Powell River Hospice Society’s AGM
The Powell River Hospice Society was incorporated on July 16th, 2014. This is our first AGM. As required, it is within 15 months since incorporation and all members received written notification > 14 days prior to this meeting.
A lot has happened in our first year. On September 9th, 2014, a start-up board was chosen, and Joanne Murray, who was instrumental in getting interested people together and forming the Society, resigned.
In October, Dr.Susan Horsfall joined us as a director and we had our first meeting with the Powell River Division of Family Practice Palliative Care Steering Committee executive director. Since that time, we have had several meetings with the Division of Family Practice as we work together to get Hospice functioning.
In November 2014, we drafted our “vision, mission statement, values, and goals.
And that brings us into this year, 2015. In January we welcomed Kim Barton-Bridges as a board member and our treasurer/contact person extraordinaire, we opened a bank account at First Credit Union, and established a relationship with Larry Del Mistro as our accountant/auditor.
By the end of February, we had finalized our “logo” and our “tag-line”, “Honouring the Journey”, we decided on a Hospice membership fee of $10.00, joined the BC Hospice Palliative Care Association, applied for the Community Impact Grant through the First Credit Union, and decided to participate in the ‘Hike for Hospice” in May as our first fundraiser and to “get our name out there”. I had a meeting with Kathy Northrup, community social worker for VCH, and Sandy approached Hennrietta Johnson about being our membership chairperson, and Hennrietta agreed.
We had our first Hospice Volunteer meeting with the pre-existing volunteers in March. We sent off our “application for charitable status”, attained liability insurance [thanks to the Lions club who donated the $1000.00 that was required], we were interviewed by The Peak for a 3 part series on Hospice/Palliative Care, and distributed posters and pledge forms for “Hike for Hospice”. Susan offered the use of some of her office space for Hospice at no cost and we accepted.
April was a busy month getting everything ready for the Hike for Hospice. Prizes were obtained for the hike, Sandy connected with city hall for use of the Rotary Pavillion, and Sandra & Sandy were filmed by Shaw TV for a piece they were going to air on Hospice. Kim and I met with the Hospital auxillary group to request help with funding a coordinator position; denied, as they only fund capital costs. Vancouver Coastal Health donated $1000.00 to help with the costs of the Hike; that was greatly appreciated as we had no money up to this point. We also held our first meeting of the “fundraising committee”; only 2 non-board members came despite considerable solicitations to possible interested people; these were Peter Behr and Judy Lacey, both of whom agreed to continue to assist us with fundraising efforts. Mary Gavin, an international Celtic Storyteller came to Powell River and we enjoyed her presentation, as well as an evening potluck. Sandra, Kim, myself, and Debra McIsaac (one of our new volunteers) attended a weekend of Hospice training at the Squamish Hospice Society; it was a great learning and information gathering opportunity for us and we really enjoyed it.
May was our most “rewarding” month? We put on the Hike for Hospice, raising $5500.00! We were awarded The Community Impact Grant of $4500.00 from the First Credit Union, and they continue to be our biggest supporter. Kim was second place winner in the Powell River Living essay contest. The Powell River Lions club attended the Hike and sold hotdogs and drinks for us, then donated the profits to Hospice. Sandy attended the BCHPC conference on behalf of Powell River Hospice. Our PRHS started taking referrals from the hospital in May, as well. Susan took on the temporary role of Hospice coordinator and started interviewing our pre-existing volunteers and referral clients, so they could be matched up and visited as required. In June, Sandy took over this role and has also been interviewing all the new prospective volunteers, prior to their training.
