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November 26, 2015 9:34 AM

Partnership honoured at Community Awards event

The partnership between Conestoga and Lisaard House/Innisfree House to provide professional, compassionate, residential hospice care in Waterloo Region was recognized as the Best Corporate/Not-for-Profit Partnership at the third annual Cambridge & North Dumfries Community Awards event held on November 24 at the Dunfield Theatre in Cambridge.

Conestoga Lisaard House Partnership Award 2015.jpg
Conestoga and Lisaard House/Innisfree House were recognized as the Best Corporate/Not-for-Profit Partnership at the third annual Cambridge & North Dumfries Community Awards event held on November 24, 2015. Above L-R: Cambridge Mayor Doug Craig; Gorenka Vukelich, Conestoga College; Connie Dwyer, Lisaard House/Innisfree House; Nicole Pereira, Cambridge Centre Honda; and Stephen Witteveen, Pavey Law & Witteveen LLP and Cambridge Chamber of Commerce Chair.

The awards event, hosted by the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce, is designed to acknowledge, recognize and appreciate the many volunteers, not-for-profits, charities and service groups that contribute to building the community. This year's event attracted 51 nominations across nine categories.

Conestoga and Lisaard House/Innisfree House have a unique partnership to support the growing need for palliative care in our community for those who do not wish to spend their final days in hospital, but require more support than can be provided at home.

Conestoga provided land for the construction of Innisfree House, a new 10-bed hospice opened in July, 2015. The new hospice is an expansion of six-bed Lisaard House in Cambridge, which has turned away more than double the number of people they've cared for since opening in 2000 because of the lack of beds. It is expected that the new hospice will allow for end-of-life care for 200 additional residents and their families each year.

But as Connie Dwyer, executive director of Lisaard House/Innisfree House, explained at the Community Awards event, the partnership between the two organizations goes far beyond the land itself.

“We appreciate the partnership with Conestoga not just for the land,” explained Dwyer as she accepted the award on behalf of Lisaard House/Innisfree House, “but also for their support in the development and delivery of education programs that help ensure that we can deliver the best possible palliative care. We look forward to continued work with Conestoga as we go forward to serve the needs of our community.”

The two organizations worked with experts in palliative care and nursing to create specialized education programs for the new hospice's nurses and personal support workers. The certificate programs, supported through funding from the Waterloo Wellington Local Health Integration Network, include experiential learning and focus on key areas of palliative care such as pain management and psychosocial issues.

The programs are also available to nurses and personal support workers throughout the region through Conestoga’s Continuing Education division.

Goranka Vukelich, chair of Community Services in Conestoga’s School of Health & Life Sciences and Community Services, accepted the award on behalf of Conestoga. She expressed gratitude for the recognition, and affirmed the college’s ongoing commitment to working with partners such as Lisaard House/Innisfree House to build a better community.

“We are privileged to be part of such a tremendous community,” Vukelich said, “and we look forward to many more opportunities to contribute to its success in the future.”

For a full listing of 2015 Cambridge & North Dumfries Community Awards recipients, visit the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce website.

Conestoga delivers a comprehensive range of education, workforce training and applied research programs for Advancing Healthy Communities, one of four centres of innovation and excellence identified in the college’s 2014-2017 Strategic Plan and designed to serve as catalysts for industry, workforce and community development.

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