Heartland Hospice Moose Jaw is celebrating a re-launch this week, revealing a new status as a registered charity here in Moose Jaw alongside a new logo and website.
Formerly recognized as a non-profit organization, Heartland Hospice is excited to redesignate itself as a charity working collaboratively with the provincial Ministry of Health and the Saskatchewan Health Authority to further palliative care services.
“It really is just a new starting point for our organization,” said board chair Angela Sereda. “It’s a big leap in regards to fundraising support, collaboration, access and all kinds of things. It just takes us to a different level as a collaborative partner, within palliative care.”
The move to becoming a registered charity mostly affects the governance aspects of the group, with the board now operating under newly revised governance documents that solidify the foundation of the organization’s goals.
“It's been a lot of work, redefining Heartland Hospice, and a lot of foundational work that nobody sees has happened, but it's so important in order to progress as a registered charity, because we want to be seen as an accountable partner within the community,” said Sereda. “It's really great to see it come to fruition, and kudos to the board.”
Charity status will offer the board different support opportunities, which in turn will open new doors for Heartland Hospice moving forward as a partner with the health authority.
What won’t be changing, confirmed Serada, is the organization’s goals of improving palliative care and hospice services available in the city of Moose Jaw.
“Our future goals right now is to working with the Saskatchewan Health Authority and Ministry of Health to enhance the delivery of patient- and family-centred care within hospice,” said Sereda.
Heartland Hospice currently operates one palliative care room at Pioneer Lodge, and future goals for the board involve increasing available palliative care rooms available at the facility to three.
Other projects on the radar include creating a dedicated hospice space at Pioneer Lodge, with a separate entrance for families, a sacred space to support spiritual and holistic needs, and developing a Serenity Garden for use on the property.
Heartland Hospice also has plans to ensure all hospice staff are trained in approaches to palliative care. The new website, launched alongside the charity designation, will also offer information and resources about end-of-life care and bereavement.
Sereda shared that an estimated 270,000 Canadians die each year from chronic illnesses and the demand for palliative care services is only increasing, but only 16 to 30 per cent of Canadians have access to those services.
“Our goal is really to help people reach those services,” said Sereda. “Palliative care and end-of-life care services are really needed, and Moose Jaw has done a great job to date with our palliative health care team, with the health authority, so we’re just another team player and we’re looking forward to being on that team.”