The Hospice of North Central Ohio (HNCO) will affiliate with Hospice of Western Reserve, also located in the Buckeye state. Financial terms were undisclosed.
The HNCO board of directors signed a letter of intent to enter into a Management Services Agreement with Western Reserve for 90 days. In the interim, a diligence process will be underway as the two organizations plan to combine.
“Hospice of the Western Reserve is one of the leading nonprofit hospice agencies in the nation and shares our values for patient and family care,” Mary Knowlton, HCNO’s board president, said in a statement. “The board, including our founder Ruth [Lindsey], believe this to be the best opportunity to ensure the communities we serve continue to have access to the highest level of care.”
Headquartered in Cleveland, the nonprofit Hospice of the Western Reserve serves more than 1,200 patients daily across nine counties throughout northern Ohio, providing palliative care and hospice to adult and pediatric patients. The organization is a subsidiary of Western Reserve Care Solutions.
Western Reserve merged with the Hospice of Medina County in 2015, and the combined organization continues to offer services under both brands. In 2022, Western Reserve acquired Stein Hospice in Sandusky, Ohio.
HNCO, also a nonprofit, serves seven Ohio counties, which will expand Western Reserve’s 16-county footprint.
The decision to affiliate was spurred by a range of economic factors, including intensified competition in HNCO’s service region, as well as a need to “stabilize and ultimately grow the organization,” according to a press release.
Post-affiliation, Western Reserve’s Director of Palliative Care Joan Hanson will be appointed interim executive director of HNCO. Before joining the organization, she had served as executive director at New Life Hospice where she led an $11 million hospice program with more than 80 full-time employees.
“This strategic alliance signifies not just a collaboration of organizations, but a dedication to enhancing the landscape of exceptional end-of-life care,” Bill Finn, president and CEO of Hospice of the Western Reserve. “Together, we embark on a journey of continued support, ensuring that every individual and their loved ones continue to receive the highest caliber of care.”