The Hospice Team
THE CARE TEAM
Experienced teams of compassionate professionals care for Pathways patients and their families. The comprehensive specialized care we provide includes medical, emotional, mental and spiritual services.
The hospice care team works closely with patients, families and attending physicians to develop and implement individualized plans to meet patients’ needs. We first ask patients what their goals and hopes are for hospice care. These goals form the foundation of our plan of care. Just as important as the agreed care goals, our care strategies evolve to remain in line with these goals as patients’ needs change.
Most people first meet with one of our admissions nurses. Admissions nurses can counsel you on care options, answer questions about hospice care, and discuss how Pathways Hospice can help you. If hospice is the right choice, they learn more about your patient and family needs and discuss next steps.
One of our specially trained registered nurses will serve as the primary RN for each patient. Our nurses have expertise in managing complex symptoms as illnesses progress. He or she stays in contact with each patient and family and all members of the care team so that everyone has the information they need.
Our medical directors have a combined total of more than 70 years of experience in providing pain management and symptom relief to our community and are highly regarded in this specialized field. They work directly with patients, families, attending physicians and the entire hospice care team. They may serve as a consultant for the patient and attending physician or, if needed, as a patient’s primary physician.
Advanced Practice Nurses
Clinical experts with advanced training in pain and symptom management guide and support patients and their families in making choices that impact health and well-being.
Certified Nurse Aides
Based on each patient’s individual needs and goals, our Certified Nurse Aides (CNA) assist with personal care and daily activities, such as bathing, personal hygiene and dressing.
Our social workers and counselors provide information, support and education to patients, families and friends. They also help identify and connect you with other resources as different needs arise.
The chaplains on our care team provide spiritual care and help connect patients and families with other spiritual resources in the community. They offer a listening ear, gentle counsel and support that reflect each person’s spiritual beliefs and needs.
The use of music to bring comfort is a unique type of care offered by Pathways Hospice. Our music therapists provide selections which can help bring back memories, provide comfort, and relieve stress.
Volunteers are at the heart of hospice care, providing companionship and assistance to patients and families. Our trained volunteers can provide respite while a caregiver runs errands, assists with transportation or helps with meals. Other volunteers provide professional services such as massage therapy, tax preparation and photography.
Pathways Hospice counselors support people of all ages who are grieving the death of a loved one. Our counseling offerings include:
- Individual and family counseling
- Support groups
- Phone support
- Education and support in schools and the workplace
To best provide for individual patient needs, we have dietitians, speech therapists, physical therapists and occupational therapists available to join our care teams. The Primary RN works with each patient to assess which therapies may be appropriate.
Our medical directors have involvement in the management of our patients in every one of our care settings. They serve as liaisons between Pathways and patients’ primary care physicians to ensure the continuity and quality of care. In some cases they consult for patients, families and attending physicians; in others, they serve as patients’ primary physician.
Dr. Michael Towbin, Medical Director Executive
Dr. Michael Towbin has over 20 years of experience in healthcare, most recently serving as Medical Director and In-House Physician at Life Care Center of Westminster, where he supervised the medical care for the nursing home and served as an attending physician.
Board Certified in Family Medicine, Dr. Towbin oversees Pathways Hospice’s healthcare professionals and programs. He also provides educational programs on the subjects of hospice and palliative care, advanced directives, and pain and symptom management.
Dr. David Allen, Medical Director Executive
A longtime resident of Fort Collins, Dr. Allen was a practicing physician and owner/partner of Internal Medicine Associates for 25 years before joining Pathways as our full-time medical director.
Board Certified in Hospice & Palliative Medicine and Internal Medicine, Dr. Allen oversees Pathways Hospice’s healthcare professionals and programs.
Dr. James Danforth, Medical Director
Dr. Danforth was involved with the founding of hospice care and Pathways, Community Care for Northern Colorado in 1978. He has been Board Certified in Family Medicine since 1974 and has more than 30 years of experience in private family practice in Loveland. He is one of two part-time medical directors for Pathways. Dr. Danforth has served as chief of staff for the McKee Medical Center and as the president of the Larimer County Medical Society.
Dr. Joseph Lopez, Medical Director
Dr. Lopez has been Board Certified in Family Medicine since 1983 and has more than 25 years of experience in private family practice in Fort Collins. A medical director for Pathways since 1987, Dr. Lopez is also Board Certified in Hospice & Palliative Medicine. He also provides Medical Quality Assurance oversight for several local Skilled Nursing Facilities.