Serving the North Idaho community, patients and families since 1981
By Jillian Chandler
It was 39 years ago when the Panhandle Health District received a grant from the federal government to start a nonprofit hospice here in Coeur d’Alene—Hospice of North Idaho. Shortly afterward, the first Hospice of North Idaho Board of Directors was formed by several community leaders, and since day one of opening their doors, Hospice of North Idaho and its dedicated staff has been caring for those most vulnerable in our local communities.
Hospice of North Idaho provides community palliative care, hospice and grief support to Kootenai, Shoshone and Benewah counties, and since its inception, the staff and its board members have stayed true to their mission, developing individual plans of care with each patient and family to assure their wishes are met with dignity, understanding and peace.
“We provide such a needed service for people in a very vulnerable and sacred time of their lives, with expert nurses, social workers and care aides,” says Kim Ransier, Hospice of North Idaho’s executive director. “To walk with someone through a peaceful death is truly an inspiring and humbling experience.”
The only locally owned nonprofit hospice in the state of Idaho, Hospice of North Idaho (HONI) also provides the only in-patient hospice unit in the state—the Schneidmiller House. It has recently been expanded to now provide 21 beds for those patients needing intensive pain or symptom management during their end-of-life journey.
“We believe in the hospice philosophy of walking beside our patients and families assuring a peaceful, compassionate end-of-life journey,” states Kim. The caring team at HONI provides support services for those dealing with grief and loss from young children to seniors, through our support groups and one-on-one counseling. In addition, Hospice of North Idaho provides spiritual care for patients and families, community and facility education, a caregiver support program, outreach engagements and volunteer opportunities.
This crucial work is made possible due to the community’s unwavering support, as well as the important relationships with area chambers and health-care facilities in all three counties, allowing Hospice of North Idaho to be the leading the way throughout the community for end-of-life education. Hospice’s Community Building, built in 2018, provides a wonderful opportunity for businesses and the community to gather and utilize the event space. You can also stop by one of the Hospice Thrift Stores, in which proceeds benefit Hospice’s mission to help the communities they serve.
Hospice of North Idaho employs 135 staff members, who are all encouraged to volunteer in the community and do so in a variety of capacities, whether it be religious organizations, crisis intervention and other service organizations, or volunteering at the local animal shelter. Employees donate food items to the food bank bin, and as an organization, they donate between 40 and 60 pounds of food each week!
In addition to their staff, Hospice of North Idaho has a large volunteer force of more than 200 who help in areas such as front desk reception at the Schneidmiller House, working at their thrift stores, providing pet therapy dogs to patients and staff, patient companionship, spiritual care, veteran recognition, administrative help, landscape maintenance of their beautiful grounds and more, in addition to various special projects throughout the year—including their Camp Kaniksu youth grief camp and the Annual Hospice Wine Taste and Auction Fundraiser. (Mark your calendars for the 36th annual Wine Taste event to take place February 6, 2021, and secure your tickets early at HospiceofNorthIdaho.org/wine-taste. You can also purchase a raffle ticket toward a $4,995 travel voucher that can also be redeemed for cash! This is their largest annual fundraising event, and it sells out early every year!)
After nearly three decades of guiding their patients and families with understanding, dignity and peace through a loved one’s end-of-life journey, Hospice of North Idaho is a blessing to all in the community and beyond. As Kim shares: “We never forget what an honor it is to be with someone through their very personal journey. We are thankful for the communities we serve and the support we receive.”
Hospice of North Idaho
2290 West Prairie Avenue
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho 83815