Delta Hospital and Community Health Foundation is now the philanthropic arm of the Irene Thomas Hospice, the foundation announced on Wednesday, March 2, 2022. Pictured, from left, are Cathy Wiebe, Fraser Health’s executive director of White Rock/South Surrey and Delta health services and Peace Arch and Delta hospitals; DHCHF board vice-chair Pam Paton; and DHCHF executive director Lisa Hoglund. (Delta Hospital and Community Health Foundation photo)

Delta Hospital and Community Health Foundation is now the philanthropic arm of the Irene Thomas Hospice, the foundation announced on Wednesday, March 2, 2022. Pictured, from left, are Cathy Wiebe, Fraser Health’s executive director of White Rock/South Surrey and Delta health services and Peace Arch and Delta hospitals; DHCHF board vice-chair Pam Paton; and DHCHF executive director Lisa Hoglund. (Delta Hospital and Community Health Foundation photo)

Hospital foundation now the ‘philanthropic arm’ for Delta hospice

Delta Hospital and Community Health Foundation (DHCHF) is now raising money to support the Irene Thomas Hospice.

On Wednesday (March 2), the foundation announced they are now the philanthropic arm of the Delta Hospital Campus of Care, which includes the Mountain View Manor long-term care facility and the Irene Thomas Hospice.

“We are honoured to let our community know that DHCHF is now responsible for all charitable efforts for the Irene Thomas Hospice,” executive director Lisa Hoglund said in a press release. “We are very proud to be the philanthropic arm of the Delta Hospital Campus of Care to ensure that our community has access to the very best health care possible.”

Both facilities, as well as the adjacent Delta Hospital, are owned and operated by Fraser Health.

The health authority took possession of the hospice property — which includes the neighbouring Harold and Veronica Savage Centre for Supportive Care — on March 29, 2021, after ending the service agreement and lease with the Delta Hospice Society due to the DHS board’s refusal to allow medical assistance in dying (MAiD) at the facility.

Since taking over the 10-suite hospice, Fraser Health Authority has made much needed upgrades and repairs to the building to offer the right environment and ensure appropriate staffing is in place to care for patients, according to a press release.

“Hospice care is a special kind of care that is important for patients and families,” Dr. Victoria Lee, president and CEO of Fraser Health, said in a press release. “Hospice care focuses on the quality of life for people and their caregivers who are experiencing an advanced, life-limiting illness. I am pleased the Delta Hospital and Community Health Foundation is now supporting the Irene Thomas Hospice through their philanthropic efforts.”

The health authority has yet to make an announcement as to the future of the neighbouring Harold and Veronica Savage Centre for Supportive Care.

Last fall, Fraser Health said it was planning to “reach out and engage directly” with key community stakeholders, including patient advisors, families, the City of Delta, Indigenous stakeholders and others on the range of health and community services that will be offered at the centre.

“These conversations will help us determine what the needs of the community are and what services would benefit the community of Delta, such as grief and bereavement support, seniors programs on healthy aging and caregiver supports,” Fraser Health stated in a press release Oct. 1.

“We are grateful for the ongoing support of the Delta community, including the City of Delta, as we work toward providing important health and community services at the Harold and Veronica Savage for Supportive Care.”

READ MORE: Consultations on future of former Delta Hospice Society facility to begin (Oct. 1, 2021)

Previously, the centre provided a co-ordinated source of information, referral, education and support to enhance care to individuals and family in the community, as well as patients and families at the Irene Thomas Hospice, according to a now-deleted portion of the Delta Hospice Society’s website. Information, support services, counselling and equipment loans were provided free of charge.

In a letter to Fraser Health president and CEO Dr. Victoria Lee dated May 11, 2021, Delta Mayor George Harvie reiterated the city’s interest in acquiring a head lease for the centre, with the intention of subletting the building to the Heron Hospice Society of Delta, an organization formed by a group of former Delta Hospice Society directors who opposed the DHS board’s anti-MAiD position and sued the society after the board blocked hundreds of membership applications over the prospective members’ support for allowing MAiD at the hospice, among other complaints.

Harvie said the arrangement would “continue the long history of community-involved support for the provision of comprehensive end of life services at the hospice.”

“As you know, the construction and operation of the hospice and supportive care centre relied heavily on significant donations from the local community and community support, inclusion and volunteer involvement. It is very important that this relationship be maintained, regardless of whether Delta is provided a head lease for the Harold and Veronica Savage Centre for Supportive Care,” Harvie wrote.



editor@northdeltareporter.com

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