Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Nations first “Share the Care Station” opens doors in Marshfield

Entry by Mindy Gribble RN, Coordinator- Circle of Life Community Coalition, Inc., Share the Care--Partner Program

  • The Circle of Life Community Coalition (COLCC) began as an all volunteer effort in 2002.
  • Grassroots group, composed of community members:

o Wood County Aging and Disability Center,
o Family Resource Center,
o faith communities (clergy and parish nurses),
o Ministry Home Care (hospice and home health),
o St. Joseph’s Hospital (palliative care and discharge planning services),
Marshfield clinic (community resources),
o nursing homes
o Personal Development Center,

COLCC’s Goal is: “To create a nurturing environment in which to support individuals, families and caregivers facing life threatening and end-of-life issues by offering education, resources and referral.”

A community needs assessment helped guide the Coalition to focus in three service areas: Share the Care, Caregiver Support and Advance Care Planning.

SHARE THE CARE provides a system for community members interested in organizing an efficient and compassionate support team personally designed to meet the needs of someone who is dealing with a serious illness.

In the Marshfield area, as in all communities, statistics show us three in four families will care for a family member with a serious illness. Knowing caregivers have a greater risk of both physical and emotional illness, the COLCC looks forward to walking beside the community and nurturing it's ability to care for itself with Share the Care, a positive tool for living … throughout life’s circle of seasons.

Share the Care is based on a handbook written to provide a road map on how to take a group of ordinary individuals (compromised of friends, relatives, neighbors, coworkers, faith community acquaintances) and turn them into a “caregiver family.” Several local Share the Care teams have already started and proven the value of the model in reducing caregiver stress, increasing the care recipient’s ability to stay in their own home and helping the recipient focus their energy on living to the fullest. The handbook’s author, Sheila Warnock, highlighted Marshfield in the revised edition of her book and on her Web site

Warnock says, “Through the local ‘Circle of Life Community Coalition’ a user friendly and free ‘SHARE THE CARE Station’ has been started, providing the community with a well utilized lending library of SHARE THE CARE books, folders and videos. The Coalition has also provided the community educational presentations and coaching on the model and hopes to honor the joy of being part of a caregiving family by ‘building bridges’ to help others move from contemplating SHARE THE CARE to actively experiencing its blessings.”

Thanks to the support and partnership of Marshfield Area United Way and matching funds from St. Joseph’s Hospital and Marshfield Clinic, the Circle of Life has literally been able to “open doors” in 2006. An office space has been established, half-time Coalition Coordinator has been hired, a Board of Directors representing the community has been established, and non profit staus attained. Even as the COLCC begins to increase community awareness of it’s free and confidential services, exciting things are happening!

Mindy Gribble, Coordinator Circle of Life Community Coalition, Inc. 101 West 29th Street, Suite 103 P.O. Box 615 Marshfield, WI 54449 (715) 305-5675 or