Faith Hospice

What’s new at Faith Hospice

Faith Hospice on eightWest

Dr. John Mulder, vice president of medical services, appeared on a segment of WOOD TV’s eightWest to discuss the comfort and quality that hospice can bring to the end-of-life. Watch here.

August 25th, 2014 | Posted in Community | Share this on Facebook or Twitter

Complementary and Alternative Medicine: A New Tool in the Hospice Toolbox

“Complementary and Alternative Medicine generally refers to using treatments outside of the mainstream medical model that promote balance and general well-being of body, mind and spirit,” said Deb Stalsonburg, RN, residence manager of Trillium Woods, the Faith Hospice residence in Byron Center. “Faith Hospice has begun offering a number of complementary therapies including aromatherapy and healing touch.”

These therapies offer a gentler approach using natural products (many found in nature; such as plants, flowers, spices) or techniques from ancient traditions across the globe that focus on the interconnectedness of body, mind, emotion, spirit, social-cultural, relationship, context, and environment. These non-pharmacologic tools and practices help reduce the physical discomforts of the end of life process including pain, nausea, shortness of breath, anxiety and agitation. They may reduce or alleviate feelings of depression, fear, isolation, disorientation, confusion, loss of control, loss of independence and loneliness. They support spiritual beliefs and practices for people of all faith traditions.

“A registered nurse initiates the therapy,” Stalsonburg said, “and any trained member of our inter-disciplinary team can continue it.”


Aromatherapy uses essential oils derived from plants leaves, flowers, grasses, fruits, wood and bark to provide relief from stress, anxiety, pain, depression, agitation and other symptoms that may occur. Aromatherapy enhances the harmony and well-being of mind, body and spirit.
“Essential oils may be applied to the skin, inhaled or diffused through the air,” said Stalsonberg. They are useful in alleviating pain, restlessness, insomnia, nausea, anxiety and depression, as well as enhancing relaxation.
For instance, lavender oil has multiple applications and can be used to aid in relaxation or to combat insomnia or restlessness. Peppermint oil is useful in easing nausea and orange essential oil is helpful in cases of anxiety or nervousness.

Healing Touch

Healing Touch is an energy therapy in which practitioners consciously use their hands in a heart-centered and intentional way to support and facilitate physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health. The goal of Healing Touch is to restore balance and harmonies in the energy system and has been shown to reduce pain and anxiety, relieve tension and stress, facilitate relaxation and support the dying process.

Healing Touch is performed with the patient fully clothed. The provider gently places their hands slightly above the individual or touches them lightly. Gentle touch assists in balancing your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being.

Healing Touch was founded in 1989 as a continuing education program for nurses, massage therapists, other health care professionals and lay persons and has since spread internationally. It is taught in universities, medical schools and nursing schools.

Helping Patient and Family

Faith Hospice chaplain, Lee Ausema, recently met with a patient and their family at Trillium Woods. “I prayed with the family and anointed each with an oil blend created to promote peace and calm. The family experienced the spiritual significance of the anointing and benefitted from the soothing aroma that filled the room,” said Ausema. “At the visitation, the family commented on the spiritual significance of being anointed as a family, the peace they experienced and the beautiful memory created from the love that was shared.”

Faith Hospice will be adding other complementary therapies including Korean hand therapy, massage therapy and music therapy. “They give us another tool to use to help keep our patients as comfortable as possible,” said Stalsonburg.

August 5th, 2014 | Posted in Bereavement, Community, General, Trillium Woods | Share this on Facebook or Twitter

Faith Hospice Receives Donation of Handmade Quilts

We are rejoicing thanks to the donation of 27 beautiful quilts for our Faith Hospice patients. The handmade quilts were donated by the Quilting Group of the Bread of Life Lutheran Church in Hudsonville.

In one of those “it’s a small world” coincidences, Inez Oberg, a member of the Quilting Group, recognized Amy Thayer, our new bereavement specialist, from the article introducing her in the recent Faith Hospice Mind, Body and Spirit Magazine. Inez’s quilting group donated quilts to the Lakeshore Habitat for Humanity where Amy used to work. The ladies are always looking to expand their ministry and are thrilled to be providing something of comfort to Faith Hospice patients.

“We feel extremely blessed by this donation and want to thank the ladies of the Quilting Group of the Bread of Life Lutheran Church for their kindness,” said Amy.

June 4th, 2014 | Posted in Bereavement, Community, General, Trillium Woods | Share this on Facebook or Twitter

Faith Hospice’s New Complementary Therapies Program Featured on eightWest

May 20th, 2014 | Posted in General | Share this on Facebook or Twitter

We Welcome Volunteers

Faith Hospice Volunteers are a crucial part of the services we provide to our clients in their homes in the greater Grand Rapids area. Volunteers provide respite and companionship to clients and their families. If you would like to provide this very special type of volunteer care, come learn more about how to get started. We host volunteer information sessions throughout the year.

To learn more, please call 616.356.4859 to reserve your spot in a session (listed below held at Trillium Woods) or request a speaker for a group/organization of interested individuals in your area.

• Tuesday, January 7 from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
• Friday, January 10 from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
• Wednesday, January 15 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Professionally licensed individuals (e.g. nurses, social workers, massage therapists, and cosmetologists) are always in HIGH demand and some internships or special opportunities may be available.

November 22nd, 2013 | Posted in Community | Share this on Facebook or Twitter

Discussing Hospice

Chris Niceley, executive vice president of marketing for Holland Home and Faith Hospice, recently appeared on an eightWest segment to discuss hospice and how the holidays, with the family gathered together, is the perfect time.

November 4th, 2013 | Posted in Community | Share this on Facebook or Twitter

Dr. John Mulder interviewed about the holidays and hospice

Dr. John Mulder was recently interviewed by WOOD-TV for their “EightWest” program:

Holidays and Faith Hospice

November 21st, 2012 | Posted in Community | Share this on Facebook or Twitter

Announcing “Love Has Been Born”

Love Has Been Born by John Mulder MDA CD of Christmas songs recorded by John Mulder, MD, medical director of Faith Hospice

Love Has Been Born is a collection of beloved Christmas carols, contemporary classics, and new songs for the season all performed in John’s trademark acoustic style. Recorded under the direction of Brian Speer, the album features guest appearances by outstanding Nashville artists including Buddy Greene, Tricia Walker, Jeff Taylor, and Allison Speer. See Dr. Mulder’s web site for more information.

To order your copy of the CD, contact Sarah DeYoung, Holland Home development office, at 235-5462 or, or through Cost is $15. Please make check payable to John Mulder, MD, although all proceeds benefit Faith Hospice.

November 9th, 2012 | Posted in Community | Share this on Facebook or Twitter

Hospice care for all

In this article from the Grand Rapids Press, the interviewer discusses hospice for prisoners, and how Dr. John Mulder, medical director of Faith Hospice, helped bring hospice care to a prisoner suffering from a terminal illness:

December 5th, 2011 | Posted in Community | Share this on Facebook or Twitter

Faith Hospice Debuts New Television Commercial

Faith Hospice, the hospice division of Holland Home, is currently debuting its first television commercial on various WWMT, WOOD-TV8 and Fox 17 programs. The commercial was shot in High Definition at Trillium Woods, the Faith Hospice residence in Byron Center, and other Holland Home residential locations with a combination of local actors and Holland Home employees.

The commercial stresses the unique attributes Faith Hospice brings to its patients including experience, values and an emphasis on faith.

To learn more about Faith Hospice, please visit our web site at


November 8th, 2011 | Posted in Bereavement, Community, General, Trillium Woods | Share this on Facebook or Twitter