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Social Worker Gets First-Hand Exposure to Hospice in South Africa

JACKSON, Miss. – Compassus recently sent a team of 12 volunteers, including Marla Singleton of Jackson, Mississippi, to assist Living Hope, the company’s sister hospice program in Cape Town, South Africa. The Compassus interdisciplinary team, which included registered nurses, hospice aides, a social worker, volunteer coordinator, chaplain and other colleagues, spent a week in Cape Town working side-by-side with Living Hope clinicians and administrators.

“The Living Hope mission trip gave me a front row seat to compassionate care in action,” said Singleton, hospice social worker for Compassus – Jackson. “Living Hope colleagues work incredibly hard and often do more than required of them to provide for the residents of Cape Town. You can tell their support and the assistance of Compassus means everything to the communities they serve.”

Through an international partnership formed in 2011, Compassus donates monetary aid, medical supplies and health care expertise to support Living Hope’s health care and hospice services in the impoverished township communities of Cape Town. Compassus matches voluntary employee donations dollar for dollar for total donations in 2018 of more than $123,000 to the ministry-based nonprofit.

“I’m thankful I had the opportunity to travel across the Atlantic Ocean and meet people who, despite the distance, share the same challenges, hopes and dreams as we do in the United States,” continued Singleton. “People are the same around the world and it was amazing to see that in person.”

Living Hope offers health care services, counseling and education to more than 200,000 underprivileged residents in Cape Town. Its programs focus on improving general health and hospice care, HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention, and economic empowerment. Living Hope provides health care for more than 36,000 South Africans annually through in-home visits, medical clinics and a 22-bed inpatient hospice center.

“Compassion is at the heart of everything we do, and our compassion has an even broader impact when we have the opportunity to serve alongside Living Hope,” said Tammy Foster, executive director for Compassus – Jackson. “We are proud of our team and their work with the people of South Africa, and I hope it inspires others to join the effort to advance the well-being of those facing life-limiting illnesses.”

For more information, visit our Jackson page or call (601) 956-9755.