Published on August 30, 2021
20/20 Clear Vision. That was the title of our strategic plan for 2020 when we created it in the fall of 2019. One quarter into the new year, we felt like the joke was on us, but it wasn’t funny at all. Terrifying reports of a mysterious and deadly disease were coming in from around the globe: hospitals deluged, dying patients isolated, healthcare workers exhausted and living in fear of getting sick and infecting their own families.
These were not the problems we had looked to forward to solving this year, and nothing had ever felt less clear as we tracked the daily death count this “novel” virus left in its wake. Everything ground to a halt as the world shut down, and we struggled to get our bearings in a nightmare scenario.
Then a strange thing happened. As we narrowed our focus to contend with this crisis, we discovered we were more prepared than we thought. We reimagined our role and doubled down on the unique ways that only we could help. And this was validated by the support we received from the community and donors, which was stronger than ever, even as we all weathered this frightening, unpredictable storm.
Finding new uses for our Henry Hooker Alive Connect telehospice program was invaluable as in-person contact was restricted in hospitals and care facilities. We asked supporters to help us expand it, and they did. We doubled the size of the program to reach all our patients so that those who were most isolated could still have face-to-face visits with our social workers and chaplains.
Even when Nashville’s ATT network hub was bombed on Christmas day disrupting communication in three states, Alive Connect still functioned. Our staff met with families in parking lots when they weren’t allowed into facilities. Our nurses helped patients video chat with loved ones when they weren’t allowed to visit.
– Dr. Gluck, referring physician, Advisory Board member and volunteer
Not only did we reimagine the role this technology could play in our care, we also found new ways to care for the community and ourselves with free counseling, meditation, and expressive arts workshops.
We launched free support groups for anyone in the community who had lost someone to COVID, and we hosted virtual memorials for all those who could not gather for funerals. Our grief camp for kids took place virtually, and our annual butterfly release took place in individual homes and was shared via photos and videos.
We partnered with Nashville’s musical community to bring virtual concerts to patients and families, and we found new ways for our volunteers to provide socially-distanced support with meal drop offs, letters, and phone calls.
As we worked together, the chaos gave way to clarity and new visions. We developed a clearer idea of where we want to be in the coming decade, and how to get there. Today we are even more firmly dedicated to our mission and our plans for the future, including a new comprehensive fundraising campaign that will allow us to stay at the forefront of hospice care.
Thank you for your support.
Kimberly Goessele, President/CEO of Alive