Naming rights for future Whitby Hospice happening Wednesday

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Published March 17, 2023 at 10:53 am

This Wednesday, the campaign to build a 10-bed hospice residence in Whitby is about to get personal.

The hospice, which will serve those in the community facing a palliative diagnosis with care and compassion, will get a name at a special event Wednesday afternoon at the Port Whitby Marina.

With an estimated 33 hospice beds badly needed in Durham, the provincial Ministry of Health gave approval during the summer of 2017 for three hospice residences to be built in the Region – one in Port Perry, one in Clarington and a third in Whitby.

The next year the volunteer groups in Clarington (Durham Hospice) and Whitby (VON Durham Region Community Corporation) formed a partnership and launched Comfort, Care, Compassion, a $15-million capital campaign to support the construction of two new hospice residences in their communities.

(The campaign is running in tandem with the Building for Compassionate Care campaign launched in October 2017 for the Oak Ridges Hospice in Port Perry.)

Since that time donations have been flooding in from residents, local businesses, church groups, health care organizations and service clubs, with the campaign now 80 per cent of the way to the finish line, thanks in part to a $226,637.53 contribution from the Tim Horton’s Smile Cookie campaign.

In a statement from the campaign team, the response from the community has been both “inspiring and humbling,” especially during a pandemic. “Our volunteers have not stopped working for one minute … they have stepped up and pitched in by making donations large and small, by spreading the word, and by finding creative ways to raise money while confined to home or office.”

Hospice residences provide comfort, care and compassion at the end of life in a non-institutional setting, with hospice care focused on living – not dying. Residents are empowered to choose how they live, with private rooms, unrestricted visiting hours and access to a wide range of non-medical service and program options including spiritual and emotional supports, arts and music and holistic healing practices.

The annual cost of hospital end-of-life care in Ontario is valued at $4.7 billion, and a typical acute care hospital bed costs approximately $1,100 per day, making it a considerable drain on the health-care system. Hospice residences provide more personal care with the cost of a bed costing about $460 per day, a substantial savings on hospital settings.

“The numbers speak for themselves,” the campaign team noted. “There is an undeniable need for hospice residence care in our community.”

Hospice Services has been providing hospice palliative care services to residents throughout Durham for more than 60 years and Durham Region Hospice is committed to building hospice residences in Clarington (nine beds) and Whitby, which will serve approximately 200 to 300 residents and their families per year.

The naming rights event will take place at 3:30, with the announcement expected at 4 p.m., with  Durham Hospice Chair Eva Reti and Whitby Mayor Elizabeth Roy on the speakers list.

For more information and/or to confirm attendance please contact Donna McFarlane, Senior Advisor, Durham Region Hospice – Whitby at [email protected] or (905) 767-1390. To contribute to the Whitby campaign visit Whitby Hospice.

To donate to the Clarington hospice, visit Clarington.

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