Why has Hospice Volunteers of Hancock County Thrived for 40 Years?

We were recently asked why HVHC has thrived during these 40 years when many other worthy endeavors do not last this long.  The answer took thought, and here are the salient reasons that we believe contribute to our organization’s success:

  • The organization was founded in answer to a need within the community – A need for this type of service that a local physician, Dr. Ed Ferguson, recognized, and his efforts that brought colleagues and other members of the community together to form a caring and responsive organization based right here among Hancock County’s residents.
  • As each aspect of the organization’s mission evolved, (Patient Care and Caregiver Support, Bereavement (Grief) Support, and Community Education), members of the organization were committed to “doing it right” – working with local colleagues, following state licensing guidelines, developing state-of-the art trainings, recruiting and supporting compassionate and committed volunteers who serve within their own communities.
  • Being responsive to the needs of the community as they evolve and become known, i.e. broadening to serve patients earlier in their journeys than is defined by medical hospice programs, expanding knowledge regarding the needs of those being served – Veterans and their families, those with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, GLBT elders, for example – and developing programs and services designed to meet unique needs.
  • Expanding perceptions of our services to allow more to benefit from them:  the varied layers of grief associated with Aging & Loss, and supporting individuals and families with the process of end-of-life care planning, for example.
  • Throughout the organization’s history, HVHC has remained fiscally and professionally responsible while remaining true to its mission of service, hospitality and dedication to the dignity of all people.

And, again:

  1. developing these services and programs through processes that draw on the knowledge and partnerships available throughout our community and the best information available in the field of hospice and bereavement care;
  2. while recruiting, training and supporting caring and committed volunteers;
  3. and, on the most basic level, these are services that are applicable at some point in every person’s and every family’s life, and members of our organization are committed to providing them with compassion, care and respect for the dignity of all people well into the future.

“We truly enjoyed working with these folks and watching them become friends who really supported each other. I am glad that they have taken the step to meet (on their own) and to be there for each other. And they know we are here for support if needed.”

HVHC Bereavement Support Volunteer

“How joyful, you’ve made our day! We appreciate the services that Hospice provides, and know the funds are always needed, and try to help when able. We still have the (outreach material) sent by your organization several years ago, and it always serves as a reminder of your good work. We have appreciate having had Hospice arranged for several family members and a dear friend.”

a recent supporter

“Many agencies are unable to think “outside the box” when working with islands but I have found Hospice to be willing to figure out how to help even when it’s not the usual way. I have been a hospice nurse and know the value of working with a team that is as professional and caring as Hospice of Hancock County.”

a community colleague

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