The Shepherd’s Cove Foundation, a separate 501 (c) 3, was created in 2012 to fund the non-reimbursed programs and services of Shepherd’s Cove. The mission of the Shepherd’s Cove Foundation is to promote quality end-of-life care by developing the relationships and financial resources necessary to support the services and missions of Shepherd’s Cove, Inc. and the Palliative and Supportive Care Alliance.
Currently, all donations made to Shepherd’s Cove go through the Foundation. There are many ways you can help provide a different kind of hope to people dealing with end-of-life issues through contributions to the Shepherd’s Cove Foundation.
Hospice care is covered in part by Medicare, Medicaid and some private insurance carriers. Each year Shepherd’s Cove also provides care for patients who are not covered by any medical insurance plan. The cost of providing this un-reimbursed care is rising each year. In the past five years, we have provided over $1.2 million in indigent care. As a non-profit agency, Shepherd’s Cove has never turned anyone away that qualified for hospice services based on their inability to pay. However, to continue to meet the needs of the community, we need your help.
Ways to use your gift
Listed below are some of the specific goals and programs that your gifts to the Shepherd’s Cove Foundation could support.
New and expanded service
Monetary donations to Shepherd’s Cove ensure more people in our community can enjoy exceptional, individualized end-of-life care through a number of different avenues, including:
- Palliative and Supportive Care AlliancePSCA provides supportive services for those not yet hospice appropriate but with a terminal illness. These families often fall through the cracks in our current health care system, and we see a great need for guidance and support.
- Shepherd's Cove Hospice staff supportYour financial gifts can help provide educational assistance for Shepherd’s Cove Hospice employees, realize the dream of a day care program for children, or attain other support for our staff so we can recruit and retain the best. For example, you could choose to sponsor our Fall Family Fun Day for our staff and families.
- Bereavement programDonations can help provide one-on-one bereavement counseling for 13 months after a death, increase school bereavement support and increase the frequency of Camp HOPE (a special bereavement program for children and their families).
- Community servicesFunds will help prepare Shepherd’s Cove for growth, including an increase of Shepherd’s Cove beds (when needed), boosting community education efforts, the addition of an adult day care program, and the creation of a perinatal hospice program for parents who discover during pregnancy that their child has a life-threatening condition.
- Family support“Exceptional individualized care” in our mission often includes going above and beyond the call of hospice duty to make a forever impact on a family. We try to help wherever there is a need to ease the burden of the end-of-life journey.
Often our patients have family from out-of-town who wish to stay near the patient but cannot actually fit comfortably in the room at Shepherd’s Cove. We are trying to establish a small fund for case-by-case based financial assistance for those families who need to travel or stay near their family member in our care.
Additionally, the families we serve are going through a difficult time and often have social service needs, such as requiring financial assistance for utility bills or funeral costs. Shepherd’s Cove Hospice’s family services program is supported by several social service agencies that act as partners. Additionally, we provide patient care basic necessities bags (created by our volunteers), social work services and much more.
- Wish Come True ProgramThe Wish Come True program is a special service for patients in our care who have a final wish that we can provide. We want to add life to the days of our patients when we cannot add days to their lives. This program enriches the human experience and provides hope and joy for those navigating the end-of-life journey.
Your gift can also help establish a strong preservation fund to maintain and upgrade Shepherd’s Cove Hospice’s facilities, sustain services through Medicaid crisis, survive Medicare cuts, and maintain reserves to remain financially sound.
The local area is undergoing a major increase in the number of individuals who can’t afford hospice care. A significant reason is the growing percentage of those who need care and are either too young for Medicare or don’t yet meet the strict requirements of Medicaid. Shepherd’s Cove Hospice will not turn anyone away, but caring for indigent patients is an additional financial challenge.
Financial planning for future security is not only prudent, but particularly important when considering the ongoing changes in healthcare on both a national and state level. Nationally, it is estimated that 75 percent of hospice and home care services may be unavailable by 2017 due to the Affordable Care Act regulations forcing them to operate at a loss. Shepherd’s Cove Hospice, as a rural hospice, already receives the lowest hospice care reimbursements in the country.
A preservation Fund will ensure Shepherd’s Cove Hospice is able to continue its services for years to come.
Pay off debt
Shepherd’s Cove is the only inpatient hospice facility in North Alabama. The $5 million facility, constructed in 2006, has come to represent the excellence of Shepherd’s Cove Hospice in the eyes of the community.
Shepherd’s Cove Hospice currently pays $21,714.92 a month toward the $3.3 million debt of this facility. A balloon payment of $1.25 million will be due in 2022. If these payments can’t be met, Shepherd’s Cove Hospice will have to consider refinancing and risking future sustainability or be forced to merge with an out-of-region, for-profit hospice group, losing local control and its non-profit status.
Retiring the debt is critical to Shepherd’s Cove Hospice’s long-term security and ability to thrive, as well as the community’s ability to access superior hospice services.
View the 2015 Foundation Annual Report here.