by Ann Carney Pomper, Executive Director
From time to time, a responsible organization must review and revise its mission, vision, and values to accurately represent its services and the needs of its constituents. During this past year, Hospice of Santa Cruz County’s Board of Directors and executive staff undertook this important task. The resulting intentions, shown on the cover of our newly-released 2009-10 Annual Report, emphasize a long-held ideal—that patients and families are the driving force behind their end-of-life decisions. This concept has been, and will continue to be, foundational to every aspect of HSCC’s programming as we strive to honor the wishes of our community members with the utmost integrity and professionalism.
HSCC’s dedicated staff and volunteers provided a record breaking 46,726 days of hospice care during 2009/10 all the while maintaining performance standards that have surpassed state and national benchmarks. Stringent MediCare guidelines for participation were met, thereby securing 90% of our annual budget through this essential revenue stream.
The impact of our Transitions program has also been more profoundly felt in the community with HSCC’s medical social workers easing the path from the hospital to home for more than 350 individuals annually. Grief support and educational programs are thriving, and we continue to focus on expanding bilingual access to these vital services.
While challenging economic times persist, I am happy to report that Hospice of Santa Cruz County continued to serve every eligible patient regardless of their ability to pay. Charity care for the uninsured in the amount of $90,000 was generously underwritten entirely by community members during the year. HSCC also realized a $273,240 savings as a result of the more than 13,000 hours of program support provided by volunteers.
Our successes in 2009/10 bring to mind Helen Keller’s words, “Alone you can do so little; together we can do so much.” I am deeply indebted to the broad family of supporters, philanthropic foundations, Legacy Circle members, Friends of Hospice, Hospice Angels, and volunteers who have made our work possible in the past, who continue to do so today, and who hold the vision of compassionate end-of-life care for our future.