Pioneers excited about hospice plan

MEEKER I A local group of volunteers, Pioneers Medical Center and Pioneers Healthcare Foundation (PHF) are excited to announce a newly formed hospice-related partnership with HopeWest.
“We are partnering with an organization that offers the very best end-of-life and bereavement care; to provide that service in Meeker is very exciting.” says Toby Smith, chairman of the Hope West-Meeker Advisory Board. Smith and several other volunteers have been working with Pioneers Medical Center and Pioneers Healthcare Foundation to research avenues for bringing hospice and palliative-type care to Meeker.
Based out of Grand Junction, HopeWest (formerly Hospice & Palliative Care of Western Colorado) was created through a community vision, “…one that recognized the need for quality, compassionate end-of-life care for people with serious illness,” stated Christy Whitney, president and CEO of Hope West, “We are proud to care for our friends and neighbors across the Western Slope, and now to have Meeker be a part of our community is wonderful.”
End-of-life care is a special type of care intended to provide physical and emotional comfort to individuals with life-limiting illness.
“Having HopeWest be a partner will enable the community to have trained individuals assisting with coordinated care, medication management, grieving and financial strain associated with end of life,” says Ken Harman, the chief economic officer at Pioneers.
“HopeWest will complement and enhance our current home care services,” says Betty Lou Moyer, PMC director of home health. “We are just in the beginning stages of this new program’s development. The program will be called “HopeWest-Meeker.” It will coordinate with existing agencies to assure that patients and families receive: Palliative care trained nurses and physicians; hospice-trained volunteers; bereavement support and spiritual care; and social work services to assure existing resources are maximized and that communication among family and care providers is optimized.
There will be an informational meeting open to the public, on Sept. 17 at Mountain Valley Bank. There will also be a volunteer training session within the next six weeks.
“We believe there is an important role for everyone to play as a volunteer – regardless of your training and background,” Smith said. “We will find a place for every talent and hobby offered up. If you are someone who wants to make a profound difference in the life of another, please join us. We are seeking volunteers who are interested in participating in this wonderful program to offer compassion and care.”
“The HopeWest-Meeker partnership brings a wonderful opportunity to offer a much-needed service in Meeker,” said Margie Joy, executive director of the PHF. “Like many special programs and transformational endeavors, this program will require ongoing financial support. PHF and HopeWest have begun the work of identifying potential funders and granting organizations to help with our startup costs.”
In coordination with community members, the PHF started a fund to support a local end-of-life program. Over the past couple of years, many individuals have contributed to this fund, and these dollars will now be used to assist with the start-up costs, Joy said.
It is anticipated that the program will have two to three paid part-time staff and many volunteers to accomplish its goal. Start-up and ongoing, in-kind support is being provided by HopeWest and Pioneer Medical Center, she said.
A fundraising campaign will be established to raise monies for operating expenses for the first two to three years of operation, Joy said, adding that this will offer a chance to establish the program, determine ongoing funding and address community needs.
For more information or to be contacted about upcoming meetings and/or training, in the daytime contact Betty Lou Moyer at 970-878-9265 or email her at bmoyer@pioneershospital.org, or, in the evening, contact Toby Smith at 970-878-5329.