St. Joe's Lifecare Foundation Leader to Retire next May
Published on Friday, 1 November, 2019
Hamilton Tiger Cats Meet and Greet St. Joe's Caregivers
Published on Thursday,24 October, 2019
Hike for Hospice Raises $338,000
Published on Wednesday, 5 June, 2019
Celebration of love' raises $338,000 for hospice
Top Youth Fundraiser 2019
Published on Wednesday, 5 June, 2019
Anderson's feel-good moment Continues
Ticats to Join Hike for Hospice on May 5
Published on Wednesday,10 April, 2019
$200,000 slated for Hospice
Published on Thursday,12 July, 2018
St. Joseph’s Lifecare Centre is in line to get a $200,000 in one-time funding from the city for the operation of the Stedman Community Hospice.
Council’s operations and administration committee unanimously backed a resolution this week to grant the money after a pitch was made by Olga Consorti, president of St. Joseph’s Lifecare Foundation.
Council will consider final approval on July 24.
The funding will help the hospice – founded in 2004, and one of 25 such facilities in Ontario – provide programs and services from the moment of diagnosis of a life-limiting malady, through their illness and grief journey.
"While the esthetics of our beautiful facility provide home-like comforts, the unparalleled hospice care is what sets us apart,” Consorti told councillors.
"We pride ourselves on being trailblazers in the province, being the fifth residential hospice to open in Ontario and a whole host of firsts, including the launch of our community outreach and our horticultural programs, among others.”
The hospice’s 10-bed Hankinson House provides round-the-clock care for anyone with three months or less left to live.
It provides a community outreach program that sees a team of professionals visit homes of patients in Brantford and Brant County. Outreach also is provided to Six Nations and Haldimand and Norfolk counties.
Councillors were told that the hospice has handled more than 450,000 in-home visits and consultations, resulting in thousands of emergency room diversions, better access to care and millions of dollars in savings to the health-care system.
Since the Ontario government funds only a portion of the hospice’s programs and services, the foundation carries on a fundraising campaign to meet the facility’s $3-million-plus annual budget.
Brant County council earlier this year donated $100,000.
"I’m delighted that council unanimously supported this funding,” said Coun. John Utley.
"That’s a strong recognition of the work that hospices do in communities for those who area in the last stages of life. The Stedman Community Hospice is a worldclass facility and a jewel in our community.”
Dying Ontario Boy's October Christmas Inspires Indian Film 'Uma"
Published on Friday, 6 July, 2018
In October 2015, people in the small southwestern Ontario town of St. George rallied together to throw an elaborate Christmas parade for a seven-year-old with an inoperable brain tumour who wanted to celebrate his favourite holiday one last time.
But although Evan Leversage tragically died on Dec. 6 of that year, just weeks before Christmas, his story did not end there. In 2017, his mother received a surprising Facebook message from award-winning Indian filmmaker Srijit Mukherji.
"In that message, he wanted to explain to me how Evan in St. George had inspired him to write the movie ‘Uma,’” Nicole Wellwood told CTV News Channel on Thursday. "I was actually quite shocked. You know, what happened here in October 2015 was absolutely incredible. But to inspire a movie to be done all the way in India is pretty remarkable.”
"It was absolutely fantastic,” Wellwood recalled. "There’s nothing that I wouldn’t want more than to have Evan here, but on the same note, to have his story and legacy live on in the way it has is absolutely incredible.”
Wellwood and Mukherji have since become friends, and although Wellwood says seeing the film was "absolutely emotional,” she added that the filmmaker’s "talent behind the camera is amazing.”
Mukherji also travelled all the way from India to St. George to present a special screening of the film Thursday night.
"To be able to share this film and bring it back to St. George to a community that rallied together to give Evan such happiness is absolutely going to be a night I can’t forget,” Wellwood said.
With files from The Canadian Press
Hike for Hospice
Published on Thursday,19 April, 2018
Hospice Christmas campaign seeks to raise $200,000
Before the Stewart family began a search for end-of-life care for five-year-old Charlotte, they knew little about Stedman Community Hospice.
Published on Tuesday, 5 December, 2017
"I had no clue a place like this existed," said Charlotte's aunt Cara Overduin. "I would drive by it and assumed it was an elderly care home. I was shocked there is this kind of gift in our community."
The hospice quickly became a haven for the large family, including Charlotte's parents, Jessica and Jeremy Stewart, who had been consumed with caring for their daughter, who was born with a neurological degenerative disorder so rare that Overduin said just two people in the world currently have it.
