Compassus has selected Kammy Heuett, of Lakeside, to join a team of medical volunteers to assist Living Hope, the company’s sister hospice program in Cape Town, South Africa.
Her mission trip began Aug. 12 and will end Aug. 20.
The Compassus team, which includes two physicians, five registered nurses, two certified nursing assistants, a social worker, volunteer coordinator and chaplain, spent a week in Cape Town educating and assisting the Living Hope staff.
“I am most looking forward to an increased awareness of the suffering throughout South Africa, which I can reconcile within my own culture,” Heuett, director of clinical services for Compassus-Lakeside, said about her opportunity to participate. “I hope to spread the knowledge of our similarities instead of our differences and to teach that suffering is not unique to South Africa, rather it is how we as a patient, family or community choose to respond to suffering that makes us different.”
Through a partnership started in 2011, Compassus donates monetary aid, medical supplies and health care expertise to support Living Hope’s health care and hospice services in the impoverished township communities of Cape Town.
Living Hope, a ministry-based nonprofit, offers health care services, counseling and education to more than 200,000 underprivileged residents. Living Hope’s programs focus on improving general health and hospice care, HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention and economic empowerment. Living Hope provides healthcare for more than 36,000 South Africans annually through in-home visits, medical clinics and a 22-bed inpatient hospice center.
Compassus supports Living Hope in three ways: funding, education and hands-on medical assistance. The company matches voluntary employee donations to the dollar every year and also assists Living Hope with necessary medical supplies and equipment.
“As members of the hospice team, we have a calling to deliver compassionate care not only in our local communities, but also to those around the world. This partnership allows us the opportunity to do both,” said Debra Brackey, executive director of Compassus-Lakeside. “We are proud of Kammy and her fellow volunteers for embarking on this journey to help the sick and impoverished people of South Africa, and look forward to hearing about their experiences and how we can use what they learned on their trip here at home.”