When former patient William “Bill” Lewis decided to support
Redlands Community Hospital with a generous philanthropic gift, he did
so in an unusual, but important way. Lewis is a funeral director who owns
Accord Cremation and Burial Services in Highland. He recently won $10,000
in a drawing sponsored by Crescent Memorial, one of Accord’s suppliers,
he chose to support Redlands Community Hospital’s Hospice Program,
where the focus is on comfort, peace and dignity.
Lewis’ gift will help to provide Panasonic Toughbooks for the hospice
nurses. Toughbooks are laptop computers that enable nurses to directly
chart the status of their patients to the hospital’s main database.
It all began in April 2019 when Lewis underwent hip replacement surgery
at the hospital following a car accident. As he traveled from point to
point within the hospital, he encountered only the finest care—from
admission through surgery through recovery through discharge. Toward the
end of his hospital stay he was visited in his hospital room by a Redlands
Community Hospital Foundation staff member who wanted to make sure that
his visit was as pleasant as possible and inquired as to whether there
were any employees he especially wanted to recognize. There were many—and
it got Lewis to thinking.
“Before my surgery I had never stayed overnight in a hospital, and
I didn’t know what to expect,” he said. “From the moment
I arrived at Redands, every person I came in contact with was friendly,
positive, accommodating and uplifting. I literally made 15 new friends
while I was in the hospital. It was like staying at a five-star hotel.”
In an instant, Lewis decided to donate his $10,000 to the hospital. However,
as a newcomer to hospital care, he did not quite know how to go about it.
Lewis contacted board member Olivia Knudsen, who informed him he could
direct his gift anywhere in the hospital. After thinking about it, he
knew just where he wanted the money to go.
The Hospice Program allows patients to accept death and their families
to both accept the inevitable loss of a loved one and to grieve. Hospice
enables death to occur in a natural environment, with family and friends around.
At Redlands, hospice patients may utilize the service for as long as their
condition requires. Usually, hospice works with a patient and family over
an indefinite period of time during the dying process.
“Hospice is a very special type of work, and the people who work
in hospice are special people,” Lewis said. “My hope is that
this money will help hospice staff do their work a little more efficiently
and effectively, in the process enabling the patients who rely on them
during their final days to enjoy as much comfort and care as possible.”