PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. – While Medicaid, Medicare and private insurance companies, do not cover grief support therapies, Melony Hernadez said she knows they are important.
For the last year, she has been working as a bereavement assistant at Hospice by the Sea, 531 W Palmetto Park Rd., a nonprofit end-of-life care provider in Boca Raton. While she is around patients who are dying of cancer or other diseases, she said her mission is to be there for those experiencing the loss of a loved one.
"You have to have a knack for helping others," Hernandez said. She added that there are plenty of people like her at the hospice. Licensed clinical social workers and mental health workers are prepared to help with overwhelming grief at no cost, she said.
But in order to cover the cost of this and other comforting therapies not covered by insurance, the Hospice of Palm Beach County Foundation and Hospice by the Sea Foundation host fundraisers such as the upcoming April 13 tournament at the Parkland Golf & Country Club, 1001 Old Club Rd.
The funds raised during the event -- which also includes a cocktail party, awards ceremony and silent auction -- will be used to fund other specialized programs such as aromatherapy and the summer Camp Good Grief for children, Hernandez said.
"Kids express grief differently, so the camp offers therapeutic activities," she said.
From Feb. 13 to Feb. 15, a group of children ages 8 to 17 traveled to the Everglades. Aside from group therapy, their adventure included music, art, and games to help them deal with their emotions.
If there is enough funding, another group of kids will do it again next year.
MORE ABOUT TOURNAMENT
There are several sponsoring opportunities. For instance, the golf tournament's presenting sponsor will donate $25,000 for 12 of the 100 participants, and get to display their company logo on the hospice website and other related event materials.
Hernandez said the therapists don't just let go of the people they are helping. They also have scheduled follow ups.
"Helping others is very rewarding," she said. "And I'm privileged to be able to do that here."