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

Honor a Loved One with Hope Hospice’s Tree of Lights


Hope Hospice’s Tree of Lights tradition offers a way to commemorate loved ones while providing essential funds for those in need of hospice care and bereavement support.

In each Hope Care Center, a Tree of Lights will be adorned with white paper butterflies designated “in honor of” or “in memory of” a loved one by $30 donors.

Along with having a butterfly placed on the tree of their choice, $60 donors will also receive a keepsake metal ornament engraved with the Hope Hospice logo. In addition, with a gift of $300, a dedication stone will be engraved with the donor’s personal message and placed in one of Hope’s Tribute Gardens.

To learn more or make a donation, visit https://donate.hopehcs.org/treeoflights.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Ninth Annual Toast to Hope Raises Over $25,000 for Hope Hospice in Cape Coral

Toast to Hope 2019

More than 125 friends, family, and supporters gathered for the ninth annual Toast to Hope event and raised more than $25,000 to benefit Hope Hospice in Cape Coral.

Organized by chair Gloria Tate and the Toast to Hope committee, the event featured live and silent auctions, a cork pull and live music. Gary and Connie Hogrefe hosted the fundraiser, which was sponsored by the Robert J. Gunterberg Charitable Foundation.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Children's Grief Awareness Day: Healing Young Hearts


Children participate in theraputic art activities during Rainbow Trails Camp
While Hope Healthcare recognizes Children’s Grief Awareness Day on Thursday, November 21, they offer services designed to help heal our community’s youngest hearts all year long.

Hope’s professional bereavement counselors offer specialized one-on-one and group grief counseling for children who are coping with complex emotions after the loss of a family member or friend. In addition, family nights offer children a safe and supportive environment to share their feelings and take part in counselor-guided interactive grief activities.

Hope also offers an annual weekend-long Rainbow Trails Camp led by experienced counselors, art and music therapists, and community volunteers. Children ages six through 17 who have experienced the loss of a loved one during the past year are invited to engage in traditional camp activities, including crafts, swimming, and singing. They also learn skills to cope with grief and participate in activities to memorialize and say goodbye to a loved one.

“People of all ages experience loss and express grief in different ways,” said Samira K. Beckwith, Hope Healthcare President and CEO. “We created the Rainbow Trails Camp 30 years ago because we wanted to have a special place for children to interact with others who understand their loss.”

Registration is now open for the 2020 Rainbow Trails Camp on Friday, April 3 through Sunday, April 5 at the Riverside Retreat in LaBelle. There is no charge for the camp, and Hope will host an orientation for parents and guardians. Children will be picked up by bus from Hope’s Fort Myers campus on Friday and will return on Sunday afternoon.

To learn more about Rainbow Trails Camp or to register a camper, visit https://www.hopehcs.org/rainbowtrailscamp/.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Second Annual Golf Fore Hope raises $11,500 for Hope Parkinson Program

Event Chair Martin Haas with Layne Callahan
More than 100 golfers raised $11,500 at the second annual Golf Fore Hope, a golf tournament to benefit the Hope Parkinson Program at The Golf Club at Magnolia Landing in North Fort Myers. Led by the committee of Martin Haas, Dino and Ann DeGrande and Alita Parody, the scramble format tournament included a 50/50 auction, mulligan sales and an awards luncheon. Golf Fore Hope was sponsored by Entech Business IT Solutions.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

A Hope Doula Story: Providing Practical, Emotional and Spiritual Support

“The lovely lady in this photo is Dotty. As a Hope Doula, we visit together weekly for several hours. Dotty lives alone aided by a caring neighbor as her caregiver. Dotty wonders, at 95, why she is still here. She’s ready to go. I’ve sensed that during our conversations as she speaks of her late husband. I asked her “what’s the first thing you’ll do when you see him in heaven?” She replied, “l’ll run to him and kiss him.” She talks openly about her faith, and loves when Chaplain Bill visits, so I’ve been playing Christian music for her. She loves it. As I listen to her share sad feelings, I don’t try to change her mind. I tell her I understand. I miss my husband too. A Doula offers comfort, support and compassion to those nearing life’s end by providing physical, emotional and spiritual support. When I write my Doula Report, my words provide an extra set of eyes and ears to Dotty’s social worker. I’m part of the Hope team. It’s ironic, when Dotty complains about all the people who come and go. Yet when I leave, she stands up for a big hug and yells as I open the front door, “When are you coming back? Come back anytime.” I reply, “I’ll be back.”
~ Shalom, Shelly Goldenberg

About Hope's End of Life Doulas

Just as birth doulas help mothers bring their newborns into the world, end of life doulas bring comfort to those who are in their final days – as well as their families.

