Blessings Abound - Hospice of the North Coast

Blessings Abound

On October 13, 2017, shortly after arriving in Carlsbad, the Malawi trio enjoyed the official Blessing of HNC’s Pacifica House led by Reverend Doran Stambaugh, an HNC Board member and Priest-in-Charge at St. Michael’s By-the-Sea Episcopal Church. Pacifica House had been newly reconfigured to better serve the needs of end-of life patients receiving symptom management care and their families.

Dr. Sam, Ellen and Leviticus met and mingled with staff, Board members and numerous guests as they toured the patient-centric, family-friendly home. The trio marveled at the sense of “small town” community, which they said reminded them of their own village atmosphere, but in a distinctly California style. They would soon observe other similarities and differences.

Global Warmth on Display

At the Blessing, Sharon stated, “Part of HNC’s Global Partners in Care mission is training village volunteers to care for patients in the process of dying. We have learned much from Dr. Sam and his team about resiliency, ingenuity and perseverance in the face of challenges, including access to the health care. Our ongoing efforts have been strongly supported by our Board, staff and the community.”
Dr. Sam said, “We Skype with our HNC friends and knew a great deal about the hospice before coming to Carlsbad, but we did not expect to find this beautiful Pacifica House – a genuine home in a pleasant neighborhood – and one that welcomes people and can handle their needs while providing such a wonderful space for families to be by themselves or with others. We were amazed to learn that more than 750 terminally ill patients and families have received crisis care in this warm, supportive, home-like setting with additional services like art and music therapy.”

Dr. Sam and Sharon agreed that home blessings are present throughout diverse countries, cultures and spiritual traditions. The Pacifica House Blessing reinforced the overarching way in which the goals of Hospice of the North Coast and Nkhoma Hospital intertwine.


As Nurse Ellen Chizimba wisely opined, “We both want our patients to be able to die peacefully.”

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