Posted 11/23/2016

 Anna Mae Owen Hospice House  Anna Mae Owen Hospice House
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Murray-Calloway County Hospital will hold the grand opening of its Anna Mae Owen Residential Hospice House on Tuesday, November 29 at 3 pm. Jerry Penner, CEO and Sherri Boyd, Director of Hospice along with others will speak at the ceremony, and tours of the state-of-the-art facility will be available after the ribbon-cutting. The event is free and the public is invited. The event begins at 3 pm followed by an official ribbon cutting ceremony located on site at 1959 State Route 94 West.

Shuttle service to and from the groundbreaking site will be available beginning at 2:30 pm from Westside Baptist Church on 207 Robertson Road South.

In June 2014, Murray-Calloway County Hospital broke ground for the hospice house. The Hospice House is an acute care, inpatient facility that is specifically designed to address the requirements and requests of patients facing end-of-life scenarios. Healthcare professionals will provide pain management, symptom control and medical procedures in a safe, home-like setting where families and friends are encouraged to visit.

The Anna Mae Owen Residential Hospice House has been built to include private rooms with private baths, a memory garden, private patios for each patient room, kitchen, family room, laundry facilities and a family conference room.

The philosophy surrounding hospice care is to focus on the physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs of patients and families as they face the challenges of end-of-life issues. Currently, MCCH healthcare professionals and trained volunteers deliver a vast majority of this care in the patient’s home, whether that is a private residence, an assisted living facility or a nursing home. Hospice staff employs 4 full time and 2 part time nurses, 4 full time and 2 PRN aides, and 1 full time social worker, dietitians, a chaplain and therapists. However, it is also supported by numerous community volunteers who give their time to visit with patients and their families.

“Nine years ago the Board of Trustees first entertained the idea of a Hospice House. We knew from the start that this was not going to be a service line that would generate a strong profit … Rather, we felt this was something that would meet a community need for the entire area,” said Steve Owens, Board Chairman.

The Hospice House is an extension of the existing Hospice program at MCCH, which has been in existence since 1981. In 1979, Dr. Ruth Cole, first approached hospital administration about starting a Hospice program. Soon, Nadine Turner, Director of Nursing was hired to establish the program and began hosting training sessions.

Since then, the program has grown and expanded to what it is today. The current staff represents 70 years of combined experience and served 154 patients and their families in the last year.

“We are very excited and looking forward to the official grand opening, not only for the hospice patients and their families but for the community as a whole and the hospital,” said Sherri Boyd, MCCH Hospice Coordinator. “This Hospice House means that we will be able to care for people who are on that very difficult journey at the end of their lives in a home-like place. We will be able to care for their families and we will be able to comfort and care for the patients that up to this point have had to die in the hospital or go to a nursing facility. The fact that this community has given so very much to make this a reality is a huge responsibility and the Hospice staff takes that very seriously. We will do our very best to honor the patients and their families that are cared for here.”

The $3.5 million needed for the Hospice House was solely provided by donations, collected through the Murray Calloway Endowment for Healthcare. A six-year fundraising effort was spearheaded by the Endowment and included a mix of grants, private donations, fundraisers and events such as the annual Murray Half Marathon.

Jerry Penner, CEO of MCCH said, “Many people in the community have stepped up to back the project, and we have had so much support from families like the Owen and Zweedyk’s and businesses like Murray Bank and Jim Smith Construction plus many others. We are very excited to open the doors and showcase our new facility to the community.”

This is the first major project at MCCH, a public, not-for-profit city and county-owned hospital, to ever be funded completely through philanthropic donations. An anonymous donor kicked things off with a hefty $1.5 million pledge, and the rest came in many forms from more than 7,000 donors.

“Today we stand on the brink of the largest philanthropic project ever undertaken by the hospital,” said Keith Travis, Vice President of Development.

For more information or to donate to support the operation of the Anna Mae Owen Residential Hospice House, call (270) 762-1908.