Wednesday, March 4, 2009

African Staff Exchange 2009

In 2000, Suncoast Hospice joined in partnership with the Foundation for Hospices in Sub-Saharan Africa (FHSSA) to be paired with the Hospice of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg and Soweto, South Africa

The mission of FHSSA is to support organizations in their development and provision of hospice and palliative care initiatives in sub-Saharan Africa. To date there are over 75 US hospices partnered with hospices in sub-Saharan Africa

Our partnership provides financial support to the Soweto Hospice through payroll deductions, special fundraising drives and events. We also send staff every other year to provide training and support to both patient care staff and office staff. On the off year of our travel we usually pay for some of our African colleagues to come spend time at our hospice and then attend a National Hospice and Palliative Care national conference

In 2007, eight of our staff traveled to our sister hospice. We spent 2 weeks providing assistance and support. Staff who are selected for this travel must commit to paying their own way and work on behalf of the partnership upon their return

This year, 7 employees and friends of Suncoast Hospice are traveling 8900 miles to visit with our sister hospice. They are: Laura Mosby, Lea Ann Horton, Amy Post Grady, Cathy Lasky, Steve Lasky, Roxie Smith, and Stacy Orloff.

The need for assistance is great:
  • Over 1300 deaths due to HIV/AIDS every week
  • No government assistance to pay for hospice care- everything is based on donations
  • The Soweto Hospice never has enough medication and supplies for their patients
  • Nursing sisters and social workers have very high caseloads
  • There are no chaplains, few volunteers
  • Worsening budget crisis for the hospice due to world economic slowdown

Our plan for 2009
  • Raise $8900 to take with us in May. Money will be spent on patient care and determined by our sister hospice. We’ll provide some financial assistance to every patient we visit. Other money may purchase medical supplies and medication
  • Help our sister hospice become more self sustaining by our ongoing fundraisers year round and through developing sustainable partnerships with international companies
  • Create to increase awareness of our sister hospice and increase donations!

Call to action
  • Support our future fundraisers
  • Tell your friends, family and community about our sister hospice and encourage them to donate
  • Help us to raise our $8900
  • Keep our African colleagues and their families as well as , their patient/families in your thoughts and prayers
  • Donations should be made to Suncoast Hospice Foundation – Soweto Hospice. For more information on making donations, please call Bryn Warner: 727-523-3414 or visit the Suncoast Hospice Website