Friday, March 27, 2020

Our Charitable Mission Continues during Coronavirus

A Note from Our President and CEO
During these unprecedented times, Hope's mission is abundantly clear. We're working diligently to ensure the health and safety of the people in our care as well as our dedicated staff and volunteers. As a not-for-profit organization, we must rely on your generosity as we prepare for the many challenges ahead. While our fundraising events are suspended and our resale stores are closed, we sincerely hope you will make a donation to help those who are touched by serious illness here in southwest Florida. Thank you for being our partner in caring for the most vulnerable members of our community! ~Samira K. Beckwith

Donate Medical Supplies
Hope is accepting donations of gloves, masks, and personal protective equipment (PPE) gear - especially N95 masks. Anyone who has items available and is willing to donate, please contact Sabrina Bennett at 239-322-5364 for delivery or pick-up options.

Volunteers to Sew Masks 
Local sewers and sewing groups have already begun creating fabric face masks for Hope staff. Over 200 have already been delivered. Can you join them? A short description, video tutorial link, and delivery instructions are available at the bottom of our COVID-19 update page.

Friday, March 20, 2020

National Hotline to Not-for-Profit Hospice and Palliative Care Providers

The 70 nonprofit hospice providers that comprise the National Partnership for Hospice Innovation (NHPI) have set up a hotline for patients, caregivers, and families who need home- or community-based end-of-life or palliative care.

The number for the new hotline is:
(844)-GET-NHPI
(844) 438-6744


“Making the decision to receive hospice, advanced illness, or palliative care can be stressful under the best of circumstances, let alone when patients and families are unsure of their options and the quality and safety of the care provided,” said Tom Koutsoumpas, president and CEO of NPHI. “This new toll-free number makes a formerly complicated process simple by providing access to all 70 providers, allowing families to find the care they need, even when they and their loved ones are in different parts of the country.”

"When families consider their care options for a loved one dealing with an advanced illness, our hope is that they choose a not-for-profit palliative care and hospice provider. It can make a huge difference in their loved one’s quality of life in their final months, weeks and days,” said Robert Cahill, president and CEO of NorthStar Care Community, which is providing the infrastructure for the toll-free number.

Important Note: the hotline number above is intended for patients and families living outside of southwest Florida. If you or your loved one reside in Lee, Hendry, or Glades counties and need hospice or palliative care, please call Hope directly at:
(239) 482-4673
(800) 835-1673

Monday, March 16, 2020

Dealing with Stress and Anxiety during COVID-19

Hope is implementing multiple safeguards and protocols recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and the Florida Department of Health. Please be assured we are doing everything possible to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Absorb COVID-19 News at a Reasonable Pace
While it’s important to stay informed by keeping up with reliable news sources, constant exposure to scary headlines can be counterproductive. If you find yourself spending hours online looking up COVID-19 news, consider if this is causing you unnecessary anxiety or panic.

Monitor Advisories from Reliable News Sources
Don’t believe everything you might read on social media. Misleading information can be scary – and also dangerous. The Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, and the Florida Department of Health are good websites to check for the latest information.

Focus on Actionable Tasks
Channel your energy into productive outlets – be vigilant about handwashing, practice social distancing, and be ready to stay at home for an extended time if you are sick or quarantined. Consider checking in with friends and family by phone, email, or video chat to maintain social bonds, even when you can’t meet in person.

Accept Uncertainty
None of us can predict the future. Even in the best times, accidents, illnesses, and unexpected events may disrupt the pattern of our lives. Rather than focusing on worst-case scenarios, get plenty of rest, exercise if possible, and connect with loved ones. Remember that each day is a gift.

Hope’s Infection Control Policies and Procedures
Hope always maintains the strictest standards of hygiene and cleanliness – at our Hope Care Centers and also for everyone we care for in their own homes. All Hope locations are now following the latest guidelines for allowing visitors. Staff providing care outside of our facilities are also carefully monitoring for any potential exposures to COVID-19.

Furthermore, 100% of Hope’s staff and volunteers must pass annual examinations regarding the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), infectious diseases, and legal requirements. Staff who provide direct care complete additional requirements and attend skills fairs to demonstrate their knowledge of proper techniques.

We’re Here to Help
If you are a patient, participant, loved one, or family member in Hope's care, please ask a staff member if you have questions about our infection control practices or if you need additional help for coping with stress and anxiety.

Monday, February 10, 2020

2020 Date Announced for Shine, a Benefit for Hope Hospice

The second annual Shine benefit for Hope Hospice will take place Friday, October 16, 2020 at the historic Edison and Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers. State Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto and attorney Jenna Persons will return to serve as co-chairs for the elegant event featuring riverside cocktails, dining, entertainment, and a live auction.

More than 250 guests attended the inaugural event in October 2019, which raised $440,000 to benefit the Hope Kids Care program. This year’s fundraiser will support Hope’s mission to provide comforting care and support to everyone living with serious illness.

