The recently-formed Heron Hospice Society of Delta will offer compassionate end-of life programs for individuals and families experiencing grief and loss, and aims to support the recently reopened Irene Thomas Hospice, according to a release issued Tuesday, April 20. (Heron Hospice Society of Delta/Facebook photo)

The recently-formed Heron Hospice Society of Delta will offer compassionate end-of life programs for individuals and families experiencing grief and loss, and aims to support the recently reopened Irene Thomas Hospice, according to a release issued Tuesday, April 20. (Heron Hospice Society of Delta/Facebook photo)

New society to support hospice care in Delta

Heron Hospice Society of Delta “will embrace all end-of-life choices,” says president Chris Pettypiece

A new not-for-profit society has launched to support hospice patients and their families in Delta.

The recently-formed Heron Hospice Society of Delta will offer compassionate end-of life programs for individuals and families experiencing grief and loss, and aims to support the recently reopened Irene Thomas Hospice, according to a release issued Tuesday morning (April 20).

“Heron Hospice Society of Delta will embrace all end-of-life choices and ensure individuals and families feel supported throughout this precious time with their loved ones,” society president Chris Pettypiece said in a press release.

“We are very pleased to offer hospice support because we believe in taking care of our community and we will work to support end-of-life care needs for our local citizens.”

Pettypiece is one three former Delta Hospice Society board presidents who successfully sued the current DHS board over the alleged blocking of memberships for people who support medical assistance in dying (MAiD) and planned changes to the society’s constitution and bylaws that would have seen the organization transition into a faith-based society.

READ MORE: Court affirms order Delta Hospice Society accept memberships rejected in medically assisted dying controversy (Nov. 13, 2020)

The board’s refusal to allow MAiD at the Ladner hospice led to Fraser Health terminating the society’s service agreement and lease of the property, including the neighbouring Harold & Veronica Savage Centre for Supportive Care.

The health authority took possession of the property on March 29, and reopened all 10 beds at the hospice on April 15 after completing needed upgrades and repairs to the building.

READ MORE: Delta hospice at centre of MAiD fight to reopen Thursday (April 14, 2021)

Pettypiece and fellow petitioners Sharon Farrish and James Levin also formed Take Back Delta Hospice, an advocacy group aimed at opposing the actions of the DHS board and engaging concerned citizens to join the society so as to vote out the board of directors at the next annual general meeting.

“The Take Back Delta Hospice advocacy efforts demonstrated the tremendous support in Delta for hospice care. This new society is led by a volunteer board of eleven directors, all residing in Delta, who are committed to restoring supportive and inclusive care in our community,” Pettypiece said.

Farrish and Levin both sit on Heron Hospice Society’s board, with Farrish serving as secretary. Also on the board are vice-president Dr. Paul Witt, treasurer Decima Mitchell, and directors Daniel Boisvert (who also sits as vice-chair of the Delta school board), Kerry Bentley, Antonina (Annette) Garm (who also sits on the Delta police board), Doug Mather, Dr. Janice Peace and Dr. Wayne Peace.

Delta Mayor George Harvie, who has been vocal in his support for Take Back Delta Hospice and condemnation of the actions of the current DHS board, says he supports Heron Hospice Society and looks forward to seeing the good work of the organization as it helps support people and families in their time of grief.

“The return of the Irene Thomas Hospice to the people of Delta under the leadership of Fraser Health has been a long time coming. This would not have been possible without the perseverance of so many Deltans, particularly those involved with the new Heron Hospice Society,” Harvie said in a press release.

”We will continue our support of the Heron Hospice Society and Fraser Health to ensure the Irene Thomas Hospice always provides the compassionate care that the community expects and deserves.”

With skilled professionals and trained volunteers, Heron Hospice Society of Delta aims to offer support to patients and loved ones and provide comfort and care throughout the end-of-life journey, according to the press release, however it’s initial services are limited due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and related public health orders.

In the meantime, the society will be offering an online “Grief Circle” to Delta residents struggling with grief and loss. These small group sessions will be led by a registered counsellor and held online over six weeks, with two additional follow-up sessions. In order to allow for individual sharing, there are a limited number of spaces available for the service.

“We recognize that suffering the loss of a loved one during the COVID-19 pandemic adds additional stress and pain because some may suffer through a grieving process with little human contact. The ability to connect with others to grieve is so important and we felt it was necessary to address this need in our current environment,” Pettypiece said.

Additional services the society will one day provide include therapeutic touch, vigils, hospice residence support, remembrance ceremonies and educational opportunities.

Membership in the society is limited to Delta residents aged 19 or older.

To register for the Grief Circle, join the society or for more information, email info@heronhospice.org or visit heronhospice.org.



editor@northdeltareporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Delta

Just Posted

Doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine. (AP Photo/Ron Harris)
Fraser Health adds 4 first-come-first-serve vaccination clinics to Surrey

First 1,000 people to show up to receive vaccine

The Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO) (File Photo)
Police watchdog investigating after man found dead in South Surrey following a wellness check

IIO says officers ‘reportedly spoke to a man at the home before departing’

Surrey RCMP in the 4900-block of 148th Street, a short road just off of King George Boulevard, on May 15, 2021 after a male was allegedly assaulted with a “pipe-like” weapon that morning. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Surrey RCMP investigating after person reportedly injured with ‘pipe-like’ weapon

Police investigating incident in the 4900-block of 148th Street

The leadership team at Johnston Heights Secondary is looking to raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society through the Relay for Life, planned as an online and in-person event (following COVID-19 restrictions) for the week of June 1 to 7.
Pushed back a year, Surrey students well on their way to Relay for Life fundraising goal

Johnston Heights Leadership Team aims to raise $6,500 for Canadian Cancer Society

An animated Gordie Hogg introduces his ‘Community Connections’ videos. (YouTube screenshot)
Community Connections: Gordie Hogg speaks with Gwenne Farrell

Former mayor, MP began posting conversations on YouTube in June

B.C. Wildfire Services shows a fire on Chehalis Forest Service Road as of Sunday, May 16, 2021. (BC Fire Services)
Wildfire near Harrison Mills grows to 3 hectares, BC Fire Service on site

Resident near wildfire: ‘I pray that the Creator brings rain as soon as possible’

A vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is seen at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, April 22, 2021. Dr. Ben Chan remembers hearing the preliminary reports back in March of blood clots appearing in a handful of European recipients of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Science on COVID, VITT constantly changing: A look at how doctors keep up

While VITT can represent challenges as a novel disorder, blood clots themselves are not new

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of May 16

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Poached trees that were taken recently on Vancouver Island in the Mount Prevost area near Cowichan, B.C. are shown on Sunday, May 10, 2021. Big trees, small trees, dead trees, softwoods and hardwoods have all become valuable targets of tree poachers in British Columbia as timber prices hit record levels. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne.
Tree poaching from public forests increasing in B.C. as lumber hits record prices

Prices for B.C. softwood lumber reached $1,600 for 1,000 board feet compared with about $300 a year ago

The warm weather means time for a camping trip, or at least an excursion into nature. How much do you know about camps and camping-related facts? (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: Are you ready to go camping?

How many camp and camping-related questions can you answer?

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

Most Read