John Thomas, DHS major donor says, “I’m shocked and dismayed that the current Delta Hospice Society Board has chosen to issue pink slips to Hospice staff! I’m further appalled that the Board has solicited Society membership from beyond the Fraser Health region and, apparently, beyond Canada’s borders in an attempt to establish the Hospice facilities as a Christian managed and guided entity.” In 2009, Mr. Thomas and his family donated $1 million to build the hospice in memory of their mother. In recognition of this donation, the hospice building was named the Irene Thomas Hospice.
Mr. Thomas continues, “I encourage all citizens of Delta, no matter what your religious followings may be, to recognize that the Hospice was created to serve people of all faiths and denounce this most inappropriate activity. I have no doubt that I represent the views of all my family.”
Allison Hardy, daughter of current Irene Thomas Hospice patient, Cecil Hardy says, “Our family is deeply concerned about the future of the Irene Thomas Hospice. Delta Hospice Society is causing unnecessary stress on my father as he faces his final days. We know that Fraser Health has made many attempts to smoothly transition the hospice operations to minimize impact to the patients. It is unconscionable that the DHS Board is not cooperating.
“The only priority of the DHS Board should be to put the be the needs of patients first and to ensure uninterrupted access to care at Irene Thomas Hospice. We implore the DHS Board to change course and end the distress for our father,” added Ms. Hardy
“Our family is very familiar with the Delta Hospice. The Supportive Care Center is named after Robert’s mother and father – the Harold and Veronica Savage Centre for Supportive Care,” says Daphne Savage, whose husband Robert passed away at the Irene Thomas Hospice in July 2020. The Savage family contributed $1 million to the hospice building project through Century Groups Land Corporation owned by grandson, Sean Hodgins.
“Whatever your stand on the services of MAID, Medical Assistance in Dying, no facility should be hijacked by a group with such a narrow focus. This hospice was put in place by open-minded people, wanting an end-of-life facility appealing to all beliefs and religions.”
Savage furthers says, “The current Board is so out of touch with our community. Delta needs to take back control of Delta Hospice Society. We need a new Board of Directors that represents and understands the needs of our local community.”
Take Back Delta Hospice (TBDH) advocacy group is composed of DHS members, supporters and advocates who believe the Society should be accountable to its members and the community it serves.
TBDH key messages:
- The Irene Thomas Hospice was built by and for the service of the Delta community. It needs to come back into proper use, serving the entire community and without the exclusions that the DHS Board have pursued throughout the last year. The Fraser Health Authority is prepared to do this, and their wishes for this facility are aligned with the wishes of the Delta community.
- The loss of the Irene Thomas Hospice specialized staff or even a disruption to their employment and the services they provide to loved ones in our community was totally avoidable by the Delta Hospice Society Board of Directors. They have let this happen.
- The Delta Hospice Society Board has failed to respond to the wishes of this community. Instead, they have prioritized a legal battle that they hope will advance an ideological agenda that has nothing to do with Delta. This community has told them repeatedly through social media, numerous letters to the Editor in our local paper and the broader news media that they are way off course. It’s time for them to step down and let this community have its Hospice back.