Inpatient Centers Open, Expand at Hudson Valley Hospice, Granite VNA

Hudson Valley Hospice Opens New Inpatient Center

New York-based Hudson Valley Hospice has opened a new inpatient facility that will serve two counties in its home state.

The center opened in December and is located on a seven-acre property in Hyde Park, New York. The facility features 14 patient rooms with private bathrooms and accommodations for family overnight stays, each with doors that open to a meditative garden.

Adult and pediatric patients are eligible to receive care at the Hudson Valley Hospice House, which has a fully-staffed kitchen, dining and gathering areas, and a spa with a hydrotherapy tub.


Establishing a hospice in the region has been “years overdue” to address unmet, complex and growing end-of-life care needs among the community/patients and families, according to Michael Kaminski, president and CEO of Hudson Valley Hospice.

“We are extremely proud that the Hudson Valley Hospice project team was able to successfully secure approvals, design, plan, build, equip and furnish this wonderful gift to the communities in Dutchess and Ulster Counties in a relatively short time frame,” Kaminski said in a statement. “But the real success of this project comes from our staff of compassionate professionals providing comfort and freedom from pain and anxiety to our patients during their final days. Patients who otherwise would be housed in facilities ill-equipped to correctly handle the complexities of end-of-life care.”

The hospice anticipates serving more than 1,000 patients and families at the facility each year.


Hudson Valley offers hospice and palliative care, along with music and pet therapy, reiki, a veterans program and end-of-life doula services. The hospice serves more than 620 patients across two New York counties that stretch along the Hudson River.

Sunset Hospice Cottage Reopens Facility After Temporary Closure

Sunset Hospice Cottage recently reopened its inpatient center after a temporary closure due to staffing shortages.

The facility features four patient rooms and is located in Worthington, Minnesota. The hospice is operated in partnership with Sanford Health. The health system shuttered services at the hospice in November for a 25-day period, citing insufficient staffing volumes.

The inpatient center has since reopened with the addition of two clinicians to its ranks, a move towards improving clinical capacity, according to Susanne Murphy, board member of Sunset Hospice Cottage. She is also a volunteer and new patient liaison at the hospice.

“The hospice cottage has been our baby since day 1 and it continues to be, because the community supports it,” Murphy told local news. “Closing the doors was the toughest decision we’ve ever seen around here. It wasn’t the board’s decision.”

The hospice has plans in the works to hire additional full-time part-time clinicians in order to have balanced 24/7 patient coverage among staff, Murphy indicated.

“We’re heading in the right direction,” Leah Palm, supervisor at the inpatient center, said.

Established in 2001, Sunset Hospice Cottage is a nonprofit provider with one inpatient location in Minnesota. Nursing staff at Sanford Health’s hospital system also provide care at the facility.

Iowa’s Lee County Health Department Debates Continued Hospice Support

The Lee County Health Department (LCHD) in Iowa is mulling the potential of scaling back or discontinuing its hospice and home health services, citing ongoing financial pressures and concerns about heated competition in the space.

The health department cited a $250,000 year-over-year deficit in costs tied to home health and hospice services.

The deficit is at the crux of the debate to discontinue or reduce funding for these services, according to Garry Seyb, chairman of Lee County Health’s board of supervisors.

“In that specific service, that [spending] was the concern,” Seyb in local news coverage of a recent board meeting. “And maybe that service, rather than being discontinued, needs to be scaled back greatly, or needs to have additional attention to the budgetary line or funding that’s provided for it. But the service would still be there.”

LCHD is based in Fort Madison, Iowa, and provides hospice and home health across four counties statewide, along with two others in Illinois. Its home-based services include skilled nursing, personal care and homemaking, among others.

Seyb is among other LCHD board members with rising concern about involvement in the hospice and home health amid a growing mix of competing operators in the space. Some do not think the health department “should be engaged in business that competes with private for-profit companies,” according to Seyb.

The county’s health department is in the process of budget discussions, including funding for hospice and home health services, among others, according to Seyb.

Granite VNA to Expand Facility in New Hampshire

New Hampshire-based Granite VNA plans to renovate one of its office locations to include space for community education programming. 

Once complete, the additional space at its location in ​​Laconia, New Hampshire, will be used to increase access and awareness to community health services.

The expansion will allow the visiting nurse association to improve understanding, and hopefully utilization, of various health care services upstream and downstream of hospice, according to Beth Slepian, president and CEO at Granite VNA.

“The renovation project will give us more space to offer preventative wellness programs and bereavement support groups,” Slepian said in an announcement.

Granite VNA provides hospice, home health and pediatric and maternal care to roughly 82 communities in southern New Hampshire.

The expansion was in part fueled by a $10,000 grant from the Merrimack County Savings Bank to help support its Community Engagement and Benefit Initiative.  

“Granite VNA is New Hampshire’s largest home health and hospice provider, so it’s crucial we show our support,” said Linda Lorden, president of the bank.

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