by Beecher Threatt
HopeWest is mounting a push to finish raising its goal of $3,000,000 to build a clinical services facility in Montrose that will serve residents of Ouray and eastern Montrose counties in need of hospice and community outreach services. With just $500,000 to go, the group is confident the proposed facility will soon be a reality.
Nancy Hoganson, director of community relations, explained the building will have offices and workspace for physicians, Registered Nurses, social workers, child and teen coordinator, chaplains, nursing assistants, technology assistants, development director, clinical program director and volunteer coordinator. Upstairs, roomy conference areas will host the many community outreach programs and trainings HopeWest offers. A full basement will be the storage area for medical equipment used in providing hospice services. Hospice patients will continue to be served in the hospice room at the hospital.
Montrose Memorial Hospital has provided offices for HopeWest at no charge for years, but the organization has outgrown the space. Initially HopeWest officers and board members planned to purchase an existing building and renovate it, but none of the available buildings met their needs.
Eight lots at the corner of Nevada and South 4th streets, near the hospital, have been secured, and plans for the building are complete. Construction can begin as soon as the remaining funds are raised.
In Montrose and Ouray counties the number of patients requiring a hospice critical care facility did not justify building a bed facility. HopeWest has a critical care facility in Grand Junction, a room in the Montrose hospital and two hospice rooms at Valley Manor in Montrose.
Offices for the growing staff in Montrose and the number of individuals and families served by outreach programs require a larger capacity building, to allow for expansion of programs and staff. Programs serve children and adults with grief support groups and individual counseling, and the Montrose office hopes to start a program for young families affected by cancer. In 2012, the Montrose office employed more than 27 full time equivalent employees.
Formerly known as Hospice and Palliative Care of Western Colorado, HopeWest offers a range of services to individuals and families hit with life-limiting illness. It is the only nonprofit hospice on the Western Slope and serves Mesa, Delta, eastern Montrose and Ouray counties, plus Plateau Valley and DeBeque.
The Montrose office served 286 hospice and palliative care patients in 2012, with 110 individuals participating in community grief support groups or counseling. The children's and teens' grief program served 107 last year. Volunteers who are active in Montrose and Ouray counties number 292, and they put in 22,750 hours in 2012.
Ouray County residents on the advisory board for the Montrose HopeWest office include Tom Hillhouse, Barbara Seelye and Ellen Fetterolf. Seelye is also on the main HopeWest board for the Western Slope. Kelvin Kent, Tom and Sue Hillhouse and Seelye are also involved with the capital campaign for the new building.
As of Sept. 27, the building campaign had 325 donors who contributed a total of $2,500,000. To help HopeWest reach its goal for the new building call the office in Montrose at 970-252-2521 or, after Oct. 25, go online to hopewestco.org. General donations to support operations can always be made on the website.