Hospice Halifax is dedicated to supporting people affected by life-limiting illness, death, grief or loss. We are a non-sectarian, registered not-for-profit organization committed to expanding awareness about the strengths of hospice care. We are working toward establishing the first free-standing residential hospice in Nova Scotia.
We believe that everyone should have access to choice and comfort at the end of life. Together with our partners, we’ve built over 15 years of community support in Halifax Regional Municipality.
Volunteers are the heart of our organization and we are proud of their year-round efforts. Their work in early 2015, for example, helped Hospice Halifax raise over $60,000 at the Feeling the Love gala at the Westin Nova Scotian.
We treasure our partnerships with six local rotary clubs and other organizations. We recognize their continued support as we collectively move toward the goal of establishing a free-standing hospice.
Hospice Halifax history
Hospice Halifax (the Hospice Society of Greater Halifax) formed in 2001. In 2002, we established our first working and administrative board of directors with the leadership of Georgina Chambers, Chair; Susan Corning, Vice-Chair; Terry Rudderham, Treasurer; Betty Morton, Secretary; and board members Barbara Jannasch, Sharon Keegan, Jim Torbert, Donna Hanczaryk, James Lambie, and Shari Vogler.
We received our charitable registration status on January 17, 2003. In 2010, we acquired Pryor House from Halifax Regional Municipality. This heritage property at 9 Spring Street in Bedford served as the operational base for our administration activities, community programs, and member and volunteer events until December 2015. We updated our mission, vision, purpose, and guiding principles in 2011. We hired our first office manager in 2012 and, two years later, we welcomed our first CEO, Wendy Fraser.
In the past, we’ve offered programs like The Living Room, The Bedford Sunshine Room, and Caregiver Support. Today, we offer community support through our bereavement programs and events while we work toward establishing a free-standing hospice.
Our membership includes 145 community members, advocates, health care professionals, and families touched by hospice care. Our 78 volunteers awareness about hospice care, offer support programs, and organize events. Each year, we host major annual fundraising initiatives: the Feeling the Love gala, Angels in Memory holiday tree, and Hike for Hospice community walk.
What is hospice palliative care?
Hospice palliative care means providing opportunities for individuals and families to uniquely address practical, physical, emotional, and spiritual needs while preparing for the individual’s death.
Residential hospices provide a home-like setting for individuals who are living with and dying from end-stage illnesses who require holistic care and regular symptom assessment and treatment and care plans. Hospices also help individuals and families cope with grief and loss during the illness and after the individual’s death. Hospice care is safe, high quality, patient-centered, and cost effective.
Palliative care, aimed at relieving physical suffering and providing comfort and quality of life, can be delivered in a dedicated section of a health care facility, in an individual’s home, or at a hospice.
To learn more about the history of hospice palliative care in Canada, visit the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association. To learn more about Balfour Mount, Canada’s ‘father of palliative care,’ visit the Canadian Virtual Hospice.