Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Hope Kids Care: Erica's Story

In 2002, Erica was diagnosed with medulloblastoma, a cancerous brain tumor, and was given large doses of chemotherapy and radiation. Although the treatments put her in remission, they resulted in multiple organ failure and growth failure. She also had significant problems with both her hearing and vision.

As Erica began spending more time in bed, her senses became increasingly important to her. She worried that she wouldn’t be able to learn to play the piano, which had been something she’d looked forward to for a long time. Fortunately, Hope’s music therapist was able to bring her a piano that could go across her lap and marked all the keys with different colors. In her excitement to learn, Erica quickly mastered multiple songs!

Although she enjoyed her success with music therapy, Erica was bothered by her poor eyesight, which was preventing her from seeing anything across the room or even watching TV. The Hope Kids Care team contacted Snead Eye Group, who graciously donated a cute pair of frames – in an extra special color.

Erica blurted out, “Purple is my favorite!” as soon as she saw her new glasses and was overjoyed to put them on. She started joking about how clearly she could see everybody in the room. Her family decided to celebrate by going to the movies to see Mary Poppins Returns.

Although she certainly has a tough road ahead, Erica’s happy spirit, huge smile, and constant laughter inspire us every day.

If you want to help others like Erica, please consider making a gift to Hope Kids Care. With your support, we can provide comforting care for children with complex medical conditions and their families.


Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Rotary Club of Fort Myers Golf Tournament 2019

The Rotary Club of Fort Myers is hosting a Golf Tournament at River Hall Country Club located at 3500 River Hall Pkwy, Alva, FL 33920. The event will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 1.

Registration is $125 per player. Players will have the chance to sink a hole-on-one on the designated Par 3 to win a 6 day trip for two to the 2020 Masters!

Sponsorship opportunities are available. Hole Sponsor Signs are $250 each; Birdie Sponsors are $1,500, with 14 spots available. Birdie Sponsorships include:
  • Large Hole Sponsor sign with two additional tee box signs 
  • Golf for 4 players, includes food 
  • 4 raffle tickets 
  • 4 Par 3 Masters Tickets 
  • 1 Yard Stick 
  • Logo on swag items

Proceeds from this golf tournament will benefit Hope Healthcare and the Rotary Trust Fund. To register, contact Anthony Idaspe at 239-220-8477 or

Monday, April 22, 2019

Walk 4 Hope raises nearly $10K for Hope Parkinson Program

To kick off National Parkinson’s Awareness Month, more than 200 walkers and supporters participated in Walk 4 Hope at Lakes Regional Park and raised nearly $10,000 for the Hope Parkinson Program.

Several Walk 4 Hope Trailblazers undertook additional fundraising efforts for Hope’s annual event that was sponsored by Millennium Physician Group and Personal Training by Jeri Ann and supported by Florida Neurology Group and Neurology Specialists.

Walk 4 Hope 2019

Friday, April 19, 2019

Jayden Sells His Toys for Hope Hospice

Jayden’s grandmother, Rose, was having a garage sale, when he asked if he could sell some of his toys to raise money for hospice. With a touch of surprise, his grandmother asked why. Jayden replied, “because they helped Poppy live a little bit longer.”

With his mission in mind, 10 year old Jayden began in earnest. He collected his toys, beanie babies, and bottles of water, making himself a special section along the driveway. He carefully wrote out a sign explaining that proceeds of the sale would benefit Hope Hospice because they cared for his Poppy. Two large photos of his beloved grandfather sat nearby.

It was a good day for toy sales! After collecting the money, Jayden promptly made a donation of $65 to Hope Hospice.

Jayden’s story is a reminder that each day is a gift. As Jayden and his Poppy’s time together grew short, the comforting care they received from Hope Hospice allowed them to enjoy very special moments together near the end. Poppy passed away, but the love he shared with his grandson sparked a gift that can help other families who are also in need of compassionate end of life care.

It is humbling to witness a generous spirit in someone as young as Jayden. We hope that his enthusiasm for giving will now inspire others to support the mission of Hope Hospice.

Please make a gift of $65 today in honor of Jayden. Just as his love for his grandfather will have no end, Hope Hospice will continue helping families in need, so that they too will celebrate each day as a gift.

Give online at

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Friends of Hope luncheon raises $115,000 for Hope Hospice

The Friends of Hope Women’s Committee recently hosted its annual luncheon at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa, raising $115,000 to benefit Hope Hospice.

Event chairs Barbara Caccese, Etta Smith and Signe Wynne, along with event committee members, coordinated the event for more than 250 guests. ABC7 morning anchor Jen Stacy emceed the afternoon, which featured boutique shopping, raffle prizes, silent auction and a fashion show presented by Chico’s and Soma.

Henderson, Franklin, Starnes, and Holt, P.A. served as presenting sponsor. Event sponsors included AmFund, Chico’s FAS and Northern Trust.

