PMS Home Care was great for patients

May 12, 2019

Presbyterian Medical Services Home Care served Santa Fe and the surrounding area for more than 25 years. Begun in 1991 by Debbie Armstrong and Nancy Ahman, this local nonprofit home care agency joined with The Hospice Center, led by Ann Gerber, a few years later. These sister agencies served our community with nurses, therapists, social workers, home health aides, bereavement counselors and volunteers.

A quiet change occurred on April 1, when these agencies were blended into Presbyterian Healthcare Services.

Through years of constantly changing regulations, decreasing reimbursements, competition from nationwide corporations, PMS Home Care and The Hospice Center continued operations.

Thanks to fundraising events, private contributions and the commitment of corporate officers, the agency was able to keep its doors open. PMS was the only agency that served home care and hospice clients no matter their ability to pay.

There are several home health and hospice agencies in this area, but PMS home care and hospice was special in many ways. The staff was remarkably skilled, many with notable years of experience in their fields. Several staff members had worked together for a decade or more, and had developed fine communication and coordination skills to provide exceptional patient care.

It is impossible to count the number of clients who were able to remain in their homes due to exercises and strategies taught by therapists, nursing treatments and teaching, and medical equipment facilitated and instructed by that staff. Impossible to count the patients and families comforted by The Hospice Center nurses, home health aides, doctors, counselors, volunteers, music-thanatologists and flower angels. It’s also impossible to count the hours dedicated by agency leadership and provided by office support staff who managed referrals, researched billing and coded disease diagnoses.

As a speech pathologist formerly with Presbyterian Medical Services, as well as a PMS client, it is with great respect that I recognize the colleagues at Presbyterian Medical Services Home Care and The Hospice Center. They provided excellent care to patients who lived along the backroads from Galisteo Basin to Pecos and Chimayó, to Santo Domingo and Cochiti Pueblos, to Santa Fe’s Artist Road, Cerrillos Road and Armijo Lane. It was a terrific agency and a beautiful ride.

Margaret Wood is a speech-language pathologist and writer. She has lived in Santa Fe for nearly 40 years and worked for Presbyterian Medical Services Home Care for 25 years.