Hospice Community Partners - A History of Community Partnership

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Hospice of the Shenandoah has a long history of providing compassionate end-of-life care to residents of the Shenandoah Valley. In addition to its qualified professional staff, its volunteers have supported the care to those receiving hospice care—through their work with patients and families, as hospice advocates in the community and by telling the story of hospice and why funding is needed to continue critical programs and services.

There are more than 130 volunteers who have completed the eight-session course to become a hospice patient care volunteer. These dedicated volunteer caregivers provide companionship to patients and families, respite care, help with household chores, food shopping and preparation, and perhaps most importantly, emotional support during a difficult time. They work closely with the Hospice team—the physicians, nurses, social workers and chaplains—to provide continuous care to the patients and families.

End-of-life care is provided to anyone in need, regardless of the ability to pay. To ensure that this care is always available, Hospice Community Partners, a fundraising committee of the Augusta Health Foundation, concentrates on securing resources for Hospice's Gifted Care Program and Camp Dragonfly and the Hospice General Fund that provides for other hospice needs. These programs are 100% supported by philanthropic gifts from the community. In 2013, Hospice Community Partners raised nearly $230,000—a record amount—to support these programs.

"Hospice of the Shenandoah has had a long history in this community. We are grateful to the many family members and friends who have made financial contributions in memory of a loved one, and are honored by their generosity and support. Their gifts ensure that hospice care will continue to provide to those in need," said Judy Burtner, volunteer and chair of Hospice Community Partners.

Gifted Care supports patients who are cared for at the Shenandoah House, a beautiful home and gardens in a wooded area on the Augusta Health campus. The home-like atmosphere is a home-away-from-home that provides a warm and supportive environment for those who are unable to stay in their own homes at the end of life. Last year, 48 members of our community received care at the Shenandoah House through the Gifted Care program.

Camp Dragonfly is a 20-year camp program for children and teens who are in the grieving process following the death of a loved one. Because most of their friends don't understand how it feels when someone special dies, Camp Dragonfly is a place to gather and play and share the pain of grief. The camp is available at no cost for any child who has experienced a loss, not just those related to Hospice patients.

Members of the Hospice Community Partners Committee are also available to speak to civic groups, churches and other organizations about their work on behalf of hospice patients. To schedule a presentation, please contact Krystal Moyers, kmoyers [at] augustahealth.com or complete the Speaker Request form.

The annual Quilts of Comfort Auction will be held on Saturday, November 7 at Expoland in Augusta County. Last year this special event raised more than $30,000 for Augusta Health Hospice of the Shenandoah.

Augusta Health's mission is to promote the health and well-being of our community through access to excellent care. Named one of the 100 Top Hospitals in America by Thomson Reuters in both 2011 and 2012, Augusta Health has also been nationally recognized by HealthGrades as one of America's 100 Best Hospitals for clinical excellence and patient safety for the last three consecutive years, and has been name one of America's 50 Best Hospitals in 2015. For more information about Augusta Health, its programs or its services, please contact Public Relations at (540) 245-7329 or visit our website, www.augustahealth.com.