Helping Families Prepare for Those Final Moments


Katy Frazier is perfectly suited for the job she holds today, although if she was told that she would be working in hospice care years ago, she probably wouldn’t have believed it. The mother of one started out by receiving her MBA in organizational development and marketing from Spring Arbor University in 1998, and she soon went into politics. After getting burned out working in downtown Lansing’s political scene, she entered pharmaceutical sales.

However, after massive downsizing in the industry, Frazier had to take a look at what she was going to do next. When a friend found out about the situation, she reached out to Frazier and told her about an opening at Compassus Hospice (Compassus).

“I never really thought about hospice. I thought I knew what hospice was and said, ‘Okay, well I’ll meet with the executive director [at the time] of the company in Lansing,’” said Frazier. “I talked to him about it, and I sort of settled backwards into it and, believe it or not, it has been phenomenal.”

After being with Compassus for seven years, Frazier “wears different hats.” She said that for someone specifically coming into this field, “they’ll be looking at going into facilities and maybe going to doctors’ offices and talking about their company and what they can offer. I sort of branched out from there, just because of the nature of our office. I would consider myself more of a hospice care consultant.”

There are many layers to what Frazier does for Compassus. Besides providing education for medical offices, facilities and individuals about when hospice is appropriate and what Compassus offers, Frazier meets with families that are struggling and helps them cope as their loved ones are reaching the end of their life. Frazier is especially passionate about providing quality hospice care after dealing with the sudden loss of her mother.

“I think that one of the reasons I do this [job] is that when my mom passed away, it was unexpected. She was young, so for me, I do this because my mom’s life didn’t end the way we wanted it to. We didn’t get to talk about things,” said Frazier. “That’s why this is such a passionate thing. Some people get involved with hospice because they had an experience with it and thought it was great — I got involved because I realized that I’m going to help so many people not experience or feel what my siblings and I felt.”

Frazier refers to educating facilities and families on the benefits of hospice care as an emotional and passionate sell.

“You do feel like, even if it’s one life at a time, one person at a time or one family at a time, that you’re helping people. This is one of the things I’m wired for: helping people feel better and feel relief.”

Frazier implores everyone to learn about the sensational care that Compassus provides. Along with assistance with health care from the comfort of one’s home, they offer massage therapy, music therapy, pet therapy, emotional support, spiritual support and much more. Easing the discomfort associated with the transition to the end of life isn’t work that everyone is cut out for; for those passionate about helping others during a time when they most need it, this type of work may be the job for them.

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