Butterfly release to mark hospice anniversary

Northfield Hospice will celebrate its 30th anniversary with a butterfly release at a special commemorative event Tuesday, August 21, 6:30 p.m., at the Long Term Care Center patio at Northfield Hospital.

The hospice program was created in 1982 to provide a circle of care for terminally ill patients and their families. Hospice emphasizes helping patients live well and with dignity until death comes, whether it is in their homes or in a care facility. Over time, the Northfield Hospice team of physicians, nurses, social workers, pastors and volunteers has served over 1,000 patients and their families.

Susan Lohmann, director of Northfield Hospice, said: “Since Northfield Hospice began, we have seen increasing awareness and openness by patients, families, and providers to the focus on comfort care, quality of life, and family support that hospice offers. While we continue to serve many people in their own homes, a growing percentage of our patients live in care facilities. The core components of hospice care have remained the same over the years: a skilled and compassionate team approach based on each patient’s and family’s unique wishes for this chapter of life. All on our team feel it’s a great privilege to provide this care to people.”

The butterfly release is a special event designed for the Northfield community to honor the memory of loved ones who have died. Kerry Hjelmgren, volunteer coordinator for Northfield Hospice, said the butterfly is a symbol of transformation due to the multiple physical changes it experiences throughout its lifespan.

“The meaningful act of releasing a butterfly allows us to remember and celebrate a loved one’s life with a new one just beginning,” Hjelmgren said.

People from the Northfield community or surrounding areas who want to honor and remember a loved one in this way can reserve a butterfly with a $15 donation to Northfield Hospice. To order, call 507-646-1106.