Holidays are traditionally a time of celebration, but can be difficult for people grieving, oftentimes causing anxiety and dread. Hospice of Santa Barbara wants to emphasize that its free services are available to anyone in the community struggling with grief and loss.
Hospice of Santa Barbara provides free professional bereavement support to individuals and families, including community organizations, schools, hospitals and senior care facilities.
Holiday Grief Workshops Offered
“Grieving Through the Holidays:” This series of workshops will offer support and help you through the holiday season. Dec. 6, 13 and 20, 11 a.m. to noon.
“First Holiday for Families” (bilingual): This workshop is for families with children who will be experiencing their first holiday without their loved one. In the workshop your family will create and decorate an ornament in honor of you family member who has died this year. Dec. 11, 5:30 to 7 p.m.
Holiday workshops require pre-registration. No drop-ins, please. Call 805.563.8820.
Light Up a Life Ceremonies Honor Loved Ones
This year, Light Up a Life celebrates 30 years in Santa Barbara and 20 years in Carpinteria. Each year in December, families and friends gather for Light Up a Life in Goleta, Santa Barbara and Carpinteria for a ceremony celebrating the life and the joy of remembrance of our loved ones. At this time, a memorial tree is illuminated with hundreds of sparkling lights and stars, each symbolizing a tribute to a loved one.
Light Up a Life, and other ceremonies like it, are international hospice memorial events that began over 30 years ago and are celebrated around the world. Stars will be available at each ceremony for a suggested donation of $15 or more for those wishing to personalize a star and hang it on the tree. All proceeds benefit Hospice of Santa Barbara.
Stars are now available at the following locations:
» Anna’s Bakery in Camino Real Marketplace
» Lovebird Boutique & Jewelry Bar (7 E. De la Guerra St., next door to Casa De La Guerra)
» Curious Cup Bookstore (929 Linden Ave., Carpinteria)
» Peebee & Jay’s (1007 Casitas Pass Road, Carpinteria)
» Montecito Bank & Trust (1023 Casitas Pass Road, Carpinteria)
» Hospice of Santa Barbara office (2050 Alameda Padre Serra, Suite 100), online by clicking here or by calling 805.563.8820
Light Up a Life Dates and Locations:
» Saturday, Dec. 7, 5:30 p.m. — Camino Real Marketplace, Goleta
» Sunday, Dec. 8, 5:30 p.m. — Casa de la Guerra, Santa Barbara
» Saturday, Dec. 14, 5:30 p.m. — The Seal Fountain at LindenPlaza, Carpinteria
During the Holidays: Twelve Practical Tips for Saying, Doing the Right Things
While many people look forward to yearly holiday traditions, gatherings with family and friends and the general good feelings associated with the season, some people dread the holidays. For those who have lost a loved one during the past year, the holidays may emphasize their grief.
The holidays, especially the first ones after losing a loved one, are especially difficult for people who are grieving. Often, friends and family members of those affected by a loss are unsure how to act or what to say to support their grieving loved one during the holidays.
Here are some suggestions:
» 1. Be supportive of the way the person chooses to handle the holidays. Some may wish to follow traditions; others may choose to change their rituals. Remember, there is no right way or wrong way to handle the holidays.
» 2. Offer to help the person with baking and/or cleaning. Both tasks can be overwhelming for one trying to deal with raw emotions.
» 3. Offer to help him or her decorate for the holidays.
» 4. Offer to help with holiday shopping or give your loved one catalogs or online shopping sites that may be helpful.
» 5. Invite the person to attend a religious service with you and your family.
» 6. Invite your loved one to your home for the holidays.
» 7. Help your loved one prepare and mail holiday cards.
» 8. Ask the person if he or she is interested in volunteering with you during the holiday season. Doing something for someone else, such as helping at soup kitchens or working with children, may help your loved one feel better about the holidays.
» 9. Donate a gift or money in memory of the person’s loved one. Remind the person that his or her special person is not forgotten.
» 10. Never tell someone that he or she should be “over it.” Instead, give the person hope that, eventually, he or she will enjoy the holidays again.
» 11. If he or she wants to talk about the deceased loved one or feelings associated with the loss, listen. Active listening from friends is an important step to helping him or her heal. Don’t worry about being conversational; just listen.
