This originally appeared in the February 26th edition of The Hattiesburg American.
Asbury Hospice House nearing completion
"A little more than a year after construction began at Asbury Hospice House, the building is up, the roof is on, and stone work is underway.
And in a few short months, officials expect to open the doors on the facility, a joint venture of Forrest General Hospital and Forrest General Healthcare Foundation designed to provide end-of-life care.
"We're right on schedule," said Martha Dearman, executive director of the Forrest General Healthcare Foundation. "Mac's Construction has been great, and we couldn't be more pleased.
"They've got the interior work to do, which it's great that they have gotten the outside work done because now we're heading into the rainy part of the year, and we won't be experiencing delays because they'll be working on the interior of the building."
Site work for the facility began in June 2014 adjacent to the Hattiesburg Post Office off South 40th Avenue, on a 5-acre parcel of land donated by Susan and John Thomsonof Hattiesburg. The hospice is expected to open in early fall, and will serve 19 counties across South Mississippi, including Forrest, Lamar, Marion and Perry.
The facility will feature 12 patient rooms, a family dining area, canteen, chapel, counseling room and outdoor garden, with the around-the-clock staff treating physical, medical, emotional, social and spiritual needs of patients.
"We're just excited because this is such a needed service in our community, and it's going to make a big difference," Dearman said. "So many people in our community, at the end of their life, want to be able to receive hospice care, but they do not have the caregivers at their home to be able to help make that a reality.
"By building a hospice house, those that are wanting to have hospice care will be able to do it by being admitted into a home-like setting. We'll be able to take care of them and keep them comfortable, and be able to provide them with respect and dignity."
The project has received several boosts from donors along the way to help meet its $5 million goal, including $1.5 million from the Asbury Foundation of Hattiesburg; $200,000 from employees of South Mississippi Home Health Foundation and Deaconess Home Care and Hospice; and more than $700,000 from Forrest General Hospital.
“I am amazed by the outpouring of generosity from our community donors as well as that of our own employees," said Troy Daniels, Forrest General Healthcare Foundation board member and chief human resources officer. "Forrest General employees have given well over $500,000 toward the Asbury Hospice House, and there will be a wing dedicated in their honor.
“(This) began as a three-year project, but we’ve been able to finish in two years because our community recognized the great need for this facility in Hattiesburg. I am grateful to be part this legacy of providing people nearing the ends of their lives with dignity and high-quality healthcare.”
At a glance
Asbury Hospice House
The hospice, which is under construction off of South 40th Avenue in Hattiesburg, is designed to provide end-of-life care to patients.
Set to open in early fall, the facility will feature 12 patient rooms, a family dining area, canteen, chapel, counseling room and outdoor garden. The around-the-clock staff will treat physical, medical, emotional, social and spiritual needs of patients.
For more information, call Forrest General Healthcare Foundation at (601) 288-4396."