Hospice of Anchorage is adapting to coronavirus conditions
July 1, 2020
Usually, I would start my article off by saying something like, “I hope you are doing well.” It’s not that I don’t hope you are doing well, but these days, hoping you are well doesn’t feel sufficient. There are some of you who are struggling financially due to COVID-19 and the loss of your job. Some of you are lonely and isolated. Some of you are disgusted at the racial injustice our country continues to face. I can speak for the entire staff at Hospice of Anchorage when I say that we are here for you during these times of unrest. Our office is open, and we always have a hot cup of coffee or tea ready for visitors. Our living room-style reception area allows for comfortable social distancing. If you need a safe place to unwind or want to talk, our “home” is open to you.
The Hospice of Anchorage staff met at the office in-person for the first time in almost two months in early June. During the hunkering down period, we met via Zoom on Mondays and Wednesdays. Still, nothing is better than being together where smiles and laughter are real-time, without lag. We did enjoy a tailgate-style lunch one day as well as participated in the Citywide Cleanup. Our patient care has evolved to phone calls, FaceTime, Zoom, and weekly patient deliveries. Phone calls last longer these days as our patients welcome the interaction as they long for personal contact.
Our patients enjoyed a beautiful bouquet of flowers graciously donated by Uptown Blossoms. We delivered cloth masks to our patients made and donated by Eagle River resident Mona Mitton. Pictures with a Purpose resonated with people throughout Alaska and beyond. More than 200 pictures were colored and delivered to Hospice of Anchorage. We’ve enjoyed sending these pictures to our patients throughout the hunkering down period. We also partnered with the Spice & Tea Exchange to deliver a delicious tea and treat bag. Music CDs, cards, a COVID Fruit and Cheese Platter, and magnets were provided as well.
Outstanding community support
If you can remember back to April 25, it was an incredibly gorgeous day. After working in the yard, my husband and I sat back and enjoyed a nice bonfire. Sitting in jeans and a sweatshirt, it dawned on me that I should have been in a cocktail dress, enjoying our Heroes of Hospice Gala & Auction. As with everyone forced to cancel their fundraising events, the decision was difficult and scary. How would we make up the funds lost by not having our gala? Here’s how. The following corporations and individuals turned their event sponsorship into a contribution. We are so grateful: Legacy Funeral Homes, Katmai Oncology Group, EMC Engineering, Tom Yerbich, Advanced Oncology Associates, Alyeska Pipeline, Chugach Electric, Providence Health & Services, HomeWell Senior Care, Matson Navigation, Great Land Infusion Pharmacy, Alaska Women’s Health, Agnew Beck Consulting, and Ashley Martin.
We are busy updating our Resource Center with new books and a new look. When we’re done, and when restrictions loosen up more, we plan on having an Open House/40th Birthday Party/Garage Sale celebration. How’s that for efficiency? Until then, stay safe, and thank you for being a part of our Hospice of Anchorage family.
Amy Tribbett is the Hospice of Anchorage executive director.