Spring Luncheon 2019

Monday, April 15, 2019

Celebrating Chelsea's Life with Gifts from the Heart

At age 24, Chelsea had a bright future ahead. She’d graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in fisheries and wildlife and was working in Atlanta for Kimberly Clark Corporation, working to advance environmentally sound business practices. She spoke fluent Chinese, loved boxing, working out and spending time with her family and friends.

But illness interrupted Chelsea’s life when she was diagnosed with collecting duct renal papillary carcinoma, an aggressive form of kidney cancer. Her close-knit circle of friends formed a group called “Chelsea’s Army,” and together, they completed a half marathon, raising money to support other people who were fighting cancer. Even in the middle of her own struggles, Chelsea was passionate about giving back and helping those in need.

As her cancer progressed, Chelsea enrolled in Hope Palliative Care to help manage her pain and symptoms. When the focus of her care shifted to comfort, she entered hospice care and was admitted to the Hope Care Center at HealthPark, where she passed away. She was only 26 years old.

Chelsea’s mother, Patti, was by her side throughout the ordeal. To this day, she remembers the nurses, doctors, social workers, and others who helped the entire family through the end of life journey, including Chelsea’s young sisters Taylor and Delaney.

After witnessing the loving, supportive care that Hope Hospice provided, Patti was inspired to pursue her Master’s degree in social work, so that she could someday join the team herself, to give back to the organization that provided comfort and compassion during the most difficult weeks of her life.

In December 2018, Patti got engaged to Iain, her partner of eight years, who had been a second dad to Chelsea. As they planned their wedding, they knew that Chelsea would be at the heart of their celebration. Every detail was infused with her spirit. The wedding date was set for March 2, 2019, which would have been her 31st birthday. Patti visited her dedication stone in Hope’s Tribute Garden, and Chelsea’s best friend Hillary recited her favorite poem during the ceremony.

Patti and Iain also asked their guests to make a donation to Hope in Chelsea’s memory, in lieu of wedding gifts. Hope’s development department designed a custom webpage, which included Chelsea’s photo and a special donation form. Patti was alerted as soon as anyone made a gift, and she and Iain sent personal messages of gratitude.

Chelsea’s life was filled with love, friendship, laughter, and a spirit of generosity that knew no bounds. By celebrating her life, Patti and Iain’s friends, family, and loved ones were able to give back in a way that Chelsea herself would have loved. The circle of giving was made complete, and the life of a beautiful young woman would never be forgotten by the hundreds of people who loved her most.

Chelsea’s family and loved ones gave back to Hope after a loss that was more difficult than most of us could imagine. By sharing this intimate portrait of their love and loss, they hope to inspire others to give back in a similar way. Whether the milestone celebration is a birthday, anniversary, family reunion, or cherished holiday, it can also be a time to honor the memories of those who are closest to our hearts. A gift to Hope offers unparalleled comfort and support - when it’s needed most. To set up a custom donation page for your own event or occasion, contact Hope Hospice at 239-985-7730 or

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Hope Healthcare Hosts 18th Annual Southwest Florida Conference on Aging

Hope Healthcare is hosting the 18th annual Southwest Florida Conference on Aging, a multi-disciplinary conference for health care professionals, older adults and family caregivers on Thursday, May 9 at Crowne Plaza Fort Myers at the Bell Tower Shops from 8:15 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The conference features expert presentations on topics including medical cannabis; donating your body for medical research; diversity and culturally sensitive care; alcohol-related dementia; obesity and its impact on aging; and intergenerational community engagement.

Program materials, buffet lunch and beverages are included in registration fee: $85 for licensed professionals and $70 for United Way Partner Agencies, including six continuing education credits; $50 for caregivers, students and the public.

The Southwest Florida Conference on Aging is sponsored by Elder Care Attorney Beth A. Prather and hosted by Hope Healthcare, in partnership with Florida Gulf Coast University, Senior Care Choices at Lee Health, Lighthouse of Southwest Florida, and United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee counties.

Space is limited. To register online or to print the registration form, visit

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

A Weekend with Timothy and Logan

We recently had the pleasure of arranging a weekend visit at the Hope Care Center in Lehigh Acres for two sweet little boys, Timothy and Logan. They both love music, so the Dixieland Band came by to give them a special performance. The brothers were delighted with the show, and Logan even danced to the music in his wheelchair.

This weekend of respite was arranged to allow the boys’ mother to attend her college graduation in Tampa. Despite the challenges of caring for her special needs children, she was able to earn a degree in medical billing and coding.

