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Bon Secours Virginia Leads Effort to Build Richmond’s First Community Hospice House

Bon Secours Virginia Health System is leading a community effort to build the first hospice house in the Richmond area. Guided by a holistic approach to medicine, the Community Hospice House will provide a high level of medical care in a home-like environment. The Bon Secours Richmond Health Care Foundation aims to raise $5 million for construction of the new facility, which will serve patients from all area health systems and physicians.

“Currently, there is no hospice house available in Richmond,” said Peter J. Bernard, chief executive officer of Bon Secours Virginia Health System. “Based on a recent survey, the need for hospice care in our area is great, and increasing each year. This facility will meet a critical unfilled need for compassionate endof-life care in central Virginia.”

The Community Hospice House will provide a high quality of life for patients with terminal illness, while providing emotional and spiritual support to their families. The building is planned for land in Bon Air donated by honorary co-chairs John C. Cullather and Anthony F. Markel. The Community Hospice House will have 16 patient suites, each with garden access, as well as common areas where families can spend time with their loved ones unencumbered by caregiving duties.

“The Community Hospice House will be grounded in our deep commitment to the sick and dying, thereby alleviating human suffering, a founding element of the ministry of the Sisters of Bon Secours,” said hospice and palliative care physician, Sr. Vicky Segura, M.D., C.B.S. “Built for the community, this will be a place without barriers and outside the competitive health care marketplace.”

Services will include pain management and the relief of other symptoms of illness with a focus on comfort and improved quality of life. Psychosocial and spiritual care for patients and families, as well as bereavement counseling and support will also be available. The program will be staffed by a hospice medical director and hospice nurses, home health aides, as well as counselors, social workers and chaplains. Great care will be taken in the design of the Community Hospice House to ensure patients and families can rest in a home-like environment, surrounded by natural elements of light, water and plants. Medical equipment will be easily accessible.

Embraced by patients, families and health care providers across the metropolitan area, the Community Hospice House enjoys broad community support. “When patients are nearing the end of life, I want to make it possible for them to rest comfortably and spend quality time with their loved ones,” said Peter W. Brown, M.D., F.A.C.S., a surgeon with Virginia Surgical Associates. “I’m honored to support a project that will bring together the medical community to meet this need in Richmond.”

The Bon Secours Richmond Health Care Foundation has raised $1.3 million toward their fundraising goal. Challenge grants of $300,000 and $250,00 respectively were awarded as the first donations by the Cabell Foundation and the Mary Morton Parsons Foundation. They were joined in the early fundraising phase by an outright award of $100,000 by the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation.

Once the Community Hospice House is built, its operating budget will come from Bon Secours Hospice Services. Since 1983, Bon Secours has provided medical and emotional care to terminally ill patients and their families, along with the daily living assistance that ensures their comfort and dignity.

Click here for more information about the Community Hospice House.


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