What started as a grassroots organization in 1992 has grown into an essential countywide service, Hospice & Palliative Care of Westchester.
What started as a grassroots organization in 1992 has grown into an essential countywide service, Hospice & Palliative Care of Westchester. The organization now boasts a staff of 65, which includes a medical director, registered nurses, licensed social workers, spiritual and bereavement counselors, and certified home health aides, and close to 50 volunteers.
“Our mission is to provide extraordinary and dignified comfort, care and compassion to every individual and family facing a serious or life-threatening illness,” said Mary K. Spengler, MS, Executive Director.
“It’s a piece of the health care puzzle that is so critically important,” said Holly Benedict, Director of Public Affairs and Development. When she started working at HPCW 12 years ago, they had 35 patients a day. That number has grown to 120 a day.
The 501(c)(3) organization provides individualized care to anyone, wherever they live — at home or an assisted living or skilled nursing facility. “We don’t turn anyone away,” said Benedict. Their services are offered at little or no cost. The program includes a variety of therapies from massage to music and art to acupuncture that help increase a patient’s well-being and quality of life.
The organization is full of “angels”, said Benedict. “Our nurses understand the philosophy that people at the end of life want to live with respect and without pain.”
Benedict added, “Most people don’t plan their end of life care; we’re there to help.”
And HPCW doesn’t abandon a family when a patient dies, she noted. “We offer bereavement services for up to 13 months.”
Dr. William Martimucci, Medical Director at The Osborn and a physician at WESTMED, has been closely involved with HPCW for many years. “My involvement is unique. Doctors are people; they have families. When my dad was at The Osborn and ill, HPCW took him on as a patient. They gave him extraordinary care, as they have so many of my patients over the years.”
When Hospice & Palliative Care of Westchester holds its 20th Anniversary “In Celebration” Gala Cocktail Reception September 27 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Westchester Country Club, Dr. Martimucci, a past honoree, will be among the celebrants. At this year’s event, all past honorees will be recognized. Special tribute will be paid to Anna L. Shereff, who matches every dollar HPCW raises.
Tickets to “In Celebration” are $200. For information, contact Holly Benedict at 682-1484, ext. 122 or firstname.lastname@example.org.