Lowcountry residents seeking hospice care for themselves or a loved one now have a new option for inpatient care.
On Thursday the blessing and ribbon cutting ceremony took place to celebrate the opening of Summerville Community Hospice House located at 374 Meyers Road.
The Summerville Community Hospice House is owned by Agapé Hospice of South Carolina, which is one of the largest hospice care providers in the state and the largest provider of inpatient care in the state.
The $5.5 million project has created a 30-room facility spanning 20,000 square feet providing the community with the first inpatient hospice facility.
It will be Agape’s third inpatient facility in the state, joining the Columbia Community Hospice House and the Lexington Community Hospice House. Agape also has several hospice locations throughout the state including in Aiken, Greenville, Midlands, Sumter, Myrtle Beach, Rock Hill and others.
Scott Middleton, the founder and developer of this project, will be performing the ribbon cutting with the assistance of Goose Creek mayor Gregory Habib.
According to Middleton, this project will have an impact on the community by being a top provider in hospice care.
“We do not consider other hospice providers as competition because currently less than 40 percent of all patients who qualify for hospice services ever received end of life care in South Carolina," Middleton said.
"In fact, hospice is designed for an average length of stay of six months, but in South Carolina, the average length of stay is just over 70 days. The state, along with all hospice providers, have an obligation to ensure people are aware of their hospice benefits and are given every opportunity to receive proper end of life care.”
Bill Collins said he is hopeful that the new facility will provide “specialized medical equipment and round the clock treatment with experienced professionals who can deliver the best and most comforting care to an ailing family member.”
According to Collins, most of the care will be paid for via Medicare, however private insurance will fund some of the hospice care as well. Collins said the staff will have 28 full-time employees including a medical director, a nurse practitioner and a director of nursing and Charletta Knight will be running the facility as the administrator.
Collins said that the facility also will be looking for volunteers once it opens. A volunteer coordinator will organize the volunteer positions.