Valley hospice not a priority

I have long complained about the inaction concerning construction of a hospice in the Valley. In the 17 years since it was announced in 2000, it hasn’t provided any care, just the opportunity for teas, luncheons and self-congratulatory feel-good stories for and about the Valley Regional Hospital Foundation.

I have learned I was wrong in saying it has been 17 years of inaction. The hospice project actually dates back 21 years!

A newspaper clipping from The Chronicle Herald of September 8, 2000 written by Valley Bureau chief Gordon Delany says, “The VON Kings Hospice Foundation has raised $150,000 so far toward a 10-bed in-patient hospice … Palliative care workers identified the need several years ago said Sid Davies, past chairman of the foundation.”

The article says that a 1997 survey found people in the community supported the concept and that the hospice foundation was formed in 1999 “to raise the $700,000 needed to cover the costs of building the hospice. Organizers feel the hospice can be operated for approximately one-third the cost of acute-care hospital beds.”

Since not all patients require everyday hospice care, the foundation felt it could treat as many as 30-50 patients.

At the time of the article James Perkin was appointed foundation chairman, with Dr. Deborah Day as vice-chairwoman. Dr. Jeanette Auger was in charge of fund-raising.

By 2009 the projected cost of the hospice had risen to $4 million. Later, Valley residents were led to believe the cost for the hospice had doubled to $8 million. No one has ever explained the two-decade delay in building the hospice.

This raises three questions:

  1. How much has been spent on fundraising/fundraisers?
  2. How many patients have been cheated of the care a hospice would have provided?
  3. Is no one ashamed by their inaction?


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1 Response to Valley hospice not a priority

  1. woof says:

    The fundraisers claim that just short of the $8 million has been raised/ That’s a good chunk of money. Has the money been put “under the mattress” for safe keeping or is it being invested in secure markets?

    What are the issues creating the delays?

    And as you question: how much has been spent on fundraising and fundraisers and are they still on the payroll, and how much are/were these selfless individuals compensated?

    Time for this group to be as visible as they were during the campaign, and time for the government and contributors to demand answers.

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