EDITORIAL – Hello, ‘Jasmine’: A new name for a venerable charity

“What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet”
– Romeo and Juliet (2.2.47-48)

Readers of this newspaper are well-acquainted with Cayman HospiceCare, the nonprofit that for decades has provided end-of-life and palliative care, free of charge, to any person with cancer or end-stage disease. In the decades to come, the organization will continue to pursue the same most-worthy mission, simply under a new name.

It is with pleasure that we re-introduce you to “Jasmine.”

The angelic souls behind Jasmine (nee Cayman HospiceCare) unfailingly step forward to preserve clients’ dignity and provide comfort during their most vulnerable moments. Many of us shy away from the complex and conflicting emotions that naturally arise when death is near, but they rush to strangers’ bedsides.

The value that Jasmine brings to the community is immeasurable, but it is reflected by the steadfast support displayed by donors, volunteers and friends. None of that changes this week.

By adopting the new name, the charity hopes to further enhance its mission; to, as officials put it, begin “a bright new chapter.”

Not only can the word “hospice” have negative connotations for some who are unfamiliar with the gentle profession, but the word describes only part of this nonprofit organization’s role.

The nonprofit’s nurses and caregivers make thousands of home visits each year, generally serving between 25 and 35 patients and their families at any given time. They provide palliative care to people undergoing treatment for serious diseases – offering a broad variety of programs to soothe the body, mind and spirit – and extend their support to comfort and aid the bereaved.

The name change is appropriately timed to coincide roughly with the much-anticipated opening of a new four-bed, 6,000-square-foot purpose-built facility that will greatly expand the group’s capacity.

In a characteristic show of support, nearly every square inch of the comfortable new facility has been made possible by generous community donors. Businesses donated services and materials or offered a deeply discounted rate; Derek Haines raised more than one-third of the $3 million price tag by running six fundraising marathons. Another anonymous benefactor donated a final $1 million to the cause.

The home-like facility will include four large patient rooms with plenty of space for loved ones, a central nurses’ station and an ambulance entrance for medical needs. A large central room will easily accommodate existing programming, classes and therapies, and allow the group to expand its services in ways – such as offering adult day care – that were previously impractical.

With a new home and accordingly new capacity to serve, it does indeed seem an appropriate time for HospiceCare to adopt a new name.

Hopefully, the name change and concomitant publicity will encourage even greater numbers of people to become more knowledgeable about the organization and its focus on the cycles of life and the naturally accompanying seasons of grief.

As far as the Compass is concerned, whether the organization is named Jasmine, or HospiceCare, or anything else at all, our support and esteem for this charity is, and will remain, unwavering.