A volunteer doula can provide emotional and spiritual support through the end of life process. After completing their certification, Hope Doulas are assigned to individuals or families who may be struggling to cope with the challenges of living with serious illness.

Doulas visit on a regular basis to identify ways to assist the family and loved ones. They will also collaborate directly with the Hope interdisciplinary team members, including nurses, social workers, aides, chaplains, and others. During the final hours, doulas may arrange for additional volunteers to sit vigil.

Hope's Doulas have a minimum of one year of experience with direct care and complete an in-depth educational series, which includes topics such as compassionate care, legacy projects, Reiki, advance card planning, anticipatory grief and bereavement, active listening, ritual and vigil, and spiritual pain. They are prepared for deep, meaningful work that requires an increased level of volunteer commitment.

Tenth Annual Donation Drive at Evelyn & Arthur Benefits Hope Chest at The Crossings


In honor of National Hospice and Palliative Care Month, Evelyn & Arthur at The Promenade at Bonita Bay is continuing their decade-long tradition of offering shoppers a special discount on an in-store purchase from Friday, November 1 through Sunday, November 23 if they bring in a gently used item of women’s or men’s clothing, an accessory, or a pair of shoes for donation. Shoppers will receive a 20% coupon for any one regular price item of $75 or more. One discount coupon is offered per donation, not item.

Throughout the drive, Evelyn & Arthur is also selling blue pashminas for $28, with all proceeds benefiting Hope Hospice. Evelyn & Arthur, who has partnered with Hope since 2008, collects the donated apparel for Hope Chest at The Crossings, the resale store for Hope Hospice.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Hope Kids Care inaugural event Shine raises $440,000

Shine

More than 250 Southwest Floridians with a passion for supporting children and families attended Shine, raising $440,000 to benefit Hope Kids Care Oct. 11 at the historic Edison and Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers. Shine featured an elegant evening with cocktails, dinner, music, entertainment, and a “Fund-A-Need” Live Auction to support the essential services of Hope Kids Care.

A service of Hope Healthcare, Hope Kids Care provides no-cost care to families in need, offering one-on-one children’s counseling including art and music therapy, and Rainbow Trails bereavement camp; medical care including palliative and respite care; and support including caregiver education, social services, volunteer support and Hopeful Wishes to meet other family needs.

“For most families, childhood is a time of growth, development and good health. But for children living with serious medical conditions and grief, there is Hope Kids Care,” said Samira K. Beckwith, president and CEO of Hope Healthcare. “While the program has served children for more than 30 years, there is a vital need to fundraise right now. Incredible community support, like that shown at SHINE, ensures that we can continue to provide Hope to every child in need of comfort through one of our special programs.”

Annual Italian Open Golf Tournament Raises Over $44,000

Lexington Italian Open
 
Lexington Country Club members raised over $44,000 at the eighth annual Italian Open golf tournament for Hope Hospice – and pushed the total donations over the history of the event to nearly $200,000.

Jerry Curcuru, Greg Salvia, Phil Bommarito and John Sackie led the committee that coordinated the October 10 event for nearly 300 club members who enjoyed golf foursomes in the morning and afternoon, followed by an Italian-themed dinner with a silent auction, prizes, and golf awards.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Men’s Grief Toolkit: A 6 Week Series for Men Coping with Loss



All men ages 18 and up who have lost a loved one are welcome to join us for this informative series, led by professional Hope staff members. Topics include Grief 101, Defining a New Normal, and Strategies for Dealing with Loss. Sessions are provided at no charge.

Please call ahead to reserve your space for this biweekly workshop. Register with Lorrie McCann, LMHC at 239.985.7716 or e-mail Lorrie.McCann@HopeHCS.org.

