|Hope Center provides, at no charge, caring support and assistance to all individuals and families living with HIV. Inpatients, outpatients, people relocating to this area or newly diagnosed individuals have a safe, non-stigmatizing place to feel encouraged, valued, and also have a voice. During visits with Dr. Gillian, patients and their family members have the opportunity to share concerns or fears. If desired, they can choose to learn self-directed skills that promote self-confidence and wellness behaviors. Calls to Hope Center are made by patients, physicians, staff, community hospitals, or agencies.
Our commitment is to make every effort to provide a context for hope through advocating, educating and addressing the individual needs of those affected by HIV and other life-altering illnesses. Our purpose is to sustain hope, always.
As a mother, founder and director Jeannie Gillian, Ph.D., had experienced first hand the challenges of caring for someone living with HIV when her son, Bobby, was diagnosed. As a professional with a doctoral degree in psychology, she knew the importance of being sensitive to a patient’s psychological needs while advocating for the best treatment available.
Through it all, Dr. Gillian understood that, when living with a disease for which there is no cure, one of the most important aspects of patient care is the presence of hope. Dr. Gillian decided to use her unique experience and knowledge to help others, and thus began her work with Hope Center. And year by year, patient by patient, there have been countless milestones that have helped maintain hope for those who need it most…moment by moment.
The journey began in March 1996, in a donated room on 7North at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center in Knoxville, TN. This room was named “Hope Center” in honor of the original 35 people who volunteered to share their lives and experiences in a 2-year doctoral study conducted by Jeannie Gillian. The study was designed to discover how women and men living with an incurable illness experienced hope, when no hope seemed possible. Study participants defined hope as "the belief in possibilities" and strived to have dignity and independence throughout their illness. The Hope Model created from this research became the essence of care and remains at the core of the Center's services.
Because of its location, Hope Center is uniquely able to act as an advocate for patients. It is a great advantage that the goals of Hope Center concentrate on HIV education, advocacy, peer encouragement, patient rights, resource referrals, and quality-of-life needs. When requested, assistance is offered to safeguard individual wishes during end-stage care. Hope Center is a liaison between hospitals, health departments, dentists, physicians, judicial systems, community assistance programs, and mental health professionals. Resource referrals are made with authorization from the patient. Hope Center is a department within Covenant Health which is a nonprofit healthcare system. The Center is funded through grants, community fundraising, gifts and donations.
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