A new inpatient care unit will give terminally ill clients of the nonprofit Hospice Partners of the Central Coast a comforting, homelike place to receive pain and symptom management they might get in a hospital.
A wing at Compass Health’s Mission View Health Center in San Luis Obispo has been renovated for the Hospice Partners inpatient unit, a 4,500-square-foot center with five private suites and two semi-private suites to serve clients whose medical needs exceed what their families and in-home hospice assistants can provide.
“About 15 percent of patients need more care than can reasonably be provided in the patient’s home,” Hospice Partners Administrator Janet Jeffery said in a recent news release. “This unit will allow us to deliver the kind of advanced symptom management and pain relief that would typically be found in a hospital but with the added comforts of home.”
“Hospice is by definition family centered. If relatives want to stay 24/7, there’s a pullout couch in the room,” said Mark Wilson, vice president of business development for Wilshire Health and Community Services, the nonprofit agency that sponsors Hospice Partners of the Central Coast.
A registered nurse will be on duty 24 hours a day, and Hospice Partners will provide volunteers, health and counseling professionals, spiritual care and musical therapy.
The $1 million project was made possible by a $200,000 grant from the Hearst Foundation and donations by local businesses and individuals, although funds are still being raised, Wilson said.
Instead of trying to raise funds in a down economy to build a standalone inpatient center, which would have cost more than $6 million, Wilson said, Hospice Partners and Mission View Health Center entered into an operating agreement.
The unit will begin admitting patients in late March. Its ongoing operations will be funded by Hospice provisions in clients’ Medicare, Medi-Cal and private insurance plans, though no person in need will be turned away, Wilson said.
An open house will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. March 10 at Mission View Health Center, 1425 Woodside Drive in San Luis Obispo.
Wilson said Hospice Partners is raising money to create future inpatient units in North County and South County.
— Julia Hickey