September 05

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FINDING YOUR CALLING

My last blog introduced you to the Heart House Hospice (HHH), a community services hospice program.  I also had the pleasure of visiting the Dorothy Ley Hospice (DLH), located on Sherway Drive in Mississauga, right next to the Trillium Hospital.  DLH is a ten-bed residential hospice (FYI, the government will only fund up to ten beds, hence the reason most are that size), and also offers a community program similar to that of HHH.  DLH most closely resembles the services provided at Bethell Hospice as they both have community and residential programs.  At DLH I received good news; they had recently received their CARF accreditation, which is the same accreditation that I am working on for Bethell Hospice, so they were ready to celebrate.  The generosity of spirit and offers to support me as I move through the process were overwhelming.  These offers were made by both hospices that have been previously accredited.  I plan to take up both teams on their offers.

So, what did I learn from these visits?  I learned that generosity of the heart knows no bounds.  The people at all three hospices work tirelessly to support their residents, community, clients and their families.  When I think about collectively how many volunteers alone support these three organizations (~700), I am thankful that there are kind people in our communities that believe in agencies such as these.

Recently a resident at the Bethell Hospice passed away.  He had a difficult journey through his illness and faced many challenges with the healthcare system.  His family told the staff that being at Bethell was “heaven” for the resident and the family.  They have even asked if his memorial service could be held at the hospice as this was the place that they found peace for their family member.  The answer was a resounding yes and plans are now underway for a wonderful memorial service.  This is not typically something that happens at Bethell but I am constantly seeing the staff here go above and beyond to support the residents and their families.  Hey GSK folks, what a great example of putting the patient first.

I believe that this type of job invites a certain type of person.  Many of the people I have met worked in a “corporate/for-profit” environment previous to their roles in their NGOs, and most have told me that they would never go back.  How lucky can one be when you find your life’s calling and are able to act on it, working in the sector that fulfills you?  How many of us can say the same about what we do every day.  Are you doing what you really love?  Does it fulfill you each and every day?  Definitely something to think about as we all progress through our careers and our lives.