Jill Tobol and Jill Pickering <em>(Contributed photo)</em>

Jill Tobol and Jill Pickering (Contributed photo)

Community support for hospice care ensures quality of life at the end of life

  • Thu Sep 26th, 2019 1:30am
  • Life

Submitted by the Hospice of the Northwest Foundation

The Hospice of the Northwest Foundation held its 18th Annual Ports of Call Auction and Gala on Saturday, Sept. 14. This year, the Port of Call was the Wonderful World of Oz. With 426 guests and 54 community sponsors, nearly $350,000 was raised in support of expert and dignified end of life care in Island, San Juan, Skagit and Snohomish counties.

Since 2009, 92-year-old Elma Johnson has helped raise more than $131,500 by auctioning her wild blackberry pie at the annual Ports of Call Gala and Auction. Elma’s special connection to Hospice of the Northwest goes a long way back. Her son, Paul Johnson, was the Hospice Medical Director from 2007-2014 and was in the first group of physicians in the nation to earn board certification in hospice and palliative care. Paul passed away in 2016 at home with hospice care.

This year, winning bids for the pie totaled $25,000. Elma, a long-time hospice supporter is touched by the response her pie generated from donors.

“I just love those people. It’s reassuring to me that there are people in this world that want to help by giving money for good causes such as this,” she said.

One of the most moving moments of the evening was the video highlighting the Pediatric Hospice Program at Hospice of the Northwest. Because pediatric hospice patients have challenges that distinguish them from adult patients, the agency relies on donors to help deliver expert and compassionate care to children in our community with life-limiting illnesses. Donors’ gifts train hospice staff for the challenges of caring for a seriously ill child, provide the specialized equipment and medication that pediatric patients need, and ensure grief and loss care for loved ones, including big sisters, aunties, uncles, and grandparents.

At a time when every moment counts, donations to the Hospice of the Northwest Foundation ensure that children, regardless of their insurance coverage or ability to pay, are given the chance to be a kid. The video is available to view at www.hospicenw.org.

The Hospice of the Northwest Foundation has committed to providing more than $600,000 in program funds to Hospice of the Northwest during 2019. These program funds help bridge the gap between what the agency is reimbursed through Medicare and other insurance programs, and what it costs to provide quality and compassionate hospice care. Program funds also help defray agency costs for clinical education, technology upgrades, complementary therapy, bereavement care and uncompensated patient care.

Wendy Rohrbacher, executive director of the Hospice of the Northwest Foundation, thanked the audience for their part in ensuring that Hospice programs and services continue to meet the needs and expectations of the community.

“The expert and dignified care that Hospice of the Northwest provides is made possible through the generous support of our donors, and we are deeply grateful for your support of our mission,” she explained.

Rohrbacher also thanked the Hospice of the Northwest staff “for the dignified care they provide to our community, families, friends and neighbors every day.” And she explained that “their teamwork and dedication are unsurpassed.”

About the Foundation:

The Hospice of the Northwest Foundation funds dignity, compassion and comfort to terminally ill members of the community and ensures that quality hospice care is available to all who are coping with a life-limiting illness. For more information about the foundation or Hospice of the Northwest services, visit www.hospicenw.org, or call 360-814-5702.


Jones Atterberry <em>(Contributed</em><em> photo) </em>

Jones Atterberry (Contributed photo)

<em>(Contributed photo)</em>

(Contributed photo)

<em>(Contributed photo)</em>

(Contributed photo)