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Hospice of North Idaho buys acreage for new facility

SUNDAY, FEB. 8, 2009

Nonprofit needs $4 million for inpatient care units

At Hospice of North Idaho’s annual wine tasting Saturday night, the nonprofit group announced it has purchased six acres of land on which to build Idaho’s first residential hospice facility.

“Hospice House is unique in that it will provide an inpatient level of care in a homelike setting,” said Paul Weil, executive director of Hospice of North Idaho.

Kootenai Medical Center provides hospice service for terminally ill patients through a program called Circle of Life.

“KMC has done an outstanding job with the Circle of Life rooms,” Weil said. “But four rooms are not enough to fulfill the increased demand for end-of-life inpatient beds.”

Hospice of North Idaho’s land is located south of Prairie Avenue, between Ramsey and Atlas roads, in north Coeur d’Alene. The 12-unit facility will cost $4 million, of which $321,000 has already been donated or pledged.

“A use of the Hospice House may be to care for a patient who needs intensive pain control and symptom management that cannot be managed at their place of residence,” Weil said, adding that it also can be used as a transitional facility for patients moving from the hospital to hospice care at home.

Hospice of Spokane built a similar facility in 2007, after raising $5.3 million.

Weil said the new facility will not compete with any other area health care facilities and it will not replace the current in-home hospice program, which has been around for 25 years. Like Hospice of North Idaho’s other programs the Hospice House will be open to all regardless of a family’s ability to pay.

“We are initiating this campaign because the need is greater than ever with our growing population,” Weil said. “There are terminally ill patients and their families who could have used a Hospice House in the past, and we don’t want people to have to wait any longer.”

Construction will not begin until all the funds have been raised.

Reach Pia Hallenberg Christensen at (509) 459-5427 or piah@spokesman.com.

 

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