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Ogeechee Area Hospice shows off new rooms
Hosts open house for finished addition
W 040413 HOSPICE 01
Harry Baldwin, manager of the inpatient center at Ogeechee Area Hospice, center, shows examples of memory blankets given to veterans as he gives a tour of the new facilities during Thursday's open house. The hospice has added a community conference room in addition to the 13-bed inpatient center. Residential care services will now be provided in the originally-built area of the building. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff

    Proud supporters of the Ogeechee Area Hospice gathered Thursday to unveil a project more than two years in the making.
    The non-profit hosted an open house event to showcase a $3 million, 10,000 square-foot expansion to its facility at the corner of Donehoo and Inman Streets in Downtown Statesboro — on land once occupied by the historic Bulloch Memorial Hospital.
    Hospice staff provided public tours of the 13-bed inpatient facility that has been under construction since fall of 2011.
    “We are so proud. We think this addition is going to be a wonderful resource for the community,” said Nancy Bryant, Executive Director of the Ogeechee Area Hospice. “We’ve built 13 more rooms for hospice patients near the end of life. We feel like it is going to be a wonderful resource now and well into the future. It is a peaceful place, a homelike place, and a state-of-the-art medical facility.”
    The addition will be utilized for patients under the home-level of care, who may not have a family member in the home that is able to care for their needs when hospice staff is not present, Bryant said.
    Staff at the hospice will provide “residential hospice care,” she said — around-the-clock care provided for patients who want to live the remainder of their days in a home-like setting. 
    The expansion was funded entirely with community donations.
    “We raised $2.2 million for this project in just a seven month period. Businesses and individuals contributed,” Bryant said. “We have received great support. We could not have done this without our community.”
    The 13 new beds will add to 12 short-term rooms already used at the hospice.
    With completion of the expansion, Ogeechee Area Hospice will become the
second inpatient facility in Georgia with beds devoted to patients who need residential hospice care, according to Bryant. It is estimated that more than 100 people each year may choose residential hospice care, she said. More than 200 patients per year currently utilize the short-term care rooms.
    When the hospice begins accepting its first patients for the expansion — in about one month, Bryant said — it will also welcome 16 new employees. The group will include nursing personnel and dietary staff.
    Land for the addition was donated to the Ogeechee Area Hospice by Bulloch County.

  Jeff Harrison may be reached at (912) 489-9454.

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