Monday, June 18, 2012

Beckwith appointed by Florida House of Representatives to Alzheimer’s Task Force

Samira K. Beckwith, president and CEO of Hope HealthCare Services, has been appointed by the Florida House of Representatives to serve on the state’s Purple Ribbon Task Force to address Alzheimer’s disease.

The Purple Ribbon Task Force – named for the purple ribbon that denotes support for an Alzheimer’s cure – will assess the current and future impact of Alzheimer’s disease on the state’s healthcare system and develop a strategy to address the future needs of Florida residents.

Approximately 520,000 Floridians have Alzheimer’s, a slow, progressive disorder of the brain that results in the loss of memory and cognitive functions; that number in Florida alone is expected to triple by 2050.

“Caring for those with Alzheimer’s disease at all stages, and their family members, is an important part of our work at Hope,” Beckwith said. “The disease takes an extraordinary toll on loved ones, particularly family caregivers. Through programs like PACE and caregiver support groups, we’re reaching those who are affected by this debilitating disease.

“Participating in the Purple Ribbon Task Force will help us share and learn about best practices at all levels, and to focus on programs for the future,” Beckwith said.

PACE is the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, a total healthcare solution for people who are 55 and older in Lee, Collier and Charlotte counties. The program helps meet the needs of seniors, including those with Alzheimer’s, while helping to provide relief for families and caregivers.

Beckwith served as a state delegate to the White House Conference on Aging, was a Governor’s appointee to the Long-Term Care Policy Advisory Council, serves on the boards of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, the Duke Institute on Care at the End of Life and the Florida Hospice and Palliative Care Association, and is the founding president of the Florida PACE Association.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Hope HealthCare earns top honor from Uncommon Friends Foundation

Caregiver to frail, seriously ill people and their families wins business ethics award.

Lee County-based Hope HealthCare Services is the winner of the 2012 Uncommon Friends Business Ethics Award.

The award was announced Thursday night at “An Uncommon Evening,” a dinner held at Harborside Event Center, downtown Fort Myers.

The Uncommon Friends Foundation introduced the ethics award in 2006 to recognize a business with high standards of behavior at all levels of the organization.

Hope HealthCare Services cares for people who are frail, seriously ill, at the end of their lives or grieving a loss.The organization’s award application notes an ethical responsibility “to refrain from making ethical decisions on behalf of the patients, clients and families in our care.”

Samira Beckwith, president and CEO, elaborated on this at an ethics roundtable discussion held earlier Thursday. “If family members are arguing, we ask ourselves, ‘How can we support all of them?’ We don’t take sides.”

Age, ability to pay or sexual orientation also don’t influence whether care is given. Said Beckwith: “We’re the region’s safety net.”

Besides Hope HealthCare Services, the finalists for the award were Colliers International Southwest Florida, a full-service commercial real estate brokerage and property management firm with an office in Fort Myers, and Bonita Springs-based Ted Todd Insurance Agency, which represents Allstate Insurance Co. The finalists were selected from a pool of 23 nominees from across Southwest Florida.

The Uncommon Friends Foundation, a nonprofit established in 1993, is dedicated to lifelong character building among youth and business leaders. It promotes character education in schools, ethics in the workplace and historic preservation of the Burroughs Home and James Newton Archives.

It draws much of its inspiration from James “Jim” Newton, a longtime real estate developer in Lee County. Newton in the early 1920s began remarkable friendships with Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone, Dr. Alexis Carrel, and Charles Lindbergh and their wives. Before his death in 1999, Newton wrote the book “Uncommon Friends,” detailing these relationships and the character and abilities of these notables.