Hope Community Room at 9470 HealthPark Circle, Fort Myers, FL 33908
All sessions held from 6:00 - 7:30pm
  • Wednesday, October 2 
  • Wednesday, October 16 
  • Wednesday, October 30 
  • Wednesday, November 13 
  • Wednesday, November 27
  • Wednesday, December 11

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Golf Fore Hope to benefit Hope Parkinson Program



Golf Fore Hope, a golf tournament to benefit the Hope Parkinson Program, is scheduled for Saturday, October 5 at The Golf Club at Magnolia Landing at 3501 Avenida Del Vera Blvd., North Fort Myers. The scramble format tournament will begin with an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start and will include 18 holes of golf. Afterwards, golfers will enjoy a cookout lunch featuring prizes, raffles and more. Individual golfers are $75 each; four-golfer teams are $300. The event is limited to 25 teams. Hole sponsorships are available for $100. Online registration and sponsorships are available at Donate.HopeHCS.org/Golf.

“From movement classes and educational events, to support meetings for patients and caregivers, the Hope Parkinson Program serves an important need in our community,” said event coordinator Martin Haas. “Since exercise has proven benefits for those with Parkinson’s, this tournament is a great way to exercise and show our support for this amazing organization.”

Golf Fore Hope is sponsored by Entech Business IT Solutions with 100% of the event proceeds benefiting the Hope Parkinson Program. For information on registration and hole sponsorships, contact Martin Haas at martin@entechus.com or 239-229-1000.

Grief Day Camp for Children this September

Hope Healthcare and Avow are hosting a special day camp for children ages 7 through 17 who have experienced the loss of a loved one on Saturday, September 7 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida located at 1495 Smith Preserve Way in Naples.

Led by Hope and Avow’s professional staff, the camp is designed to help children explore their emotions and learn to cope with feelings of grief. Lunch is included; transportation is not provided. To reserve a spot or for more information, please contact Michelle.Milita@HopeHCS.org.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Babcock Ranch named Starlight Sponsor for Shine


Babcock Ranch is the title “Starlight” sponsor for Shine, the inaugural signature benefit for Hope Kids Care. Hosted by event chairs State Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto and attorney Jenna Persons, Shine will be held on Friday, Oct. 11 at 5 p.m. at the historic Edison and Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers. The elegant evening includes cocktails, dinner, music, entertainment and a “Fund-A-Need” Live Auction to support the essential services of Hope Kids Care.

Additional Shine sponsors include Millennium Physician Group, Gunterberg Charitable Foundation, Priority Marketing, DeAngelis Diamond and OFDC Commercial Interiors. Sponsorships are still available, and commitments secured through July 25 will receive the greatest opportunity for promotion. To learn more about securing a sponsorship to give hope and help kids, call 239-482-4672 or visit donate.hopehcs.org/shinesponsors.

To reserve your tickets to attend Shine, visit donate.hopehcs.org/shine.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Beckwith named among Top 100 Graduates of the Century by the Ohio State University's College of Social Work

Hope Healthcare President and CEO Samira K. Beckwith was named among the top 100 graduates of the century in the Ohio State University’s College of Social Work. She was recognized for her contributions to shaping the future of the profession in the 100th Anniversary issue of The Stillman, the University’s College of Social Work newsletter.

Beckwith, who earned a master’s degree from OSU in 1977, has led Hope Healthcare for 28 years. She said the opportunity to serve in the hospice field is her greatest accomplishment.

“Being at the bedside shows you that every moment is special and important,” said Beckwith. “I've had the wonderful opportunity to make a difference for people.”

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

New Parkinson Program Newsletter Available

The latest issue of the Hope Parkinson Program newsletter is now available online. This issue covers July, August and September 2019. Learn more about our upcoming events!

https://online.flippingbook.com/view/717035/

Friday, June 14, 2019

Tickets now available for SHINE, a benefit for Hope Kids Care

SHINE Committee 2019
Jenna Persons, Lizbeth Benacquisto to co-chair inaugural signature event Oct. 11 at Edison & Ford Winter Estates

Hope Healthcare invites Southwest Floridians with a passion for supporting children and families to attend Shine, its inaugural signature benefit for Hope Kids Care on Friday, Oct. 11 at 5 p.m. at the historic Edison & Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers. Shine will feature an elegant evening to include cocktails, dinner, music, entertainment, and a “Fund-A-Need” Live Auction to support the essential services of Hope Kids Care. State Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto and attorney Jenna Persons have been named the event co-chairs, and committee members include Stacey Adams, Rebekah MacFarlane Barney, Noelle Branning, BJ Brundage, Rachel Busch, Lillian Canfield, Laurie Moore, Vanessa Pena and Amy Thibaut. Reservations are limited and tickets may be purchased at Donate.HopeHCS.org/SHINE.

