News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Community supports new hospice house

The residents of Sisters Country provided generous support for the recently completed Hospice House at Partners In Care, contributing $134,310 to build and furnish the Three Sisters patient care suite. In addition, The Roundhouse Foundation funded the large foyer and gathering space complete with a fireplace.

The state-of-the-art facility is one of only three inpatient hospice facilities in the state of Oregon and the only one east of the Cascades. The new 12-suite facility, which doubled the capacity to serve the community, will help meet the needs of Central Oregon's population as well as the remaining eastside.

The attention to detail that went into the design is the result of hospice staff making note of what they would like to have in a new facility. The architect listened to their input, which is reflected in the stunning, high-tech building.

Partners In Care enlisted the services of Bend-based COLE Architects (DKA Architecture & Design), ALSC Architecture from Spokane, Washington, and SunWest Builders to complete the project.

The renovation and building project began in 2020, breaking ground during the COVID-19 pandemic and working through a myriad of delays and challenges. The campus expansion included not only the new 14,600-square-foot, 12-bed Hospice House, but also a parking lot and the remodel of the original 14,000-square-foot administration/six-bed Hospice House with a total cost of $13 million. The capital campaign covered almost half of that amount.

At a recent donor recognition gathering, Partners board member Neil Bryant related the challenge of conducting the capital campaign during the pandemic, when no kickoff event could occur and they had to start with only a list of possible donors. Help came from the Tykeson Family Foundation when they pledged a $1 million challenge grant, designed to accelerate giving to the $6 million capital campaign. The grant provided a dollar-for-dollar match of all campaign gifts and pledges up to $1 million made between January 2021 and June 30, 2021. Partners also received support from the St. Charles Foundation.

Sisters resident Bill Willitts served on the Partners board during the capital campaign and agreed to organize a small group of local citizens to conduct a campaign in Sisters to fund one of the patient suites in the new Hospice House. Each of the suites is named after a local landmark, so accordingly, the suite furnished by Sisters residents is called the Three Sisters suite. Photography on the wall, provided by local photographer Kris Kristovich, depicts the namesake mountains.

As a thank-you for his campaign involvement, Willitts received a framed homemade quilt square representing the quilts that adorn each bed in Hospice House. Family members are encouraged to take those quilts home after their relative completes their stay. The quilts are a symbol of comfort.

Sisters residents who served as campaign solicitors for the Three Sisters suite included: Chairman Willitts, Rob Corrigan, Fran Willis, John Griffith, Sue Stafford, Donna and Paul Lipscomb, and Dr. Kevin Miller.

Hospice House offers medical care not possible at home and five-day respite care when a caregiver needs a little time to rest or deal with other family matters. The Hospice House staff is available to help others in their time of need. One hospice patient was able to visit the beach one more time before she died. A 102-year-old patient was shown love and compassion as she toured the beautiful hospice grounds. Staff is there to facilitate and support difficult conversations. Financial help is available to assist family members coming to visit a patient.

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