Plans for New Hospice Home

Fundraising is officially underway for metro Valdosta's first hospice house for terminally ill patients. It may be long overdue, but caregivers say the medical facility will make a huge difference for both patients and their families.

Until now, terminally ill patients could only receive the best medical care at South Georgia Medical Center, but the area's first hospice house is in the works, giving those patients an alternative.

Susan Cherry, Valdosta Hospice Director, says, "This hospice house will be designed to provide a very high level of care for people in the final stages of their life who need around the clock nursing care but desire to be in a home-like environment."

Family members of former hospice patients say a hospice house is a major help for those terminal patients.

Pam Foley, the daughter of a former hospice patient, says, "He was about family and wanting all his family with him, and at the hospital that just can't be. There has to be rules and regulations. There are other patients there. Now, hospice house can preserve that home-like setting."

Now, the Hospice Advisory Board of South Georgia got the whole project kick started with a $25,000 check, and hospice officials say it will go to help pay for one room in the 16 room Hospice Home.

Leaders say this facility will be designed for growth and expansion.

"We anticipate that the need will grow and we are designing it so we can add additional rooms very easily to the original plan."

Meaning this hospice home will provide a safe, comfortable environment for seriously ill patients for many years to come.

The final price tag is over $1 million, and hospice directors are hoping for a major donor to come forward to help get this project done quickly.