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‘I think I smell a rat’; Tell the hospice story and concerned volunteers’ letter

Last week it was reported in the local media that Hospice Prince Edward Executive Director Nancy Parks has resigned. She had served in this position for six years spearheading the creation of a residential hospice in Prince Edward County.
I, along with many others, had worked with her from the very beginning  in both  fundraising  and volunteer roles. To say that I was shocked and saddened is an understatement.

Also in the media, long-time hospice volunteer Stuart Brown and a past hospice chair Mark Larratt-Smith both stated that it is incumbent on this depleted hospice board to be completely transparent and explain to the community what has transpired. Mayor Robert Quaiff was quoted as saying that we must find out what is going on here.

I think also the media has a very important role to play in bringing this story to the community. I say that because this community has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars for the creation of a residential  hospice in Prince Edward County.

There is a story here but it will be up to some persevering reporter to talk to the organizations involved. I think that should include the Access Centre (CCAC), the SELHINs and the present and former board members. I understand that Nancy Parks is not commenting at the present time but perhaps that will change in the future.

The creation of Hospice Prince Edward has been an amazing and very successful ride over the last six years. At the very least, this community needs to know what lead to Nancy Parks’ premature resignation and the direction the board plans to take in the future. This transparency can only be accomplished through the Hospice Prince Edward Board of Directors.
-Fran Renoy

* * *

An Open Letter to the Board of Hospice Prince Edward:

Volunteers were greatly disturbed to be informed by Nancy Parks of her resignation.
Nancy has been the heart of the organization, bringing to the community the fulfillment
of its dream of a Hospice Residence.
We were deeply disappointed by the Boardʼs inability to meet with us, apparently
designating instead, as a spokesperson, the President. Rumours regarding changes to
our services are rife in the community. This is one of the issues we wished to discuss
with you. Your refusal to meet with your volunteer representatives and your general
lack of communication indicates that you have little or no respect for those who
advocate for people in our community who are in need of Hospice care.
Had you agreed to meet with us, these are further questions we would have asked:
– What new policies are being proposed, and how would they affect the volunteersʼ
– Can the County expect greater transparency from this Board?
– How will the Board improve its communications with the volunteers you have deemed
essential to the operation of the Hospice?
– Why was there no AGM in 2014 to present the business of the Board?
Please provide us with annual reports for 2014, including a financial report. We would
also like to know the legal procedures for selecting new Board members, and for hiring
a new Executive Director.
Despite our concerns, volunteers are on duty as normal, committed to providing respite
for caregivers in their homes, and bringing comfort to residents and their families in the
Hospice Residence.
Nancy Parks, over the years, guided the development of the current model of our
Hospice Residence, bringing together a multitude of County resources.
She earned our respect, our utmost confidence and, indeed, our affection. We miss her
already! We would appreciate hearing your plans for recognition of her significant
contributions to Hospice Prince Edward.

Jean Algar
Pat Dye
Annette Gaskin
Marianne Malachowski
Representing HPE volunteers

* * *
I think I smell a rat?

This letter is being written because I don’t know why a very capable, credible lady has resigned as Executive Director of Hospice (and I want to know).

I also realize there are many others who, like myself, found the news very devastating.
We all know that she worked very hard to make Hospice Prince Edward a welcome addition to our health care.

We also know that because of her drive many of us made donations and had complete confidence that we would have a very peaceful, serene house  to spend our final hours, with love of family and caring caregivers to make it so. So, the news has rocked the community.

I will add that Nancy Parks, as well as her husband Gary (who was responsible for creating the first soccer pitch field where almost 1,000 players now play) are “Community Builders”.

My dear friend, I say to both of you “Our County will be forever indebted to your hard work, devotion and enthusiasm in making us a better place.”

I regret your resignation, as I know many others do. Let me assure you, you will be long remembered for what you contributed in making our County a better place. Thank you.
Eleanor Lindsay Mac Donald

Filed Under: Letters and OpinionNews from Everywhere Else

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  1. Hildagard says:

    Can someone enlighten us as to who actually sits on this Board? Why does it seem so secretive?

  2. Susan says:

    Phil called out the so called trolls early on in this story when they smelled a dirty deal right off the bat. Guess the trolls new it right. Emily hit the nail on the head as this is not new for the County. Look at the very good staff released from the County roster over the last few years.

  3. Lyn says:

    As soon as I heard about this and realized who on the Board I think I figured out the problem. Nancy Parks is a great loss to the organization.

  4. Emily says:

    Of course there is a smell of a rat. This is Prince Edward County. This type of thing happens all to regularly,particularly at Shire Hall! This is not new and far from the first to fall.

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