RANCHO SANTA FE — The LightBridge Hospice Community Foundation, a branch of LightBridge Hospice and Palliative Care based in San Diego County, just announced its recipients for their Lights of LightBridge Award.
One of its honorees is the president of the Westreich Foundation, Ruth Westreich.
A Fairbanks Ranch resident, Westreich is being honored for her unwavering commitment to hospice and palliative care.
Jill Mendlen, the chairman of the LightBridge Hospice Community Foundation, is quick to point out that the award is not so much about the Westreich Foundation, but rather, Westreich.
“It’s her passion for integrative therapies, for palliative care and really for hospice. She is an undying advocate for those kinds of programs,” she said.
Every year, the foundation tries to pick a leader and volunteer who have gone above and beyond to make a difference in the end-of-life journey for people.
“And Ruth is one of those lights,” Mendlen said.
Westreich has a compassionate roster, which includes being a board member of the UCLA Arts and Healing Initiative, advisor to the Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Healthcare, and devotee to the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine. She is also an avid supporter of Cal State San Marcos’ Institute for Palliative Care and their School of Education.
In the past, she fulfilled seats on the board with Bravewell Collaborative and the Samueli Institute.
While Westreich commends LightBridge Hospice for the excellent work that they do, she’s poised on the educational front that supports the whole progressive movement of hospice and palliative care.
She also conveys to individuals that palliative care is not always relatable to death and dying.
“It can be, but palliative care is also living with chronic illnesses when a cure is no longer possible,” she said. “Quality of life can still be attainable and we are educating the public about what is and what is not care for chronic illness.”
By combining integrative medicine to an individual’s care, there are avenues for comfort and alleviation of pain.
When Westreich heard she was a recipient for the third annual Lights of LightBridge Award, she was incredibly honored and surprised to receive it.
Mendlen describes Westreich as a woman of passion and someone who really cares about people.
“Ruth will leave the world a better place because she wants to make that difference,” she said.
Mendlen wants people to know that Westreich is not only committed to end-of-life care, but in general, all health and wellness.
“Ruth can be feisty and she doesn’t mind being out there ‘fighting the fight’ for people and that is part of what I love about her. She is real and genuine.”