Sudbury’s Maison McCulloch Hospice is setting the standard in hospice care around the province and across the country, according to board members and executive staff.
The hospice held their annual general meeting on Sept. 11, and recounted successes from the past year as well as looked to their goals for the future that include expansion of services as well as their building itself.
The Northeast Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) recently endorsed Maison McCulloch Hospice’s capital grant request to expand to 10 additional beds (four residential hospice, six respite).
“In cash we have raised more than $900,000 and with pledges we’ve received we’re at more than $2 million,” said Léo Therrien, MMH executive director. “We’ve applied to the Ministry Capital Fund for the 10 beds, the stage one application is complete, the LHIN has endorsed it and now we’re waiting.”
The campaign goal for fundraising was set at $5.1 million raised locally, with hopes of receiving $2 million in grant funding.
“The government in their last budget announced $200,000 per hospice bed, we have 10 beds so if they accept our request we are entitled to $2 million.”
In addition to bringing more beds the hospice is looking to expand into care for children, which they have already doing in the past year. At present, hopsice care is offered at Maison McCulloch Hospice for children between the ages of 12-18 who are undergoing cancer care.
“The hope is that with these additional beds we can expand to children three years of age and up, and offer a wider range of care, including respite, for children,” said Therrien. “Everyone should be able to receive these types of service close to home and close to their families.”
Outgoing chair Gerry Lougheed Jr. touched on the hospice’s plans in his final address as the chair of board, noting that Sudbury would be the home the only pediatric hospice beds in the province outside of Ottawa and Toronto.
“Our board has approved a capital expansion to build on to our existing 10,000 square foot building, an addition to a 16,000 square foot building,” said Lougheed. “The fact is we will pioneer respite beds for this province and we’ll have space for people to sit and read and not be crammed like sardines.”
Lougheed outlined the seven “HUGs” that the hospice undertakes on a daily basis, giving a nod to the institution’s “Stand by Me” campaign, where Sudburians gathered to give their hospice a hug to reflect the covenant of caring provided on a daily basis at the hospice.
HUGs included “Help Us Guide, Help Us Govern, Help Us Give, Help Us Guide” and more were touched on by Lougheed as he commended the work being done by the staff at Maison McCulloch Hospice.
“I can say without hesitation, as a funeral director for the last 40 years, when someone in my office gives a very candid and objective evaluation of our hospice services, that since our hospice opened up I have never heard a negative comment,” said Lougheed.
“People are known by names in terms of not just being staff but being friends to people, so the ‘Help Us Guide’ has been a wonderful guide and I would have the audacity to say that we’re likely the gold standard for our country.”
Lougheed will remain on the board, while Gisele Paquette was elected as chair for the upcoming year.
Kevin McCormick, who sat as chair in 2015-16 will be leaving the board as he has been with the board for six years. Megan Roy is also stepping down from the board.