“Providing compassionate Hospice care to our patients and families in Stokes County has been a priority for over 30 years. Now, as a community, we can look forward to a future where we have our own Hospice Home to better care for our patients,” said JoAnn Davis, president and CEO of Hospice & Palliative CareCenter.
The location for the Hospice Home is yet to be determined.
“We are going to need approximately 20 acres for our facility, and we will conduct a thorough and formal study to determine the very best location to serve all residents of Stokes County,” Davis said.
The project is estimated to cost $3.2 million. According to Davis, Hospice & Palliative CareCenter officials will launch a capital campaign next year to raise the needed funds.
Ann Gauthreaux, director of Public Relations for Hospice & Palliative CareCenter, stated, “We’ll be conducting a feasibility study which will best determine where the money will be coming from. We’ll be looking for financial support from possible grants, federal government and donors.”
In addition to providing in home care, grief counseling and respite relief, the Hospice Home will also bring in 32 full-time jobs to Stokes County.
“It’s going to be an exciting challenge, and we’ll need a great deal of financial support, yet the positive impact will be tremendous. We are committed to using local contractors whenever possible, and look forward to the day we can hire local professionals to help staff the facility,” added Davis.
Hospice & Palliative CareCenter was founded in 1979 and was the first center of its kind in North Carolina. Throughout the years, it has expanded and introduced new programs to best equip families who are facing the challenges of living with a serious illness. They currently offer free-of-charge grief counseling, advance care planning and palliative care services to patients in the disease process.
Steve Carroll, owner of Carroll Memorials and chair of the Advisory Council for Hospice & Palliative CareCenter, said: “I’ve come to respect and appreciate the mission of the Hospice & Palliative CareCenter. You don’t fully understand the level of support and care until your family has a firsthand experience. I know what it’s like to have the support of Hospice. It’s heartwarming to see how many people are fully committed to seeing this facility become a reality. In fact, Stokes County rallied behind this project to send more than 2,500 signatures in support of the project to the state as part of the CON (consideration of need) application.”
Maria Hodges, who is in the late stages of emphysema, is visited weekly by Stokes County nurse, Luanne Flynt of Hospice & Palliative CareCenter.
“She comes out and evaluates my condition. She’ll stay as long as I need her to. I really rely on her. With Hospice, I’ve received nurses, doctors, counselors and nutritionists without having to leave my house,” Hodges said.
Hodges believes it takes a special person to do what Flynt does.
“She’s very calming. I’m so thankful for the Hospice group, especially at this time in my life,” said Hodges.
Wendi Uselton, director of Community Outreach for Hospice & Palliative CareCenter, is also eager to see the new facility coming to Stokes County.
“We are really excited for the community. This will enable families to stay closer to home and provide care for those in need as well as support to their caregivers,” Uselton said.
Hospice & Palliative Care currently provides services to nearly 60 patients a day within the Stokes County area.
“This project won’t evolve overnight, yet it’s going to mean so much in terms of quality of life for the patients and families in Stokes County who deserve the very best end-of-life care,” Davis said.