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Volunteers plan meeting to focus on future of Hospice

Volunteers have organized a community meeting to address the future of Hospice Prince Edward.

The public is invited to gather Monday, June 29 at 7 p.m. at the Community Centre in Picton for the “information sharing session”.

The volunteers of Hospice Prince Edward have noted concern over the resignation of Nancy Parks, as executive director, expressing that her departure left unanswered questions concerning the direction of Hospice, its leadership and its relationship with agencies such as the South East Local Health Integration Network (LHIN), and the regional Community Care Access Centre, (CCAC).

Questions have been posed to the HPE board, but volunteers stated they have not received clear or satisfactory answers.

“We are deeply committed to HPE as a community-based organization that relies upon
the financial contributions and the volunteer commitments of County residents,” the volunteer organizers stated in their notification of the public meeting. “In our view, the future of Hospice Prince Edward is in jeopardy until these questions have been resolved. For this reason we have organized a community meeting. We have issued invitations to the HPE Board, to our local MPP and to members of Council to join with us for this meeting.

“We strongly urge all County residents, especially those who are volunteers, contributors
or whose families have been touched by Hospice, to join us at the Picton Community Centre at 7 p.m. on Monday, June 29 to express our deep appreciation for Nancy Parkʼs
work, and to address the future of HPE as an essential component of our community.”


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  1. Susan says:

    If the volunteers are expecting to receive answers on the resignation of the Executive Director I believe they will be disappointed. That is employer/employee privilege held in confidence. That is not the role of a volunteer group.

  2. Vic says:

    How does one get to be a HPE Board member? To become a QHC Board member or a CCAC Board member I believe you can apply when a vacancy occurs but I also believe that you only get on those Boards if the sitting board members elect you to the club. If that belief is true then it would seem that board members most likely would select like-minded individuals to join them. I’m not sure this process leads to independent creative divergent thought on any Board – perhaps instead to a more inbred “circle the wagons ” kind of reaction to public scrutiny. Is that what we have here? I hope not. I do know of one group withholding funds pending the arrival of some answers about this situation.

  3. Emily says:

    I would not expect a Board to be in attendance at such a meeting. Would not be appropriate.

  4. Susan says:

    I don’t think a situation where volunteers attempt to drive Board policy would be effective leadership.

  5. Annette Gaskin says:

    I am sure that I met you at the volunteer meeting on Thursday. Are you not the lawyer to the Board of HPE?
    Of course you have a different view of the situation. You will always present the Board’s opinions. And I am sure that they have asked you to attend the meeting on Monday.
    Look forward to seeing you there!

  6. Hildagard says:

    Dear Jack,
    Are you trying to tell me that board meetings for this public entity should be wrapped in secrecy from the public?? It appears that you support an elitist board who are not capable of handling public criticism or debate and thus must keep everything “confidential”–not that this particular board fits that criteria. You sound very pompous in your feelings towards the peons that have given thousands of dollars and continue to give thousands of dollars to keep the Hospice House functioning! Just because one volunteers to sit on this board does not justify secrecy and absolute power. Hopefully Monday night’s meeting will
    show some accountability to the public! Are you on the Board?

  7. Jack says:

    Dear Hildagard,

    Your claim that my views on the confidentiality of board deliberations are ridiculous betrays your obvious lack of experience in this area. Boards of directors serve a variety of functions, generally determined largely by the express bylaws of the particular organizations, the nature of the entity itself (for example, corporate vs. not-for-profit), and the different types of equity held by various stakeholders (i. e. shareholders, co-op members, etc.). Irrespective of function, in almost every type of board, the members would simply resign from the position in the absence of a reasonable expectation that their deliberations would remain confidential. Boards issue public statements to reflect the views of the quorum required to pass a motion. In the present case, based on the publicly-available information, it appears to be the case that Ms. Parks tendered her resignation. If she had been terminated as the result of a motion, then presumably the board would have issued a statement reflecting that different set of circumstances. One can only assume, as is typical in such cases, that Ms. Parks is required by some agreement to refrain from commenting on the circumstances surrounding her resignation, hence her public silence concerning the terms of her departure. And, one might also assume that the board would be similarly bound, hence their careful wording concerning the parting. Regardless, the point is simply that folks will only participate in this type of thing if they can reasonably expect to participate in a civilized and private decision-making process rather than in a free-for-all pointing of fingers designed for little more than the laying of blame and a call for execution.

    After all, for all those out there who claim to be griping about the board “on behalf of the volunteers”, you seem to have conveniently forgotten that the board members are also volunteers!

    Finally, it’s true that hospice has enjoyed and continues to enjoy significant financial support from the local community. Without the recent campaign, there wouldn’t be the bricks-and-mortar facility that now exists. But a purchase is just the start, and does nothing to cover the cost of operations. Volunteers are not the ones who somehow keep the lights on. There are 14 LHINs in Ontario and 14 CCACs (one for each LHIN) providing palliative care services. There are 36 hospices, only 32 of which receive Ministry funding, in each case as allocated by the appropriate regional CCAC. I’m only guessing, but one has to imagine that the board is doing everything it can to ensure that Hospice PEC is, or becomes and remains, eligible for funding from the local CCAC.

    Unless you’re privy to some information that has been (possibly) improperly shared with you, there’s nothing more than rumour and conjecture on which to base a claim that hospice is in danger. Last time I heard, the doors were open.

  8. Tim says:

    In response to Jack I would suggest that he attends the upcoming meeting on Monday. This meeting is apparently as the result of unanswered questions posed to the board. The resignation of a dedicated person such as Nancy Parks obviously touched a nerve among concerned community members and caused red flags to be raised. Jack does not believe that HPE is in jeopardy but that may be because there has not been full disclosure to the public. Jack why don’t you ask a board member about admission statistics since October 2014 to date versus the first year of operation? Are doctors suggesting hospice to families? If not, why not? Is there any additional care provided at hospice versus your home? How have decisions made by the LHIN and CCAC affected hospice? Jack, hopefully these and other questions will be answered Monday night but somehow I doubt it because I don’t believe at this time that anyone from the board will be at the meeting. But hopefully you will attend anyways.

  9. Hildagard says:

    “The board’s deliberations are confidential and not really any business of the public or the volunteers” is the most ridiculous statement! The public are the ones who have generously donated money to create this Hospice House! The volunteers are the ones that keep it running smoothly for the patients and families! How dare you say it is none of their business!! Everything the “Board” does should be transparent and open to scrutiny!

  10. Jack says:

    What I don’t understand is who exactly is spearheading this publicity campaign claiming that the future of hospice is somehow in “jeopardy”. Given the recent media onslaught, one might easily conclude that it could be someone with ties to the recently resigned executive director, but perhaps it’s simply the musings of genuinely concerned local residents and volunteers. Whatever the facts might be, there doesn’t appear to be any reason to think Hopsice PEC is in jeopardy or that the doors aren’t open for business; indeed, there hasn’t been a single statement made suggesting that’s the case.

    As for transparency at the board level, I would suspect that the board’s deliberations are confidential and not really any business of the public or the volunteers. The public and the volunteers are likely only entitled to exactly what they do in fact receive, which is the public statements the board makes once it reaches a position on the issue at hand.

    In any case, all of the hand-wringing aside, perhaps some of the energy expended on trying to lay blame should be devoted to more constructive pursuits. One that quickly comes to mind is volunteering for the board of hospice. If so many out there know so much about how things should be done, then why don’t they step up and do it themselves?

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