A service of Hope Healthcare, Hope Kids Care provides no-cost care to families in need, offering one-on-one children’s counseling including art and music therapy, and Rainbow Trails bereavement camp; medical care including palliative and respite care; and support including caregiver education, social services, volunteer support and Hopeful Wishes to meet other family needs.

“For most families, childhood is a time of growth, development and good health. But for children living with chronic illness or serious medical conditions, there is Hope Kids Care,” said Samira K. Beckwith, president and CEO of Hope Healthcare. “While the program has served children for more than 30 years, there is a vital need to fundraise right now. Decreased care reimbursements and increased regulations have impacted funding and the organization needs community support to ensure that Hope Kids Care continues to serve families in need.”

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Beckwith Granted Honorary Degree from Piedmont College

Samira K. Beckwith with Board of Trustees Chair Thomas A. “Gus” Arendale III and President James F. Mellichamp of Piedmont College
Hope Healthcare President and CEO Samira K. Beckwith presented the graduate commencement address at Piedmont College in Demorest, Georgia, where she was also granted an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters in recognition of her contributions to the field of hospice.

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.

Visit Donate.HopeHCS.org/kids

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 aidaspe@informedchoice.com.

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 Donate.HopeHCS.org/Jayden

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 email@HopeHCS.org.

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 donate.hopehcs.org/COA19

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.”

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Friends of Hope’s Denim & Diamonds Fundraiser

Friends of Hope hosted a “Denim and Diamonds” benefit at Bonita Bay Club, raising $150,000 for Joanne’s House at Hope Hospice in Bonita Springs.

Committee members Barbara Caccese, Joyce Kozlowski, Claire McMahon, Patt Suwyn, Adele Waddell and Carol Wood coordinated the evening, which included dinner, dancing and silent and live auctions featuring wine, dining, jewelry and unique travel opportunities to Italy and Costa Rica.

The evening was sponsored by Brown and Brown/Florida Blue, Crowther Roofing and Sheet Metal of Florida, Louis and Najla Lafaif Foundation, Berneda Meeks, McGriff Insurance Services, Northern Trust, Medline, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Wynne, and TWC Services.


Denim & Diamonds 2019

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Healing Young Hearts: Hope Invites Grieving Children to Rainbow Trails Camp

Hope Healthcare is inviting children ages six through 17 who have experienced the loss of a loved one during the past year to the annual Rainbow Trails Camp Friday, April 5 through Sunday, April 7 at the Riverside Retreat in LaBelle.

Over the weekend, Rainbow Trails campers will participate in recreation, crafts, swimming and singing, along with activities to support the grieving process, teach skills to cope with loss, and memorialize their loved one.

 “People of all ages experience loss and express grief in different ways,” said Samira K. Beckwith, Hope Healthcare president and CEO. “We created the Rainbow Trails Camp 30 years ago because we wanted to have a special place for children to interact with others who understand their loss.”

Rainbow Trails Camp is led by experienced Hope counselors, art and music therapists and is supported by community volunteers.

There is no charge for the camp, and Hope will host an orientation for parents and guardians. Children will be picked up by bus from Hope’s Fort Myers campus on Friday and will return Sunday afternoon.

To learn more about Rainbow Trails Camp or to register a camper, visit https://www.hopehcs.org/rainbowtrailscamp

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Honoring Veteran Frank Hicks: A Lifetime of Service

Frank Hicks served as an instructor in the Army's radar school, before deploying to Italy as part of the Allied occupation in 1946. He was later awarded the American Campaign Medal and the World War II Victory Medal; however, Frank’s extraordinary service to his country didn’t end there.

After earning his PhD in Applied Physics, Frank began a 30-year career at Eastman Kodak Company where he directed highly classified government projects. His own family didn’t know the exact nature of his work; he was only able to tell them it related to the defense of our country. Frank retired from Kodak in June 1981.

