Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

March 15, 2012

Settling in: Hospice personnel embrace the space of new offices

ASHLAND — After sharing cubicle spaces and telephones for years, Community Hospice volunteers and employees are finding room to call their own at their new offices at 1480 Carter Ave.

“We have about 65 people who work here daily and many others who are in and out for different meetings and things like that,” said Susan Hunt, executive director.

Hunt said the new office space gives employees and volunteers a centralized location with easy access to King’s Daughters Medical Center and Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital, as well as patients in Ohio or in areas such as Martin and Johnson counties along U.S. 23.

“It was important for us to stay close and be easy to find,” she said.

Hunt said everyone with a cubicle or office in the new building has already embraced the space while still learning their way around.

“We are trying to familiarize ourselves with where everything is located ... the thermostats and phone jacks and computer connections,” she said with a chuckle. “We love it. The staff is thrilled because at Central Avenue, you wouldn’t know this unless you worked there, but our clinical staff had four or five people sharing a cubicle and a telephone.”

The move into the new space began last week and was complete within roughly 24 hours, said Hunt, adding the facility cost nearly $3 million.

“The building is paid for. We have been good stewards of our money and stayed in tight quarters until we knew we could pay for what we wanted to do,” Hunt said.

“In our planning we wanted to be sure to meet current and potential future needs. Hospice care has grown unbelievably. We have consistently grown every year for the past 20 years,” she said, noting calculations predicting 5 percent to 6 percent growth in coming years as members of the baby boom generation seek assistance and deal with end-of-life concerns.

Community Hospice provides services to 160 patients a day in Boyd, Greenup, Carter, Elliott, Lawrence, Johnson and Martin counties in Kentucky, as well as Lawrence and Scioto counties in Ohio, relying upon 120 employees and 180 volunteers. Hunt said future considerations for programs may include issues and resources for expanded bereavement counseling and support groups, along with palliative care.

“We always need volunteers,” Hunt said.

For more information, visit chospice.org or call (606) 329-1890.

TIM PRESTON can be reached at tpreston@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2651.

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