MedWest Health System celebrated the opening of its new $3.4 million inpatient hospice unit The Homestead with a community open house and dedication ceremony March 18.
The celebration included refreshments and tours of The Homestead, a new six-bed facility on the campus of MedWest-Haywood that offers specialized end-of-life care to patients and their families and is the only inpatient hospice facility west of Asheville.
Located at 127 Sunset Ridge Road, The Homestead is staffed by an interdisciplinary team of end-of-life experts including physicians, nurses, social workers, nursing assistants, a music therapist, and spiritual and bereavement counselors. The Homestead is open to patients from across the region, with a physician’s referral.
The Homestead features accommodations for family gatherings and meals, outdoor activities and a memorial garden. Long-term plans include expanding to 12 beds. The second phase of the project will involve construction of an end-of-life outreach center, which will provide counseling and bereavement services, a resource library and a community education program.
Major financial supporters of The Homestead include the HRMC Foundation, Haywood County Government, the N.C. Rural Economic Development Center Inc., the Appalachian Regional Commission, The Cannon Foundation, the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, The Duke Endowment, and Janirve Foundation. George Ivey served as lead grant writer for The Homestead project. The estate of Bernice T. Medford also gave a generous donation, and the Friends of Hospice provided fundraising support.
Clark & Leatherwood Inc., Padgett & Freeman Architects, Kathryn Greeley Designs, and Woodmen of the World were instrumental in the design and construction of The Homestead.
Quilters who contributed their artistry and skills to the decorative quilts at The Homestead include Linda Nichols, Linda Clark, Elsie Orrell, Ruby Koontz, Cheryl Danek, The Cruso Friendship Club, Joyce Brunsvold, Dee Werner, Traci Hoglen, Jane Cole, and Sparty Valentine. At the March 18 event, Haywood County Arts Council Director Kay Miller shared remarks about the quilts.
Rick and Andrea McCall donated The Homestead’s Cathedral Window.
At the March 18 celebration, MedWest Health System Hospice and Palliative Care Services Director Jenny Williams gave welcoming and closing remarks, and Hospice Spiritual Care Coordinator Rev. Michael Metcalf led prayer dedicating The Homestead.
Other speakers at The Homestead celebration included MedWest-Haywood President and CEO J. Michael Poore; Mark Clasby, past chairman of the HRMC Board, founding chairman of MedWest Health System and current vice chairman of the MedWest Board of Directors; Peggy Melville, past chairwoman of the HRMC Hospice and Palliative Care Advisory Committee; and Medical Director Dr. Michael Pass, MD.