Creating lasting memories with the “Grant a Wish” program

Its roots tracing back to 1889, St. Margaret’s Hospice has proudly sustained its reputation as a provider of devoted and dependable end-of-life or palliative care to families across Greater New Orleans. Distinctive for its small size, St. Margaret’s “Grant a Wish” program exemplifies the uniquely personal care that its residents receive. 

“We created this program to make a greater impact on the lives of our residents through community collaboration and involvement of family,” said Blake Truss, RN, Hospice Director of Nursing. 

Prioritizing based on their prognosis, the St. Margaret’s team selects a resident once a quarter to grant a wish to, creating a lasting memory for them with loved ones. 

“One thing I think is outstanding about the program is that it creates special moments, memories, that impact the families we serve far into the future,” noted Larry Stansberry, CEO. 

While the “Grant a Wish” program is carefully coordinated by St. Margaret’s, they rely on community partnerships to translate the plan into reality. When it comes to securing these partnerships, Truss noted that local businesses are eager to support St. Margaret’s mission and are typically happy to accommodate as best they can.

“It has been a blessing to be able to work with our community and to promote future collaborations for the benefit of our residents and patients,” said Truss. 

Through the generosity of several area businesses, St. Margaret’s most recently granted its patient Mr. Junious Turner his wish to get a haircut at a local barbershop and take his wife out to dinner – an outing which the two have often talked about since.

“Our goal is to have a positive impact on the quality of life for our residents and to help remove any stigma associated with hospice care,” said Truss. “Grant a Wish” gives us a chance to show that a diagnosis does not mean that it is time to give up, but rather an opportunity to embrace the time we are given.”

St. Margaret’s Hospice believes wholeheartedly that in providing the proper care and opportunities to patients and their families, time spent in hospice can be a profound experience. Beyond the “Grant a Wish” program, St. Margaret’s Hospice is home to a team of doctors, nurses, a chaplain and social workers in addition to a spectrum of non-medical pain management including pet therapy, yoga, massage, aromatherapy, focused breathing and meditation. 

“The program has been a great success with everyone involved,” Truss said. “It’s rewarding and humbling to uplift the spirit of those that we serve.”