The Nancy Caroline Hospice of the Upper Galilee (HUG) is a nonprofit home hospice founded in Northern Israel in 1994 to treat terminal cancer patients at home. Unfortunately, in a country with so many other pressing issues, delivery of effective care is not a priority. This situation is particularly problematic in Northern Israel in the Upper Galilee panhandle where the nearest hospice facilities were over two hours away (Haifa), and even the closest hospital (Safed) can be an hour’s drive away.
Hospice of the Upper Galilee in Northern Israel was established to give effective care in this region and to provide support for patients’ families. To date we have provided home hospice services to over 700 patients ranging in age from 3 to 97 representing all sectors of the community – Jews, Moslems, Christians, Druze, and Cherkesi. In the last five years we have we have tripled the number of patients being treated. We are on call around the clock. We also serve as a regional information resource to physicians and nurses in our area, acquainting local family doctors and nurses with the principles of pain control and other palliative measures.
Our paid professional part time staff comprises two physicians, three nurses, a secretary and a medical director. We also have a strong volunteer support group of over twenty-five people which helps both staff and patients. Approximately 70% of our patients die peacefully at home which is one of the primary goals of the hospice movement. Without our services this would not be possible. In the future we hope to establish a small inpatient facility for patients who do not have a family member or other primary caregiver.
HUG was recently awarded First Prize in a worldwide review by the prestigious, London-based, International Journal of Palliative Nursing. HUG does not charge patients or their families for its services. Government funding in Israel covers less than 20% of HUG’s expenses. The rest of Hospice of the Upper Galilee’s funding comes from contributions from people like you.
The Hospice of the Upper Galilee staff is both professional and dedicated. However, given the staffing demands necessary to provide proper palliative care and the limited government support we receive in Israel, we cannot maintain the hospice without generous private help.