L-R: Brooke Leathermanfrom the Kalein Centre and Trail Hospice chair Brenda Hooper navigate transfer of Navigate program to ensure Nav-CARE services will continue uninterrupted for all of West Kootenay benefit. Photo: Submitted

L-R: Brooke Leathermanfrom the Kalein Centre and Trail Hospice chair Brenda Hooper navigate transfer of Navigate program to ensure Nav-CARE services will continue uninterrupted for all of West Kootenay benefit. Photo: Submitted

Hospice Society navigates care into West Kootenay communities

Trail Hospice ensures Nav-CARE program will continue to provide services throughout region

Following the closure of the Kalein Centre in Nelson, the Greater Trail Hospice Society is taking its navigator program into the West Kootenay region, delivering more under its umbrella of services and expanding its reach to serve Nelson, Salmo, Nakusp and the Slocan Valley.

The navigator program, which has been an active Kalein program since 2019, matches specially trained hospice volunteers with clients who are living with a life limiting diagnosis.

Each volunteer helps the client “navigate” the medical system, finds resources to keep them connected to their community and walks beside them through their illness.

“We’re pleased to step up in response to the increased need for help, support the West Kootenay Nav-Care program and ensure that the services they’ve been providing through this important community program will be able to continue uninterrupted,” says Brenda Hooper, society chair. Hooper developed the navigator program with UBC Okanagan researcher Dr. Barb Pesut.

Under Hooper’s lead, the Trail area was the first to be part of the development of this initiative in 2012, bringing a different type of help to those living in rural areas which are typically under-served in many areas of health care.

From its roots in the Trail area, Nav-CARE now stretches across Canada, is starting in six European countries and New Zealand.

“We’re very proud to be participating in this very important program,” says Linda, Trail’s Nav-Care Program and volunteer coordinator.

Nelson’s Kalein Centre opened in 2012 with the intent of creating a community campus that combined education and training with facilities for end-of-life hospice care.

The need for the centre became less relevant as community programs and facilities became more prevalent and accessible.

“Especially during the last three ‘COVID’ years,” said Kalein’s founder Sandi Leatherman in an online statement.

The effort and overhead of maintaining a physical centre had a major impact on Kalein’s ability to pursue larger opportunities and remain sustainable, Leatherman adds.

“The sale of the property will allow Kalein to reorganize and continue its support for explorations in the realm of what it means to live fully through all stages of life, including end-of-life.”

For more information go to www.trailhospice.org.

To learn more about Nav-CARE, to volunteer or inquire about receiving services in Trail contact Linda, Nav-CARE Program and volunteer coordinator by calling 250.368.7347 or email: trail.navcare@gmail.com.

In Castlegar, contact Suzanne Lehbauer at 250.304.1266 or via email: Suzanne.Lebhauer@interiorhealth.ca

In Nelson, Salmo, Slocan Valley and Nakusp go to:westkootenaynavcare.org.

Or, contact Erin Thompson, NAV-CARE program manager at 613.795.2460 or via email: manager@westkootenaynavcare.org.

City of TrailHealthcareKootenaysRossland