History – Building a Strong Network of Care and Comfort
On July 1, 1997 fundraising to support hospice care in Monterey and San Benito counties fundamentally changed with the formation of Hospice Foundation, based in Monterey, Calif.
On that day, Hospice Foundation was officially created out of the sale of Hospice of the Central Coast to Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula. At the time, Hospice of the Central Coast was the only Medicare-certified hospice care provider in the area. Today, there are four that serve the region that encompasses Monterey County and San Benito County.
As an independent provider in 1997, Hospice of the Central Coast was comprised of its hospice home care nursing operations, Westland House (formerly known as Hospice House), and Resource Center libraries in Monterey, Salinas and Hollister. All were transferred to CHOMP’s ownership and have since been integrated into the hospital’s system of services. The board of directors became the founding leaders for the new Hospice Foundation, and the fundraising and communications staff became the founding staff.
New Entity Formed and Given a Wider Mission
In the vision of these community leaders, Hospice Foundation was created with the sole purpose of raising funds and making grants to support not just hospice care but an even wider scope of end-of-life care services in Monterey and San Benito counties. Its philanthropic reach was to extend across a variety of grief and bereavement services, hospice care, palliative care for children and adults, community outreach, and other vital disciplines.
While the Foundation’s board of directors agreed, as part of the transfer, to help support Community Hospital’s hospice services (which would retain the name Hospice of the Central Coast) that would not be its only focus.
Its new and broader mission continues today with Hospice Foundation funding not only hospice services but also end-of-life emotional support services, such as those offered by Central Coast HIV/AIDS Support Services and Catholic Charities. It also funds care coordination and emotional support services for terminally ill children and their families through Jacob’s Heart Children’s Cancer Support Services, Children’s Hospice and Palliative Care Coalition, and Coastal Kids Home Care. And, during the past 15 years, other non-profit providers of hospice care have opened programs that are eligible for Hospice Foundation funding, including Visiting Nurse Association and Hospice of Santa Cruz County (the provider for Northern Monterey County).
Big Community Impact
Since 1997, Hospice Foundation has made grants totaling more than $19 million to local non-profits that serve local residents at the end of life. Today, these grants close the gap between what the provider of care is reimbursed from a patient’s insurance coverage, including Medicare, and what it actually costs to provide their services to the community. As the level of reimbursement continues to decline due to government and insurance cut-backs, these providers turn to Hospice Foundation for greater help to fill the gap.
What Is Funded
In addition, many services such as palliative care in hospitals, resource libraries and resources, grief support, caregiver relief, and community education programs, have no reimbursement source. These would not be possible without Hospice Foundation’s funding. Grants are vital to keeping these free community services available as they offer vital help to patients and families.
The Foundation’s grants also help these organizations to expand or open new programs in underserved populations or areas of Monterey and San Benito counties, and to be innovative as the community’s needs change.
Empowering a Community Network of Care and Comfort
The Foundation is proud of its impact since 1997, helping to create and build a strong network of care in our community. We help ensure that services are available to address the varied needs that affect families when they are facing the complex challenges of terminal illness, loss, grief, and recovery. And we’re especially proud of the fact that many of these these funded organizations collaborate and work together to address community needs in creative and more cost-efficient ways.
How the Funds are Raised
To raise funds for the grants, Hospice Foundation conducts a number of well-known fundraising events: Hospice Foundation Golf Scramble, the holiday Trees of Life celebrations, Southern Comfort BBQ and Auction, as well as a direct-mail BIG SPRING RAFFLE. Corporations often sponsor these events or provide prizes or in-kind services. The Foundation also receives donations from individuals in response to direct mail appeals, or in honor or in memory of someone, and through employee giving or matching gift programs. From time to time, the Foundation also receives major gifts from trusts, bequests, gift annuities or other estate plans.
Educating the community about end-of-life issues has also been a vital component of Hospice Foundation’s mission. Throughout the year, the Foundation conducts numerous educational activities, including hosting the annual Hospice Foundation of America videoconference, as well as workshops on Executor Trusteeships, and Coping with Grief During the Holidays.
A Champion for Compassionate End of Life Care
Hospice Foundation adds its voice to those working to improve the system of health care in our region, state and beyond. Locally, in 2000, the Foundation started the End-of-Life Coalition, administering and coordinating its outreach and community education activities until the coalition became the non-profit Compassionate Care Alliance in 2003. CCA is now a Hospice Foundation grant recipient.
In addition, Hospice Foundation and Community Foundation for Monterey County collaborated to host the first End-of-Life Care Leadership Summit in October, 2008. The day-long retreat was an opportunity for local leaders to discuss priority needs and to find ways to work together to reduce duplication of services and to foster greater efficiencies.
A tangible result was the development in 2009 of a comprehensive program for children between Jacob’s Heart Children’s Cancer Support Services, Children’s Hospice and Palliative Care Coalition, and Coastal Kids Home Care to form the Pediatric Collaborative. The Foundation continues to fund The Pediatric Collaborative’s work.
Hospice Foundaton will continue to lead the effort to improve access to care and services for the dying in Monterey and San Benito counties. No one should have to suffer in pain or in emotional discomfort, and families should not have to be overburdened with anxiety and caregiving when services are available to help them. With your support of Hospice Foundation, together we’ll make this possible.