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Summary of Key Organizations Meeting

November 24, 2022
9:30 am to 12:30 pm
PR Public Library – Community Room


Leaders from government and community organizations were invited to a meeting to review the findings from previous community engagement initiatives (two focus groups and one community survey), to contribute to the information gathering process, to explore how we might mobilize community assets to actualize the Hospice House dream, and to consider how they and/or their organizations might contribute to the Hospice House initiative.

The Society sought representation from the following organizations:

  • Powell River Community Foundation *
    • Powell River Ministerial Association
    • Powell River Community Forest *
    • First Credit Union *
    • qathet Division of Family Practice *
    • Health Care Auxiliary *
    • qathet Regional District
    • qathet Regional Hospital Board *
    • Tla’amin Nation
    • Tla’amin Health
    • Powell River Hospital Foundation *
    • Vancouver Coastal Health Authority
    • Kiwanis Village Society
    • City of Powell River * *
    • Seniors Association of Powell River / Branch 49
    • Rotary Club of Powell River *
    • Powell River Chamber of Commerce

Nine organizations indicated above with a star (*) were represented by ten participants. Also participating were two Hospice board members and one staff person. The meeting was facilitated by Christien Kaaij, (Facilities Engagement and Strategic Lead, qathet Division of Family Practice), Malerie Meeker (Director, Hospice Society), and graphically recorded by Wayne Hanson.

When the Society’s board, staff, and steering committee members meet to draft the Hospice House development plan (December 2, 2022), information generated at this meeting will be used to ensure the plan reflects multiple community viewpoints. The contributions offered both personally and organizationally by participants will contribute to making Hospice House a reality.

The Society is grateful to all who attended, donating their time and attention to this planning meeting. Their support and contributions are invaluable. Thank you.


9:30 am          Welcome

9:32 am          Hospice Society Update

9:45 am      Introductions:

  • Your role in the organization you are representing
  • Your connection (if any) to the Hospice Society
  • What does ‘hospice’ mean to you in one word?

10:00 am        Review of the community engagement initiatives findings

10:15 am    Working Session:

  • What surprised you?
  • What is missing?
  • What should we be focusing on?

11:00 am        Overview of Asset Based Community Development

11:15 am     Working Session:

  • What and where are our community assets?
  • What can you or your organization contribute to the Hospice House project?

12:15 am  Next Steps and Thank you: How to stay involved


Participants sat in groups of 4 to 5 people; and had the opportunity to explore each question in small groups. Responses were recorded in single words or short phrases on post-it notes; these notes were discussed as they were posted on the wall. The graphic recorder listened for key ideas and information and illustrated these in linear fashion across paper on the wall. The raw data is included in each section along with analysis.


Describe ‘hospice’: Participants began the session by offering one word that comes to mind regarding ‘hospice’:


What was surprising in the findings?:

  • Common priorities from focus groups
  • Not institutional
  • Lack of response to the survey

Reflection: Participants were surprised that the priorities identified by focus group members and survey responders were the same. For the Society’s purposes, this is a good thing. Planning around the common priorities will ensure the Society is responding to the community’s wishes. Additionally, these are not new priorities; they reflect the outcomes of earlier iterations of ideas and planning for Hospice House.

That we had a very low return rate, less than 1% of the qathet population was surprising, especially given the nature of the subject. The Hospice House plan will be a 3-to-5-year dynamic document; we will have the capacity to respond to new information as we learn more in the coming months and years.

What was missing in the findings?

·         Tla’Amin voice:

It was identified that the Tla’Amin voice was not sufficiently reflected in the engagement process.

  • The staff (as in, input from medical practitioners):

Ideas and input from the medical community are also needed to ensure this perspective is included in the planning,

·         Ensuring continued financial and human resources:

Participants noted that the community engagement initiatives did not address or seek input on how to ensure that financial and human resources are available and sustainable.

·         Inclusive design:

It was noted that inclusive design does not just relate to physical accessibility, but also relates to cultural appropriateness and especially age appropriateness.

·         Information on continuum of hospice care:

When disseminating end-of-life information, it is important to note that hospice, and Hospice House specifically, is part of a continuum of care available including care at home, in residential facilities, hospital, Hospice House.

·         Current typical death journey and death statistics:

To broaden people’s understanding of the need for a hospice facility and to support fundraising, statistics about the number of deaths occurring at home, in hospital, in residential facilities, and information on a typical end-of-life experience in qathet are required. (Noted by a participant: The Society does keep this statistical information.)

·         Future projections:

The Society needs to ensure we are planning for the future. Financial and staff sustainability are critical issues facing the Society to provide a stable and ongoing service.

Based on the information collected during the focus groups and interviews, and based on your own ideas and experience, what are the most important things we should focus on for our local hospice?

Feedback from the discussions generated three priorities; the original data is shown below.

Ø  Priority #1: VCH and Hospice Partnership – Resources and Funding:

It was recognized that VCH is the Society’s most important partner, as the Authority will fund

ongoing operations if Hospice House is built on the community’s health care campus. This partnership ensures stability and sustainability for Hospice House, as it would be near impossible to fund raise annually to cover operational costs. Nurturing a robust and reciprocal partnership with VCH is critical to shift the dream of Hospice House to a reality.

