St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation launched its new Close to Home Campaign for hospice and end-of-life care last week. It started with a bang, with the announcement of a $6-million donation.
“We are absolutely thrilled to present this campaign to our community,” Gene Dupuis, the campaign’s honorary co-chair, said in a news release. “We can do so much more to meet the needs of the dying and their families.”
Jean Morrison, president and CEO of Emmanuel Health and St. Paul’s Hospital, said “the time for action is now. With the Close to Home Campaign, we will create Saskatchewan’s first free-standing residential hospice and set the standard for quality hospice care in Saskatoon.
“We hope this hospice will be the inspiration for other communities to consider what they can do to address the needs of people who have life-limiting illnesses.”
Joining Gene and Adele Dupuis as honorary co-chairs of the $20-million fundraising campaign are Todd Rosenberg and Dr. Vivian Walker.
“People facing end of life require a specific approach to their care,” said Walker, who is also co-medical director of Palliative Care Services in Saskatoon. “Saskatoon is the only city of its size in Canada that does not have a free-standing residential hospice.”
Gord Engel, a patient living with cancer, explained that quality hospice care is not only important for those facing end of life, but also for their families “because everyone wants the best for their family.”
At the event, the Engel family revealed the $6-millon gift from an anonymous donor. It’s the largest single donation ever made to St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation.
St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation CEO Bruce Acton said $14.5 million has been raised.
“We are grateful for the tremendous support we have received and hope it will serve as an inspiration for others to consider their gift to the Close to Home Campaign,” Acton said.
The hospice is scheduled to open in 2020.