Monday, September 21, 2020

More Hope Campaign Supports Hope Hospice Care

Hope Hospice is inviting individuals, business, and civic groups to join them in the movement to give “More Hope” to those in need - to help raise much-needed funds for hospice care in our community. 

With, Hope has launched a campaign to help replace essential dollars lost from the absence of annual fundraising events that support unfunded care. Donations will help cover additional expenses from ensuring staff and patient safety during COVID-19. 

The not-for-profit health care organization provides more than $2.5 million in unfunded hospice care annually. Last year, Hope provided comfort to more than 6,000 hospice patients and their loved ones as they fulfilled life’s journey. 

“As we celebrate our amazing journey through the past four decades, I invite you to join us in creating an even brighter future for hospice care in Southwest Florida,” said Samira K. Beckwith, Hope president and CEO. “On behalf of our staff, volunteers, and Board of Directors, I want to thank you for believing in our mission. Together, we can provide More Hope for generations to come.” offers donors the option of making recurring gifts or pledging a future gift in support of hospice care. Information about hosting a fundraiser and becoming a sponsor is also available on the website. Donors are encouraged to wear the “I gave More Hope” t-shirt they will receive in recognition of their support and share the message of #MoreHope on social media. 

As a local charity, Hope Hospice has served Lee, Hendry, and Glades counties since 1979. Help is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for people facing issues related to serious illness. Hope Hospice is one of many programs and services provided by Hope Healthcare. For more information, call 239-482-4673 or visit

Thursday, September 17, 2020

FDOT Donation Helps Hope PACE Serve Seniors

Hope PACE, the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, has received 10 buses from the Florida Department of Transportation in support of their mission of maintaining the quality of life and optimal ability for Lee, Collier and Charlotte county seniors at risk for nursing home placement and keeping them healthy, comfortable and independent in their own homes for as long as possible. 

Transformed into Hope Mobiles, the buses will be used to transport program participants to special Hope PACE Care Centers, where they receive comprehensive medical and therapeutic care, medications, and – prior to the pandemic – social activities and meals. Hope PACE also provides transportation to appointments with specialists and other needed services. 

"Hope PACE’s innovative, personal approach helps avoid unnecessary hospitalizations by ensuring our elderly remain safely in the community and receive the care they deserve in the place they call home," said Samira K. Beckwith, President and CEO of Hope Healthcare. "With these buses, FDOT helps make possible the relied-upon, essential element of transportation for our PACE program seniors."

The ten buses were an in-kind gift in lieu of funding Hope PACE has traditionally received from FDOT. 

"FDOT supports Hope PACE along with other deserving nonprofit organizations that work hard to ensure the elderly and frail have access to critical community resources,” said L.K. Nandam, FDOT District One Secretary. “We are happy to help further their worthy efforts this year with vehicles to help serve those most in need."

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

What Bereaved Moms Want You to Know

Several members of our Bereaved Moms Support Group are opening their hearts to share their thoughts and feelings with us. This is what they would like you to know about the profound experience of losing a child.

It is a difficult time for the parent – nothing you say will be correct or comforting. Just listen, and be there for them to talk, cry, scream with you. The moral support is worth a lot.

I would like people to acknowledge my loss and not try to avoid me. I am not contagious. Just a simple “I’m sorry for your loss” is enough.
I would like people not to judge how long it should take me to recover from my losses.
In today’s Covid environment, virtual hugs are encouraged.
Please do not tell me you understand unless you have lost a child yourself.
We have never imagined our children not being a part of our lives. It is not the natural order of things that they die before their parents.

Losing a son to suicide – what I wish others knew
Please don’t ask me how he died. It is painful to describe the manner of his death.
Don’t ask me if he had “mental illness” or if he showed signs.
Don’t ask me if he left a suicide note. Notes don’t always give answers and in fact lead to more questions.
Don’t tell me that you know how I feel if you have never lost a child.
Do ask me his name.
Do know that sometimes all I need is a hug or your presence.
Do know that it is okay not to know what to say. Silence is okay.
Do ask me about him.
Do know that I will have good days and bad days even after years, and I still cry a lot.
Do feel free to wish me Happy Mother’s Day as I am still a mother even though he was my only child.

As a nurse, I’ve dealt with many patients’ deaths; I’ve also lost my parents and my husband. However, I was not prepared for the death of my daughter, my only child. She fought metastatic breast cancer for eight years. Even though her death was expected and accepted to end her pain, it is the worst pain of my life. Grief after the loss of a child doesn’t have a timeframe to get over, it changes you for life. I want friends and family to talk to me about my daughter and the good memories they have of her. Yes, I may still cry sometimes, but they are healing tears. I never know when something will still trigger pain in my heart. Just check on your family and friends after their loss and touch base ongoing. Don’t let it feel like an elephant in the room whenever you see or talk to them.

