The Journey of Ruth:
Ten Years of Palliative Care Encounters & Community Empowerment
The Ruth Foundation for Palliative and Hospice Care (TRF) is a non-governmental organization (NGO) based in Muntinlupa City, Philippines. It is duly licensed and accredited by the national Department of Social Welfare and Development. Since its establishment in 2013, TRF has been dedicated to providing community-based Palliative and Hospice Care for individuals with advanced illness and limited mobility. Over the past ten (10) years, TRF has pursued its mission through two main endeavors: “Care Encounters” and “Community Empowerment.”
Care Encounters bring palliative and hospice care directly to the homes of those who cannot afford access to such services, primarily within the municipality of Muntinlupa and neighboring cities in Southern Luzon. A team consisting of Family Medicine and Palliative Medicine specialists, Nurses, Physical Therapists, Social Workers, Counselors, Spiritual Care Providers, and Volunteers conducts free home visits. These compassionate professionals share care, dignity, and hope with the patients. Additionally, they provide basic symptom control medications, supplies, and nutritional support to indigent patients.
In addition to providing direct care, TRF offers training to patient families in the fundamentals of bedside care. They also provide continued learning opportunities in Palliative and Hospice Care for physicians, nurses, volunteers, and other community-based health professionals. TRF emphasizes the value of private and public cooperation by collaborating with the City Health Office of Muntinlupa in the care of home-based patients. They have also supported the establishment of a two-bed Hospice Care Unit at the local hospital, “Ospital Ng Muntinlupa.” As part of their advocacy efforts, TRF actively participates in national Technical Working Groups dedicated to Palliative Care and serves as the NGO member of the Local Health Board of Muntinlupa City.
Throughout its journey, the foundation has experienced growth through partnerships across various sectors. Consequently, TRF has incorporated the goal of building “Compassionate Communities” into its vision and mission. Initially focusing on its city of origin, TRF aims to demonstrate this public health approach to Palliative Care by engaging government bodies, NGOs, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), and other community-based stakeholders.
Furthermore, TRF looks forward to collaborating with the Asia Pacific Hospice Palliative Care Network in the Southeast Asia region. This collaboration will involve capacity building, hosting educational programs and visits, and assisting in the care coordination for hospice patients returning to the Philippines from other countries in Southeast Asia.
Over the course of ten years, the Ruth Foundation has provided care for 876 patients and their families through 25,529 “Care Encounters”, delivered by Nurses (49%), Social Workers and Counselors (20%), Complementary Care Providers and Volunteers (14%), Physicians (12%), and Physical and Occupational Therapists (5%). It has also learned along side and advocated for the same. With this, the foundation moves forward, as strong catalyst in the provision of competent and compassionate Palliative and Hospice Care, within the country, most especially for patients and families needing it most.
-Dr. Rumalie “Mae” Alparaque-Corvera
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About our Member Spotlight Series
Introducing our Member Spotlight Series, where we shine a light on the incredible work and impact of our member organisations in the field of palliative care. Each installment of this series is dedicated to showcasing the exceptional efforts of one organisation, highlighting their dedication to improving the lives of individuals facing serious illnesses and their families.
Each spotlighted organisation shares a common mission: to enhance quality of life, alleviate suffering, and provide comfort to patients and their loved ones during one of life’s most vulnerable periods. From pioneering advancements in pain management and symptom control to addressing psychosocial needs and spiritual support, our members are at the forefront of shaping the future of palliative care.
Through this series, we not only honor the dedication and expertise of our member organisations but also aim to raise awareness about the importance of palliative care. By highlighting the invaluable contributions of these institutions, we hope to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation for the specialised care and support they provide to individuals facing serious illnesses.
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Read the original article here.