Individuals approaching the end of their lives and who are in need of community hospice care can now receive these services closer to home with the opening today of Hospice at The Views.

“We have committed to increasing the number of hospice spaces in the province by 100 per cent by 2020,” said Health Minister Terry Lake. “By providing for more hospice spaces at The Views, we are making progress towards our goal, and today’s announcement will complement the larger plan to provide residents with comfortable, improved palliative care services closer to home and loved ones.”

The new four‐bed hospice service is a community partnership involving the Province of B.C., Island Health, St. Joseph’s Hospital, Comox Valley Hospice Society and the St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundation. Island Health will provide annual operating funding to St. Joseph’s Hospital. The Comox Valley Hospice Society, through community donations, will provide supports and counselling to patients and their families.

“Hospice at The Views will provide services in a residential care setting for Comox Valley residents nearing the end of life, along with support for their families and loved ones,” said Don McRae, MLA for the Comox Valley. “By providing $250,000 in funding, our government is taking a big step forward in our commitment to expanding hospice spaces in British Columbia, including on Vancouver Island.”

“This new community Hospice service will support local residents as they near the end of their journey, it will ensure that their dignity and comfort is maintained and it will provide support to families and loved ones at a very emotional time,” said Don Hubbard, Island Health Board Chair. “These four beds here at Hospice at The Views are the first to open as part of our commitment to double the number of hospice spaces across Island Health to 64 by 2020.”

The Ministry of Health provided $250,000 to the St. Joseph’s General Hospital Foundation, which in combination with donations from the Comox Valley Hospice Society and St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundation, funded extensive renovations at The Views to create a distinct hospice space for patients and their families. The Hospice at The Views will provide a warm and welcoming environment. Each room has ocean and/or garden views and is characterized by peace, quiet, dignity and privacy where palliative patients and their families can receive needed care and feel at home during this challenging time.

“While many individuals prefer to receive palliative care in their own home, there are patients and their families who need the support of a residential hospice service with trained and dedicated staff such as this. We look forward to providing this high quality service to our patients and their families,” said Chris Kelsey, St. Joseph’s Hospital Board Chair.

In partnership with Island Health and St. Joseph’s Hospital, the Comox Valley Hospice Society plays a key role in supporting the needs of dying patients and their families. Comox Valley Hospice’s team of health care professionals and trained volunteers deliver quality hospice care and support to patients who are dying and to families who are dealing with grief after losing a loved one.

“We are so very grateful to all of the generous donors who have made the dream of residential hospice care in our community a reality,” said Audrey Craig, President, Comox Valley Hospice Society. “Additionally, we are very excited about the innovative partnership in care between St. Joseph’s Hospital, Island Health and the Comox Valley Hospice Society.”

On behalf of the St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundation, Lynn Dashkewytch, Executive Director said, “After all of the generous contributions from our community, it is extremely gratifying to see the realization of this residential hospice service.”

Island Health recognizes that community based end‐of‐life care services are a priority for many communities within Island Health’s region. Island Health has developed an end‐of‐life care plan and will continue to work on enhancements to a range of end‐of‐life care programs and services, including beds throughout its service area. Island Health’s end‐of‐life care plan is a long‐term vision that will be put in place as resources and competing priorities allow.