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Board Secures Funding For Hospice Deficit

Media release
15 November


BOARD SECURES FUNDING FOR HOSPICE DEFICIT

At a centenary dinner last Saturday night (11 November) in Auckland to celebrate the Mercy Hospital, the St Joseph’s Mercy Hospice Foundation announced an initial fundraising result of NZ$1.5 million.

Speaking at the function, the foundation’s chairman, Mr Dennis Pickup, thanked all the individuals and organisations that had already contributed to the fund, “We can’t thank them enough for their generosity, but we still have much to do to get the hospice back in the black. Our aim is to raise NZ$3 million by the end of 2001, which when added to the government’s funding commitment and financial support from the Sisters of Mercy, should ensure we break even.”

The St Joseph’s Mercy Hospice Foundation was established in February. One of its first tasks was to put a plan in place to address the hospice’s NZ$2 million dollar deficit, a sum that has accumulated over five years.

With a funding target of NZ$3million by the end of 2001, the foundation aims to create a financial resource that ensures quality palliative care can continue to be offered to all who can’t afford to pay for the service.

To this end, the Mercy Hospice management and staff have implemented a “Cost of Care” programme. This programme encourages those that can afford to contribute to the cost of the hospice’s services to do so.

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Bob Storey, executive director of the St Joseph’s Mercy Foundation says feedback from hospice staff and management suggests that patient’s families have responded positively to the initiative.

“Since the programme’s introduction, there has been a significant increase in contributions towards the care of patients. This is gratefully received and appreciated,” says Mr Storey.

The number of patients admitted to the hospice in the last five years has increased by 20 per cent, while demand for community-care services has increased from zero in 1995 to over 7,500 visits in 1999. The hospice primarily services Auckland City, however, people living in Waitakere City are eligible for the in-patient service.

Hospice endowment funds are managed by a group of 10 Trustees and its Trust Deed is registered under the Charitable Trusts Act.

About St Joseph’s Mercy Hospice

The Sister’s of Mercy first identified the need for a palliative care facility for central Auckland in 1952. Initially integrating this service into a geriatric home, in 1979, a dedicated 15 in-patient bed facility was established to better manage these specialist needs and provide wider access.

The hospice cares for people with advanced cancers and terminal illnesses that have not responded to curative treatments. It focuses on enhancing patient quality of life at this stage in their illness, and providing emotional and spiritual support to both them and their loved ones.

St Joseph’s Hospice also offers community-based services.
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Board of Trustees:
Dennis Pickup (chairman) John Avery
Penelope Barr Lyall Bunt
John Judge Sir Hugh Kawharu
Dr Geoff Lamb Denham Shale
Glennis Webber Sir Wilson Whineray

ends
For further information, please contact:
Bob Storey Penelope Barr
Executive Director General Manager
St Joseph’s Mercy Hospice Beyond Public Relations
Tel: 09 623 6831 Tel: 09 306 1801
Fax: 09 623 6831 Fax: 09 302 7169
Mob: 025 479 345 Mob: 025 835 383
Email: BobS@mercy.co.nz Email: peneb@beyondpr.co.nz


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