Supporting Our Sister Hospice
In 2000, Suncoast Hospice, a member of Empath Health, partnered with HospiceWits in Johannesburg and Soweto, South Africa. Together, we share best practices for hospice and palliative care along with a commitment to caring for the medical, spiritual and psychosocial needs of our patients and their families using all available resources.
We are fortunate to have support from our organization and community to assist our sister hospice in their mission to provide the highest quality of care in their community. Our staff has traveled to South Africa several times and we have hosted their staff here in Pinellas County on a few occasions. We have provided hands-on training and formalized classroom instruction, as well as brought updated clinical materials (medical journals, resource books, etc.), small equipment (stethoscopes, otoscopes, etc.) and lots of over-the-counter medications and personal hygiene items.
HospiceWits needs more support than ever to continue their mission. South Africa does not provide regular reimbursement for hospice care, like here in the U.S. Much of HospiceWits’ work is supported by donors. Due to decreased funding, they have downsized their staffing and have less support for personal hygiene items and medications. Many of their patients do not have access to simple things we take for granted, such as aspirin, toothpaste and cough medicine.
Our greatest partnership effort is fundraising for our sister hospice so that they can provide excellent care to all they serve. Many Empath Health staff use payroll deduction to contribute, while other staff and community members have given one-time or ongoing donations for HospiceWits. One-hundred percent of all donated funds are electronically transferred to HospiceWits.