Hospice dream comes true through partnerships


BARRY’S BAY – It has been several years in the making, but the Madawaska Valley Hospice is officially open to accept palliative care patients.

On May 28, representatives from various organizations and agencies gathered at the Opeongo Seniors Centre to celebrate the grand opening of the Madawaska Valley Hospice.

Lisa Hubers, project manager, explained that the hospice could not have come to fruition without many successful partnerships.

“This group is a dynamic group,” she said. “It’s a creative partnership and it has collaboratively enhanced healthcare for all the residents of this area.”

She welcomed Bob Ogilvie, the board chair for Madawaska Valley Hospice Palliative Care.

Ogilvie admitted that the board was faced with a number of challenges when it first envisioned bringing additional palliative care services to St. Francis Memorial Hospital’s catchment area.

“I say additional, because it’s important to acknowledge what great care physicians and staff of St. Francis has always given to those with terminal illnesses in our region,” Ogilvie explained.

The idea came up through conversations with the hospital’s CEO Randy Penney. It snowballed after the hospital applied for membership on the Champlain Hospice Palliative Care Board. Through partnerships with the Champlain Community Care Access Centre, the Champlain Local Health Integration Network and the St. Francis Valley Healthcare Foundation, the idea of a hospice began to seem more attainable, Ogilvie said.

Get your June 3, 2015 edition of The Valley Gazette to read the full story.