Hospice of The Gorge recently moved into its newly constructed Hospice Center, located on the heights in Hood River.
The nonprofit organization which cares for people at the end-of-life, is now finalizing plans for a Grand Opening celebration to be held on Saturday, July 31, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Area residents are invited to attend.
Hospice of The Gorge serves seven counties in Oregon and Washington and has an office in The Dalles as well as in Hood River. The Dalles office will continue to serve patients and families in the east end of the gorge. The Hood River Center will serve patients in the west end of the gorge and will house the primary administrative functions for the entire Hospice operation.
Deborah Whiting Jaques, executive director for Hospice, says, "We're not just celebrating the opening of a new building, we're celebrating the fact that Hospice is now in a much better position to serve patients and families throughout the gorge. After eighteen years of continuous moving from one donated or rented office to another, we finally have a permanent home where we can carry out our mission to provide compassionate and comprehensive care without the disruption of moving."
Marianne Durkan, president of the board of directors, adds, "People attending the celebration will have an opportunity to learn more about the special work Hospice does and will be able to meet Hospice workers and volunteers responsible for carrying out that work."
Donations from the community, along with grants from a range of charitable foundations, made the long-needed center possible. Funds raised to date total $571,000.
Initial funding was provided by a former Hospice patient, the late JoAnn Roberts of White Salmon.
A member of Rpberts' care-team recalls her as "an amazingly down-to-earth woman with a lot of spunk." She said, "No one at Hospice had any idea that we would be beneficiaries of her estate. In fact, JoAnn didn't even have any insurance. We took her on as a patient regardless, as we would normally do in that kind of a situation. What an amazing surprise it was to all of us when we learned through her attorney that she willed us her estate."
Jaques concludes, "We want to share our joy about the center with our community who helped make it happen. Just as important, we want people to know that they can visit us at any time to learn more about the work of Hospice. Meanwhile, mark your calendar for the Open House on Saturday, July 31 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 1630 Woods Court, near the intersection of Tucker Road and Pacific Avenue."