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Quality care a top concern for Victoria Hospice during search for new site

Teri Henderson nears a year at the helm of the end-of-life care agency
Teri Henderson is the new CEO for Victoria Hospice, coming to Greater Victoria from Toronto in March 2023. (Courtesy Victoria Hospice)

The search for a new site continues under new leadership at Victoria Hospice. And even as Teri Henderson nears the end of her first year at the helm, admiration and pride in the team she came here to lead continues to grow.

“I am so in awe of the quality of care that our team provides. The compassion and care they bring to each and every family that steps off the elevator,” she said. “That’s what hospice care is about, the way that people are treated.”

Henderson arrived from Toronto in March 2023, bringing experience from her prior role as associate director of community development for Gilda’s Club of Greater Toronto, a charity that supports people living with cancer. Previously, she was the director of clinical services at Hospice Toronto, responsible for planning and managing operations related to home support, volunteer services, a young carers program, day programs and residential hospice.

She arrived as the Victoria charity pursued potential purchase of a site to develop a new campus of modern care – devoted to grief support, education and end-of-life programs. The agency had set its sights on a piece of land owned by the Greater Victoria School District, but concerns over the adjacent Bowker Creek changed the course of the proposal, with Victoria Hospice opting out last fall.

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“For organizations like us doing our due diligence was certainly part of the process along the way. Given that and the sensitive environmental issues around Bowker creek and the communities thoughts and feelings, it was the right thing to do,” Henderson said.

The pursuit of a site to consolidate operations continues as the agency anticipates growing needs in the community that won’t be manageable in its current spaces. Their inpatient unit is located on the Royal Jubilee Hospital campus while Bereavement Services are on Chatterton Way in Saanich.

Finding a new site requires significant planning. While Victoria Hospice works in “a great collaborative relationship” with Island Health to seek a new space, Henderson is confident in the team’s ability to provide spiritual care, counselling support and wrapping the entire family in support.

“Good quality end-of-life care for the folks in this region, that’s top of mind for everyone at the table,” she said. “It makes working with partners really easy when you share the same values around the kind of care folks at end of life deserve.”

Victoria Hospice provides more than 1,500 home visits and more than 2,000 individual counselling sessions a year. Half the non-profit’s annual operating costs are funded by donations. The next fundraiser is Hike for Hospice on May 5.

“No matter where Victoria Hospice is located that is front of mind for our team,” she said. “They’re an incredible team and quite skilled at what they do.”

Visit to learn more about the end-of-life care services and Hike for Hospice.

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Christine van Reeuwyk

About the Author: Christine van Reeuwyk

Longtime journalist with the Greater Victoria news team.
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