Home health care program saved in Guilford County

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Sometimes Dania Ermentrout says it can be overwhelming needing care round the clock for her 5-year-old daughter Moira.

"It's almost like caring for an infant," Ermentrout said.

Moira has a genetic, degenerative brain disorder.

“It's called pontocerebellar hypoplasia,” the mother said.

It’s a terminal illness.

Moira is non-verbal, often has seizures and can't sit up or walk on her own.

She's also on at least a dozen medications.

"It's really difficult to be in and out of the hospital all the time," Ermentrout said.

That’s why she says was relieved when she found out the home health care service she depends on was saved.

"I can't understate the value of how important that is for people who have to deal with children who are this sick," Ermentrout said.

Moira is one of 21 children in Guilford County who got home visits from nurses and staff through the Kids Path Program with Hospice and Palliative Care of Greensboro.

But in November, the nonprofit announced it was ending the home health care service.

"Having that ripped away from us in this surprise discharge was like one of the most awful things that has happened since getting the diagnosis that she was going to die," the mother said.

This week, Cone Health announced a new plan to keep those families from losing that care.

"This saves the parent an enormous amount of anxiety,” said Dr. Mike Cinoman, director or pediatric care division for Cone Health. “It keeps the children at home.”

Cone Health, Advanced Home Care and Hospice and Palliative Care of Greensboro are partnering to offer home health services, social work and counseling through a new pediatric complex care clinic.

"Parents wouldn't be able to work otherwise,” Cinoman said. “They need round the clock attention, some of these patients."

It’s care parents like Dania say their families can't live without.

"It's a safety net that every community needs," Ermentrout said.

A doctor, social worker, speech therapist and home health nurse will all be part of the new clinic.

Officials with Cone Health hope to have the service up and running within two to three months.