Yolo Hospice/YoloCares and Citizens Who Care are forming a strategic alliance to bring their shared values and related missions together into one entity. The merger has been in discussion for many months, and will be finalized at the end of June, the fiscal year end for both organizations. The programs of each will continue to serve the community, as they have been doing since the late 1970s.
“We’re very excited by this new partnership with the exceptional programs and people of Citizens Who Care,” said Craig Dresang, CEO of Yolo Hospice. “Our missions and our values, as two community nonprofits serving a vulnerable population, are very aligned. By working together we’ll be better able to provide a true continuum of care, helping people to live fully at any stage of life.”
“This is a win-win alliance,” according to Joanne Bell, executive director for Citizens Who Care. “Our current programs providing caregiver relief will continue uninterrupted, but strengthened by the additional resources of Yolo Hospice.” Both organizations will support one another’s current services, while laying the groundwork for new programs, including an adult daycare center in Davis, a currently unmet need.
“The merger of Citizens Who Care and Yolo Hospice puts both organizations in a position to better serve the frail elderly in Yolo County,” said Christye Hatfield, CWC board president. “Consolidating services is a logical step and will put families in touch with a variety of services under one organizational umbrella. I am particularly excited about the new adult day care center. My own mother had dementia, and if there had been day care available, she could have stayed in her own home longer.”
Citizens Who Care (CWC) serves the elderly and their family caregivers in Yolo County, with roots dating back to 1975. Their current programs include a one-on-one visitation program in convalescent hospitals, in-home respite visiting and their Time Off for Caregivers Program, now called Saturday Club. It is the only program in Yolo County to offer on-site social respite activities. They also offer a Senior Peer Counseling Program, pairing seniors with a Peer Counselor (age 55 or older) to provide one-on-one support.
“I think it’s important for our clients to know that we’re not turning into something else through this new partnership,” stated Stephanie Koop, RN, CWC nurse case manager for Davis. “We’re still going to maintain Citizens Who Care’s unique character and name, and to preserve our history.”
As part of the merger contract, all CWC programs will remain intact and all employees, including the executive director Joanne Bell, will remain in their current positions. In addition CWC will contribute $250,000 for capital improvements related to adult daycare.
CWC will be working alongside YoloCares, the palliative program Yolo Hospice began in 2015, serving patients in need of extra support but not suitable for hospice. Yolo Hospice was founded in 1979 and provides expert and compassionate hospice care, palliative care, bereavement support and public education about end-of-life issues. Their mission is to serve their communities, providing the highest level of care for every patient, every family, every time. The organization is the only one in the region that is part of the National Partnership for Hospice Innovation, and the only provider of its kind to be named a “Best Place to Work” by Sacramento Business Journal.
“Our two organizations share a passion to help people at hard times in their lives, when interaction with skilled professionals and devoted volunteers can make all the difference,” said Marion Franck, Yolo Hospice board president. “At the top of our to-do list will be programs to reach even more of our community. Yolo Hospice is excited to partner with an organization that, like us, is not embarrassed to say out loud that we believe in the power of love and goodness.”