“For forty years, Hope has been a safety net for our community, serving those who are newly born, seniors who have reached 113 years old and everyone in between,” said Samira K. Beckwith, President and CEO of Hope Healthcare. “The generosity showed at events like Shine ensures that there will always be Hope for those who need us.”

To learn about sponsorship opportunities or to request an invitation to the event, call 239-985-7758 or write to email@hopehcs.org.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Hope Achieves Highest Partnership Level of We Honor Veterans Program

Hope Healthcare has become a certified Level 5 partner – the highest designation available – with We Honor Veterans, a program of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.

Through Hope’s VALOR program, Hope’s Honor Guard volunteers, many who are veterans themselves, stand ready to support veterans in hospice care. Through a veteran recognition program and salute ceremonies, Hope recognizes their dedicated service to our country.

“Hope provides care to the brave men and women who served to safeguard our freedom,” said Samira K. Beckwith, President and CEO of Hope Healthcare. “Achieving Level 5 partnership status with the NHPCO’s We Honor Veterans program confirms our dedication to ensuring all veterans receive the specialized care they deserve.”

According to NHPCO, more than 1,800 American veterans die every day, and only 4 percent die in the care of the Veteran’s Administration. Hope serves as a critical resource by providing special services as part of its mission to serve as a safety net for our community.

Level 5 partners place a greater emphasis on staff education and caring for Vietnam-era and combat veterans, as well as taking on the role of regional mentor to other We Honor Veterans partners working to enhance their programs.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Friends of Hope’s Annual Luncheon and Fashion Show to Benefit Hope Hospice


The annual Friends of Hope Spring Luncheon is planned for Monday, March 16 at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa. The event will feature a fun day of boutique shopping, raffle prizes, and a fashion show presented by Kathryn’s Collection to benefit Hope Hospice and Rainbow Trails Camp.

Shopping begins at 10:30 a.m. with a collection of silk scarves, leather handbags, fine jewelry, pottery, glasswork, and accessories.

Special Girlfriends Tables are available for 10 guests and include two bottles of wine, signage, and recognition for $1,350. Individual tickets for the event are $100 each.

To purchase tickets, Girlfriends Tables, or to make a donation in support of the event, visit Donate.HopeHCS.org/Lunch2020.

The 2020 Friends of Hope Spring Luncheon is planned by Chair Etta Smith and Co-chair Heather Clegg, with committee members Billie Jans, Ellen LaFazia, Claire McMahon, Nancy Near, Jean Paradis, Reggie Polsenberg, Donna Roberts, Patt Suwyn, Adele Waddell, Sylvia Weiss, Carol Wood, and Signe Wynne.

See photos from last year's event!

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Volunteers Needed: Annual Rainbow Trails Camp

Hope is seeking volunteers for their annual Rainbow Trails camp designed for children ages six through 17 who have experienced the loss of a loved one during the past year.

 Scheduled for Friday, April 3 through Sunday, April 5 at the Riverside Retreat in LaBelle, Rainbow Trails Camp is led by experienced Hope counselors, art and music therapists and is supported by community volunteers. Adults age 18 and over are invited to apply to volunteer in a number of roles, including chaperones, pre- and post-camp registration and reception, first-aid nurses, kitchen staff, buddies, room monitors, and safety and security. Some roles require two overnight stays at the LaBelle campsite; others do not.

All camp volunteers must attend an orientation session prior to camp. The application deadline is Friday, February 21. Visit https://donate.hopehcs.org/rtcvol to apply online.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Hope Parkinson Program Celebrates 10th Anniversary in 2020


In 2020, Hope Parkinson Program celebrates ten years of support provided to nearly 4,000 engaged members of our local Parkinson’s community.

Throughout the past decade, Hope has built a robust Parkinson Program offering conferences and symposia with renowned Parkinson’s experts and motivational speakers, educational events with community partners, professionally-led support groups and workshops, movement classes - from tai chi and dancing to water aerobics, and friendship-fostering events like the annual sunset cruise and holiday ice cream social. The program also offers a Young Onset Parkinson’s Dinner to connect those seeking support after an early Parkinson’s diagnosis.

The Hope Parkinson Program recently launched a new mobile-friendly website that makes it easy to sign up for events like the annual Symposium. The program’s quarterly newsletter provides its growing membership with information, resources, and inspiration.

“The Hope Parkinson program educates and empowers our members – many of whom are care partners – and provides opportunities to connect with one another,” said Samira K. Beckwith, President and CEO of Hope Healthcare. “Our participants share their successes and learn from each other’s experiences. Within our caring community, our goal is to make the road less lonely. As we navigate the Parkinson’s journey together, our members find comfort in knowing they are not alone.”

Miriam Dieppa, a Hope Parkinson Program member since 2015, shared, “Hope has improved my quality of life and helped me meet other great people in my community with Parkinson’s.”

Monday, January 6, 2020

Hope Parkinson Program’s Annual Symposium: Education, Empowerment & Energy

Health care professionals, therapists, volunteers, care partners and those living with Parkinson’s disease are invited to a morning of education, empowerment, and energy at the annual Hope Parkinson Symposium on Friday, Feb. 7 at Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre at Royal Palm Square in Fort Myers.

