The mission of Hospice Care Team, Inc. is to provide HOPE, HELP and COMFORT to persons facing a life-limiting illness.
Galveston County's First...
It’s hard to believe that it has been thirty four years since the concept of creating a group of citizens in the Galveston area to address the unmet needs of persons with a terminal illness in the community. The initial goals were to restore dignity and to add value to the last months of the patient’s life.
The needs of the patient’s family were also a concern for this group of volunteers. This group, made up of a wide cross-section of community citizens soon realized that developing a hospice program was the best solution to offering hope, help and compassion to those facing a life-limiting illness.
It would take two years of dedication by this initial group of individuals to develop a charter, create bylaws and to canvas the community to find the funding to begin what the community would come to know as Galveston Hospice Group, Inc. and to finally serve their first patient in 1983, with funding from Kempners, United Way of Galveston, the Moody family, memorials and garage sales. John Foster, one of the earliest Directors recently reflected, “On Monday morning volunteers would bring in the money they had raised over the weekend at on-going garage sales. Sometimes it was $18.00. Sometimes it was $100.00. We would then go out and purchase medications and supplies for our patients.”
The initial office was located in Grace Episcopal Church’s parsonage on 37th Street in Galveston. Foster would share, “we had a lot of work to do. In those days the bottom floors of most buildings had been condemned because of new codes. We literally were using the restroom in the church across the street until we were able to get the home updated for our office.”
The group would celebrate in 1985, becoming one of the first 300 Medicare certified hospices in the United States. A tremendous accomplishment, and in 1987 the agency was renamed Hospice of Galveston County, Inc. to better reflect the area being served by the agency, and also relocated to the former Our Lady of Guadalupe School because the agency had grown and needed a larger space.
In 1992, the group moved to it’s present location at 1708 North Amburn Road, to be more central to the area it was now serving, which included Brazoria and Southeast Harris Counties, and changed it’s name to Hospice Care Team, Inc. as we know it today.
For the past thirty plus years, the agency has continued to remain focused on Hospice Care only. While others have expanded to include other types of services, we have continued to remain true to the original intentions of that original group. It hasn’t been easy. Hospice Care Team, Inc., is only one of twenty-two non-profit hospice agencies left in the state of Texas out of 457. The for profit hospice groups continue to change the face of hospice care, with managed care structures that leave a patient’s decision second, and often families, completely out of the conversation.
Outsourcing care has also become a standard. Hospice Care Team, Inc. continues to utilize it's own staff for caring for our patients. To this day, Hospice Care Team, Inc. strives to add life to every day, while providing care for the mind, body and soul of the patient and the patient's family.
Significant strides have been made over the years to create an agency that can survive as a not-for-profit in a geographically changing and culturally diverse community.
Our hospice today remains true to its original mission of offering hope, help and compassion. Our hope is to maintain the highest possible level of independence within familiar surroundings supported by family and friends. Hospice Care Team provides the help of a well trained professional team of physicians, nurses, social workers, hospice aides, chaplains and volunteers. The comfort of hospice care provides pain relief and symptom control to the patients and encouragement and continued support to the family through active bereavement counseling.
In February, Hospice Care Team, Inc. called Rev. Todd Williams, MDiv. to serve as the Administrator of the agency. An ordained clergy person within the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), with an extensive history of serving as not only a pastor but a chaplain within the Texas Medical Center in Houston, and a business marketing degree from Indiana University, they entered a new chapter in the agency’s history.
“We understand the importance of community, and serving the community that we were created from. Hospice Care Team, Inc. continues to offer an amazing level of care to our patients through the generosity of others, and by keeping up with the latest changes with Medicare, Medicaid and many private insurance providers. We are amazing stewards with the resources that we have. Just like the early days when Mr. Foster was at the helm, we still haven’t lost sight of what is important - our patients and their families. I’m honored to lead this group that understands what it is means to add life every day.”
“We realize that no two patients are the same. No two families are the same,” Williams shared. “At Hospice Care Team no two care plans are the same. Our caregivers work closely with each patient and family to define individual goals that focus on the patient’s unique needs, preferences and symptoms.”
Living with an illness or caring for a loved one who is seriously ill can be a heroic, yet daunting task — emotionally, spiritually and physically. At Hospice Care Team, Inc. we understand. That’s why we empower families and patients to choose from a variety of services that can be tailored to the needs of every unique situation.
Williams noted, “Hospice Care Team, Inc. care is not just for the final days or weeks of a patient’s life. In fact, the only regret many families have after calling us is that they didn’t contact us sooner.”