It took a while, but it was worth the wait.
That’s how Shirley Hubbard, chair of the Yarmouth County Hospice Society, summed up her reaction to the news that the Yarmouth Regional Hospital soon will have a more welcoming space to support and care for palliative-care patients and their families.
The project to enhance the space will include up to seven rooms on the fourth floor (4 North) of the Yarmouth hospital, according to the July 11 announcement.
A working group with representatives from the hospice society and the Nova Scotia Health Authority will be established to determine the best way to renovate the area.
“This has been a long time coming and we are now able to move forward with creating this space for patients receiving end-of-life care,” Hubbard said. “We know there are many people in the community who are eager to see this happen.”
The hospice society looks forward to launching a fundraising campaign to give the community a chance to contribute and be part of this initiative, she said.
Yarmouth MLA Zach Churchill – Nova Scotia’s minister of education and early childhood development (speaking on behalf of Health and Wellness Minister Randy Delorey) – noted the efforts of Hubbard and other members of the local hospice society in pursuing this project.
“This is going to make a difference in the lives of many people,” Churchill said Thursday in the Yarmouth hospital lobby, where the project was officially announced.
Turning to Hubbard, he said, “Thank you for what you’ve done for your community, making this possible.”
Fran Duggan, the Nova Scotia Health Authority’s zone director of health services for hospice and palliative care, wasn’t on hand for the announcement, but she shared some thoughts in an NSHA press release.
“We are so grateful for the work the Yarmouth County Hospice Society is doing, as well as other similar organizations across the province, to support enhancements to hospice and palliative care within our community,” Duggan said.
In an interview after Thursday’s announcement, Hubbard expressed thanks to those who have been involved in the project, including fellow members of the local hospice society and staff of the NSHA.
“We’re very appreciative of Peggy Green (NSHA health services director and site lead for the Yarmouth Regional Hospital). She has been a godsend. Her door was always open ... and the other person is Fran Duggan.”
Hubbard acknowledged it took time and work to get to this point. She recalled the date of the Yarmouth County Hospice Society’s first meeting: May 18, 2004. Given the announcement of July 11, 2019, she was asked if it was all worth it.
“Oh absolutely,” she said. “This is a very proud day.”