Nonprofits are often awarded grants for their work contributing to a community’s quality of life.
But quality of death?
Its work helping people die well has led Good Samaritan Hospice to receive last month the largest grant ever given by the Community Foundation Serving Western Virginia: $500,000 for the first hospice house in the region.
The grant brings “Good Sam” more than halfway to its $5 million goal to build its Center for Caring in Roanoke. When it opens — the projected date is August 2024 — the center will include 16 private patient rooms, with space for families, a chapel, and gardens.
Founded in 1992, Good Sam each year serves 1,200 people in the Roanoke and New River valleys — about 250 at any given time — with end-of-life care including pain management, comfort care, and help with respiratory distress, complex wounds or delirium.
Funded through Medicare, private insurance and charitable contributions, hospice is authorized for individuals who have been certified by a physician to have six months or less to live. Currently about 26% of Good Sam’s patients have terminal cancer, said Housh; other end-of-life illnesses include Alzheimer’s, dementia, heart disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
The work of Good Sam’s clinicians and volunteers currently takes place primarily in patients’ home or those of their caregivers. A hospice home will help alleviate the stresses and loneliness of this painful period of life.
A hospice house has been part of Good Sam’s plans from its beginning.
In 2021, Good Sam purchased a 6-acre lot on Cove Road in Roanoke and launched a $5 million campaign to fund construction. The announcement of the Community Foundation grant, which takes the campaign to $2.6 million, coincided with the date the slab was poured for the hospice home.
Cardinal News – by Michael Hemphill August 3, 2023