from left: Community Care Northumberland (CCN) Board Chair Ray Lobban, Building Chair Stewart Richardson, CCN Executive Director Trish Baird, Co-Chair Patti Ley, CCN Project Lead Sherry Gibson, and Co-Chair Gord Ley with the floor plan of the new Northumberland Hospice Care Centre.

Article &  Image: Bill Hornbostel

“The Northumberland Hospice Care Centre will touch each and every one of us and will contribute to a more efficient and cost-effective healthcare delivery in Northumberland County,” said Patti Ley to a crowded room at the Baltimore Community Centre recently. With these words, she began the fundraising campaign for the new Northumberland Hospice Care Centre.

Patti Ley and her husband Gord are using their extensive experience in public and private service as well as fundraising to work as the co-chairs of the fundraising campaign for the new Hospice Centre.

The hospice will provide a hub for programs and services including end-of-life beds. In a home-like setting, it will provide a variety of services to those in care and their families. “This includes wellness, planning, education, and support for the family, palliative navigation, potential for day-hospice programming, bereavement services, a library of resources, a community visiting program, and complementary care services,” says Patti.

According to Gord, the hospice is “where the individuals and their families will find dignity, reassurance, and respect during their end-of-life care.”

Since 2010, Community Care Northumberland has been providing hospice and palliative care services across Northumberland County. But, said Ray Lobban, the board chair of CCN, “From our clients, our volunteers, and interested members of the community, it was readily apparent that there was still something missing from hospice and palliative care in Northumberland County.”

At the beginning of 2017, CCN began to formulate a plan to build a new residential hospice for Northumberland County. The chair of the new building committee Stewart Richardson said he felt personally invested in the new project after he and his wife Nancy experienced first-hand the passing of loved ones in hospitals. After visiting the Bridge Hospice in Warkworth, Richardson said, “We realized that we need something like this in this part of the county.”

Richardson and a team of volunteers shaped the proposal to build a new hospice centre in western Northumberland County. Over a period of months, they toured many hospices across Ontario and learned the best practices to embrace. The committee consulted heavily with the staff and volunteers of CCN whose members will be providing services in the new Hospice Centre. The committee also consulted with the council of the Alderville First Nation.

The resulting design is for a facility with six large suites and lots of natural light surrounded by green space. Ricardson says, “There will be spaces for private rooms for family and caregivers, a lounge area, a kitchen, an eating area, a children’s room for programming, a spa therapy room which we’re learning is very important, and a spiritual room.”

The projected cost of the facility is $7 million. The three levels of government will provide $2.3 million, and the fundraising campaign is seeking the remaining $4.8 million from individuals, organizations, and service clubs. Even before the fundraiser kick-off, $1.2 million of that had been raised from private donations.

At the end of her presentation on the new Hospice Care Centre Patti Ley said, “We hope you’ll join us and our team of committed volunteers to make this dream a reality.”

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