Hospice renamed HopeWest

Registered nurse Christy Whitney, president and chief executive officer of Hospice & Palliative Care of Western Colorado, announces Friday at Hospice Care Center that the organization will change its name to HopeWest.

The 20-year-old organization founded as Hospice of Western Colorado is changing its name with an eye toward reassuring its supporters that nothing else is changing.

At the same time, the organization also wants to put at ease the minds of patients in the palliative-care end of the business who aren’t necessarily eager to be associated with a hospice.

So “HopeWest” is taking the place of the familiar Hospice & Palliative Care of Western Colorado, with a main office at 3090B N. 12th St. and various branches in three other western Colorado counties.

“HopeWest” encompasses the many services and ventures that have been gathered under the parent organization’s roof, from hospice to grief counseling to restaurants and thrift shops.

The new name will “trickle out over the period of a year” as the organization settles into its new identity, Christy Whitney, president and CEO, said Friday.

The main building still will be identified as a hospice so the core of the organization won’t be lost to people seeking those services, Whitney said.

The term “hospice” was defined under Medicare rules in 1983, which established the services it would fund to people with a six-month prognosis, Whitney said.

“Nobody lives life in defined patterns,” not even those given a deadline of the most literal variety, Whitney said, so the “hospice” aspect of the organization became a more narrow slice of its activities.

“We will continue to be a hospice,” Whitney said, but the organization also will continue its growth with the construction of a new building in Montrose and operations in Delta and Ouray counties that will also be identified under the HopeWest name.

Its various programs will include the original hospice program, to be called Hospice Western Colorado, while HopeWest Palliative Care, HopeWest Grief Support, and HopeWest Kids, for children and teens in grief, will take on the new name.

Heirlooms for Hospice, Spoons bistro and bakery, and the Artful Cup all will operate as usual.

The umbrella organization, though, will be spared “a really long name,” Whitney said.

HopeWest’s 300 employees and 1,400 volunteers will work under the new name as they always have, Whitney said.

HopeWest will celebrate its 20th anniversary June 8 at Two Rivers Convention Center.

For reservations for the $35-per person event, call 683-4921.


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