Not expected to live past the age of eight months, Charlotte's condition caused her to choke, aspirate and suffer from dystonia. She required a feeding tube and spent much of her time in hospital.
As Charlotte reached the final weeks of her life, hospital staff talked to the family about hospice care.
"It was a scary sounding thing," said Overduin.
"But we came (to the hospice) for a visit to check it out. It was breathtaking. It felt so homey. We were invited in for soup and coffee and we chatted on the couch."
The hospice first provided Charlotte, called Charlie by her family, with community outreach - sending doctors, nurses and social workers to support her in her St. George home.
"She went downhill really fast," said Overduin. "We called the hospice in desperation. They were full but they made space in the family room and got her in a day later.
"There was such a feeling of relief. The nursing staff was phenomenal. They were constantly offering support. They cared for her so tenderly. You could tell that they loved her.
"We had never seen (Charlotte) so comfortable or calm. We could hold her without the struggle."
Charlotte died on Sept.14, two days after celebrating her fifth birthday, complete with a big party in the hospice family room.
So grateful is the family for the little girl's care that Overduin has become a spokesperson for the hospice. And, blue-eyed Charlotte, pictured wearing a wreath of baby's breath on her head, is the first cover girl for Insight, a new booklet the hospice has mailed to donors for its Christmas fundraising campaign.
This year's campaign goal is $200,000.
In 2014, thanks to a successful fundraising campaign, the 10-room Hankinson House opened to replace the original hospice. It costs about $3 million a year to operate the hospice, which gets limited government funding for nursing costs. Half the money, said Olga Consorti, president and CEO of St. Joseph's Lifecare Foundation, is raised through donations from the community.
Consorti said hospice staff has handled more than 350,000 in-home visits and consultations, resulting in thousands of emergency room diversions, better access to care and millions of dollars in savings to the health-care system.
The hospice is one of only 25 such residential facilities in Ontario and its programs are open to people in Brantford, Brant and Six Nations. It offers a community outreach program, a day wellness program, a residential program for those diagnosed with three months or less to live, and a grief and bereavement counselling.
Consorti said Stedman is one of the few hospices that care for children.
There is no cost to families for hospice services.
"I can't think of one situation we can't help someone, either here at the hospice or at home," said Consorti.
Donations to the hospice's Christmas campaign can be made online at www.sjlc.ca, by calling 519-751-7096, ext. 2475, or by mail at St. Joseph's Lifecare Foundation, 99 Wayne Gretzky Pkwy, N3S 6T6, with cheques payable to the foundation.
Those who join the hospice's Monthly Giving Club, with donations spread over 12 months, will have their contribution matched by Kent Dixon, president of ROI Group. Those who are already club members can increase their monthly gift and that also will be matched.
"Words can never express how grateful we are," said Overduin. "I don't think people realize how much donations can mean."
Stories of Love and Life at Stedman Community Hospice are posted on YouTube.
Brantford Expositor 2017 ©
St. Joe's proposes retirement complex
St. Joseph's Lifecare Centre wants to build a seniors retirement complex on its property.
Published on Thursday,13 July, 2017
The centre's board of trustees has issued a request for expressions of interest to construct a "state-of-the-art retirement facility" on the last remaining five acres of its property, which is bounded by Wayne Gretzky Parkway and Grey and Chatham streets.
Interested parties are being asked to attend a site meeting on July 28. The deadline for expressions of interest is Aug. 31.
"We are in the early exploratory stages," Derrick Bernardo, president of St. Joseph's, said in an interview Monday.
Bernardo said that, three years ago, the board completed a community health needs assessment, which identified as a priority the treatment of elderly residents. That assessment, funded through St. Joseph's Lifecare Foundation, complemented a master aging plan for Brantford and Brant County, which, in 2007, found that the area's population of 19,000 seniors would swell to nearly 40,000 by 2031.
"This projection does not include seniors moving into the community," Bernardo noted.
"We are always sensitive to the needs of seniors and we are always looking for ways of improving their quality of life."
The cost, size and number of units for the proposed retirement complex and a timetable for construction are unknown at this stage, Bernardo said.
"We are well positioned to do this because right beside where the building would go, we already have on the campus a lab, an onsite pharmacy, a multitude of physicians with an array of specializations, massage, clinical dietitian and art therapy services," he said.
"All can be accessed by residents who would be living in the complex. We want to create that community feeling and improve access to care and services at the same time."
The St. Joseph's complex now includes a long-term care home with 205 beds, the Stedman Community Hospice and Hankinson House, offices of the Canadian Diabetes Association, a continence care clinic, peritoneal dialysis program and facilities for urology research.
Brantford Expositor 2017 ©