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Boquete Health & Hospice Newsletter January


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  • Letter From President John Earle
  • Calendar of Events
  • Volunteer Spotlight – Lesley Hughes
  • Event Recap – January 12th Meeting & Elections
  • The “Magic of Music”
  • Chris’s Corner
  • Training Videos
  • How to Get Medical Equipment
  • Tree of Life
  • BHH Policies
Our Mission Statement
Our mission is to inform and promote community health. To support people with health and wellness needs by providing information, equipment and volunteer services. To provide palliative (Hospice) care for the terminally ill in order that they may experience death with dignity and limited pain.
Letter from The President
Dear Friends,

As your new president, the first thing I want to do is thank Lesley Hughes for her two years of outstanding service to BHHF as president. She invited me to begin participating in the BHHF Council conversations in December – getting me in tune with the way we currently go about our important mission.  Boquete Health and Hospice is quite different from when I was last president around 14 years ago! Since that time our organization has expanded into many new community health support areas. I am very impressed with the amazing organization and efficiency of the entire leadership team – from Lesley, to the board and to all the teams. BHHF is fortunate to have such amazing talent at the controls. (I was even given a few tasks to perform – never waste an active volunteer!). In my new role as President, I will have a great deal of support. The current board consists of two other past presidents, Laurie Collier and Lesley Hughes.

The old Chinese curse “may you live in interesting times” seems to have blossomed in our time. I don’t know about “interesting,” but the Covid virus has made our operations more “challenging.” We are continually reviewing how to meet and greet each other as well as handling people coming for equipment or other services safely. Behind the scenes many decisions are being made on how to deal with these challenges. The team leaders are ever vigilant. The Omicron variant seems to have arrived quickly, expanded exponentially, and hopefully will diminish rapidly. We are very hopeful that the curse of Covid will end this year. Meanwhile BHHF will continue to be as inclusive as possible while remaining focused on safety, and we will continue our compassionate and caring mission as stated at the top of this newsletter.
Thank you all for the work that you do in caring for our amazing community!
Upcoming Events
Feb 2 – Council meeting

Feb 9 – General Meeting (Zoom Only)
**All in-person general meetings are cancelled for now (except the January training class)

May 13, 14 and 15 – Art Show and Auction (postponed from February)

The BHH Family wishes to extend its sincerest gratitude to Lesley Hughes as she steps down as President after 2 years!
When Lesley was elected President in 2020, her term was only going to be for one year as there were several other things she wanted to do in BHH.  Little did she know, BHH would not let her retire after only one year; we asked her to stay on as President for another year.  2020 started out on a high note.  A volunteer class was underway, BHH had several initiatives planned and BHH was gaining a lot more awareness in the community.  Things were off to a great start.
Then COVID attacked Panama and our local area.  Immediately Lesley and the other Board members were thrust into crisis management mode.  The pandemic, and how to manage through it as a health organization, was all new.  Lesley immediately took the lead and with the Board began making some very difficult decisions.  During these decisions, and still to this day, Lesley is a mother hen as she often says.  In her words, the safety and care of our volunteers comes first and foremost.  In every pandemic related decision made, Lesley always checked to ensure our volunteers were protected the best way possible.  Lesley’s approach to decision-making is levelheaded and always with a focus on safety first.

Despite two years of the pandemic, Lesley encouraged BHH to grow.  While many other volunteer organizations were scaling back or closing altogether, Lesley pushed BHH into new territory and BHH grew.  From when she assumed the role of President in 2020 until now, BHH has seen the number of patients more than double.  A few of the BHH accomplishments in the two years Lesley has been president are:
•  Volunteers
  • When our Volunteer Coordinator retired this past fall, Lesley assumed the role and began interviewing and coordinating new volunteers until a new coordinator would be in position.  Lesley did a terrific job making new members feel welcome while learning about BHH.  In fact, every new volunteer in the October 2021 class Lesley taught, has become very active in BHH.
  • Two new volunteer classes were delivered between 2020-2021.   She jumped in to help teach the October 2021 class.
  • She is organizing and will co-teach the upcoming new volunteer class in January 2022.
  • Lesley and BHH did its best to reach out to volunteers and to keep them both informed and as involved as possible during times of COVID lockdowns.
•  Technology
  • Zoom became a way of communicating so everyone could stay in contact.
  • A new database project was kicked off which will tie patient care, equipment, volunteers, donors, treasury, and many other features together.  The database will go live the first quarter of 2022.
  • A new BHH website with many more features and flexibility was started and will go live the first quarter of 2022.  It will include both Spanish and English.
•  Community Awareness
  • Despite the pandemic, the local community, and doctors both in Boquete and David, became more aware of BHH.  Patient calls, equipment loans, services provided and general health related questions have more than doubled.
  • Lesley appeared in several presentations and on radio to promote BHH.
  • She appeared in a Being Prepared video to help promote the importance of being prepared in Boquete.
  • The Boquete Mayor’s office partnered with BHH to host the October 2021 blood drive
•  Equipment
  • New equipment purchases were made to address the expanding growth BHH is facing.
  • Creative ways to repair existing equipment to keep costs down were implemented.
  • Additional equipment locker space was obtained.
  • Additional volunteers were trained in equipment and respiratory.  
•  Personal Touches to Say We Care
  • A few volunteers came to Lesley with an idea:  What if BHH could provide music to its patients and caregivers when going through difficult times?  Lesley immediately jumped on the idea and encouraged the creation of a Music Team which today provides music and customized playlists to those in need with MP3 players.
  • Friendship Baskets were introduced with Lesley championing the idea.  The project took off and now volunteers, patients and caregivers who are experiencing very difficult situations may receive a basket to let them know that the BHH family cares and is with them.
Of course, all of this could not have been accomplished without a team of wonderful volunteers.  Lesley made sure every volunteer was heard and was encouraged to contribute.  She was not afraid to jump in and work beside all of our volunteers.  It was not uncommon to see Lesley working on multiple committees and projects at the same time.

