Thanks to the ongoing support from individuals, donors and many healthcare entities throughout our eight county service area, 2012 was another successful year for Center for Hospice Care (CHC). We are proud to be your independent, community-based, non-profit hospice and palliative care agency.
In no particular order, highlights from 2012 included the following:
• We cared for more patients last year than in any year in our history. It is our privilege and honor to have had 1,866 patients and their families choose CHC for their care during 2012. By annualized numbers of patients served, CHC continues to rank in the top 5% of the more than 5,500 hospice programs operating in the United States. Since our first patient was admitted in January of 1980, we have cared for 24,454 patients. Mission-driven quality care, remarkable clinical skills capacity, and a focus on charity are the hallmarks of CHC and its Hospice Foundation. Today, with 215 professional staff and 350 devoted volunteers, we believe there is no other local organization more proficient or more experienced at providing high quality, patient and family-centered care at the end of life.
• We are delighted with our locally unmatched clinical expertise. In December, a third staff physician joined our expert team of medical specialists. Under the American Board of Medical Specialty, there are only 1,271 Board Certified Hospice and Palliative Medicine Physicians in the nation. Three of them now work full time and exclusively at CHC. They care for patients, perform palliative care consultation services at local hospitals and nursing homes, make regular patient rounds at our two Hospice Houses, and provide community education presentations in a variety of forums.
• Our 28th Annual Helping Hands Award Dinner, honoring the late Mary Osmanski Ferlic, raised $265,000, making it one of the most financially successful dinners ever. The dinner was a fitting tribute to Mary's passion, charisma and charm. Mary helped CHC get off the ground in the late 1970s and in the early 1980s she served as a board member, social worker and consummate fundraiser. Chaired by Chris and Carmi Murphy and attended by 540 people, a total of 32 individuals, foundations and corporations sponsored the event at levels of $2,500 or higher.
• The 4th Annual Bike Michiana for Hospice exceeded its fundraising goal by 33% in mid-September. 974 riders participated in 2012. We had one rider each from Rhode Island and New York as well as four from Pennsylvania. More than 40 cyclists came from the Chicago area, which was one of our targeted publicity areas thanks to a grant from the South Bend / Mishawaka Convention and Visitors Bureau.
• 410 participants enjoyed the 27th Annual Walk for Hospice held at Newton Park in Lakeville just two weeks after the bike ride. Donations increased 5% over 2011. The 28th Annual Walk for Hospice 2013 will be held at the new Mishawaka Campus and we look forward to reinvigorating the event to take advantage of the spectacular new location on the banks of the St. Joseph River.
• Speaking of our new Mishawaka Campus, significant progress took place last year. The development agreement with the City of Mishawaka was finalized with unanimous approval by the Redevelopment Commission on July 18th and we crossed the final hurdle with the Mishawaka Common Council on August 6th when they unanimously approved the final rezoning requests. A groundbreaking ceremony was held on October 16th at the site and was attended by more than 100 guests. By the end of the year, construction was progressing quite well. Scheduled construction completion and occupancy of Phase I of this multi-year, multi-phase project is slated for this summer. Details and recent construction photos are available at www.foundationfohospice.org/progress/new-campus.
• At our Elkhart Campus, The Gardens of Remembrance and Renewal were dedicated in June with a donor event attended by 130 people. The arbor fountain, six benches, four flowering trees and 22 bricks given in honor or in remembrance of loved ones were dedicated at this time as well. A similar event is planned for summer 2013.
• It was an award-winning year for our short documentary film, Okuyamba, which depicts the challenges of providing palliative care to dying patients throughout the country of Uganda. Through FHSSA, formerly known as Foundation for Hospices of Sub-Saharan Africa. we have been partnered with the Palliative Care Association of Uganda since 2008 and have worked to draw attention to the abundant needs of Uganda's dying peoples. During 2012, Okuyamba was: the Award of Merit winner in the Short Documentary category in the Best Shorts film competition in LaJolla, CA; the 2012 Silver Award winner for Short Documentary from the Prestige Awards for Film competition; an Indie Fest Award winner; an Accolade Competition winner; the first-runner up in the overall Documentary Film category at the Vegas Cine Fest; and it won the inaugural Morfogen "Art of Caring" Award at the National Hospice Foundation Gala in Washington, DC. It was also an "Official Selection" in nine other additional national and international film festivals. Find out more at www.okuyamba.org.
• While most philanthropic experts were predicting no increases in charitable giving for 2012, when taking out bequests and one-time major gifts, our Hospice Foundation received an increase in cash donations of about 6%. We received 11,980 gifts from 7,446 unique donors. Total cash gift receipts for 2012 totaled $1,027,116.
• One of the fundamental reasons for our fundraising is to provide services to patients and families who are uninsured or have no ability to pay for their care. We have never turned away eligible hospice patients who desired our care. The 2012 value of charity care, adjustments and write-offs was up 13% over 2011 and totaled $1,159,253.
• Our dedicated, trained community volunteers contribute to CHC in many ways. Last year they worked 16,744 hours. Traveling throughout our eight county service area to patient homes, nursing homes and other extended care facilities as well as our own Hospice Houses, CHC volunteers drove 39,195 miles. Many volunteers worked exclusively out of one of our CHC offices assisting with a varied assortment of duties. Volunteers saved the agency $383,134 in expenses during 2012. A very big thank you to our hospice volunteers!
• We held three concurrent Memorial Service in South Bend, Plymouth and Elkhart for the benefit of family members of our patients who had passed away over the last year. A record number 671 surviving family participants took part. The annual service is just one component of our comprehensive bereavement programming which is open to anyone who has experienced the loss of a loved one through death. Last year we had 2,190 new clients with 15% coming to us without a prior CHC experience in their life. Telephone calls, risk assessments, mailings, individual / group counseling sessions and presentations totaled 26,469 during 2012. Performed primarily by our bereavement team, grief counseling is available at all of our care offices. Many special focus programs operate out of our freestanding community bereavement facility, the Life Transition Center in Mishawaka.
As always, we thank you for whatever role you played during 2012 in supporting CHC and its mission to Improve the Quality of Living in our communities.