Home-Like Hospice Care Returns to Monroe County
Monroe County Hospice House reopens to the community
BY NINA ACE
Following a groundswell of support, a beloved hospice care option in East Stroudsburg recently reopened. It provides Pocono-area residents who need intensive end-of-life care a home-like setting that’s nearby to family and friends.
Monroe County Hospice House, the only stand-alone facility for inpatient hospice care, located at 412 E. Brown St. in East Stroudsburg, features six inpatient rooms with private bathrooms and a view of a peaceful private garden patio. Hospice House, which closed in 2018, returned as a treasured community resource in September 2019 with continued support from a Community Advisory Committee that rallied for community philanthropic fund-ing through multiple fundraisers, including restaurant donations, a choral concert, fashion show and telethon.
“Although most patients choose to remain in their homes when receiving hospice services, there are times when the disease progression makes it no longer feasible for care to be provided in any other setting than an inpatient facility,” says Elizabeth Wise, president, Lehigh Valley Hospital (LVH)–Pocono. “If that need arises, our dedicated Hospice House will ensure that we can continue providing physical, social, spiritual and emotional care for patients and their families during the last stages of life.”
Caring for patients, families
Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) offers a full scope of hospice and palliative care, with the majority of care provided in a patient’s home. However, when symptoms or pain can no longer be managed without intensive intervention, that’s where Hospice House comes in. Hospice House also offers short-term accommodations, supporting families who need brief respite care.
“The intent is to wrap yourself around the patient and their families. The patient is often already at peace with this decision by the time we see them,” says George McCracken, LVHN administrator for Home Health Services. “We believe that being home is the best option, but sometimes the definition of home changes. We want to provide care to our patients in the most appropriate yet comfortable and supportive setting.”
Today, tomorrow and always
The Community Advisory Committee, in cooperation with LVH–Pocono Foundation, has raised more than $220,000 to support Hospice House and continues to seek philanthropic support through a fund called “Hospice House – Today, Tomorrow & Always.” Additional fundraisers are scheduled to continue providing financial support to Hospice House.
“The Advisory Committee and our community are committed to ensuring the long-term future of high-quality, inpatient care at Hospice House,” says Mark Primrose, chair, Community Advisory Committee. “We are grateful for generous philanthropic support that allows us to resume inpatient hospice services at Monroe County Hospice House.”