About Prince George Hospice
History of Hospice
In 1987 the National Hospice Palliative Care Association was formed. This was the same year doctor Staniland and Esther DeWitt, a physician and nurse at the Prince George Hospital, saw a need to provide a palliative approach for people dying in Prince George. The initial year saw Esther training volunteers to be present and support people and their caregivers as they died in their homes. To quote Elisabeth Kubler-Ross;
“those who have the strength and the love to sit with a dying patient in the silence that goes beyond words will know that this moment is neither frightening nor painful, but a peaceful cessation of the functioning of the body.”
Prince George Hospice volunteers learned to do just that. All support for Esther’s wages in the small office in the United Way building was funded and supported by the generosity of the community. Ahead of its time, the community saw the need for a Hospice House, where people could be given the care needed to die with dignity, surrounded by friends and family when dying at home was not possible. The Prince George Rotary Club supported this project and was instrumental in raising the $255 000 needed to purchase the house.
The community built the first free-standing Hospice in British Columbia and has dramatically changed how people in Prince George can die. This new era for hospice saw the expansion of our services to include grief and bereavement education and training. Through the years, the Hospice Palliative Care Society understood the needs of the community and expanded its services to meet these needs. Hospice House continues to grow in response to the community’s wishes, which speaks to Hospices’ responsibility as a community-based agency.
It was not always easy to meet the financial obligations to fulfill these needs, but we continued to provide the compassionate care that our guests require. We see it as our responsibility to meet the utmost demands of the community. And the community takes on the responsibility in return by offering its time, talent and treasure to keep the Hospice House in operation.
Prince George Hospice Palliative Care Society distinguishes Prince George from the rest of Northern British Columbia through the offering of a hospice care facility. Through capital campaigns and financial support from BC-Housing, our Hospice House expanded to 10 beds in 2009. Prince George is again leading both the province and the country in hospice palliative care. Prince George is unique from the rest of Canada by offering services that go beyond the normal. We offer services such as a family suite, a kitchen that nourishes not only our guests but their families and caregivers at the bedside, a fitness room, and a child’s playroom.
Most recently, in 2019, we launched “Caring for Our Home,” a campaign focused on raising the funds necessary to update and revamp the well-loved rooms. We continue to expand our reach into the community with our grief and bereavement support.
Leading Excellence in Hospice Care
Our compassionate staff and volunteers provide specialized hospice care to meet the needs of the person, families, and community, through bedside care, outreach, grief support, and education.
Compassionate Loving Care – Fostering personal relationships through patience and understanding
Courage – Nurturing a courageous supportive environment
Diversity – Celebrating our diversity by honouring cultural differences
Dignity – Conducting ourselves in an honest and respectful manner
Integrity – Taking personal responsibility for superior care delivery
Collaboration – Cultivating collaborative partnerships to provide quality end-of-life care.
Faces of Hospice
These are the faces of our guests’ families, our incredible staff & volunteers, and the donors that provide the resources we need to provide care and compassion for those in need. Please watch and share our stories – there are more to come, so stay tuned!