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Hospice News August 2022

Foothills Palliative End-of-Life Care Program Expansion

Exciting news just released by Alberta Health Services: $11 million allocated for one-time grant funding to advance palliative and end-of-life care in Alberta.

Foothills Country Hospice has received a one-time grant of $411,000 over two years to expand capacity by developing community based palliative care supports and programs to meet the needs of caregivers, volunteers and community members in the Foothills region.

"This grant will allow us to pilot an initiative to extend outreach programming," says Executive Director Dawn Elliott. "This is meaningful, particularly to those in the Foothills region. Once the pilot is underway we will be seeking sustainability funding to ensure these services continue and are tailored to the needs of those dying in the region and the people surrounding them before, during and after their death. This 'hospice without walls' is essential to a healthy community."  

More information about the expanded outreach program will be available in the coming months. 

Introducing Brad Smith

Treasurer, Foothills Country Hospice Board

“We love Okotoks,” says Brad Smith, newly appointed Treasurer at Foothills Country Hospice. “This opportunity to give back has been a perfect fit. The right group of people, the right cause … the passion and commitment … it’s all pretty impressive.”

Brad and his wife Gillian moved to Okotoks in 2013.  Their three children attend St. Mary’s and the family partakes of many of the amenities that Okotoks provides, including many sports such as hockey, Lacrosse, swimming and gymnastics. Brad is owner of Jadler Industries based in south Calgary. He is a chartered accountant by profession and has taken on many leadership roles throughout his career. “I bring with me years of experience in business,” he says. “I’m excited to apply that knowledge to help lead the Hospice into the future.”

When Brad joined the Board a year ago, he was surprised at the number of resources it takes to deliver the level of care the Hospice provides. And Brad acknowledges the challenges ahead. “My goal is to help harness the hometown, close knit culture that is the essence of the Hospice. I believe we can retain the successful aspects of the current Hospice while taking advantage of the benefits that a larger organization offers.

“It will take a team approach, and a lot of work, but we have the right people in place to make it happen,” Brad concludes. “I am honoured and excited to be in a position to help.”

Susan Endersby

Long-time Donor and Volunteer

“Foothills Country Hospice is in my heart,” says Susan Endersby. “I am so grateful that I am able to volunteer and make regular donations.”
Almost 15 years ago, Susan and her second husband, Jack moved from Florida to Alberta, where she heard about a new Hospice about to open. Susan had lost her first husband without the benefit of hospice care and had been working to open one in Florida before moving. “It seemed like it was meant to be,” she says of the new opportunity.

Susan went to see the new facility in Okotoks and learned about the many volunteer opportunities. She took the palliative care course and has been volunteering ever since. Susan primarily works with grief counselling, but enjoys scrapbooking in the Hospice “Memory Book,” where every resident has a personalized page dedicated to them after passing.

“Those pages in the Memory Book (pictured here with Susan) mean so much to many families who contribute photos and memories to complete the page” she explains. “It’s like the page represents a little bit of the person they lost, left here at the Hospice for all time.”

Susan also makes grief calls and follows up with surviving family members for up to a year following the loss of a loved one. “Once all the flurry of activity is over, many people feel lost and alone. When we call, they are surprised and so pleased to be thought of.”

After four years of volunteering, Susan’s second husband Jack became a resident at the Hospice. “I’ve experienced both sides of this wonderful place. I was allowed to become a wife again, not just a caretaker, and Jack was so grateful to be somewhere he felt safe and cared for.”

“Foothills Country Hospice is a special place,” says Susan. “As a volunteer on the expansion committee, I am committed to ensuring the essence of who and what we are remains. Celebrating life by meeting individual wishes takes a special kind of organization, and opening our doors so more people can live out their final days in this environment is important.”

Many thanks to our Gala sponsors:

Platinum Sponsors
Gold Sponsor
Silver Sponsors
Wine Sponsor
Entertainment and catering provided by:

John and Darlene Martin

Landscape Volunteers Extraordinaire

“When you meet the residents, and know that these are their last days, you hope that you can make those days as comfortable as possible,” says landscape volunteer Darlene Martin.

“The pathways and the natural areas, and in particular the stream and Koi pond, all add to the beauty of the rural setting, which is so special to many of our residents,” adds John, Darlene’s husband and fellow volunteer.

John and Darlene have volunteered their time to enhance the landscape at Foothills Country Hospice for the past 12 years. “A quiet place for residents and their families, an interesting place to pique a child’s curiosity, a serene environment to simply catch one’s breath … the gardens at the Hospice allow people to experience nature at a time when the hustle and bustle of urban life is often too much to manage,” says John.

“It’s a joy to watch the gardens take shape and mature. We feel so blessed to be part of this community, providing quality end of life care for residents and peace of mind for families,” adds Darlene.
Spending time in nature can help relieve stress and anxiety, improve your mood, and boost feelings of happiness and wellbeing … humans evolved in the great outdoors, and your brain benefits from a journey back to nature.
American Heart Association

Monthly Giving Supports Ongoing Needs

Join our monthly giving program, Hospice Heroes. Your monthly gift will help fund our palliative programs and support services – where attention is paid to physical needs, expert pain and symptom management, emotional and
spiritual support and bereavement care.
Become a Hospice Hero
Many thanks to all who came out, including many Board members and local media, on a brisk day in early May to support Foothills Country Hospice. We raised over $39,500 thanks to the work of many volunteers and the support of hundreds of walkers.

Did You Know?

Foothills Country Hospice is in the process of expanding our Grief Support Program. Our goal is to enable people who have lost a loved one outside of hospice to access our support. Stay tuned in the coming months for more information.


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Copyright © 2022 Foothills Country Hospice, All rights reserved.

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