Annual Report 2019
Our Community, Your Impact
A Word from Nora McGuire, Chair of Hospice & Palliative Care Buffalo Board
The year 2020 will be one that none of us will forget. It was the year that the entire world was reminded of our vulnerabilities.
The coronavirus stripped us of the ability to go about our daily lives and threatened the health and lives of the entire world. It also brought the beauty and best in people to life. It is under the most challenging circumstances that our need for each other comes front and center. This is and has been the norm for our Hospice & Palliative Care Buffalo employees and volunteers since long before the pandemic and will continue to be the priority long after life takes on a “new normal.” Read More
A Message from the CEO
At a time of so much uncertainty, it is important to remain mindful of what is certain — our community’s unwavering commitment to caring for those in need.
Hospice & Palliative Care Buffalo has been a vital community resource for over four decades, and this pandemic has strengthened not only our solidarity but the commitment to our mission. The more physically isolated we have become, the more we have united and learned to adapt as well as innovate. It is a privilege to be part of a cause and culture that finds ways to work through adversity while also showing concern for each other, always seeking ways to be mutually supportive. Read More
Patient Spotlight: Nathan Pitillo
During pregnancy, Becky and Greg Pitillo received news that no parent wants to hear.
Becky’s prenatal ultrasound and MRI showed that their baby had cranial anomalies and microcephaly — his brain had stopped growing. Prior to birth, his prognosis was very poor, and the doctors prepared the Pitillos for the worst.
Nathan was born September 5, 2018, with a very short life expectancy — he was missing the part of his brain that controls body movement. Essential Care for Children (EC), whose mission is to provide the most comprehensive home-based palliative and hospice care to children with serious illness, was there for the Pitillos from the beginning. Nathan went home under EC’s Hospice care after spending two weeks in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. He required oxygen, feeding tubes and medication for uncontrolled seizures. With help from the EC Team, Nathan’s parents baptized him and, given his prognosis, planned a funeral. An EC art therapist created a “foot-painting” with Nathan as a beautiful remembrance for his parents.
To everyone’s amazement, 21 months later, Nathan is still resilient. His symptoms are well managed, and he continues to gain weight and, surprisingly, move his arms and legs. The joy Nathan has brought to his family by just a smile or turn of his head is immeasurable.
A Message from Nathan's Parents:
The Essential Care for Children program provides so many of Hospice & Palliative Care Buffalo’s unique and wonderful services — many of which are not covered by insurance. It is YOUR generosity that has helped our son and so many others receive the care and comfort Hospice & Palliative Care Buffalo is known for. Our Essential Care for Children team is always there to advocate for Nathan and offer guidance, assistance and support. They have become an extended part of our family.
Although we have no way of knowing what the future holds, we know that Nathan’s quality of life has been significantly impacted by Essential Care for Children.
On behalf of Nathan, we ask you to please consider making a gift to support the meaningful services of Hospice & Palliative Care Buffalo’s Essential Care for Children program.
Greg and Becky Pitillo
Parents of Nathan Pitillo, Essential Care for Children patient
Your Impact in Action
Memorial Walk: Over 2,500 people walked at Canalside to honor their loved ones who are no longer with us, as well as honor current Hospice patients.
Spring Bouquet Sale: More than 40 florists and 500 area businesses, schools and organizations participated in the sale of thousands of bouquets across Erie County.
Summer Affair: Over 500 guests gathered at Buffalo RiverWorks to enjoy cocktails, dinner, raffle items and live music by Nik Lite.
Harvest Fest: At Hospice & Palliative Care Buffalo’s premiere event, more than 450 guests enjoyed a wine and beer tasting, bid on auction items, and supported a live appeal to benefit our Essential Care for Children program.
Light-A-Life Tree Ceremony: A tradition for over a quarter of a century, this beloved ceremony included trees adorned with decorative tags that bore the names of nearly 2,000 donors’ passed loved ones.
Hospice Helpers: More than 60 groups and individuals organized thirdparty fundraisers and events throughout the year to benefit Hospice & Palliative Care Buffalo.
You Make Our Work Possible
Pays tribute to both the late Dame Cicely Saunders, the original pioneer of the hospice movement, and the late Charlotte Shedd, founder of Hospice Buffalo. These donors contribute $5,000 or more annually to benefit Hospice & Palliative Care Buffalo.
Established in honor of Harlan & Margaret Swift, avid volunteers and donors of Hospice & Palliative Care Buffalo. This group of thoughtful donors helps sustain the care we provide through planned giving.
Named in memory of John “Jack” Klosterman, a longtime board member and advocate of Hospice & Palliative Care Buffalo, and his wife, Pauline. The Klosterman Society demonstrates wonderful support to Hospice & Palliative Care Buffalo with annual gifts of $1,000–$4,999.
This prestigious group of volunteers lends their presence and support to the Hospice Foundation’s Annual Appeal with handwritten notes to donors.
Since 2008 we have worked with Ristorante Lombardo along with some of the finest local restaurants to provide patients and their families with A Dinner to Remember during what might be their final days together.