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Hospice celebrates community service

The Wānaka App

10 May 2024, 5:04 PM

Hospice celebrates community service Hospice workers cover “every corner of Otago”, says CEO Ginny Green.

Otago Community Hospice is ready to celebrate Hospice Awareness Week (which runs from May 13-19) with a celebration of its community outreach services. 


Hospice CEO Ginny Green said a lot of people think the Inpatient Unit (IPU) in North Dunedin is the main focus of Hospice. 



“But in reality most of our 850 patients per year start with receiving hospice services from our community care team – in their own home.” 


The service is delivered wherever patients live, from Owaka to Waitahuna to Luggate to Ranfurly, and no matter what their diagnosis, she said. 


“We have over 40 specialist community staff working across every corner of Otago - supporting those who are dying, and their whānau,” Ginny said.


“These roles have been designed to fit our community’s needs; they are the heart and soul of our service.” 



Four key roles are being spotlighted for Hospice Awareness Week this year. 


Fran Barber is a kaupapa Māori care coordinator who supports Māori and Pasifika tūroro and whānau. Sarah Edwards is a social worker who visits patients in their homes across Central and North Otago. Denise van Aalst is a carer educator who provides up-to-date and valuable education to family carers, and Miriam Vollweiler is a night carer who relieves family carers overnight when their loved ones are in their last days of life. 


“We want our community to know they are not on their own during this difficult time,” Ginny said.



“If it is medical care, spiritual care, education, resources, or just some well needed rest, we will be there – wherever you are and whatever you need.


“We are also raising money this week to help fund these team members, via a text-to-donate campaign. It’s the first time we’ve done a campaign like this, and we hope the community responds.” 


PHOTO: Supplied