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Hospice Director Gets First-Hand Experience with Care in South Africa

Living Hope trip

HATTIESBURG, Miss. – Compassus recently sent a team of 12 volunteers, including Gerry Richards of Hattiesburg, 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.

“I couldn’t have imagined how the staff and caregivers of Living Hope would touch my life,” said Richards, executive director for Compassus – Hattiesburg. “I left the trip with heartwarming friendships I will treasure forever.”

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 so thankful for the Living Hope colleagues and how they show true love and compassion every day,” continued Richards. “I am equally thankful for to work for a company like Compassus with the vision to partner with a ministry that makes a difference in the lives of so many people.”

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 Jeremy Bolling, regional vice president for Compassus. “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 Hattiesburg page or call (601) 705-0360.