The wonderful news is that she is not leaving BHH in 2022.  Instead, Lesley is switching roles and will continue to be extremely active.  She has assumed the position of BHH Treasurer.  She is also joining the Respiratory Team, where her EMT skills will once again be used.  Lesley is co-teaching the January New Volunteer Training class as well as assisting and preparing the new volunteer training instructors as they move into their new roles.  And, you can bet that Lesley will be at the next blood drive with her sleeve rolled up.  

We are so fortunate to have Lesley as part of the BHH Family and are so happy that she continues to be an extremely active member.  Thank you, Lesley, from all of us!
Volunteer Application Form
Activity Recap
January 12th General Meeting & Election

The January meeting was by Zoom only.  There was first the Election of Officers – the slate was elected.  We appreciate our great slate of volunteers on the board!
  • President – John Earle
  • Vice President – Laurie Collier
  • Secretary - John Ferguson
  • Treasurer – Lesley Hughes

There was a wonderful presentation by Michael Polacek on “Understanding Experiential and Emotional Trauma”,

followed by Bev Tyler explaining the position of Patient Care Coordinators.

The “Magic of Music”

The Magic of Music Team would like to invite you to visit our website and use our free Music Playlists derived from YouTube https://www.boquetehospice.org/music-playlists
Additionally, we have another list of free YouTube Playlists that are associated with our articles about Music: https://www.boquetehospice.org/playlists-music

You'll find our Music articles at: https://www.boquetehospice.org/music-health-wellness

7 Ways Houseplants May Improve Your Health, According to Scientists

Filling your home with greenery can do a whole lot more for you than provide content. Several studies have shown that an indoor garden can boost your mental and physical well-being.
Read the Articule

Education Videos are up and running! Excellent info for caregivers and general public in both Spanish and English.  Topics include using all kinds of equipment including crutches, wheelchairs, walkers, how to move patients safely for both patient and caregiver, and general patient care. There are also informative videos on Alzheimer’s and other dementia. To find these, go to the BHH website: Boquetehealth.org  - Education - chose your topic. 
Need Medical Equipment?
If you or someone you know has a need to borrow or return equipment, please contact our Patient Care Coordinators (PCCs) at 6781-9250.  All requests related to equipment must go through the PCCs.  The PCCs will work with you or the caregiver to determine the appropriate equipment, availability and loan period.  Once the equipment need is identified, the PCCs coordinate with the Equipment Team to ensure the correct equipment is sanitized and ready to be checked out (picked up) at our locker located at Alto Dorado.  A member of the Equipment Team will contact you or the caregiver directly to make arrangements to meet at our locker.
Please note that our Equipment Team members only go to the locker for scheduled equipment checkouts and returns.  No Equipment Team member is staffed at the locker and the locker is only open during specific times.  Therefore, it is important to contact the PCCs first.  When you are ready to return equipment, the process is the same.  Simply call the PCCs at 6781-9250.

If you are using a piece of equipment for the first time, be sure to visit our website and go to Patient/Caregiver Videos under the Education tab to learn more.  Here you will find videos and information on using equipment and caring for patients in the home.
About the Tree of Life
The tree was created to honor our donors and volunteers.  The roots are volunteers, the trunk is the council, the leaves are people who have donated $100 or more.  The two color leaves are people who have donated for two years.  The flowers are sponsors who donate $1000 or more.  The Lilies are memorials to people who have passed.  Family or friends have donated $200 or more to honor them. 
Add your leaf or flower or Lily.  Click the button to make our tree grow.
Thank you.
Click Here to Enlarge Tree

Many Thanks to Our New and Repeat Donors 
Pat & Harvey Thomas
The policies of the organization are posted on our website.  There is a link under Information Menu  Policies.  https://www.boquetehospice.org/bhh-policies
The policies will be updated as needed.  
To Make a Donation
 BHHF functions with donations provided by the community. If you are interested in supporting the work we do, please make a donation. To make a financial contribution:
• Check or cash please contact Lesley Hughes, treasurer, at  treasurer@boquetehealth.org
• Click Here  to make an online Paypal donation.
• Direct Deposit to Boquete Hospice and Health Foundation, Global Bank Checking Account #16-101-23071-6 

Contact Us
8am to 5pm M-F, 9am to 1pm Sat & Sun
Hospice/Health:  (507) 6781-9250         
Blood Donor Program: WhatApp (507)-6590-2000 or call (507)-6781-9250
Email: info@boquetehealth.org
Website: http://www.boquetehealth.org
FacebookPage: https://www.facebook.com/boqueteheartshandsandhelp

All patient information shared with any Boquete Health and Hospice volunteer is kept in the strictest confidence.

Freely send this to anyone, use any part.

Our mailing address is:

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