Ann & C. David Merkel Heritage Society for Education

High Peaks Hospice & Palliative Care raised $10,000 in 2013 and then received $10,000 in matching funds from the Adirondack Foundation (formerly Adirondack  Community Trust). The total amount raised is now invested in our endowment fund at Adirondack Foundation - the  Ann & C. David Merkel Heritage Society for Education Fund.


HPHPC is committed to growing this endowment.

Your support of the Ann & C. David Merkel Heritage Society for Education has taken on greater meaning in the past year.  On September 15, 2012, the compassionate co-founder of High Peaks Hospice & Palliative and its medical director since its founding,  David Merkel (seen 2nd from right in photo),  died suddenly and peacefully.  This has been a huge loss not just to David's family and our agency but also to the many of agencies that he has worked with and supported throughout the years.  Your donation to this fundraising initiative would be a wonderful testament to David's life.


What exactly is the Heritage Society and why is it important?

In 2006 on the occasion of the agency's 20th anniversary, and in honor of its founders, High Peaks Hospice and Palliative Care established the Ann & C. David Merkel Heritage Society for Education at Adirondack Community Trust. This endowment fund is restricted to providing education and professional development to all paid staff and volunteers.

To live up to the goal of providing dignity, comfort and peace at the end of life, it has always been the highest priority, and challenge, of the organization to address the ever-increasing needs of patients by facing the challenges of finding and retaining highly committed and qualified staff. While High Peaks Hospice and Palliative Care is committed to providing the highest caliber of patient care available, net revenues from patient services will never be sufficient to keep pace with the ever changing standards and best practices of care without the support of the community.  To assure the professional development of staff and volunteers in these times of decreased reimbursement it is philanthropy that can provide the margin of excellence needed to better serve you and your loved ones when you need us.

High Peaks Hospice and Palliative Care is committed to meeting these growing needs by ensuring that all staff are offered the best possible, most comprehensive professional training, development and certification through this endowment.

The income from this endowment fund will ensure excellence in the specialized, acute and intensive care we provide to all patients and their families by investing in our staff. New or enhanced skills include but are not limited to:

    • Best practices in serving remote areas of socio-economically diversity and underserved communities;
    • Expanded bereavement counseling programs for residents (including children) who have suffered a loss;
    • Therapies for patients including comfort touch massage, aromatherapy and music therapy at bedside to assist with pain management, increase comfort and reduce anxiety about impending death;
    • Palliative care treatments;
    • Community education on end of life issues such as Health Care Proxy and other health benefits.
    • End-of-life planning through our hospice nurse liaisons at area nursing homes and hospitals as well as through our hospice admissions staff and social workers in patients' homes.

If you would like more information or would like to make a contribution to the Ann & C. David Merkel Heritage Society for Education, please contact Susan Rdzanek at 891-9631 or or send your check to : The Ann & C. David Merkel Heritage Society for Education c/o High Peaks Hospice & Palliative Care Inc, PO Box 840, Saranac Lake NY 12983