Seating is limited, and pre-registration is required. Registration fees of $20 per person includes beverages, a deluxe lunch buffet, and dessert.

Dr. Julie Schwartzbard
An optional pre-event lecture at 10 a.m. by movement disorder specialist Dr. Julie Schwartzbard will present “Recognizing Off Periods in Parkinson’s and the Role of a Unique Treatment Option.”

Leslie Gibson-Weiland, RN
The Symposium begins at 11 a.m. with award-winning speaker and humor therapist Leslie Gibson-Weiland, RN discussing “The Positive Power of Humor, Hope, and Healing.”

Nikolaus McFarland, MD, PhD
The featured speaker is Nikolaus McFarland, M.D., Ph.D., a movement specialist at University of Florida Center for Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration Chief, Movement Disorder Division, Associate Professor of Neurology. Dr. McFarland will present “What’s New in Medical Care, Research and Treatments for PD.”

Pete and Kelly Gaylord
The event concludes with “Care Partner Communication Tips and Tricks” with Pete and Kelly Gaylord.

Symposium exhibitors include FYZICAL Therapy and Balance Centers, Hope Healthcare, Lee Health Rehabilitation Services, and US WorldMeds. The pre-symposium lecture Presenting Sponsor is ACORDA Therapeutics. Supporting sponsors include Abbott, ACADIA Pharmaceuticals, Boston Scientific, and Personal Training by Jeri Ann.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Windmill Village Home Expo to Benefit Hope Hospice


Enjoy free admission and free parking at the second annual Home Expo at Windmill Village, held on Saturday, January 25 from 10 am to 2 pm. Enter to win over 30 door prizes, donated by the event vendors, or take part in a 50-50 raffle opportunity. A portion of the proceeds from this event will benefit Hope Hospice.

Vendors include (but are not limited to):
  • All Aboard Travel 
  • All Weather Roofing 
  • Baldwin Brothers Funeral and Cremation Society 
  • Bassine Insurance Agency 
  • Bath Fitter 
  • Calusa Harbour 
  • Cool Air 
  • Dish Network 
  • Empire Air Services 
  • Florida Anchor and Barrier 
  • Freedom Vapor Barrier 
  • Grace Medical and Chiropractic 
  • Hoglund Family Hearing and Audiology Center 
  • Hole in One Golf Carts 
  • Integrity Independent Insurance Agent 
  • National Cremation Society 
  • North Fort Myers Neighbor 
  • Southwest Florida Ankle and Foot Care Specialists 
  • Suncoast Credit Union 
  • Triton Air and Heat 
  • United Healthcare 
For questions, please contact event organizer Nick Petti at 419-348-3496.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Friends of Hope Kick Off Season with Annual Membership Tea

Friends of Hope Tea 2019

Nearly 150 Hope supporters attended the annual Friends of Hope Membership Tea at the Bonita Bay Club in Bonita Springs. Chaired by Donna Roberts, the annual member and guest event was the official kickoff of the group’s seasonal fundraisers for Hope Hospice, including the Spring Luncheon and Fashion Show at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point in March. The Friends of Hope committee has promoted fundraising and volunteering at Hope Hospice since 2002

Monday, November 18, 2019

Idelson Raises More than $35,000 for Hope Kids Care

Charles K. Idelson, Regional President of Busey Wealth Management in Fort Myers, ran this year’s New York Marathon and raised more than $35,000 for Hope Kids Care, a needs-based program provided to children who are living with complex medical conditions or coping with grief.

In the months before the Marathon, Idelson – a Hope Healthcare board member for more than 20 years – shared with friends and family that he was running to celebrate his 70th birthday and to support Hope Kids Care. He asked that they consider joining him in supporting the nonprofit organization that serves as a safety net for the community – including the youngest and most vulnerable among us.

“People responded with such incredible generosity,” said Idelson, former President and CEO of Investors’ Security Trust who is currently serving as Hope Healthcare’s board chair for the second time.

“They know Hope Kids Care provides counseling and care to children in need of comfort, and realize the impact of this program in the lives of the children and those who love them.”

Idelson crossed the finish line in 5:09, finishing 276 of 530 in his age group and ranking 40,150 out of 53,508 runners who completed the race.

“Charles is one of Hope’s most dedicated champions,” said Hope Healthcare President and CEO Samira K. Beckwith. “He knows that everything we provide for children - from home visits and respite care to counseling, art and music therapy – improves quality of life.”

Idelson’s wife, Linda, their three daughters and five grandchildren traveled to New York to cheer him on while wearing their “Team Papa running for Hope Kids Care” shirts. His oldest daughter, Ileanna Digiacinto, ran the marathon with him.

“Even when you’re on the board, you don’t fully understand the effect Hope has until you experience it for yourself,” said Idelson, whose mother passed under Hope Hospice’s care. “A lot of their care is for the family, and I can’t imagine families more in need of Hope than those living with a child who is suffering.”

 To learn more and support Hope Kids Care, visit Donate.HopeHCS.org/Idelson