End-of-life care is an extremely difficult time, not just for the person battling a terminal illness but for family that surrounds them. For years Hospice of North Idaho has dedicated itself to compassionate and professional end-of-life care for all without regard to a person’s ability to pay.
Corporate partners, individual donors and Hospice’s annual Wine Taste event help cover operational costs at the Schneidmiller House, a 24-hour in-patient care facility owned and operated by Hospice of North Idaho. As the population continues to age, rooms are becoming a little harder to come by, but a generous donation will help alleviate some of that burden.
Hospice of North Idaho Executive Director Kim Ransier announced that the nonprofit recently received a sizable contribution of $150,000 from Kootenai Health. The generous gift will support the cost of expanding the Schneidmiller House. A $20,000 portion of the gift will help support the Wine Taste annual fundraiser for three years, with Kootenai Health as presenting sponsor.
“With this donation, Hospice of North Idaho and Kootenai Health are ensuring that our community receives the best care, at the right time, in the right place,” added Ransier.
Idaho's only Hospice inpatient unit, the Schneidmiller House requires expansion to meet community need. It currently offers 14 private rooms and operates at an 85 percent capacity on average, meaning that the unit is in high demand. Additionally, population growth statistics forecast an astounding 30.8 percent growth increase from 2016 through 2026 in population age 65 and older.
Adding seven rooms with about 5,000 square feet will accommodate current and future needs for end-of-life care in North Idaho. The Schneidmiller House provides care for patients needing 24-hour clinical support in a home-like setting. Each room offers direct access to a back patio and beautiful and calming garden space. There is a shared kitchen for families to prepare home-cooked meals and a family media room for children. There is an on-site prayer room and counseling staff for both adults and children. The layout creates a calm setting that feels more like a home than a hospital.
“Kootenai Health and Hospice of North Idaho have a long history of working together. We are both nonprofit organizations with a common goal of ensuring people in Northern Idaho can receive the care they need, close to home,” said Kim Anderson, spokesperson for Kootenai Health. “We understand the need these new rooms will fill for families in our community, and we are proud to be able to support Hospice of North Idaho in this way.”
Hospice of North Idaho built the original unit in Coeur d’Alene in 2011, and it is the only in-patient unit of its kind in Idaho.
Funding the expansion is also supported by the community, who raised $51,000 during the Hospice’s annual fundraiser. The Hospice Wine Taste paddle raise focused on raising funds to furnish the seven-room expansion with supplies, furniture and equipment.
In the future, with current population growth, timely access to the inpatient unit for end-of-life care could have been much more difficult.
“The donations from our community—and especially Kootenai Health—allow us to meet the needs of our community,” said Cindy Reed, Hospice nurse and Schneidmiller House director. “We will always be growing to meet the need.”
While more than 90 percent of the care Hospice of North Idaho provides is at patients’ homes, the Schneidmiller House is available to patients in emergent conditions. “These patients are often fragile, under stress and experiencing complicated medical challenges that only specialized Hospice clinicians can address,” explained Reed.
Earlier this year, Hospice once again led the state in its health-care innovations. The nonprofit built a two-story Community Building alongside the Schneidmiller House inpatient unit, establishing the 6-acre Coeur d’Alene property as Idaho’s only Hospice Campus.
“In our nearly 40 years of community care, Hospice of North Idaho has consistently listened and responded to meet the community’s needs,” said Hospice Director of Communication Denna Grangaard.
Hospice of North Idaho ranks in the top 100 hospices in the nation and earned national Hospice Honors awards three years in a row. Its care is backed by the Joint Commission; the nations’ most established accrediting organization. Hospice of North Idaho is proven to deliver the highest quality of care as measured by caregivers in Kootenai, Shoshone and Benewah counties.
The expansion will open up additional space so that Hospice of North Idaho can continue its mission of offering the most professional and compassionate end-of-life care in North Idaho.
For those looking to make an impact in their community, volunteer opportunities are available at the Schneidmiller House as well. Volunteer caregivers spend time with patients often reading, conversing, helping keep their room tidy or running a few errands. Front desk greeters answer phones, welcome visitors, help direct people to resources, and engage in conversation with families and friends.
For more information on volunteer opportunities, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 208.772.7994.