Hospice can be an intimidating suggestion because an individual has often been diagnosed as terminally ill, meaning their fate as already been sealed.
However, the quality of life isn’t judged by the amount of days a person will walk on earth, which is the motto that the Southern Ohio Medical Center Hospice facility believes and strives to instill that belief in its patients.
“We talk to our folks. We know the quantity of their days may be limited but the quality of them, we want to do whatever we can to help them maximize those,” Teresa Ruby, director of SOMC Hospice and palliative care, said. “We spend a lot of time talking about living and doing what we can in the days that we have left, which we don’t know, but we try to help them accomplish things important to them during those times.”
The SOMC Hospice center has held several special occasions for their patients, including birthday parties, anniversaries — and some patients were even able to travel back to their birthplace for one last visit. The hospice center attempts to fulfill their patients dying wishes, if at all possible.
Once, a patient’s last wish was to fly over his farm. With the help of the Minford Airport, the patient was able to fly over his farm and take pictures of his land.
The opportunity for SOMC Hospice to make patient’s wishes a reality has been through the efforts of the community.
“We’ve done any number of events, where a patient as a special wish and we feel we can accommodate, we do that through donations, but also we’re very fortunate to have many people in our community who are willing to donate their time and expertise to help us make that happen,” Ruby said.
The latest donation, came in the form of a $5,000 check, which was curiosity of the Boilermakers Local 105. The donation was comprised of membership fees, contractor donations, T-shirt sales and the culminating event, which was a golf outing held June 25.
“We give every dime that we make to hospice,” Scott Hammond, business manager at Boilermakers local 105, said. “Every year, we’ve given them a pretty good donation since we’ve been doing this. This year, we cut them a check for $5,000.
“All of the people that we do business with, we lobby for money. We ask them for donations. People are just real receptive to an organization like hospice. Those girls down there, Teresa (Ruby) and Sheila (Riggs), they are really good girls.”
Hammond said there are 500 members in the Boilermakers local 105 and with the majority of them playing golf, he said advertising has never been a problem. In fact, they usually have to turn people away.
This year, the Boilermakers 105 group celebrated its 21st golf event. The Boilermakers Local 105 didn’t always donate to hospice. However, with the golf outing growing in popularity, Hammond saw an opportunity to create some revenue and donate to a charity.
Once he created the idea, the union voted on the appropriate charity in one of its subsequent meetings. After the vote, the Boilermaker Local 105 group began donating every year to SOMC Hospice and that relationship as remained intact throughout the years.
Ruby is grateful the Boilermakers 105 group chose to donate to hospice every year and looks forward to the annual golf outing.
“One hundred percent of donations goes to benefits patients and their families in our community,” Ruby said. “The donations are important to us because they enable us to help patients and families that, for one, may not be covered by insurance, and we’ve identified a need. Two, items that are outside of what insurance would cover … They can be very costly to a family and we’re able to provide items for families through our donations.
“It’s a fun event. Scott (Hammond) and his group invite us to come out and participate … Going out and spending the day with the Boilermakers as turned into an annual event, and one that we feel very fortunate that they picked us as a charity to support because I know there are several out there that they could choose. We feel very fortunate they picked us and we’ve really enjoyed the relationship over the years.”
Joey Ledford, chairman of the Local 105 Golf Committee, is proud to support SOMC Hospice.
“I think it means a lot to us to help people who might not otherwise get that care or might not otherwise get to put their loved ones in Hospice without that donation,” Ledford said. “The union and the organization are all about helping people.”
Hammond also recognized the work of the Local 105 Golf Committee for their efforts in the partnership and for organizing the event.