New hospice truly worth caring about | AspenTimes.com

New hospice truly worth caring about

Aspen, CO Colorado

About a month ago, the Roaring Fork Hospice Program ” citing a shortage of staff and patients ” quietly closed its doors in Glenwood Springs.

The news generated few headlines, unlike the area’s blue-chip nonprofits, which are no stranger to feel-good publicity. But the hospice’s closure, despite the lack of outcry, was particularly disappointing news. After all, a hospice’s function is to provide the terminally ill and the dying with the means to a graceful, dignified exit.

But Wednesday, the Aspen Valley Medical Foundation, Aspen Valley Hospital and Valley View Hospital announced they have linked arms to form an independent hospice program. According to Kris Marsh, executive director of the medical foundation, the new hospice offices will be at the Aspen Basalt Healthcare Center in Basalt, scheduled to open this fall.

Once it is up and running, the new hospice will provide four levels of hospice care ” routine in-home care; continuous 24-hour care; bereavement services (for 13 months after a death); and care for patients in hospitals.

This is great news, and the medical foundation and the valley’s two hospitals deserve much credit for making this happen.

We also would be remiss not to heap some praise on the anonymous donor who recently contributed $1 million to ensure the hospice program’s long-term

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sustainability.

Many donors in this area are well aware that their contributions are recognized in programs, advertisements and the like, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But to anonymously hand over $1 million to a low-profile, albeit greatly needed cause, goes beyond charitable.

The person who did this deserves more than a simple thank-you. One way of doing that is to send a contribution to the new hospice at the Aspen Valley Medical Foundation, P.O. Box 1639, Aspen, CO 81612.

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