Community Support

LAKEWOOD – Donations and community support allow Hospice Chautauqua County to meet the needs of local residents.

“(The community) is our main source of support, and we rely on the community because the community owns this. And they basically support us to do things that meet their end-of-life needs. That helps support all of the things that make this one of the outstanding hospices in New York state – and we are. It’s a tremendous asset,” said Ron Sellers, president and chief executive officer of Hospice Chautauqua County.

Hospice Chautauqua County recently received support from the local community as it strives to offer physical, spiritual and emotional support to those who need it.

Last week, the organization held its third annual dinner dance, “Hoedown for Hospice,” fundraising event at the Jamestown Gateway Train Station – with more than 300 people in attendance and approximately $30,000 raised. The event featured live music by Rockin’ Robin and Sean Patrick McGraw, and the main feature was a 50/50 drawing for a heart necklace donated by Ben Garelick Jewelers of Buffalo and valued at $2,500.

“It was a great turnout; the train station was full,” Sellers said.

“The people who were there had a wonderful time for a good cause.”

Sellers said the amount of money raised will go directly toward the variety of services – most of them free – provided by hospice, which constitute approximately 80 percent of annual expenditures. Rather than seek out grants, he said donations from the community are what sustains hospice throughout the year, with a total of approximately $320,000 in annual donations.

Hospice Chautauqua County is the only Medicare-certified hospice located in Chautauqua County. According to Sellers, its mission is to provide end-of-life care for people dealing with a terminal illness; typically within the last six months of life, based on diagnosis.

“The focus is on helping people live their lives to the fullest extent possible until the end of life,” he said. “We want to give people the quality they desire in the setting they desire with the kind of care that will facilitate that happening.”

The organization provides the aforementioned care in the form of nursing services, home health aides, social work and spiritual support with the help of volunteers. Although the individual needs of those in need of hospice care are as numerous as the families served, Sellers said the most common service to Chautauqua County is in-home care.

“Most of our care is, in fact, provided in people’s homes; that works well for this community,” Sellers said. “Last year, we served about 700 people at the end of their lives, which is a fairly large number of people. And when we say we serve a person, we serve that person and their families and friends,” he said. “We do that by focusing on providing the right care at the right time in the right place by the right person.”

Hospice Chautauqua County is located at 20 W. Fairmount Ave. in Lakewood, and can be reached at 338-0033 or online at www.hospicechautco.org.