The Delta Hospice Society developed out of a need to support families coping with the diagnosis of a life-limiting illness and those who are bereaved.
1991 Incorporation of the Delta Hospice Society
- The Society was incorporated in July 1991 in the province of British Columbia as a non-profit, community-based organization. The Society was registered with Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) as a registered charity with the ability to issue official tax receipts for the donation of eligible gifts to the Society.
- The first volunteer training was held in the winter of 1992.
- Policies were developed and direct service to families began in the spring.
- Initially the program had 15 volunteers and focused on home and hospital visiting and twice-yearly training programs for new volunteers.
- The first Celebrate a Life campaign was held at Christmas.
- The Delta Community Hospice Foundation was created to raise and administer funds to support the work of the Delta Hospice Society.
- The first Celebration of Trees corporate fundraising event was held at the Municipal Hall.
- The first annual Garden Tour was held to raise money for hospice. This was a partnership between the Evergreen Garden Club and Delta Hospice.
- The Hospice Cottage Thrift Store was opened 5 days a week in the spring of 1998 and became a source of ongoing operating funds for the Society.
- The office changed to a resource centre and re-located as the Delta Hospice Centre in the Tsawwassen Professional Building, providing better access and visibility and more space for outreach programs.
- The Hospice Centre expanded its space to accommodate its growing outreach community-based programs. It became the Delta Hospice Care Centre.
- The Society presented a proposal to Fraser Health for a Family Centre for Hospice Care.
- A service contract was negotiated between Fraser Health and the Society for a .6 FTE counselling position.
- The Hospice Cottage Thrift Store added two evenings a week to its open schedule.
- Delta Hospice was chosen as one of 11 sites in Canada to pilot the draft Hospice Palliative Care Standards for the Canadian Council on Health Services Accreditation (CCHSA).
- Delta Hospice was awarded accreditation from the Canadian Council on Health Services Accreditation (CCHSA); its name has since been changed to Accreditation Canada.
- Delta Hospice was successful in signing a letter of intent with Fraser Health to build a 10-suite Hospice and Centre for Supportive Care on leased land adjacent to Delta Hospital. This integrated model of care was unique to British Columbia. The agreement included the Society as the operator of both facilities and operational funding for the Hospice from Fraser Health. Architectural plans for both buildings were completed, and the Delta Cares Capital Campaign began in September.
- With the detailed plans for the Society’s capital project complete, fundraising for the capital campaign for $8.5 million was the focus.
- Major Robert’s Bank business corporations and their business partners made cornerstone gifts totaling just over $1 million.
- In October, $5.5 million had been raised and a decision was made to build both facilities at the same time. Construction began in November.
- Construction of the Centre for Supportive Care was completed in October and the Society moved to its new location November 1st. Substantial completion of the Hospice was reached mid- December.
- Significant contributions by the Thomas and Savage families led to the naming of the 2 new buildings. Both of these families are long-time Delta families who support many worthy causes with their philanthropy. Harold and Veronica Savage’s names were given to the Centre for Supportive Care. The Thomas family opted to honour their mother Irene Thomas for the naming of the hospice.
- In 2010 Delta Hospice contracted with Fraser Health for operating funds for the Irene Thomas Hospice making Delta Hospice accountable to Fraser Health and its accreditation standards; allowing Delta Hospice to discontinue its independent accreditation.
- The official opening and ceremony was held in January and the first patients were admitted to the Hospice on the 16th of February. The shortfall in fundraising was approximately $900,000.
- Grand Opening of the Harold & Veronica Savage Centre for Supportive Care and the Irene Thomas Hospice
- In the first year of operation the Hospice served 140 residents, their families and their friends. The Centre for Supportive Care had more than 6,000 people visit and more than 11,000 phone calls.
- A Music Therapy program for clients began. Staff, volunteer, and client education options grew significantly with the in-house development and introduction of spirituality, mindfulness, therapeutic touch learning sessions and introduction of complementary therapies.
- The Thrift Store was renamed the Delta Hospice Cottage ‘Charity Shoppe’ to reflect that Delta Hospice was a charity and not a ‘for-profit’ organization, as well as to reflect the high quality and value of many donated items.
- Emphasis was on Organizational Accountability through reviewing the efficiency and effectiveness of Programs and Services in providing client service.
- Pledges to the capital project were fulfilled.
- All debt incurred during the capital project was paid off.
- The Board calls the membership and the community to identify DHS’s role in the continuing evolution of the implementation of the MAiD legislation. A statement for ITH is agreed upon and the work at ITH continues as status quo.