Linda Watson, Volunteer Specialist at the Hospice of Central New York, describes her involvement in bringing the concept of hospice end-of-life care to Russia and introducing Russian colleagues to the importance of including volunteers in the caregiving. Since 1985, Watson has made seven trips to the former Soviet Union, assisting in the inception of Public Hospice #1 of Velikiy Novgorod:
I spent two weeks in Velikiy Novgorod in 2003, and had the extraordinary experience of meeting with four groups of people to present my knowledge regarding volunteer roles in a hospice setting. These groups included young medical students, nurses working in the community, and a group of women retirees interested in finding meaningful volunteer work. Although the time was too short to pursue any in-depth training, I was able to outline fully the tasks that volunteers might accomplish in their settings order to assist patients and their families. Subsequent trips will allow me to follow up with more information.
Learn more about this American-Russian exchange and how western principles of hospice and volunteering are being applied in a different environment.
The Crew at Public Hospice #1