FirstHealth Hospice to Host Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony
Offering comfort and care to patients and families throughout the Sandhills, FirstHealth Hospice and Palliative Care is dedicated to ensuring that the spirit of every life always burns brightly.
"Hospice combines the medical comforts of a hospital with the warmth of a home," says Hospice and Palliative Care Director Charlotte Patterson. "Our focus is not on curing the patient. Instead, we reach out with care that emphasizes comfort and provides support for families. It is our privilege to meet many different people whose life experiences touch our hearts and remind us of the value of every moment."
That's why FirstHealth Hospice and Palliative Care invites families to honor and memorialize their loved ones through an annual holiday event called Light Up a Life.
The 21st annual Light Up a Life Tree Lighting Ceremony, which benefits the FirstHealth Hospice Foundation, will be held Thursday, Dec. 6, at 5 p.m. on the FirstHealth Hospice and Palliative Care campus at 251 Campground Road. A reception will follow the program.
Light Up a Life symbolizes and supports hospice work, providing a concrete reminder of loved ones throughout the holidays. Funds generated through the project garner a legacy of support for hospice programs. Each light on every tree represents a contribution to support the mission of FirstHealth Hospice and reflects the true spirit of giving throughout the holiday season.
"This ceremony is one of the highlights of our holiday season," says Associate Director Tina Gibbs. "Each year, it gives our hospice families the chance to re-connect with their care team. This year, we also have another very special opportunity, the chance to reflect on our first full year in our new location."
FirstHealth Hospice and Palliative Care is now located on more than 30 acres just off U.S. 15-501 North. The three-building campus includes an Administrative Building housing staff offices, volunteer workspaces and a Grief Resource and Counseling Center; The Hospice House; and a nondenominational chapel.
In the past year, First Health Hospice reached 579 new patients, a 33 percent increase over 2011, and recorded a total of 51,684 days of care, an increase of 21 percent over the previous fiscal year.
Central to the campus is the Hospice House, which recorded the first of its 254 patient admissions on Oct. 10, 2011. Unlike end-of-life residential programs, the acute-care program of FirstHealth Hospice House accepts patients who need temporary care for pain management or symptom control. The average length of stay for patients in the house during 2012 was eight days. Each of the 11 private rooms in the Hospice House has its own bath and private patio. Building features also include a family kitchen, a sunroom and porches.
The expanded Grief Resource and Counseling Center recorded a 22 percent increase in overall use of counseling services. Services for children and teens have grown 87 percent, and there was a 34 percent increase in support group attendance over the 12-month period. The center offers small and large group counseling sessions as well as numerous support group meetings.
"Our success is the direct result of the compassion and generosity of this community," says Gibbs. "Our Light Up a Life celebration gives us the opportunity to come together to celebrate our loved ones, our community and the light that grows brighter as we reach out to one another."
For more information about FirstHealth Hospice and Palliative Care or Light Up a Life, call (910) 695-7500.
More like this story