The Joliet Area Community Hospice launched its campaign to raise funds for the expansion and renovation of its in-patient unit on Tuesday.
With its “Remembering from the Heart” campaign, the hospice is aiming to raise $3.5 million to add beds, a spiritual room and spaces for family gathering, cooking and dining. The central nursing station will be replaced by nursing cubbies throughout the facility so nurses will be closer to patients.
Mary Sheehan, the CEO of the JACH, said their goal is to continue to provide much-needed end-of-life care for their patients.
“We want to enhance that experience for people,” she said. “I want when you walk through the front door to feel peace and healing and love from this amazing staff.”
So far, thanks to contributions from community members, campaign workers and even hospice staff themselves, the campaign has raised $2,178,629.
The JACH announced plans to expand last year when it discussed the impact of legislation increasing the number of beds allowed at in-patient hospice facilities from 16 to 20. Sheehan suggested to state Rep. Natalie Manley, D-Joliet, that the state expand allowable bed capacity for hospice facilities.
Manley initiated the legislation, which moved quickly though the state House and Senate, where it was sponsored by state Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, D-Shorewood, and was signed into law by Gov. Bruce Rauner in August.
At the campaign launch, Manley talked about the time her own mother was at the JACH before she died.
“The most important thing I can tell you is that she got wonderful, compassionate care here,” Manley said.
According to the JACH, since opening as the state’s first freestanding hospice home in-patient unit in 2004, the community’s need for end-of-life care has outgrown the facility’s capacity. Last year, the Hospice Home cared for over 500 patients, but there were many days when families were told their loved one would be placed on a waiting list to be admitted into the home.
The hospice is hoping to break ground on the expansion April 24.
Anyone interested in supporting the hospice’s campaign can contact Jackie Bersano, the senior director of development, at 815-740-4104 or visit joliethospice.org.