ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Compassus recently sent a team of local medical volunteers, including Jill Frankel, R.N. of Albuquerque, to assist the company’s sister hospice program in South Africa, Living Hope. The Compassus team, which included four registered nurses, a physician, two social workers and a chaplain, spent a week in Cape Town educating and assisting the Living Hope staff.
“On the first day, we went to Masiphumelele, a place I now call ‘my favorite place on earth.’ The people were filled with so much joy and focused on making the best of what they were given,” said Frankel, a nurse with Compassus – Albuquerque. “We spent our time with more than 100 children at an afterschool care program. The children were laughing, singing and dancing all together. They loved having visitors and new people to play with them.”
Through a partnership started in 2011, Compassus donates monetary aid, medical supplies and healthcare expertise to support Living Hope’s healthcare and hospice services in the impoverished township communities of Cape Town, South Africa.
“Our time in Cape Town changed the way I look at our world,” said Frankel. “It seemed as if there is no judgement in their community; everyone is full of love and acceptance. I expected to be an outsider when I arrived, but the actions of every person I met quickly let me know ‘you are welcome.’ I am so thankful for this experience with Living Hope and Compassus.”
Living Hope, a ministry-based non-profit, offers healthcare services, counseling and education to more than 200,000 underprivileged residents in Cape Town. Living Hope’s programs focus on improving general health and hospice care, HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention, and economic empowerment. Living Hope provides healthcare for more than 36,000 South Africans annually through in-home visits, medical clinics and a 22-bed inpatient hospice center.
Compassus supports Living Hope in three ways: funding, education and hands-on medical assistance. The company also matches voluntary employee donations to the dollar every year and will also assist Living Hope with necessary medical supplies and equipment.
“As members of the hospice team, we have a calling to deliver compassionate care not only in our local communities, but also to those around the world. This partnership allows us the opportunity to do both,” said Elizabeth Ross, executive director for Compassus – Albuquerque. “We are proud of our team of volunteers and the work they did on this recent trip, and look forward to continuing the program in the future. We encourage other organizations and individuals to join in the effort.”
For more information about Compassus or its services, visit www.compassus.com or call (505) 332-0847.