Suicide is less accepted and has a stigma attached to it, so people shy away from discussing it or approaching you. People don’t understand how someone could take their own life. If they don’t have an understanding of mental illness and drug addiction, you can’t expect them to. I am grateful for some friends who did listen – and did not give advice. I’m not ashamed to share that I lost a child to this, and I appreciate others coming forth to share their stories.

After the death of my son, as the shock gradually wore away, I came to understand the degree of seismic shift this loss had on my soul. Almost immediately my mind's ability to prioritize what used to be important, what I needed for my grief journey, and what no longer mattered much was magnified. Now I am able to continue my life with new compassion and insight, while still loving and missing my son. I will always want and need to talk about my son – and to hear your remembrances too. Also, a hug or a listening ear will soothe my soul.

I’d like to let people know that it’s okay to ask about our children. Maybe ask what he or she liked - or was like. Ask if there are any special memories that we may like to share. Don’t be afraid that it may be too painful, we’re in pain already. Don’t be afraid of our tears. They are a part of us now. Just listening can be comforting. You’ve laughed with us, maybe you can cry with us as well. Perhaps they will be happy tears. We will never forget our child, not having any new memories doesn’t mean we forget the memories we have and cherish deep in our hearts.

Bereaved Moms Grief Support Group
Held virtually on Zoom Videoconferencing
Mondays from 11am – 12:30pm
Preregistration is required
Call 239-985-7716 or email

Monday, July 6, 2020

Hope Choices Program Extended

With a year-long extension of their Hope Choices program, Hope Hospice will be able to continue offering special access to additional, personalized care for Medicare participants receiving curative treatment for chronic illness – along with counseling, education, family support, and respite to ensure their caregivers and loved ones also receive much-needed help.

In 2018, Hope was among a select number of hospices in the country chosen by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to offer the Medicare Care Choices Model. Through the recent MCCM extension, Hope Choices will continue allowing more Medicare beneficiaries to receive supportive care.

For people with cancer, congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or human immunodeficiency virus, Hope develops a specialized plan with their physician and coordinates care through a combination of in-person visits and 24/7 telephone access. The program is a step forward for Medicare, and an option already available for many people with private insurance.

“With Hope Choices, people can receive special care and support earlier, while still pursuing treatments,” said Samira K. Beckwith, president and CEO of Hope Healthcare. “We are happy to have the opportunity to continue adding more hope and quality of life to every day.”

Hope Choices is available at no cost; all services are covered for Medicare beneficiaries. To learn more about the program, call 239-482-4673.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Hope Hospice Receives Community Grant from Cape Coral Walmart

Hope Hospice received a $2,000 community grant from Walmart Neighborhood Market at 2020 NE Pine Island Road in Cape Coral to support Hope’s mission of providing care and comfort to every individual and their loved ones as they fulfill life’s journey.

Walmart Manager Tanya Parrish and Pharmacists Jignesh Patel and Mittal Patel from Store #6941 helped coordinate the award for Hope with the Walmart Community Grants Team.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Dr. Lenis and Dr. Broderick join Hope PACE

Hope has named Dr. Claudia Lenis and Dr. Elisabeth Broderick physicians for Hope PACE, the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, which provides comprehensive medical and therapeutic care, medications, social activities, and meals at special PACE centers to keep Lee and Collier seniors at risk for nursing homes healthy, comfortable and independent in their own homes.

Dr. Lenis, who will provide care in Lee County, has worked at the Healthcare Network of Southwest Florida. Dr. Broderick, who was the medical director and primary care physician of a PACE program in Massachusetts, will serve Hope PACE participants in Naples.

“Dr. Lenis’ and Dr. Broderick’s expertise supports Hope PACE’s goal of keeping our Southwest Florida seniors healthy, engaged and connected in their communities,” said Samira K. Beckwith, President and CEO of Hope Healthcare. “Our innovative, personal approach ensures they safely receive the care they deserve in the place they call home and helps avoid unnecessary hospitalizations.”

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Hope Hospice receives $25,000 as Nealon’s charity of choice on Celebrity Family Feud

Saturday Night Live alumni Kevin Nealon prevailed on Celebrity Family Feud, winning $25,000 for the beloved comedian’s charity of choice: Hope Hospice. The episode aired on Sunday, June 7 on ABC-7 and is now available for viewing on Hulu.

Joined by his wife, actress Susan Yeagley, brother Chris Nealon, mother-in-law, Dr. Sally Yeagley, and actress Cheryl Hines, Nealon competed against The Price is Right host Drew Carey’s team.