» 12. Remind the person you are thinking of him or her and the loved one who died. Cards, phone calls and visits are great ways to stay in touch.
In general, the best way to help those who are grieving during the holidays is to let them know you care. They need to be remembered, and they need to know their loved ones are remembered, too. Local hospice grief counselors emphasize that friends and family members should never be afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing, because making an effort and showing concern will be appreciated.
— Kelly Kapaun is a publicist representing Hospice of Santa Barbara.
By Padric Davis for All Saints-by-the-Sea Parish School
An All Saints-by-the-Sea Parish preschool student has inspired a drive that has brought 643 pounds of nonperishable items to the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County.
“I have the receipt from the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County for a total of 643 pounds of food donated by All Saints-by-the-Sea Parish School,” said Padric Davis, school director.
Four-year-old Charlie LeRenard’s idea to collect food for needy children started one morning when his mother told him to eat all of his breakfast because some children don’t have so much food and have to go to school hungry.
Charlie said this was horrible and was upset at the thought of a “hungry belly” going to school. So, he asked his mother what to do about hungry children. The answer was Charlie’s Parish School at All Saints-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church in Montecito where parents, the staff, Parent Council and parishioners donated goods during one week in November.
So last week, Charlie and his classmates watched as his dad’s truck came to pick up 643 pounds of donated food.
The competition of receiving a CityCollege sponsored scholarship is big, but with the right technique, effort and willingness, every student has a chance of receiving one.
Applications for the next academic year are open on January 6, 2014 and closes on March 3.
Brad Hardison, financial aid director at CityCollege, said now is the right time to start looking for the different opportunities available.
“There are often more students applying than scholarships being offered,” Hardison said. “The most important thing I tell students is that you all have a story, so tell us what sets you apart and what is different about you.”
Scholarships start at $150 and the highest one is the President’s Scholarship of $10,000. Last academic year, the Foundation for Santa BarbaraCityCollege gave out 700 scholarships and awards totaling $833,700 to 500 students who were currently studying at the college, or transferring to or from it.
Samantha Bedolla was one student awarded last year.
“I’ve always had a lot of hurdles to overcome. Getting married at the age of 20, having a kid at 21 and deciding to divorce and go to college at 22. I stated what I had to overcome and I think that’s what moved the person who read my essay,” said Bedolla.
Bedolla, 26, is currently studying her last semester at the CityCollege as a sociology major. During her time at school she has been a full-time student, full-time worker and single mom. Last year she received the “Adopt-A-Student” scholarship and awarded $1000, divided into two semesters. The scholarships can be pretty much used for whatever you want said Bedolla. This year she decided to start working 30 hours a week instead of 40. Bedolla also had the chance to take her daughter to Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida for the first time. “I never really travelled anywhere because my mom was poor.
The scholarship has helped me to budget myself and financially reach more goals in my life than I had expected,” Bedolla said. There are two different kinds of scholarships offered, the CityCollege sponsored and out of college sponsored.
The scholarships are divided into general and departmental scholarships. In the departmental ones, studying for a major in that area is often required for applying. This yearCityCollege is using a new electronic software application that makes the application process easier for students. The software is integrated with the student system and uses the students Pipeline information, therefore the students don’t have to answer basic questions such as name and major.
This saves time for the application, but Hardison advices student’s to put at least a couple of hours on the essay. He said it’s vital for students to put enough of time in the searching and not disqualifying themselves.
“Since we don’t get to meet the student, everything that he or she wants to be represented should be in the application,” said Hardison. “Answer what challenges you´ve faced, what community services you´ve done and state what sets you apart from other students.”
For students who want help with their applications, there are many opportunities offered on campus. The WritingCenter can help students with the grammar and content of the essay. Some faculty members at on campus will even allow the essay as a school assignment.
Extra help is also offered for international students. English as a Second Language students can get extra tutoring to understand and complete the application. They get assisted by scholarship coordinators and ESL faculty members help with the essay.
Bedolla’s advice to other students is not to be afraid of applying and not to limit themselves.