It wasn’t until 2011 that the U.S. government declassified the assignment – code named Gambit – that had been at the heart of Frank’s career.

A few months after the Soviet Union launched Sputnik, Frank was asked to lead the design, manufacture, and deployment of America's first high resolution cameras in space. Photographs generated by these spy satellites provided unprecedented intelligence on the Soviet Bloc, which was essential to the United States’ arms monitoring initiatives and international policy decisions.

Regarding Gambit, Lyndon Johnson said, “We've spent $35 or $40 billion on the space program. And if nothing else had come out of it except the knowledge that we gained from space photography, it would be worth ten times what the whole program has cost.”

In a private message about the individuals responsible for Gambit, Ronald Reagan noted, “National security interests prohibit me from rewarding you with public recognition which you so richly deserve. However, rest assured that your accomplishments and contributions are well known and appreciated at the highest levels of our nation's government.”

The capabilities of the last generation of cameras developed under Frank’s direction remain classified even today.

Support Hope's mission to honor our nation's veterans by making a donation to our program!

Hope Honor Guard ceremony on January 29, 2019 with Patch Wihnyk, Marcia Jones, Jean and Yale Kanter, and Ken Navarre


Friday, January 25, 2019

Annual Hope Parkinson Program Symposium: Education and Inspiration

Health care professionals, therapists, volunteers, care partners and those living with Parkinson’s disease are invited to a morning of education and inspiration at the annual Hope Parkinson Symposium on Friday, February 15 at the Broadway Palm in Fort Myers.

The day kicks off at 10 a.m. with an optional pre-event lecture presented by ACADIA Pharmaceuticals. Neurologist and movement disorder specialist Dr. Arif Dalvi from the Palm Beach Neuroscience Institute will discuss “Common Non-Motor Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease.”

The Symposium begins at 11 am. and will feature James Lubanovich from the Michael J. Fox Foundation, presenting “What’s New in Parkinson’s Research.”

Neurologist and Movement Disorder Specialist Dr. Amanda Avila will discuss “Parkinson’s Below the Belt.”

The event concludes with an inspirational message to make “Every Victory Count” from Davis Phinney Foundation Ambassador Edie Anderson.

Symposium registration and exhibits from presenting sponsor ACADIA Pharmaceuticals, supporting sponsors Medtronic and US WorldMeds, along with the Davis Phinney Foundation, Lee Health Rehabilitation Services, Osterhout & McKinney, P.A., Seniors Blue Book, GE Healthcare, and Voice Aerobics begin at 9:30 a.m.

Registration is required and includes a deluxe lunch buffet, beverages and dessert.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Yachts of Hope benefit for Hope Hospice raises more than $300,000

Guests at Yachts of Hope, a fundraiser for Hope Hospice at Gulf Harbor Yacht & Country Club, raised more than $300,000 for the not-for-profit.

Hosted by Sandy Stilwell Youngquist, Sonya Sawyer, Lizbeth Benacquisto and Andie Vogt, joined by committee members Pam Cronin, Deanna Hansen, Cathy Snyder and Hope Healthcare President and CEO Samira K. Beckwith, the event featured tours of 11 luxury yachts up to 101 feet long.

More than 150 guests enjoyed dockside cocktails and tastings from LYNQ, Keylime Bistro, SABORAM WOW and Timbers Restaurant, along with a gourmet dinner, live band and dancing. The evening featured bidding on once-in-a-lifetime travel experiences and VIP trips to Sonoma wine country, Madrid, Tuscany and private cruises, along with a one-of-a-kind jewelry creation from Mark Loren Designs.

Yachts of Hope sponsors include Stilwell Enterprises and Restaurant Group; Youngquist Brothers; Chico’s FAS, Inc.; Mark Loren Designs; Marine Max; Cheney Brothers; Creighton Commercial Development; Cypress Cove at HealthPark Florida; Edison National Bank; Home-Tech; Kitson & Partners; William E. Cross Foundation, Inc.; Markham Norton Mosteller Wright & Company, P.A.;  DeAngelis Diamond; Florida Community Bank; Private Client Insurance Services; Owen-Ames-Kimball Company; Chris-Tel Construction; and Comcast.

Yachts of Hope 2019