can connect them,” Zimmerman said. “We are the eyes and ears.”

The agency’s services are covered largely by Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance, Ambrose said.

Referrals for Hospice assistance can come from anyone, including physicians, hospital social workers, clergy, family or even the patient.

“We want to help them enjoy as much life as they have left and not go through hospital readmissions,” Zimmerman said.