It was also recognized that qathet is a very small fish in a huge pond; Hospice House that much

smaller. Getting and keeping VCH’s attention will be key. Presenting a united community front will

help elevate the Society’s position. The Society needs to secure support from the broad community and its organizations, so they “wrap around” the Society and the Hospice House initiative, presenting a strong and visible force.

Ø  Priority #2: Awareness Building

The Hospice House initiative needs to be a community initiative. Raising awareness and

commitment from the broader community needs to be an integral part of the Society’s work in

coming months.

Ø  Priority #3: Individual Control

Each individual accessing hospice support and/or Hospice House needs to have control over the circumstances of their end-of-life journey. As the planning proceeds, the Society’s focus cannot waver from the fact that hospice care is heart work and needs to reflect individuals need.


  • Collaborative project: VCH and Hospice
  • Wrap around community project (described in an interesting graphic with the Society surrounded by other organizations and supporters and all those in relationship with VCH)
  • Fundraising: VCH or Stand alone? – Fundraising with or without VCH will have implications and will attract or discourage some donors
  • Resources to need – will we be able to attract enough resources (e.g., staff) to response to the need
  • Funding model that works locally
  • Developing a good solid plan – to support negotiations
  • Awareness building
  • Connect with other coastal communities’ hospices
  • Individual control. The person has control


Identifying Community Assets: Identifying community assets seemed an easy task for participants; qathet is rich in multiple kinds of resources. Interesting to note, “people” assets carried the most weight.


  • Tla’Amin Nation – traditional knowledge
  • Leadership – strong and diverse; able to support the dream and resolve issues
  • Strong volunteer base – Seniors, new immigrants, 20 to 40’s
  • Financial backers and untapped philanthropists – citizens looking for a cause
  • Untapped community members – Savary, Hardy, Nelson, Hernando, Texada
  • New immigrant population – cultural diversity
  • New families moving to the region – wanting to get involved
  • Professional capacity – builders, staff, local govt working together
  • Artists – to tell the story


  • Community partners: as represented at the meeting and others
  • Financial backers
  • Western Forest Products
  • Washington Group (SeaSpan)
  • Community Forest

Place Related:

  • Land / Abundance of natural magnificence
  • Geographically independent


  • Infrastructure legacy from the Mill
  • Three levels of government that work well together here
  • Community that pulls together; community-minded city, community pride

How can you or your organization contribute? The final session of the meeting generated ideas and/or commitments from leaders, both organizational contributions as well as personal contributions. Contributions were divided into four categories:

Awareness Raising

  • Rotary Club
  • First Credit Union
  • qathet Div. Family Practice (among physicians)
  • Volunteers

Fundraising (including in-kind donations)

  • Rotary Club
  • First Credit Union
  • City of PR/Community Forest
  • qathet Regional Hospital Board
  • PR Community Foundation
  • PR Health Care Auxiliary

Systems Navigation & Relationship Building

  • City of PR
  • qathet Regional Hospital District
  • PR Community Foundation
  • qathet Division of Family Practice
  • First Credit Union


  • City of PR
  • qathet Regional Hospital District

Contributions listed by organization:

  1. Rotary Club:
    1. Raising awareness
    1. Organize Death Café
    1. Sponsorship
    1. Fundraisers
    1. Hands-on volunteers (‘projects’)
  2. First Credit Union:
    1. Awareness builder
    1. Story telling
    1. Advocate
    1. Influence
    1. Funder and connection to funders
  3. qathet Division of Family Practice:
    1. Doctor awareness, education, advocacy
    1. Public communication
    1. Connector – Hospice and VCH
    1. Strategy – Hospice and VCH
  4. City of Powell River:
    1. Land
    1. Development permitting concessions
    1. Community Forest funding
    1. Inter-governmental diplomatic relations – i.e., with the Province, BC Housing, etc.
  5. qathet Regional Hospital District:
    1. Land
    1. Money
    1. Ability to bring people together
  6. PR Community Foundation:
    1. Grants
  7. PR Health Care Auxiliary
    1. Funding
  8. PR Hospital Foundation:
    1. Knowledge
    1. Coordination
  9. Personal commitments:
    1. Recruitment
    1. Work to de-institutionalize (meaning reduce ‘medical model’ in our facilities)
    1. Join Hospice Society
    1. Volunteer
    1. Speak about and share stories about the difference hospice makes
    1. Time, heart, tenacity


Of special significance to the Society is securing the support and assistance of local leaders who have offered their knowledge, guidance, and support.

In addition to having the benefit of adding the organizational lens to our planning data, the generous contributions offered both organizationally and personally provide a strong foundation for the initial stages of the Hospice House initiative.

The ‘community’ and ‘people’ themes were prevalent throughout the working sessions. It is interesting to note at when asked to identify our community’s assets, the majority were people-based assets.

The statement “qathet’s greatest asset is its citizens” was proven again at this meeting. The enthusiasm, energy, and caring demonstrated by meeting participants was exceptional. The Hospice Society can go forward with the Hospice House initiative confident that they have the support of key community organizations and of many levels of local government.

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