Gretchen Hartley, executive director of Cowichan Hospice, displays plans for the Cowichan Hospice House. (Photo by Pete Cavanaugh)

Chemainus Health Care Foundation supports Cowichan Hospice House with $100,000 contribution

Much-needed facility to be built in Duncan getting closer to its $10 million target

The Chemainus Health Care Foundation is providing $100,000 in support of the Cowichan Hospice House Project.

The presentation was made Monday night at the Steeples assisted living facility in Chemainus during the foundation’s annual general meeting. The funds go toward the Cowichan Hospice House project being built in Duncan to benefit all of the Cowichan Valley.

Hospice House has long been considered a much-needed addition. Valley organizations have stepped up toward raising the required $10 million in a hurry, with the final goal now clearly in reach.

The CHCF and Chemainus Health Care Auxiliary jointly funded the construction and equipping of an end-of-life sanctuary in 2011 at the Chemainus Health Care Centre and for several years the one room was the only such facility serving the Cowichan Valley.

“This will change with the completion of the Hospice House Project,” noted Kathleen Hepburn, president of the foundation. “Through the generosity of our donors from this small community we know the $100,000 will go to fill a significant gap in the health care available in the region. The need is now and growing as the population continues to age.”

The project is an ambitious undertaking with a 10-bed centre to meet the special needs of people at the end-of-life. For more than 35 years, Cowichan Hospice has provided care for people living with advancing illness and in grief through professional counsellors and trained volunteers.

However, the Cowichan area is the only community of its size on the Island without a dedicated Hospice House. The new centre will provide a welcoming environment with expert medical care while emotional, spiritual and practical support can be given to those facing life-threatening illnesses and their families.

Jamie Goodman, president of the Cowichan Hospice Board, welcomed the donation from the foundation.

“We are getting close to the target and contributions from this community of Chemainus have been extremely important,” he indicated. “We hope to see groundbreaking by fall 2019 with doors opening in late 2020. We are also pleased that the end-of-life sanctuary funded those years ago at the Health Care Centre will continue to be available as hospice for special care.”

The Chemainus Health Care Foundation has served the community of Chemainus and area since 1988. It’s managed by a volunteer nine-member board and raises funds to support the Chemainus Health Care Centre, educational programs and community health programs such as the Adult Day Program.

Recent purchases in support of community health care have included: a portable ultrasound for Urgent Care ($65,000); and fall mats with alarms and special mattresses for Residential Care.


Kathleen Hepburn presents the real $100,000 cheque from the Chemainus Health Care Foundation to Christa Fox of the Cowichan Hospice House Task Force. (Photo by Pete Cavanaugh)

Detailed plans for the Cowichan Hospice House. (Photo by Pete Cavanaugh)

Christa Fox expresses her appreciation to the Chemainus Health Care Foundation for its $100,000 contribution Monday for the Cowichan Hospice House to an attentive Kathleen Hepburn, with Dr. Susan Barr and Gretchen Hartley to the right. (Photo by Pete Cavanaugh)

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