NSCC helps move ball forward on hospice facility


Published on April 11, 2017

Students in Business Administration at NSCC joined forces with the Cumberland County Hospice/Palliative Care Society to develop a strategic plan to help build a new hospice facility. They include: (from left) second year students Taylor Ripley and Alycia Dwyer; NSCC Business Administration faculty member, Peggy Carter; Gerry Helm, chairperson for the CCHPCS; Rosemary Donkin, secretary for the CCHPCS; and business administration students, Jessica Lefort and Jonathan Flynn.

©Dave Mathieson - TC Media

AMHERST – They have the land, they have the design, now they need the $4.2 million in private funding for the construction of a new hospice.

The Cumberland County Hospice/Palliative Care Society (CCHPCS) came closer to that goal Wednesday night at the Nova Scotia Community College, Amherst Community Learning Centre.

For us older folks on the board we learned things we would not have learned if we hadn’t been working with the students. Their energy and enthusiasm was wonderful

Gerry Helm, chairperson for the Cumberland County Hospice/Palliative Care Society  

That’s where second-year Business Administration students unveiled a strategic plan during the hospice societies annual general meeting.

“I’d like to introduce on behalf of NSCC Business Administration Graduating Class of 2017 this strategic plan booklet for the society,” said Jessica Lefort, one of the students who helped develop the plan. “We worked together as a team to produce this for the society.”

Members of the hospice society worked alongside the students over the past four months to develop the plan.

The strategic plan became necessary when the hospice society was told by stakeholders they need a stronger capital campaign plan.

“They told us we needed to strengthen our board so it reflected more of the community we lived in, we also needed to increase our visibility in order to increase public awareness, and they said we needed to engage our youth. They said we had too much grey hair on our board,” said Gerry Helm, society chairperson.

“We found out some of the business students were looking at proposals, so we sent in a proposal and we were lucky that they agreed and accepted the proposal that we did and decided to work with us,” said Helm. “For us older folks on the board we learned things we would not have learned if we hadn’t been working with the students. Their energy and enthusiasm was wonderful.”
The business students created a booklet which features a sunflower symbolizing ‘light and strength in the midst of a dark time.’

It also features the mission, vision and values of the society, which student Jonathan Flynn talked about.

“Our mission is to provide physical, emotional, social and spiritual support to those individuals affected by a life limiting illness,” said Flynn. “The society strives to provide support and resources to all citizens of Cumberland County affected by a life limiting illness.”

The booklet also features four strategic priorities the society needs to fulfill to reach their capital campaign goals.

“The society will operate a financially viable organization that participates and supports fundraising efforts to maintain current services and achieve the goal of a standalone hospice facility for the citizens of Cumberland County,” said Flynn.

Peggy Carter, faculty of the business administration program, thanked the board members of the society for helping make the merger a success.

“We were provided with exceptional mentorship by your executive in creating this strategic plan,” said Carter. “We would like to thank you on behalf of the students for mentoring and creating such an opportunity.”

She also thanked her students.

“It’s great that I wake up every day and get to do what I love to do,” said Carter. “But it’s not every day I get up and am honoured to be with such great and caring people as these students here.”

Cheryl York, also with the hospice society, and Helm presented the students with certificates of appreciation, and Carter with a plaque.

“We recognize it takes a staff member who is incredibly dedicated to students and to growth to be able to mentor a strong and incredible team,” said York before presenting the plaque to Carter.