New Hospice & Palliative of Western Colorado Care Center opens Oct. 9

One of the 13 private bedrooms at the new Hospice Center

THE NEW HOSPICE & Palliative Care of Western Colorado Care Center opens for patients on Oct. 9.

As one tour-goer noted Wednesday evening, “even the floors are pretty.”

The new Hospice & Palliative of Western Colorado Care Center opens for patients on Oct. 9, after six years of planning and fundraising.

On Wednesday, Mary Good, clinical manager for Hospice, led a tour through the new facility.

Good walked several people though two of the spacious 13 patient rooms with personal bathrooms and flat-screen televisions. She showed off the family areas and large balconies where caregivers and other family members visiting Hospice patients can go for to eat a meal or to relax by a fireplace.

Hardwood floors, original paintings and intricate ceiling-to-floor woodwork make the new Hospice facility feel more like grandmother’s house than a medical center.

“We knew we wanted something that looked more like a house on the outside and inside,” said Christy Whitney, president and chief executive officer of Hospice.

Although actual construction of the facility began in April 2007, the process to open a new center began nearly six years ago after the land was given to Hospice and fundraising efforts got under way, Whitney said.

The response from the community in getting the new Hospice center — the largest of its kind between Denver, Salt Lake City and Albuquerque, N.M.— holds a special place in Whitney’s heart.

“To me, it’s so remarkable that thousands of people, really, created this campus,” Whitney said, referring to the new center and the nearby Miller Homestead, which houses Hospice programs and the Cups Coffee House.

“Along with (the donations), there were so many people who donated their talents and time. When you walk around, everything seems to have a story.”

Hospice hoped to open the facility to patients in September, but small items needed to be replaced and ordered before final opening, Whitney said.

All patients receiving care through Hospice have received a diagnosis of 6 months or less to live, but patients admitted to the new Hospice facility will be in need of 24-hour medical support because of an out-of-control symptom such as pain or severe nausea, or patients who have another crisis such as the primary caregiver who cannot provide the immediate care the patient needs, Good said.

Spoons Bistro & Bakery, a restaurant in the lower-level of the center, will open to the public Oct. 15. The inside of the restaurant has a café feel with views of the Colorado National Monument.

To inquire about admitting a patient or a tour of the facility, call 241-2212.


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