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Heartland Hospice has big dreams to enhance palliative care support in Moose Jaw

Angela Sereda, board chairwoman, spoke to about 30 women by Zoom on Feb. 10 about the non-profit organization’s history, vision, mission, goals and activities.

Heartland Hospice has big dreams about enhancing hospice support in the region, including seeing more palliative care beds added and renovating an outdoor garden to provide a peaceful spot for residents. 

Angela Sereda, board chairwoman, spoke to about 30 women by Zoom on Feb. 10 about the non-profit organization’s history, vision, mission, goals and activities. The organization does not direct patient care or contact but advocates for patients and families during their palliative care experience. 

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Moose Jaw Women Who Care, an organization that formed in March 2021, hosted Heartland Hospice as part of a fundraiser. The group meets three times a year to raise money for community charities. The goal is for 100 women — or teams of one to four — to contribute $100 each and, in one hour, raise up to $10,000.  

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A vision of the future

When Sereda became board chairwoman in 2021, the organization hit pause on its activities and spent about four months focusing on governance, she explained. While governance is not exciting, the non-profit needed to become better accountable to the community and its stakeholders.

During two days of planning sessions, the board developed a strategic map to guide its activities during the next five years, she continued. 

Strategic plan goals include creating a dedicated hospice care centre in Moose Jaw, building community partnerships, creating a full suite of hospice services ready for delivery, and strengthening board governance. 

“And I am so proud that we have worked so hard over the last year that I think we have checked out probably three-quarters of our strategic map already in just one year,” said Sereda. “So, everyone has worked tirelessly.”

Heartland Hospice’s future will be at Pioneer Lodge in an area that currently has eight offices in a separate wing, she remarked. The goal is to create, furnish and decorate that space and turn the eight offices into four separate rooms, with one room a family resource centre with reading materials and activities. 

Meanwhile, the existing hospice care room will be turned into a sacred space that everyone in the building can use. 

The proposed hospice area has a separate entrance to the outside, so families would no longer need to walk through long-term care to reach it, said Sereda. This is positive since families were prevented from walking through when Pioneer Lodge was locked down due to COVID-19 outbreaks. 

“So this is another opportunity that individuals who are at their end-of-life would still have access to have their families come and join them and spend time with them,” she remarked. 

Heartland Hospice — formed in 2013 — plans to launch a capital campaign soon to support these renovations. The non-profit expects construction to begin this year, while the new hospice space — with two additional beds — should open by spring 2023.

A second initiative Heartland Hospice is pursuing is enhancing the serenity garden at Pioneer Lodge. The current hospice room has a good view of the garden, which contains a fountain, flowers and birdhouses. 

Phase 1 is complete, which included edging and curving, planting shrubs, adding mulch, laying down rocks and installing the fountain, Sereda said. This spring, phase 2 will include pouring a concrete pad, installing a gazebo, seeding, adding more shrubs and installing more curving and edging. 

A third initiative that Sereda highlighted was the My Wish Program, “the most fantastic (and) magical” program that aims to improve the end-of-life experience for patients and families with meaningful activities that are personal, simple and inexpensive. 

“If you know of anyone that would like a My Wish, then we are happy to fulfill that,” she added.

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