Hope Hospice Plans Move, Spring Gala Fundraiser

There is no more eloquent expression of Hope Hospice's mission than the statement appearing on its website: "When medical science can no longer add days to life, what matters is the quality of life that can be added to each day."

For more than 30 years, Hope Hospice's multi-faceted teams of professionals - from doctors and nurses to social workers and chaplains - have been offering comfort to Tri-Valley patients and families through the end stages of life, when cures are no longer effective. Hospice care addresses not only the physical needs of dying patients, but also supports their emotional, social, and spiritual needs, explains Kathy Padro, the organization's Communications Coordinator. Hospice's "total care approach," recognized as a model for quality and compassion, extends to "grief support activities for surviving family members and the patient's caregivers."

Under the leadership of Medical Director Peter Wong, M.D.. and Executive Director Helen Meier, M.A., Hope Hospice continues to expand its range of care. A new branch of the organization's Volunteer Program focuses on the vigil, providing a "quiet presence" to patients' bedsides in their final hours. A collaboration with Valley Humane Society has spawned another group that delivers pet therapy and help with pet care to patients. The program also assists with the adoption of pets that survive their owners. "This is such a comfort to our patients and families and a great help to our team," Padro remarks.

Several other initiatives are in the offing to accommodate growing needs in the Tri-Valley. Hope Hospice's average daily census has increased from 20 patients in 2002 to a current average of more than 70, and its patient caseload grew by 19 percent in 2008. The organization has targeted August 2009 for a move from its office in Dublin to larger space custom-designed for its specific needs. In tandem with the move are the development of a state-of the art center for hospice excellence, as well as a project automating patient records. The new system will improve communication among team members and make real time information available 24 hours a day.

Closer on the horizon is Hope Hospice's annual gala, which this year takes place on Friday, May 1st at the Blackhawk Auto Museum. The non-profit provides its professional care without regard to the ability to pay, Padro points out. While some insurance programs, including Medicare and Medi-Cal, cover a portion of the cost, the agency depends on donations of time and financial support from the wider community to continue its vital work. The spring Ship of Hope gala is a major fundraiser. Emceed by local media personalities Tory Campbell and Jim Hampton, the Egyptian-themed Evening on the Nile will offer dining "with a taste of Cairo," entertainment by Henna Garden's Egyptian Dancers, a raffle, and dancing to the CoolTones.

Ticket and sponsorship details are available from Pattie Dilauro at the Hospice office at (925) 829-8770 or by emailing pattied@hopehospice.com . For information on the full range of agency services, visit www.hopehospice.com .

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