America’s aging population is creating a greater need for services that enhance comfort and improve the quality of an individual’s existence during the last phase of life. The Ernie Banks Live Above and Beyond Foundation™ provides funding to support underprivileged individuals and families by enlisting a wide range of therapies and assistance programs that are not typically covered by Medicare. In addition, Our goal is to introduce innovative methods to ease pain, provide relief from distressing symptoms such as fatigue, stress, nausea, loss of appetite, and shortness of breath, and enhance physical well being regardless of the prognosis. In addition, the program pays for nurses’ visits, home caregiver training, approved medications and supplies until families qualify for hospice care.
A new initiative entitled the "Essie Banks Hospice & Palliative Program" was started in June 2010 to honor Ernie's beloved Mother Essie Banks, who passed away in 2009 at the age of 97. The Banks family's experiences led Ernie and his wife Liz to start a fund to help other families cope with the expenses for Palliative (pre-hospice) care that is typically not covered by Medicare. The program aims at raising $250,000.00 for The International Association for Hospice & Palliative Care (IAHPC) to support their efforts to make the end of life peaceful by including the family as well as the patient in their care. Through its relationship with The IAHPC, the Ernie Banks Above and Beyond Foundation will help educate family members, caregivers and individuals about palliative care and hospice care, while also paying for nurses' visits, medications and supplies until they qualify for hospice care. In addition, this grant will be used to train the primary caregiver or family member (mini-aide training) on how to care for a chronically ill person at home.