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In celebration of World Hospice and Palliative Care Day, FHSSA Announces Seven New Partnerships Between U.S. Organizations and African Hospices
Date:10/8/2008

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Oct. 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The facts are overwhelming. Every day, nearly 7,000 people die from HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. More than 35,000,000 women, children, and men in sub-Saharan Africa have already died of AIDS. The Foundation for Hospices in Sub-Saharan Africa is working to ensure the dying and their families find compassion and relief from suffering at the end of life. FHSSA's innovative partnering initiative links African hospices and palliative care providers with American hospices and organizations for programmatic support, financial aid, and technical assistance.

In honor of this year's World Hospice and Palliative Care Day, celebrated worldwide on October 11, FHSSA is proud to announce six new partnerships and FHSSA's first "Friend of FHSSA."

-- Hospice and Palliative Care of Western Colorado with Ilembula in

Tanzania

-- Hospice of Central New York with Island Hospice Chikwaka in Zimbabwe

-- Montezuma Hospice of Cortez, CO with Macheme Lutheran Hospital in

Tanzania

-- Regional Hospice of Western Connecticut with Haydom Hospital in Tanzania

-- The Center for Hospice and Palliative Care in South Bend, Indiana with

Palliative Care Association of Uganda

-- VITAS Innovative Hospice Care of Middlebury in Connecticut with Gonja

Lutheran Hospital in Tanzania

-- Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing in North Dakota

is the first Friend of FHSSA

FHSSA has 73 active partnerships in 15 African countries and 27 states in the United States, and is launching new partnerships on an ongoing basis.

"This is an exciting time for Hospice of Central New York and in our partnership with Island Hospice in Zimbabwe," said Dale B. Johnson, CEO. "Our agency was one of the first to partner, and our new affiliation with Island's new rural location in Chikwaka signals the start of something new for both of us. More than that, it serves as a marker to measure how far FHSSA has come since the founding in 1999 and how partnering can become a catalyst for innovation, expansion and creative networking with our colleagues in Africa."

In many countries in Africa there is little or no access to adequate pain medication, little or no access to hospice and palliative care, and desperate situations of suffering, stigma, poverty, and isolation. This is particularly acute for women and children. Hospice and palliative care as human right is the theme for this year's World Hospice and Palliative Care Day, a day of global awareness drawing attention to end-of-life care.

"There is so much to gain by sharing resources, techniques and guidance with one another," said Cynthia Roy-Squitieri, Regional Hospice Executive Director. "We are thrilled and honored to be chosen to work with FHSSA and our African hospice colleagues in Tanzania. We are especially excited to be the first non-profit hospice in Connecticut to partner with Haydom Lutheran Hospital."

"While worldwide attention and funding is focused on many necessary aspects of the AIDS pandemic (vaccine development, prevention, anti-retroviral medication availability, home-based supportive care, orphan care, etc.) very little attention is being paid to the needs of the dying," said J. Donald Schumacher, FHSSA President and CEO. "This is a central focus for FHSSA in advancing its partnership initiative."

"I am very excited," said Roberta Spencer, Director of Support Services at The Center for Hospice and Palliative Care in South Bend, IN. "We feel what we are doing as a Hospice program fits into our philosophy for life and we are able to do that because of our success locally and participation at the national level. We believe it is time for us to extend beyond our own program, to learn from others as well as to give to others, and to recognize we have a common vision."

"FHSSA's work and accomplishments prove that there is strength in many," stated J. Donald Schumacher, president/CEO of FHSSA. "It is through the establishment of one voice of committed individuals and organizations that will help us achieve our vision. It is for that reason that we ask that you consider joining this important work and your ongoing support in the future."

"This year our board of directors made the decision to become a 'Friend of FHSSA,' in large part because we are an 'intentionally global' organization of professional nurses," said Rhoda Owens MSN, RN, President, Omicron Tau Chapter, Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International. "One of our goals is to partner and collaborate with other organizations to improve health care in the world. For our global health care outreach project this year, we conducted a community wide medical supply drive to assist FHSSA in meeting their vision of providing quality end-of-life care to people cared for by the hospices. It is a wonderful feeling to know that we will have an impact on caring for these people in Africa!"

There are 100+ pending African hospices waiting for a U.S. partner and there is much work to do in order to meet this need. These partnerships have already had multiple success stories in impacting hospice care in the partner regions in Africa.

To learn more about FHSSA, the partnership initiative, and how you can support this important work, please visit http://www.fhssa.org, or contact FHSSA at info@fhssa.org or 703/647-5176.

Founded in 1999, FHSSA is working to support organizations in their development and provision of hospice and palliative care in sub-Saharan Africa. It works with the African Palliative Care Association and Hospice and Palliative Care Association of South Africa to build hospice and palliative care capacity throughout Africa. FHSSA focuses on the urgent issue of the needs of the dying, including infected and affected children, http://www.fhssa.org.

CONTACT: Alex Shade, FHSSA Partnership Manager, +1-703-647-8506, ashade@fhssa.org


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SOURCE Foundation for Hospices in Sub-Saharan Africa
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