“It’s about not being afraid of talking of whatever life changing has happened to you,” said Bedolla. “I think many people are not self-aware of their changes and what obstacles they had to overcome, so they decide not to talk about it. And that might hinder their situation and their chances of receiving the scholarship. For me it was hard, but I made it work.” – See more at: http://www.thechannels.org/features/2013/12/02/sbcc-foundation-offers-nearly-a-million-dollars-in-scholarships/#sthash.HiYelBXB.dpuf
Light Up aLife
Sunday December 08, 2013
This December, Hospice of Santa Barbara hosts its 30th annual
holiday Light Up a Life celebrations, inviting families and friends to
gather in Goleta, Santa Barbara and Carpinteria, to celebrate the lives
and memories of their loved ones. Hundreds of lights and stars will
illuminate a memorial tree at each site, with more stars available at
each ceremony for those who wish to hang their own personalized
tribute. All donations benefit Hospice of Santa Barbara.
Sun., December 8th, 5:30 p.m. – Casa de la Guerra, 15 E. De La
Guerra St., Santa Barbara 93101
Suggested donation for a star: $15
For more information or to purchase a star, please call (805) 563-8820
or visit www.hospiceofsantabarbara.org
More Info: www.hospiceofsantabarbara.org
Tuesday December 03, 2013
Our holiday event is a spectacular synergy of Women in Technology
International and Women’s Economic Ventures. Enjoy fantastic food,
vivacious vendors from WEV’s women owned businesses and an
opportunity to network with like minded individuals.
Guests will have the opportunity to peruse wares from various WEV
client businesses perfect for the holiday season! WEV client
businesses featured at the event include: Amy DiGregorio Jewelry,
Kama Sutra Closet and Lingeria, C’est Cheese, Isabella Gourmet
Goods, Burnish Imports, Carlyle Salon, Earl’s Gone Wild and Love
Bites Raw Confections.
The event is sponsored by Cox.
Time: 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Location: Cox Enterprises Santa Barbara, 22 S. Fairview Avenue,
Goleta, CA 93117
Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital is part of Cottage Health System, which plans to merge with Sansum Clinic, a physician network. (Business Times file photo)
By Marlize van Romburgh / Friday, November 29th, 2013
The future of health care in South Santa Barbara County became considerably clearer in recent days, with the biggest merger in decades headed off for regulatory review and hiccups in the delivery of care through the state insurance exchange and to the poor largely resolved.
Cottage Health System and Sansum Clinic said their merger is proceeding on track for completion early next year and is under review at the Federal Trade Commission. Sansum, for its part, has smoothed out some contractual sticking points that could have blocked those buying policies on Covered California, the state’s insurance exchange, from accessing its services.
Meanwhile, Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics, which provides low-cost care to the poor and serves about 17,000 patients a year, said it plans to expand in Goleta, bouncing back after nearly running out of money earlier this year.
Here’s a closer look at each development.
Merger heads to regulators
The proposed merger between Sansum Clinic and Cottage Health System would combine two nonprofit health providers that each employ thousands of people and see tens of thousands of patients a year.
Cottage spokeswoman Maria Zate said the two groups are moving forward with due diligence, and that the proposed merger has been submitted to the Federal Trade Commission to scrutinize for any potential market concentration issues.
“Based on what we know today, we’re hopeful that an affiliation might be finalized in the early part of 2014,” Zate said in an email.
A spokesperson for the FTC said the agency could not comment. However, health-care consolidation rarely comes under scrutiny from federal regulators — of the hundreds of hospital mergers in the U.S. since 1987, the FTC has challenged only a handful — and the Affordable Care Act encourages partnerships between health groups as a way to achieve greater operational efficiency.
“These kinds of mergers and partnerships are happening all over the state,” Jan Emerson-Shea, a spokeswoman for the California Hospital Association, told the Business Times earlier this year when the Sansum-Cottage deal was announced. “They’re not uncommon and they’re very much driven by the Affordable Care Act. There are financial incentives and financial penalties — for hospitals and clinics and other providers — that call for them to work more closely together.”
Sansum listed on exchange
Sansum said on Nov. 22 that its 23 outpatient medical clinics will serve patients who buy Anthem Blue Cross coverage on the state’s online health insurance exchange. Sansum is one of the largest primary care providers in Covered California’s District 12, which includes Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties.
Lack of access to Anthem Blue Cross coverage through the state exchange had created a stumbling block for thousands of eligible people in the region. Indeed, because it did not have agreements with the exchange’s two providers, Anthem Blue Cross or Blue Shield of California, Sansum Clinic was not listed as a member of the network. “It’s a big breakthrough for the community,” Sansum CEO Dr. Kurt Ransohoff told The Business Times in a phone interview. “I have heard from many of my patients that they needed to get new insurance.”
