As 2018 draws to a close, I thought to share how it has been for me, having just crossed my three year mark with HCA Hospice . Just one word – “Grateful”.
Grateful that the team that I am working with, has been nothing but exemplary. Each staff is passionate, caring, committed and everyone goes out of their way to make that moment matter to our beneficiaries, their colleagues, our donors, volunteers, friends and supporters.
Grateful to our Council members, who are wise and pave the way with their guiding light at HCA Hospice .
Grateful that there are always the willing supporters and donors, who have over the last three years listened to our call for financial assistance, for volunteerism.
Grateful that we are given the opportunity to care for our beneficiaries, in more ways than one.
When I first joined HCA in Dec 2015, I was nervous. Nervous that I would not know how to lead a team of clinical professionals. Afterall, I knew nothing about how to care for patients with life limiting illnesses, having come with an IT background. I was worried about how HCA would survive, since there was virtually no revenue. I was used to ensuring that there was always revenue and more importantly – profitability. But I did come with an open mind, with a heart to do the best I can and most importantly, to be able to understand the anxiety and grief our beneficiaries were facing or faced.
I have visited over 100 patients and their families in my three years and I recall the first patient I visited with a nurse. I vividly remember the foul odour as we walked along the corridor to our patient’s home. It was a rented flat, all the possessions of the patient, including his mattress on the floor, was in the one room we stepped into. I thought to myself then, “How do my nurses tolerate this?” Over the years, I had encountered beautiful homes, less than livable homes, happy patients, sad and angry patients, supportive family and friends, uncontactable family members, all sorts. Each family has their own story. We do not judge.
We held many events for our beneficiaries – “Family Foto Fair”, Legacy projects and even after death, we had Memorial events for the families. We brought day hospice patients for outings, at least twice a month. We engaged our youth with our Young Caregivers Program. We ran fundraising events. In house, we shared updates with the staff during townhall meetings. We ensured that we followed processes, built new systems to make things more efficient for our staff. We were rewarded when we won the Charity Transparency Award three years in a row, with an additional Special Commendation Award for Risk Management this year. Our staff continued to win many accolades for the wonderful work they do each year.
We do many things in HCA and we all do them happily. I wake up everyday looking forward to get to work. I am very proud to be part of HCA Hospice .
I encourage everyone to live life to the fullest and share with your family and friends what you have. Tell them that you love them. Life is unpredictable, sometimes too short….Live it Well!
Wishing each of you a happy and healthy holiday season!