Kiwanis Club hears from Hospice of Southwest Georgia, learns about offerings and upcoming Camp HEAL

Published 3:12 pm Friday, September 13, 2019

Hospice of Southwest Georgia came to speak to Kiwanis Club on Thursday, where they discussed what services they offer and their upcoming plans for Camp HEAL.

RN Case Manager, Roger Pierce began by talking about what they offer their patients. Hospice of Southwest Georgia covers Thomas, Decatur, Grady, Brooks and Colquitt County. They offer nursing services and community support. Pierce said they typically go into the home and help the patient and their families understand the dying process, the changes they may see and medications.

“We try to break the myth about what hospice care is,” Pierce said.

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Pierce said they have a chaplain that goes into the home and prays over the family and patient whenever needed, and they additionally have volunteers, who work to provide fresh flowers weekly to the patient to brighten their day and be a companion to them.

Pierce emphasized they are a non profit organization, so they are willing to serve anyone, no matter if it is a personal care home, rehabilitation center or a personal home.

“If they’re able to receive services, we will be there for them,” he said.

Pierce explained that they understand the costs associated with medical care, so they help with medications, supplies and equipment such as, wheelchairs and bedside commodes.

In addition, they understand the financial burden it can have on the family and have what they call “a closet,” where donations are given that can be taken out to provide necessary items. This year out of the “closet,” they have been able to provide two window AC units to families that needed them.

In the case of families, children can have an especially hard time dealing with the bereavement process, which is why Hospice of Southwest Georgia decided to start Camp HEAL.

The camp is funded by the Archbold Foundation and is free to children ages 6-17. The camp is not just open to hospice family, but to any child who has faced a significant loss recently.

“The camp is very emotional and involved, but is great for the children,” Linda Conti, Bereavement and Camp HEAL coordinator said.

Condi has seen multiple children from the Bainbridge area over the past six years, but she wants everyone to know that the camp is not just limited to their service area. They accept any children that meet the age requirements and think this would benefit them.

Some of the activities of the camp include horseback riding and paint a pony, a photobooth, archery and therapy.

One of the ways they combine the therapy and activities is through archery. Conti said the children will pick the mode of death and take the bow and arrow and shoot it, and kill that mode of death.

“They feel as if they have beaten it, and it is very therapeutic for them,” she said. “They often take it home as a reminder.”

The kids also participate in art therapy and do a collage of work about how their grief is making them feel.

“What they realize through this artwork is that they aren’t alone, all these other children are feeling that way too and they can see that,” Condi said.

The camp maxes out at approximately 30 children and is held at Camp Piney Woods in Thomasville, Georgia. The date is October 19, 2019 and is from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. To register visit

Conti reminds everyone, even if they cannot attend that you are not alone in this.