Sansum said in a statement that by early December the Anthem Blue Cross website should list Sansum Clinic as a member of the exchange but said it was not clear when Sansum would be added to the Covered California website.
Ransohoff said Sansum was taking a decrease in its rates in order to join the network, but he also agreed that by being part of the exchange Sansum will be able to attract patients who are able to afford insurance coverage for the first time.
Sansum has not reached an agreement with Blue Shield of California, the other provider of insurance via Covered California. However, it has reach an accord with the University of California to be a Tier 1 provider on its UC Care preferred provider program.
“We’re thrilled to be the only insurer to have Sansum Clinic in our exchange network,” Ernie Schwefler, regional vice president of provider contracting at Anthem Blue Cross said in the statement.
In a separate development, the struggling Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics nonprofit said Nov. 21 that it is narrowing its funding gap and has a strategic plan and new permanent CEO in place, putting it on track to become financially sustainable at a time when it looks to expand service to Goleta.
“Six months ago, we were in danger of closing our doors,” Mark Palmer, president of the board of the nonprofit, said at a press conference. “I can tell you now that we have weathered that storm.”
SBNC operates three affordable health care clinics and a dental clinic on the South Coast. The nonprofit clinic network provides free or low-cost health care to uninsured and underserved members of the community, and it’s the only organization in the county to do so, excluding clinics that serve exclusively veterans or homeless individuals.
Since kicking off a 100-day plan to regain its financial footing, the organization received $600,000 in donations from a group led by the Santa Barbara Foundation. The funds were tied to monthly goals and the implementation of a strategic plan.
SBNC said that through a new operation plan, it will gain upwards of $1 million in cost savings per year.
At the same time, the organization recently received a large grant from The Health Resources and Services Administration, a federal agency, to open a new clinic in Goleta’s Old Town neighborhood. The funds are part of a Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act and include an immediate grant of $812,500 plus annual funding of $650,000 starting in 2014. The nonprofit is currently looking for a facility of about 11,000 square feet to house the new clinic.
Palmer said SBNC has been able to make “a really positive transition” as a result of generous community support, combined with a new operating plan.
Trula Breuninger, who was brought in as interim CEO this summer, now holds that position on a permanent basis. She has previously served as CEO for community health care organizations including the San Diego American Indian Health Center and, most recently, the Southern Indian Health Council in Alpine, Calif. Breuninger received her MBA from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University and a master’s degree in public health from UC Berkeley.
SBNC, which in May said it was in danger of closing its doors due to a funding crisis, said Nov. 21 that its new operational plan has allowed it to bring its monthly deficit down to $100,000 a month from $250,000.
Long-term, the group expects its funding gap to be about $75,000 a month or $800,000 a year, Palmer said. The deficit — the difference between the group’s operating revenues and its expenses — is the amount SBNC seeks in community support.
Breuninger said the group was able to cut costs in part by outsourcing some positions. SBNC had 103 staff positions when she started, she said; it now has 94.
SBNC said its turnaround comes at the same time that it is experiencing record demand for low-cost primary care. In October, the group’s clinics experienced record patient visits, with 5,187 people turning to the nonprofit for free or low-cost health care. SBNC’s dental clinic saw about 1,500 people, up from its usual monthly figure of 1,000 to 1,200 patients, executives said.
The clinics have averaged about 17,000 patient visits a year. About one-third of those patients are non-reimbursable, with SBNC receiving little or no revenue from either patients or the government.
Breuninger said the group believes that higher government reimbursement rates will kick in as a result of the clinics implementing electronic medical records. The organization also believes that with health care reform, many patients who had previously been ineligible for government funds will now become eligible, also resulting in more revenue for the clinics.
Cottage Health System paid for a consultant to help the Neighborhood Clinics devise a workable business model.
Zate, the Cottage spokesperson, said the low-cost clinics are an important part of the South Coast’s health-care industry. “The SBNC clinic setting is the appropriate place for many patients to receive primary care and is more cost-effective for the community than using a hospital emergency department for non-emergent care,” she said. “Having a medical home, with access to primary care providers, is important for improving the health of the underserved in our community.”