“Kevin is a longtime friend of Hope Hospice, and it was so exciting to watch him play on our behalf,” said President and CEO of Hope Healthcare, Samira K. Beckwith. “His generosity ensures that Hope can continue its mission, and his public support reminds people that we are here to help.”

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Kevin Nealon to compete on Celebrity Family Feud for Hope Hospice

Kevin Nealon, Dr. Sally Yeagley, Susan Yeagley, Chris Nealon, and Cheryl Hines
Beloved comedian and Saturday Night Live alumni Kevin Nealon has named Hope Hospice his charity of choice as leader of “Team Kevin Nealon,” competing on Celebrity Family Feud on Sunday, June 7 at 8 p.m. on ABC-7.

Nealon’s team – including his wife, actress Susan Yeagley; his brother, Chris Nealon; his mother-in-law, Dr. Sally Yeagley; and actress Cheryl Hines – will compete against The Price is Right host Drew Carey and his team in the second game of the episode. After the airing, episodes are available for on-demand viewing on Hulu.

“My first experience with Hope Hospice was when they cared for my grandmother about 20 years ago. Since then, they’ve shown compassion and comfort to both my parents as well,” said Nealon. “I’m honored for this opportunity to support Hope in its mission to help others in Southwest Florida in the same kind and caring way they helped my family.”

Nealon stars in CBS’s “Man with a Plan” and starred in “Weeds” on Showtime. He has appeared in several movies, including “Happy Gilmore” and “The Wedding Singer.” He also hosts the popular YouTube series “Hiking with Kevin.”

“Kevin has been a longtime friend of Hope Hospice, and we are truly grateful for his generosity in sharing his time and talent to help Hope improve the quality of life for those experiencing serious illness and their families,” said Samira K. Beckwith, president and CEO of Hope Healthcare.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto Named Executive Vice President of Hope Healthcare

Samira K. Beckwith, president and CEO of Hope Healthcare, announced that Florida State Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto has been named executive vice president of the not-for-profit organization.

With a distinguished career in public service that spans two decades, Benacquisto was first elected to the Florida Senate to represent Southwest Florida in 2010 and was subsequently reelected in 2012, 2014 and 2016. She served as the Majority Leader from 2012 to 2014 and the Deputy Majority Leader from 2011 to 2012. Previously, she served as Councilwoman for the Village of Wellington, Florida, from 2002 to 2010.

Benacquisto has been involved with Hope for several years, serving as co-chair of the annual Yachts of Hope and Shine events that benefit Hope Hospice. She has been recognized with numerous honors and awards and served in volunteer positions with a broad variety of political, civic and human service organizations.

“Lizbeth’s knowledge and skills will be an incredible asset to Hope,” said Beckwith. “She brings a unique understanding about  healthcare and services that matter most to Southwest Floridians. The board and I are confident Lizbeth will help support Hope’s mission of improving the quality of life for those experiencing serious illness and frailty.”

Journaling through the Grief Journey: An 8 Week Series for Teens Ages 15-18

If you’re a high school student who is struggling with grief after the loss of a loved one, our group will help you connect with peers, find a creative outlet for self-expression, and explore coping skills.

You will need WiFi and a quiet setting to join the group meetings on Zoom, led by Hope Bereavement Counselor Jessica Eastham and Art Therapist Danielle Brant. No prior experience in writing or art is required. After registration, we’ll discuss a simple list of supplies that may be helpful during your journaling process.

The group is limited to the first 12 participants to register, and parent/guardian permission is required for those under the age of 18.

Every Wednesday from 3:00 - 4:30 PM 
8 Week Series from June 17 through August 5 

To join, contact Jessica Eastham at 239.415.7219 or

Friday, May 8, 2020

Five Tips to Cope with Mother's Day after Loss

For some people, Mother’s Day isn’t a day-long celebration with brunch, presents, cards, and flowers. Instead, it can be a difficult reminder of the very special mom who they loved and lost. Here are some simple ideas for coping with this holiday when your mother is no longer with you.

Take a Walk Down Memory Lane

Open your dusty photo albums, and relive happy memories from the past. If you feel like sharing, snap a picture of an old photo to share with close friends or on social media.

Write a Thoughtful Note
What would you say to your mother if she were still here? Put your thoughts in writing on pretty notepaper or in a special notebook.

Make a Memorial Gift
Many not-for-profits like Hope allow donations to be made in memory of a loved one. Not only will you make a special tribute to your mother’s memory, but you’ll also be supporting others during this difficult time.

Light a Candle
If a financial gift is uncomfortable right now, consider lighting a candle in your mother’s memory. Can you send positive thoughts or say a prayer in support of her favorite charitable mission?

Ask for Help
If you think you would benefit from talking to a professional bereavement counselor at Hope, call 239.482.4673. Remember, we're always here to help.