From Friday to Sunday afternoon, a devoted group of volunteers worked around the clock in shifts to make sure the boys were never unattended during their 50 hour stay:
  • Linda Chancellor and Annette Polletta – 2 hours each 
  • Zory Vazquez and Sue Beard – 3 hours each 
  • Alyce Joyce – 5 hours 
  • Faith Powell – 6 hours 
  • Shelly Goldenberg – 11 hours, with an overnight stay 
  • Darlean Johnson – 25 hours, including time early Friday morning to decorate their room! 
Thanks to this amazing team and all the Hope staff members who make this possible – as well as everyone who has donated to the Hope Kids Care program! Your gifts have allowed us to provide this important level of care, and we couldn’t do it without your support.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Beckwith Contributing Author of “Aging America”

Hope Healthcare President and CEO Samira K. Beckwith has authored a chapter in the book “Aging America: Coping with Loss, Dying and Death in Later Life,” published by the Hospice Foundation of America.

According to the Foundation, 10,000 people turn 65 every day in the United States. By 2040, Medicare is expected to include 80 million enrollees. “Aging America” examines ways that mental health professionals, healthcare providers, and the wider community can support the growing number of aging Americans as they experience loss and grief.

In the chapter, “The Hospice Connection: Helping Elders Access Hospice Care,” Beckwith dispels hospice myths, shares facts, and addresses the importance of open communication between patients, their loved ones, and their doctors.

“Families and physicians must understand that hospice is for the last phase, not the last days, of life,” said Beckwith. “Seeking hospice does not mean giving up. Hospice care was intended for a longer period of time in order to provide the utmost relief from pain and suffering and to deliver longer-term clinical and practical benefits, such as counseling and spiritual care.”

Monday, March 18, 2019

Hospice and Palliative Care Providers Now Sharing Health Data Through ENS

The Florida Health Information Exchange welcomes hospice and palliative care providers to the growing number of health care professionals exchanging patient information through the Encounter Notification Service (ENS). ENS is a statewide network of health systems, accountable care organizations (ACOs), physician practices, and payers that provides real-time notice of patient health care encounters, allowing participants to work together to improve care coordination and transitions of care.

ENS is the largest network of its kind in Florida, connecting over 225 hospitals, 25 ACOs, 15 health insurance companies, and thousands of physicians and health care professionals statewide. Connecting to ENS allows hospice and palliative care providers to know in real-time when one of their patients is receiving emergency or inpatient care at a participating hospital. ENS allows hospice and palliative care providers to work with an admitting hospital on a patient’s care plan, help patients avoid unnecessary or unwanted care, and assist with the transition home or to post-acute care upon discharge. ENS also enables hospice providers to notify other network participants when shared patients have begun hospice care.

Dr. Samira K. Beckwith, President and CEO of Hope Healthcare, said “We are proud to work with the Florida Health Information Exchange (HIE) to ensure timely, coordinated, compassionate care for people living with serious illness. The Encounter Notification Service helps Hope deliver the right care at the right time. The Florida HIE and Acclivity Health have made it easier to receive and respond to vital health data for the benefit of our patients.”

The vendor for the Florida Health Information Exchange, Audacious Inquiry (Ai), also supports the coordination of patient hospice and palliative care through their strategic partnership with the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO). This partnership aims to improve care quality by increasing connectivity, expanding access to care, and promoting advocacy efforts across the hospice and palliative care communities.

Acclivity Health, which offers connected care solutions to physician practices, ACOs, and hospice providers, has been instrumental in connecting hospice and palliative care providers to ENS in Florida.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Increased Access to Palliative Care: Florida Daily Report

From the Florida Daily March 12, 2019

On Wednesday, Florida TaxWatch released a report showing that increased access to palliative care is a boost to patients while cutting healthcare costs.

Samira Beckwith, the president and CEO of Hope Healthcare, is the chairwoman of the Florida TaxWatch Center for Health and Aging.

“Expanding community-based palliative care could improve quality of life for patients and reduce healthcare spending for Floridians,” said Beckwith. “Palliative care cannot and should not replace hospice care and should not delay the provision of hospice care for eligible and appropriate terminally ill patients, but palliative care can serve both to provide services for those patients with chronic but not terminal conditions and serve a patient’s needs until hospice care is appropriate. The ideal interaction between palliative care and hospice is a seamless transition from palliative to hospice services.”

“Based on our research, it is clear that palliative care warrants special attention as a distinct and promising healthcare service,” said Florida TaxWatch President and CEO Dominic Calabro. “With nearly one-half of American adults living with at least one serious condition or chronic illness, state policymakers should have a full understanding of how this could benefit all Floridians and take the expansion of palliative care under strong consideration.”

“The Legislature must develop a regulatory framework for palliative care,” Florida TaxWatch insisted. “For the state to realize the cost-savings benefits of palliative care, the payment/reimbursement system must be addressed. To ensure the financial stability of palliative care providers, a system of care reimbursement that can be used by public and private payors must be developed, along with a definition of the services that constitute palliative care.

“Additionally, the Legislature should invest in programs that increase training opportunities to address workforce shortages. Like with many areas in healthcare and long-term care, workforce shortages are a major barrier to expansion of palliative care. To address this issue, the Legislature should fund increased palliative medicine fellowships, provide incentives for palliative care fellows to remain in Florida, invest in expanding training programs for nurses, and fund internship opportunities.”