Swipe for a Cause was founded with the mission of supporting hospice. That is it’s first misson. Our hospice donation comes out before bills are paid or payroll is met. We only exist to support hospice. So deciding what hospice to support could have been a very difficult decision. It wasn’t.
We met with Hope Hospice & Palliative Care Rhode Island, then Home & Hospice Care of Rhode Island, and knew they were the one. We shared so many common values and goals. Like us, they looked at their industry as needing change and took an entrepreneurial approach to making that change happen.
To assuage doctors’ hesitancy to mention hospice to patients, Hope Hospice RI was the first hospice in the country to partner with a major medical school — The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Now every medical student who graduates Brown needs to do a rotation at Hope Hospice’s state-of-the-art inpatient facility, The Philip Hulitar Center. Although in truth, most students dread this rotation, when they are done, they all say it was the best thing they had ever done.
When doctors understand that hospice isn’t about death, but about patients fully living the time they have left, it changes the end-of-life experience dramatically. Instead of patients spending their last days enduring procedures that do nothing to increase orenhance quality of life, when a doctors calls in hospice, it allows patients to spend what precious time they have with family and friends. Right now, most people don’t call hospice in until the final weeks or months and then wish they had done it early. Hope Hospice is making deep inroads into assuring in the future, patients and families are given the option sooner.
We also chose Hope Hospice RI due to the incredible lengths they go to in order to make end-of-life as fullfilling as it can be.
One afternoon, a nurse care manager received a very moving request from the family whose two-month-old baby in our care. Their tiny daughter didn’t have much time left and they wanted to have her photographed with their family. Hope Hospice RI staff sprang into action and located an employee who has a side hobby of photography. This woman went to the family’s home and was able to take some beautiful photographs giving this family a lasting memory of their brief time with their daughter.
Another patient had never fullfilled his bucket list wish of driving a sportscar. With the help of Hope Hospice staff and the generosity of a local car dealer, he was able to spend an afternoon driving around Rhode Island in a fancy sports car with his father. For both men, it was the a priceless moment.
When one of the inpatients at the Philip Hulitar was unable to attend her daughter’s high school graduation, Philip Hulitar allowed the school to put on a private graduation in her room, complete with “Pomp and Circumstance” and gap and gown.
Although pets are not typically allowed at the Philip Hulitar Center, exceptions are sometimes made for family pets. Imagine the staff surprise when one day the family pet turned out to be an Alpaca. A tall order, but they made it work and the patient got to pet him for one last time.
These are just a few of the stories that have Hope Hospice RI going above and beyond. But maybe the most impressive aspect to Hope Hospice is not what they do in extraordinary circumstances. It’s what they do for every patient. They are able to let them and their families know how deeply they care. They might have helped several other dying patients, but every one of them becomes significant in their lives. They become and feel like they are part of every family they help. Their compassion is limitless. They are often called “angels” by the families they help. They will stop at nothing to make sure families get everything they need.