The COVID-19 pandemic had a profound effect on the operations of the Desert Valley Hospice Society. “We lost all of our employees in a two-year span during the pandemic,” says Linda Larsen, the Society’s President. “When new staff took over, they found it extremely difficult to locate information and files on key programs and training due to the lack of a proper IT network and electronic filing system. We were literally fumbling in the dark, trying to piece information together to support our program delivery and grant reporting.”
Thanks to support from the Community Services Recovery Fund, the Society was able to make critical information technology upgrades to improve their ability to work effectively as a team and deliver their important services to the community. The result? “It’s like night and day,” Larsen says. “Now our staff can quickly share information and collaborate on documents that are centrally filed for easy access. We can do our work more efficiently and effectively. The ultimate beneficiaries of this increased productivity are our clients who depend on our programs and services.”
A one-time, $400 million investment from the Government of Canada, The Community Services Recovery Fund aims to support the adaptation and modernization needs of non-profit and charitable Community Service Organizations facing immediate and long-term impacts of the pandemic, as they continue to support their communities. In 2023, the Community Foundation facilitated the delivery of the Recovery Fund in the South Okanagan Similkameen, in partnership with Community Foundations of Canada.
Desert Valley Hospice Society provides social, emotional, and spiritual support for individuals and their loved ones as they face life limiting conditions and grief. They deliver hospice palliative care and end-of-life services for residents of the communities of Oliver, Osoyoos, Okanagan Falls and surrounding areas, with the goal of providing the best possible quality of life for dying people and their families. For more information on their work, please visit their website.