Hospice need outgrows Montrose facility

Director eager to start work on large, new center soon

Dirt flies at a groundbreaking ceremony for the HopeWest and Hospice A. Curtis Robinson Center for Hope in downtown Montrose in this file photo from Jan. 24. Located next to Montrose Memorial Hospital, pictured in background, the new center is the next sizable investment made by HopeWest on the Western Slope.

HopeWest Hospice and Palliative Care is hoping its application for a city building permit comes through soon so it can get to work on the A. Curtis Robinson Center for Hope in Montrose.

Construction of the roughly 10,000-square-foot, $3 million center could begin as soon as Friday if Montrose gives the green light, said Nancy Hoganson, HopeWest director of community relations.

The need for a new center arose when demand for hospice services in and around Montrose, Ridgway and Ouray eventually grew so great, Montrose Memorial Hospital could no longer keep up with demand, Hoganson said.

With more than 2,000 families served, the time has come for HopeWest to move out of the 2,000-square-foot space it occupies at Montrose Memorial Hospital. It’s time for a facility with running water and bathrooms on site, she said.

The new center will give HopeWest’s individual and group grief programs for youth and adults a place to consolidate, grow and innovate for years to come, Hoganson said.

Robinson, a western Colorado certified public accountant for decades, serves on the board of directors for Rocky Mountain Health Plans, where he has helped shape health care policy for more than 15 years.

“It’s a great honor,” Robinson said. “The people in our community really need these services.”

Rocky Mountain Health Plans won the right to name the center for its long-serving board member with a “generous” $600,000 donation to the project. Motley Architect & Design won the contract to design the center. PNCI Construction won the general contract for the project. Hoganson said.

“That’s the whole goal, to use local people” she said.

As a location for the building, HopeWest purchased two lots at the corner of South Fourth Street and Nevada Avenue, directly across from Montrose Memorial Hospital, 800 S. Third St., giving HopeWest staff easy access to patients.

The corner lot will be landscaped with gardens, benches and a gazebo. This location also provides room for possible future expansion, Hoganson said.

The center will ensure that HopeWest’s services will be available today and in the years ahead, Robinson said.

“The project is more than a building; it represents our ability to transform the lives of our friends, neighbors and families,” said Christy Whitney, HopeWest president and CEO.

So far, HopeWest has raised $2.9 million to pay for the center.

A $400,000 Community Development Block Grant also played a role in paying the costs of the permit to build.

Noteworthy local donors include Ken and Marlene Townsend, members of the longtime Montrose family for which a major city thoroughfare is named.

“We love and appreciate them,” Hoganson said. “It’s really been an exciting project. Our community has been so supportive.”

“We are so grateful for the donations and grants that allowed us to break ground on a permanent home for our staff and volunteers,” Whitney said. “This center is becoming a reality because of our wonderful community coming together to support one another.”

Doors to the new center could be open as soon as October, Hoganson said.

The Robinson Center for Hope will expand HopeWest services like the HopeWest Kids grief program and various adult grief programs to thousands more people across western Colorado, she said.

HopeWest services are currently supported by 300 “active, involved” volunteers in and around Montrose, Ridgway and Ouray, Hoganson said.

“We were at a point where we could not hire more staff,” she said. “We were just so out of space.”

The Robinson Center for Hope will allow the hospice and palliative care provider to continue to allocate and coordinate services easily in Montrose. It also will provide space where care teams can create innovative programs that provide meaningful help for family caregivers, Hoganson said.

The center will also serve as a training center for volunteers.

“HopeWest is one of the top 10 or 15 hospice centers in the nation,” Hoganson said. “Our CEO has really developed a cutting edge program here.”


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