Hospice prepares to expand

By Todd Cohen

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Hospice and Palliative CareCenter of Winston-Salem serves three of every 10 people who die in Forsyth County – exceeding both the national Hospice average of one in four, and the county average in North Carolina of nearly one in five.

And demand for Hospice’s services continues to grow as Baby Boomers get older and awareness about end-of-life care increases among patients, families and health-care providers.

To meet that demand, Hospice plans to expand – and is preparing a capital campaign to raise $6.3 million.

In its 20-bed facility off Silas Creek Parkway that opened February 1998, and through services to more than 200 patients in their homes, Hospice serves people with less than six months to live, and those with serious illnesses or “quality-of-life” needs such as controlling pain or handling aggressive treatment.

The group’s Kate B. Reynolds Hospice Home, with a daily waiting list of five to 15 people, houses 14 beds for acute-care patients staying seven days on average before they die, plus six residential beds for patients needing a place to stay who remain three to four weeks before they die.

Hospice wants to convert those residential beds to acute-care beds and build a new facility with 10 residential beds.

It also wants to build a two-story building to house its administrative and home-care staffs, replacing two floors of office space it rents on Stratford Road.

And it plans to build a community-services building to house its grief center, development office, volunteer department and children’s programs.

Hospice has not decided in which building – all to be on its site off Silas Creek Parkway — to locate the pharmacy it opened in June 2001 that supplies all its patients with medication and employs two pharmacists, plus pharmacy technicians and drivers.

Hospice also wants to launch a palliative-care clinic, formalizing services offered by its two staff physicians and nurse practitioner.

“Those are our dreams and we’re trying to figure out if they fit into our scheme,” says JoAnn Davis, Hospice’s CEO.

And in the face of a slumping economy, she says, raising $6 million will be a challenge.

Hospice has hired Winston-Salem fundraising firm Whitney Jones Inc., which will spend two months assessing potential support and developing the campaign leadership, strategy and materials.

The campaign will begin its quiet phase in mid-September and launch its public kickoff in June 2003.

An early goal for the quiet phase will be to find corporate sponsors, foundation grants and two to three individuals willing to make large donations.

Chairing the board of the Hospice Foundation is Rob Greene, president of BB&T, and chairing Hospice’s building committee is Everett Wells, regional market manager for RBC Centura.

In its campaign to raise $1.2 million for its Hospice Home, Hospice raised $2.5 million, including $500,000 from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust in Winston-Salem, and received loans of $1 million each from Forsyth Medical Center and North Carolina Baptist Hospital.

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