Building a Hospice residence/office was something that we envisioned happening in a few years time, at best, as we had felt as a board that it was essential to provide some hospice services as soon as possible. To do that, we needed to first provide training to the volunteers and second, hire a volunteer coordinator. Both require significant funding. Then in June, we stared looking at the possibility of building a Hospice residence/office, sooner rather than later. This is almost an overwhelming idea/task for this small board of volunteers to undertake on top of all the other work we have to do! As a result, we held a “retreat” for a day in July, plus a meeting with the Family Practice Board in hopes of coming up with some ideas on how to do this. The Family Practice Board is agreeable to help us in whatever ways they may be able to but they do not want to take a lead role. At our retreat day, the board agreed that “sustainability” is a good filter to consider all that we choose to do as a board. We started the planning toward our AGM, I provided other board members with copies of the Fraser Canyon Hospice Board’s policies & procedures manual for review, we discussed enlarging the board, bereavement support one on one, the hospice library, other items that need to be addressed within the near future, our website, and the Hospice Building Committee. We met with an architect and went over what we would like our Hospice building to look like and he went away with the information needed to come up with a cost figure for the same.
Since that time, we have attended meetings with both Rotary Clubs, we have composed a draft of our own policy and procedure manual, completed a large portion of the training manuals and made arrangements for a place to do the training, welcomed a new board member, Hennrietta Johnson, and arranged for Sandy McCartie to take on the temporary part-time role as Hospice Coordinator (5hrs/week, being funded by the Family Practice Group for the next approx. 6 months). Also, an ad has been placed in The Peak to run for 15 weeks initially, illiciting donations as a memorial for loved ones who have passed, and we have had our monthly Volunteer Support meeting. The First Credit Union is having a Community Impact Day and have offered to do some things for us, so that is in the works, and we are considering participating in some other community events within the next month in order to continue to make ourselves known.
Throughout all of this past year, Sandra Tonn has designed our Logo, set up our Facebook page, acted with Susan as the liason between Hospice and the Palliative Care Steering Committee, developed our website [now up and running!], designed a number of brochures to give out to clients, and worked hard at the “publicity” part of our Hospice journey. Your hard work and expertise are greatly appreciated, Sandra!
Getting Powell River Hospice Society up and running has been a joint effort of many people, none of which we could have managed without. First a huge thank-you to JoAnn Murray for setting up the first meetings of people interested in forming the Hospice Society and for donating many books for our library; thank-you to Dr.Varma for paying our initial Society incorporation fees.
Hospice services were kept running in some capacity over the past 2-3 years through the leadership role taken on by Pat McDonald; without her and her hard work, we wouldn’t have the experienced volunteers to see clients until we get new volunteers trained. Thank-you Pat for your selfless leadership and volunteering. Thank-you to Lee Coulter for cataloging and organizing our library; a huge, amazing job.
Thank-you to Kim Barton-Bridges for all the work she has put in as our treasurer, chair of fundraising committee, and best ever “contact” person to get what we need, when we need it, and make things happen! [This on top of organizing Prisma and sitting on the Ferry Committee Board]! Wonder woman! Kim contacted Johann Elbracht of Powell River Woodworks and he custom built a bookshelf unit for our library and donated it to us. Thank-you Johann.
Thank-you Dr.Susan Horsfall for all the work you do for us and for palliative care in Powell River, including making it to all of our meetings, on top of delivering all those babies!! We are so lucky to have you on our board!
Thank-you Sandy McCartie for being our secretary, a huge job, keeping minutes for all these meeting we have, sending out thank-yous, arranging committee meetings and volunteer meetings, taking a lead role in interviewing volunteers and matching them to clients, and laying out the curriculum and taking the role as facilitator for the volunteer training. And now, she has taken on the role of Hospice Coordinator so the rest of the board members can concentrate more on the Hospice Building Committee tasks. You are awesome, Sandy, thank-you!!
Thank-you to Pat Townsley for all the work she has done and continues to do in supporting us, promoting us, and writing proposals for us with Vancouver Coastal Health. We are grateful for all that you do on our behalf.
And, for their ongoing help, both financially and hands on, we thank First Credit Union. You have been amazing! As well, Staples has supported us with printing and supplies, thank-you. The Lions paid for our insurance and helped at the Hike for Hospice, thank-you Lions.
Finally, to all those who have made donations, of any amount, every penny [or should I say, every nickel] helps, and we thank all of you.
I think this has been a pretty amazing first year and hopefully this is just the first of many to come. With such amazing help from so many organizations and individuals, the best is yet to come! Thank-you!
Respectfully submitted: Heather Baldwin