Our Stories

These stories tell how we are working together to meet community needs and keep people healthy.

> Regaining hope: Camp Erin provides grief support for children and teens
> Living life to the fullest: relieving pain and symptoms for adults suffering from a serious illness
> Additional community benefit programs

Regaining hope: Camp Erin provides grief support for children and teens

Emma and Torrey Culbertson were overcome with grief when their grandfather and grandmother died three weeks apart in September 2012. Emma, 12, was sad and lonely and sometimes felt numb. Torrey, 13, was, “Hurled into what people call ‘the fog of grief,’ where regular life felt like it lost its meaning.”

Grief is a powerful emotion and everyone experiences it differently. It can be especially hard for children and teens to understand what they are feeling. That’s where Camp Erin™ can help. Emma and Torrey attended Providence Hospice and Home Care of Snohomish County’s free weekend bereavement camp in August 2013. They enjoyed traditional camp activities as well as grief education and emotional support activities facilitated by grief professionals. Campers meet peers who share similar feelings and experiences.

“Camp Erin really helped me understand my emotions and that there is no wrong way to grieve,” says Emma. “Supporting others in their hard times, and being supported myself when I was sad, really gave me hope showing me that no matter what happens, there is always someone out there to help you, like Camp Erin.”

“Camp Erin taught me that even though I was sad, angry or flustered, there was still hope,” says Torrey.

“I saw, through the stories of many different people, how they were able to overcome their despair. They were still sad sometimes, but they didn’t lose hope. I can’t put into words how much Camp Erin helped me.”

Providence Hospice of Seattle also offers Camp Erin at no cost to children and teens who are grieving the death of a loved one.

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Living life to the fullest: relieving pain and symptoms for adults suffering from a serious illness

Linda Ferguson was 19 years old when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). As an adult her condition grew worse, forcing her to stop working. By the time she was in her early 60s it was clear she needed help managing her MS and diabetes, so her doctor referred her to Providence Hospice of Seattle’s Transitions program.

Transitions helps people who don’t qualify for hospice care. Transitions staff monitor clients’ health, facilitate communication with doctors, arrange transportation to appointments, find other resources in the community to help clients and provide overall emotional and spiritual support.

The program has been a lifesaver for Linda. Her daughter and grandchildren live in Utah and aren’t nearby to help. She’s on her own.

“I don’t know where I’d be if I didn’t have Providence to fall back on,” said Linda. “I’d probably be in an assisted living facility.”

“Gail, the Transitions nurse, goes above and beyond for me. She’s always there when I need to talk. She visits regularly and checks on my health. She’ll call my doctor if I’m having trouble getting through. She always returns my calls.”

The most important thing Transitions has done for Linda is, “just being here for me, making me feel worthwhile. I feel worthwhile when I’m with family, but none of them live close by. So, I don’t see them often.”

Today Linda is struggling with the loss of her memory and her eyesight. Of all the health challenges she’s endured, these are the toughest for her.

“I’m 65 and this isn’t how I thought my life would be.”

Gail helps schedule Linda’s doctor appointments. She’s also giving her support and encouragement to get to the bottom of the memory and vision loss.

Transitions is the only care program of its kind in King County, meeting the critical needs of clients who have a serious illness and a prognosis of 12 months or less.

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Additional community benefit programs

Carousel Program: Through this program at Providence Hospice and Home Care of Snohomish County, caregivers provide home medical services for children, including hospice care; home health care for youngsters recovering from illness, surgery or coping with a chronic illness; respite care for families; and bereavement support services for young people.

Exploratory Internship Program: Providence Mount St. Vincent (The Mount) has supported this Seattle Public Schools program for many years by providing on-the-job training opportunities for disabled students. To fulfill the required community-based classroom, students can assist in The Mount’s Intergenerational Child Care Learning Center, work in one of its food service venues, or transport residents to and from activities, among other things.

Partners in Palliative Care: This collaborative effort between Providence Hospice and Home Care of Snohomish County, The Everett Clinic, Providence Regional Cancer Partnership and Providence Medical Group serves individuals living with complex medical conditions who have less than two years to live. An inter-disciplinary team helps patients achieve the best possible quality of life by matching treatment to patient goals.

Safe Crossings: A grief support program operated by Providence Hospice of Seattle for children who are facing or have experienced the loss of a loved one. Serving families in King and South Snohomish Counties, Safe Crossings offers a variety of free bereavement education and support services.

Stepping Stones: Providence Hospice of Seattle offers this pediatric palliative care and hospice program for children with life-limiting illnesses. A team of specialists ensures that seriously ill children receive gentle and compassionate medical, emotional and spiritual support in a calm and familiar environment. Stepping Stones also offers perinatal hospice care to families whose unborn or newborn babies have been diagnosed with life-limiting illnesses.

Supportive Housing: Providence sponsors and manages 14 apartment buildings in three states, offering rent assistance to low-income elderly and disabled adults through government subsidies from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

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