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Merrimac resident and Salem State University Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) student Patricia Ramsden was named a Hospice Ambassador for Massachusetts by the National Hospice Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) on July 24.
As hospice ambassador, Ramsden, who grew up in Methuen, will educate and enhance awareness of hospice and palliative care issues and help lead grassroots efforts, such as sharing hospice stories and writing letters to the editor about pending legislation in Massachusetts.
The NHPCO Ambassador Program, which appoints two ambassadors per participating state and one per Congressional district, reinforces the value of Medicare and hospice benefits among policy and healthcare decision-makers and advocate for policies that ensure the best care for patients and families facing the end of life.
“I have done a few advocacy events in Washington with NHPCO. Now, this ambassador role will give me a greater reach to advocate for changes that can improve access and care,” Ramsden said, “I believe that our policy makers need to hear from those who are doing the work.”
Ramsden, whose MSN program concentration is in nursing leadership in health systems, is the director of admissions at Care Dimensions, the largest hospice and palliative care provider to adults and children in Massachusetts, and was nominated by the Care Dimensions Leadership Team because of her 23 years of professional nursing experience and her passion for advocacy for access to quality end-of-life-care.
Ramsden began the MSN program at Salem State in 2018 and has taken courses such as Population Health Policy and Role of the Advanced Practice Nurse.
“I felt it was important to me to attend a school in the community in which I work to establish connections and foster relationships with our community partners,” Ramsden said. “Margaret ‘Peg’ Ackerman, Robin Leger, Mercy Bashir have all been great mentors in the nursing classes I have taken. They have such a depth of experience and knowledge that has enriched my learning experiences.”