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Sea to Sky hospice officially open

Whistler Blackcomb Foundation Sea-to-Sky Community Hospice offers palliative care in a home-like setting next to Squamish Hospital

The Sea to Sky community hospice is now open and operational.

Sea to Sky families can now receive end-of-life care for their loved ones without leaving town thanks to the new Whistler Blackcomb Foundation Sea-to-Sky Community Hospice, located in a renovated wing between Squamish Hospital and Hilltop House.

The home-like setting of the hospice includes private bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms for patients, a central living and kitchen area, a sacred space and a fold-out couch so family members can stay overnight.

The hospice also has a family laundry room.

Staff have access to a nursing station, medication room and consultation office.

"We raised $2.6 million all because of our residents coming together from Squamish, Whistler, Pemberton and all the communities along the Sea to Sky Corridor to support each other," said Mark McKenzie, chair of the Squamish Hospice Society in a news release. "When people have a loved one who will pass away, grief and emotions come into play. Being able to support them in an environment with a peaceful setting and services that take care of families and their loved ones will be incredible."

Spearheaded by the Squamish Hospice Society, the $2.6 million facility is the result of a partnership with Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH), which will provide an annual operating budget of $566,000.

"I think people can relate to hospice care. They know of loved ones who have passed and recognize the positive attributes that come with a hospice," said Keith McBain, executive director, Long Term Care and Seniors for VCH's Coastal Community of Care in the press release.

The Sea to Sky Regional Hospital District also chipped in $696,000; $300,000 came from the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation, and $400,000 from the provincial government that is distributed through the B.C. Centre for Palliative Care and Squamish Hospice Society.

Vancouver Coastal Health is hosting an Open Board Forum in Squamish on Wednesday, Oct. 2 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Squamish Executive Suites Hotel & Resort clubhouse. The public is invited to attend the meeting, hear more about the hospice and other health services in the community, connect with the VCH Board and senior leadership, and ask questions.

More information can be found at

This article originally appeared here.