The Neepawa and Area Palliative Care (NAPC) has been recognized for its continued community efforts with a provincial award.
Last Tuesday, the NAPC was given The Sharon Carstairs Caring Community Award. The award is the first-ever award of its kind, and aims to recognize and support community-based efforts to provide and improve palliative and end-of-life care throughout Manitoba.
Those efforts are quite evident at the Neepawa Hospital.
From January to June 2013, 547 volunteer hours have been logged in the Neepawa Palliative Care program.
In 2012, January to December, volunteer hours totaled 1,086. Since the local program’s inception in 1998, Neepawa's palliative care service has provided support at 646 deaths.
In the past 6 years 38 local people have participated in the volunteer training program and many continue to provide services.
Neepawa and Area Palliative Care are very involved in fundraising and have purchased furnishings (special beds/chairs/pictures) for four palliative care rooms in the local hospital.
They have also been involved in the purchase of new furnishings to provide a warm and friendly atmosphere for a family room which is used by hospital staff, doctors in emergency situations or consults with families when serious illnesses necessitate these conferences, as well as palliative care families.
A wheelchair and a walker are owned by the program and are used in the community by palliative patients as needed - this is to ease one of the burdens of the family in caring for palliative patients at home.
Neepawa and Area Palliative Care will be using the $1,000 cheque they are receiving as the recipient of the 2013 award to help with the purchase of an additional sleeper chair for use by families who need to remain overnight and allow them to have a more comfortable night rather than sitting up all night.
Cost of this sleeper chair is $3,000 - matching funds will be raised through their Step Up to the Line Fundraising efforts.
Margaret VanBuskirk accepted the award on behalf of Neepawa and Area Palliative Care.
The coordinator of the Neepawa and Area Palliative Care is a member of the Provincial Hub Committee for Patient Navigation after cancer diagnosis, chairperson of the Neepawa Cancer support network, community contact for Manitoba Breast and Women’s Cancer Network in affiliation with breast cancer Center of Hope, and peer support volunteer for breast Cancer for the Canadian Cancer Society.
The award is named after Honourable Sharon Carstairs, whose promotion of access to quality palliative care for all Canadians and her extraordinary record of achievement demonstrates how the vision and dedication of one individual can lead to dramatic and meaningful change both at home and globally.