SEDONA, Ariz. – Compassus recently sent a team of local medical volunteers, including Paula Pimentel of Sedona, 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.
“I visited South Africa 44 years ago, as a student and it was phenomenal to see the changes that have taken place since Apartheid has been abolished. It took my breath away to be there among the community and experience what they experience. I felt so honored to be chosen to volunteer for Living Hope and experience and meet the people who are part of this wonderful organization,” said Pimentel.
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.
“There were two experiences that were especially close to my heart,” said Pimentel, a social worker with Compassus – Sedona. “One was when we were assisting with HIV testing and we heard a young woman scream out. We later learned she was screaming for joy because her test came back negative. The other experience was visiting the afterschool program in Maffay Shumbalala. For a community in such a poverty-stricken area, an afterschool program is crucial to the livelihood of the children. I came back a better person after my experience in Cape Town and I plan to return some day to assist in the HIV initiative.”
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 Susan Blanchard, executive director for Compassus – Sedona. “We are proud of our team of volunteers and the work they did on this recent trip, and look forward to continuing to support the program in the future. We also encourage other organizations and individuals to join in the effort.”
For more information about Compassus or its services, visit www.compassus.com or call (928) 284-0180.