Star City Six – Toni Jones
Avalon Hospice (www.avalon-hospice.com) is an affiliate of CURO Health Services. Their mission is to honor life and offer compassion to individuals and their caregivers when facing a life-limiting illness. Toni Jones, MSN, RN is a patient care manager at Avalon Hospice.
Tell us a little bit about your business.
Avalon Hospice is a newer hospice facility, serving a 60-mile radius around Lincoln. We help patients control their symptoms, such as pain and nausea that are causing them to live less than a comfortable life. Our patients receive nursing visits to monitor symptoms and work on solutions, an aide to assist with personal cares, a social worker to address financial and social issues, and a chaplain to address religious and spiritual issues. When we receive a referral, the candidate’s medical history is reviewed to determine if they meet the criteria for whatever their primary diagnosis is. Those criteria are set by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, and apply to all hospices in the United States.
How did you get started in the business?
I started in health care as a LPN in 1974 and continued my formal education to earn a Master of Science in nursing in May of 2000. I worked in hospice many years ago and in a neuro-trauma critical care unit, where I spent considerable time talking with families about their loved one’s condition and teaching them how to help care for them. This is my passion and I consider it a privilege and an honor to be able to care for families at such a difficult time in their lives.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally?
Educating health care professionals and the public that hospice should begin much earlier to help dying people live out the end of their lives more comfortably, and have the time and energy to put their lives in order. People on hospice live 33% longer than those who aren’t because the quality of their lives is better.
Tell us a little about your family.
My son Ben and his wife Sarah both work in health care as well. I also have two adorable, brilliant grandchildren: Greyson (6) and Lisette (3). My younger sister Debra returned to Nebraska three years ago after living in Canada for 44 years. My step-mother and my three siblings all live in other states.
What are you the most proud of?
My son. He is an incredible person who has made a wonderful and meaningful life for himself, despite a difficult start. Ben is an inspiration for me and many, many others.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Never stop learning.
If you could choose only one descriptive word to be remembered as, what would it be?
If you could have a super power, what would it be?
The power to make things right for people who need help.
If you could choose any other profession to be successful in, what would it be?
Being Queen of the world would be nice, especially when I think of the ways I could change it for the better.
What is your favorite book or the last good book you read?
My secret pleasure is the Harry Bosch series by Michael Connelly, and books by David Sedaris, an observational humorist.
What is your favorite movie?
Every year or two I’ll watch my favorites: Annie Hall, Young Frankenstein, and One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
If you could have dinner with one famous person from the past or present, who would it be?
Charles Darwin or Eleanor Roosevelt.
If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so?