MONTROSE – To ensure hospice and palliative care for decades to come, officials with HopeWest demonstrated that the services it provides are as solid as the foundation it laid last Friday, following the groundbreaking for a new care center in Montrose.
Construction of the A. Curtis Robinson Center for Hope, located on South Fourth Street about 100 yards from Montrose Memorial Hospital, is expected to take about six to seven months, according to HopeWest CEO Christy Whitney.
The center, located about two blocks from HopeWest's current offices on South Fifth Street and Park Avenue, will become the central hub for hospice care and bereavement services in Montrose, Ouray and Ridgway.
Over the past two decades, HopeWest has served about 2,000 families in those communities. The Montrose office serves about 300 families annually, according to HopeWest’s Montrose Community Relations Director Nancy Hoganson.
Founded in Grand Junction in 1993, HopeWest is the only nonprofit hospice care company operating on the Western Slope. The need for a new, expanded care center in Montrose was seen as the logical next step in ensuring these services have a permanent home in this area.
"It's thrilling. We’ve been working on Hospice of Montrose since 1994, and we've outgrown our space. This is going to be such a great opportunity," said Whitney. "It's enough space, it's the right space. It's going to be our permanent home for a long, long time.
The goal of HopeWest was to find a space close to the hospital and large enough to have training, bereavement groups, child and teen grief programs and enough parking for its staff.
Whitney said the new location will strengthen HopeWest's relationship with the hospital.
"Our staff can run back and forth to see patients. It's nice to be so close," Whitney said.
Montrose resident Curtis Robinson said he was "humbled and honored" to have his name attached to such a new and modern facility. He said he knew Rocky Mountain Health Plans donated a lot of money for the facility and therefore had the naming rights to the building.
"They were able to keep it a secret for about four or five months without me knowing about it," Robinson said, laughing. "It was certainly a surprise to me.”
Robinson served on the MMH Board of Trustees in the early 1990s and was part the delegation the hospital sent to Grand Junction in 1993 to convince HopeWest to bring its services to Montrose.
"I have been involved with Hospice before they even came here. It's a great organization and is very important to this community," Robinson said.
Fundraising for the new center began nearly a year ago with an estimated goal of $3 million. Although there remains a funding shortfall of nearly $85,000, officials with HopeWest decided to proceed with construction.
The new care center will house two physicians, one Clinical Program Director, 14 Registered Nurses, three social workers, one child and teen coordinator, one volunteer coordinator, two chaplain and bereavement coordinators, five CNAs, two assistants, two IT department employees and one development director.
HopeWest receives $26.8 million from Medicare and insurance reimbursements, nearly $2 million from donations and approximately $180,500 annually in revenues from its "Heirlooms for Hospice" retail store.
About 100 people attended last Friday’s groundbreaking. The City of Montrose and Montrose County both set aside block funding to help build the center.
To learn more about HopeWest visit: www.hopewestco.org.