Local hospice reaches out to community

CARLSBAD — Hospice of the North Coast’s (HNC) new theme, “Ask for Us,” which is being incorporated into the logo and launched as part of November’s National Hospice and Palliative Care Month, harks back to the inception of what is now a worldwide effort to promote peaceful dying.HNC Executive Director Nerice Kaufman said, “The addition of this simple but powerful phrase connects HNC to the original intent and continuing compassionate spirit of the hospice movement. It also connects us to our North County community, which we daily strive to serve as the premier provider of choice. Hospice is not solely a concept and all hospices are not alike. As a small, community-based nonprofit, HNC offers an array of client-centered programs. People should get informed about their end-of-life choices. Once they do, they can ask for us by name.”

Kaufman said the history of hospice and of Hospice of the North Coast are closely intertwined.

“Although death has been a part of life since Earth began, the notion of hospice is quite new. It began quietly in England in the late 1940s when the mother of the hospice movement, Cicely Saunders, after watching a loved one die, became a physician who played a major role in helping the terminally ill die in comfort and dignity. In 1980, local Episcopal Priest Paul Camm organized members of St. Andrew’s Episcopal church in Encinitas, to help care for a dying congregant in her home. The effort evolved into Hospice of the North Coast.”

Nonprofit Hospice of the North Coast was established in 1980 to fill the need for comprehensive, compassionate hospice care in North County San Diego. Since its inception, it has grown in services, staff and clients. It currently provides a full spectrum of programs to terminally ill clients and their families, including anticipatory and post-death bereavement support, as well as a Pathways Program for those with a declining chronic disease. To fulfill its mission of maintaining dignity, comfort and highest quality of life for those it serves, regardless of ability to pay, HNC hosts fundraising events, operates a family support camp and resale shop, and maintains a cadre of volunteers.

 

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