Mayo Clinic Health System Franciscan Healthcare Hospice staff provide a comprehensive network of services that makes it possible for persons with a life-threatening illness to receive care in the setting of their choice - at home, in a nursing home, or in a hospital.

We understand that each person's needs are different so we work closely with patients and families to individualize the plan of care that best meets their needs. Our main focus is on comfort-oriented care rather than curative treatment, pain and symptom management, and providing support for the family as a whole, not just the patient.

Hospice services include:

Skilled nursing - a registered nurse is responsible for evaluating a potential patient's appropriateness for the hospice program. They obtain an informed consent for admission, conduct a comprehensive assessment, and evaluate the need for services required, equipment, supplies and medications. They initiate the nursing portion of the interdisciplinary plan of care in conjunction with the patient/family and physician. The nurse oversees the initiated plan of care, coordinates with the interdisciplinary team, and supervises all support staff involved in the case.

Medical social services - a social worker is available to the patient/family to address psychosocial issues and problems that may be affecting the patient's well-being and dying process, and the family's ability to cope with the patient's death. The social worker may offer counseling to identify concerns and develop plans for coping.

Pastoral care - pastoral care provides spiritual support by exploring religious and spiritual beliefs with the patient and family. Discussion may focus on the meaning of the patients illness, both to the patient and the family, losses and feelings about death and afterlife, and engaging the patient and family members in life review and memorializing.

Home health aides - home health aides work under the supervision of the interdisciplinary team to provide care for patients and support for their families. They provide bath cares, skin cares, positioning, mild exercises and general comfort measures for our patients as they assist families as they try to care for their loved ones.

Physical and occupational therapists - therapists help patients maintain their independent living skills, skin integrity and safety in their environment while the patient is still capable of doing so. They work closely with the interdisciplinary team for the benefit of the patient.

Volunteers - individuals work with the interdisciplinary team to provide extra support for patients and their families. Their roles can include reading to the patient, feeding the patient, writing letters, taping memories, just listening to them express thoughts, wishes, concerns, etc., running errands or just sitting there and being a presence of comfort.

Bereavement - Hospice care does not end with the patient's death as family and grief issues still remain. For thirteen months after a patient's death, we maintain monthly contact either verbally or with bereavement mailings. Many times, families have built relationships with staff members and Hospice feels it is important to maintain contact with these families as they are working through their grief issues. At the end of these thirteen months, if the team feels the family needs further help; a referral is made to other resources.

Pharmacy - pharmacy staff is a valuable component of our interdisciplinary team. As we strive to work with patients and families with pain and symptom management, there are frequently many medication changes until we find the exact range of medication that allows the patient to be comfortable and pain free.

Respite - Hospice provides a five-day respite stay for the patient in one of our contracted facilities. This respite stay can occur when the patient has taken a change for the worse and the family is unable to handle cares at this time. It is also available when the caregiver has been up for many hours or has experienced an illness or injury and is unable to care for the patient. This respite stay allows the Hospice team and family/patient to look ahead and see what needs to happen as they go forward.

Hospice also has access to the following services through the Mayo Clinic Health System Franciscan Healthcare: nutrition services, enterostomal services, speech therapy, respiratory therapy, home medical equipment.

Payment information
Both Medicare and Medicaid cover the cost of hospice care. Many insurance plans include hospice care among their covered services. Hospice pays for medical equipment needed in the home, medications related to the terminal illness, and respite stays as needed for caregiver help. We work with several plans throughout our service area to provide cost-effective services. Patients will not be denied hospice care based on their ability to pay.

The primary care physician, family members, friends, clergy or other health professionals may make a referral to Hospice. The physician must certify that the patient has a terminal illness and qualifies for hospice care.

Office Hours
Hospice care services are available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Skilled nursing is on call 24 hours/day, 365 days/year. 

Hospice is located at 620 S. 11th Street, La Crosse, WI 54601

Information and Appointments:
To learn more about Hospice, call 608-392-9790 or 800-362-5454 ext. 9790 or speak to your physician.

"You matter to the last moment of your life, and we will do all we can, not only to help you die peacefully, but to live until you die."
(Dr. Cicely Saunders)

Supporting Hospice

Hospice is a valuable resource for the community as we fulfill our mission to provide needed care and support to any patient/family who meets the Hospice guidelines. Your financial support is vital for us to accomplish our mission and continues to give us the opportunity to help patients/families through these difficult times. Donations can be specified for hospice through the Franciscan Healthcare Foundation or by sending your donation directly to the hospice office at 212 11th Street South, La Crosse, WI 54601.

Contact Us

608-392-9790 (appointments)

Where to Find Us

Franciscan Healthcare St. Ann Building
620 11th Street South
La Crosse, WI 54601