Hospice Society of the Columbia Valley executive director Maria Kliavkoff presented information from the society’s 2015 year-end report and its priorities for 2016 at the Wednesday, January 27th regular Radium council meeting.
“We’re coming up on our third anniversary so we’re not even three years old yet, but because of all our accomplishments, I think people forget that,” she said.
She told council that some of the major accomplishments of 2015 included the completion of the Hospice Society of the Columbia Valley offering its first full year of bereavement service; offering the first bereavement facilitator training program to prepare volunteers to host walk and talk groups; hosting the second annual Tree of Lights memorial in three locations; and new representation on the board from Spillimacheen (Area G) and Radium Hot Springs. There is already representation from Invermere, Fairmont (Area F) and Canal Flats.
“In 2015, we had 887 end-of-life visits and that was to 37 clients and families,” said Kliavkoff. “Since the beginning (of the Hospice Soceity), there were 1,541 visits delivered to 59 clients.”
In addition, Kliavkoff recently completed 150 hours of training from the internationally recognized Center for Loss and Life Transition in Fort Collins, Colorado. She obtained the Death and Grief Studies Certificate after completing five training seminars (Helping Children and Adolescents Cope with Grief; Understanding and Responding to Complicated Mourning; Exploring the Shadow of the Ghosts of Grief; Companioning the Traumatized Griever: Reframing PTSD as Catch Up Mourning; and Suicide Grief: Companioning the Mourner) taught by the Loss and Life Transition founder Dr. Alan D. Wolfelt.
Kliavkoff provided an area breakdown for the Columbia Valley that revealed a total of 105 members, 206 volunteers, 37 end-of-life and 18 bereavement clients.
In the future, Kliavkoff plans to promote health for suffering families with terminally ill members through hospice visitation and bereavement services; education for volunteers to learn about hospice and bereavement training; and awareness about palliative care, grief and bereavement to the public and health care professionals. She remains optimistic that the programs will continually gain support in each valley community and she will be training volunteers for a wide variety of programs.
“In 2016, we plan to continue to meet the needs of your community by expanding our programs to include a host of bereavement programs,” said Kliavkoff. “To support this activity, we respectfully ask that you support us in the coming year at the $1,000 level, which is $500 less than what we asked for last year. It represents 0.6 per cent of our proposed 2016/2017 budget.”
Mayor Clara Reinhardt informed Kliavkoff that her monetary request would be reviewed during council’s upcoming budget meeting.
Food bank credits Radium for its support
The Columbia Valley Food Bank recently sent the Village of Radium Hot Springs a formal thank you letter for their support.
Ronald Stainthorpe, board chair of the Columbia Valley Food Bank, credited the council and its staff — as well as the community — for making the holiday season a memorable one that was accessible to everybody.
“Now that the busy holiday season is behind us and we look forward to 2016, we find ourselves thinking back to the year just completed and the many residents and organizations of the Columbia Valley who go far beyond what would normally be expected in assisting our organization,” Stainthorpe’s letter to council read. “We wish to thank the Village of Radium Hot Springs very much for the great support over the years, including hosting the CP Holiday Train events that raise a very considerable amount of money and food for the food bank.”
Stainthorpe’s letter revealed that over the holidays, there were roughly 800 food hampers given to about 1,950 individuals (a third of which are children).
“We continue to support the Food for Learning programs at local schools and provide food to support the Healthy Eating Initiative — a program that promotes lifelong well-being through healthy eating, physical activities and sports participation for children between the ages of zero to six. As well, we continue to support the Women’s Safe Home program,” concluded Stainthorpe in his letter.