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Ray Hickey Hospice House

2112 E Mill Plain Blvd
Vancouver, WA 98661

The Ray Hickey Hospice House offers local families an alternative home-like environment where loved ones may receive end-of-life care. The center includes 20 private rooms where patient families can visit day and night. Some overnight accommodations are also available for family members.

Other Hospice House features include a family space where relatives and friends can gather to share a special meal or watch a movie together and simply relax. The facility also offers a quiet sanctuary/spiritual center for personal introspection and peaceful meditation. Patients and their loved ones will also be encouraged to express themselves through the use of art at the center’s art and activities room.

Hospice staff wanted the building to be as warm and inviting as possible, so when you’re here you take ownership of the space. It’s a calm, serene atmosphere, but it’s also a place where you can kick up your feet and have dinner with the family.

The Hospice House Journey Home campaign is one the most popular fundraising campaigns in the history of the Medical Center Foundation. Major donors, including former Tidewater Barge owner, Ray Hickey and the late Marj Sumption (a Medical Center Library volunteer) ensured that the project would be built.

Other significant contributions include $100,000 from Friends of Hospice, $65,000 from the former Southwest Auxiliary and $50,000 from employees of PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center.

The Hospice House project has also inspired others to give of their time and talents. Local interior designer, Susan Lee, volunteered hundreds of hours planning the interior spaces. In addition, Vancouver physician, Berle Stratton, MD, donated dozens of nature landscape photographs for the project.

Ray Hickey and his family donated $1.5 million toward the project in 2002, ensuring its construction. After some significant arm twisting, Mr. Hickey agreed to lend his name to the facility this spring. The former Tidewater Barge Lines owner is one of the region’s leading philanthropists, having supported a number of projects benefiting communities up and down the Columbia River.

The late Marj Sumption bequeathed $800,000 to the project. Mrs. Sumption had served as a volunteer in the Medical Center's Library for many years. Her own battle with cancer was the driving force behind her desire to see that dying with dignity was available to anyone.

Studies by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization demonstrate that 80% of Americans would like to die at home, but only 25% have that opportunity. Last year Hospice Southwest provided home-based hospice care for 961 people, but there was still a need for high-quality inpatient hospice care in a home-like setting. The demand for these services is expected to increase as Clark County’s population continues to grow and age.

Last year approximately one fourth of the patients served by Hospice Southwest were cared for outside of their homes. For many of these patients, in-home care is not possible. Yet care can now potentially be provided in a setting that is more home-like and better suited to their needs.

“Feelings about quality of life are unique to all of us. We hope to improve each hospice patient’s quality of life through the care we provide. The Hospice House offers families the space, services and support they need to stay connected with their loved ones during their final days together,” said Sandford Plant, MD, Medical Director, Hospice Southwest. The Ray Hickey Hospice House opened in May, 2004.

The Foundation continues to raise funds for operations and to support those patients without the financial resources to pay for care. For more information on how you can help, please contact the PeaceHealth Southwest Foundation at 360-514-3106.

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