Welcome to Part 2 of our series on Celtic Healthcare and PCST (Palliative Care Support Trust) of Malawi joining forces through Global Partners in Care to enhance global care. If you did not get a chance, I encourage you to read Part 1 to get some background on PCST, Global Partners in Care, and PCST medical director Dr. Cornelius Huwa.
Celtic’s involvement with PCST and palliative care in Africa is still rather new for our company. The idea for such a partnership came to the minds of Celtic’s Hospice Senior Vice President Kim Kranz and Hospice Operations Manager Rochelle Hobson after attending a national Hospice and Palliative care conference.
One session they attended involved an emotional documentary called “Road to Hope.” The film reveals the reality of children in Africa who are forced to act as caregivers for their ill parents and grandparents, and what happens to them after their elders pass. After watching the documentary, Kim and Rochelle immediately looked at each other, clearly touched by how powerful the film was, and knew they wanted to get involved.
“After Kurt [Baumgartel] gave us the ok, Kim applied, and we were given a list of organizations to partner with,” Rochelle said. “We selected [Palliative Care Support Trust] because their mission was so closely aligned with ours.”
PCST puts an emphasis on educating villages and local nurses to provide palliative care to a nation where this sort of care is not easy to come by. Similarly, Celtic hospice nurses work to support and educate families to best provide care for their loved one. With inspiration from “Road to Hope” and this alignment in mind, the partnership between PCST and Celtic was born.
“Road to Hope” was directed and produced by Mike Wargo, COO of the Hospice Foundation. The Hospice Foundation is an organization that supports and works with the Center for Hospice Care in Indiana, the largest hospice provider in the state. While he does not make films for a living, Mike has had an interesting in filming since he was a young boy, and felt supporting this cause was so important.
Mike’s primary goal with this project was to create a tool for advocacy. He hoped to be able to raise awareness, not only in our own country, but outside as well, about the conditions of care in these countries and about the conditions child caregivers must face on a daily basis.
“You can sit and talk to someone and describe what is going on in person, but it’s a lot easier to take that and distill it in a film that answers 95% of the most common questions,” Mike said. “Questions people have end up being more detailed and in-depth. A documentary is a great way to get that information out to the masses.”
Mike and his group have produced two films focusing on the condition of care in Africa: “Okuyamba” and “Road to Hope.” “Okuyamba,” the Lugandan word for “to help,” follows the story of a small group of palliative care nurses that tirelessly give their services to the sick and dying civilians of a rural Ugandan village. Since its production, nearly 30-35 hospice programs have used the film within their own organizations to raise awareness and money for the cause. “Road to Hope,” was produced after, and acts almost as a sequel, answering one of the most common question Mike received after the production of “Okuyamba” – “What happens to the children?”
The Hospice Foundation has their own Global Partner in Care with a palliative care organization in Uganda and has been with them since 2008.
“We are very engaged in the work that’s going on over there,” Mike said. “The ratio of physicians to civilians in cities of Uganda is 1 to 20,000. In rural areas, it is 1 to 50,000. It is so important to train these nurses and get as many out as possible. Through our partnership, we have trained 42-44 nurses at this point.”
In this sort of partnership, Mike says the most important thing is to figure out the primary things needed and the best ways to support your partner’s work. It is paramount to be present and continuously share what they are doing and what they are going through. Similarly, they are able to help us in the form of education, and opening our eyes to the ways in which they operate.
We, at Celtic, are so excited to see where this partnership leads and hope you will be a supporter moving forward. If you would like to get involved, please reach out to Hospice Operations Manager Rochelle Hobson, Volunteer Coordinator Kelly McAndrew, or Marketing Coordinator Amy Devening. They may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, and firstname.lastname@example.org, respectively.
Please don’t forget to join us in our first fundraiser for Dr. Cornelius and PCST by purchasing a shirt in celebration of our partnership through the banner on CIP or at this link.
Thank you for reading. We look forward to keeping you in the loop about our progress with this exciting partnership in the future.
Blog post by Troy Abbott – Assistant to Director of Strategic Projects for the CEO