Community feedback helps shape future for North Okanagan Hospice Society

Shaping hospice future

Community feedback is helping shape the future for the North Okanagan Hospice Society.

The society is reviewing feedback from a recent public information session on its five-year strategic framework.

More than 40 people, including MLA Harwinder Sandhu, several municipal politicians, officials from Interior Health and community members took part.

Executive Director Lisa Matthews said she was "very pleased" with the turnout.

"We had community members from all sectors, which was critical in being able to get as many perspectives as possible. From elected members of civic and our province, to key stakeholders such as Interior Health, donors, business owners, families of hospice clients staff, to people simply interested in our organization. It really shows the touch of Hospice in this ... community," she said.

"Hospice ... has touched so many people in our community, and they are so supportive of us, and the work we do. A real testament to our staff and volunteers over the years."

Four feedback stations were set up covering finance, expert staff, palliative care, and community engagement. Input was summarized to find common themes.

"Communication was one of the biggest themes that came out.... How to better touch our community in meaningful ways, and more often.

"Participants identified that people lack awareness of our services and how to access them, and one size does not fit all, we need to tailor our access to meet the specific needs of different groups in our community. Education in a way that normalizes death, and provides information on where to go, what they need to know and how to get it."

The strategic framework will grow as feedback is collected.

"Our leadership team have reviewed the information and are adapting parts of our operational plan to incorporate these ides, and we are very grateful for the thoughtfulness of the inputs and how very practical many of them were," Matthews added.

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