With its initial $8 million fundraising goal nearly reached, one of the area’s largest health systems will soon open the doors of its newest facility in Bon Air.
Bon Secours’ Bon Air Community Hospice House, the organization’s first free-standing hospice facility, is set for a June opening.
The 19,000-square-foot 16-bed hospice house is located near Robious and Old Bon Air roads. It is meant to cater to terminally ill patients that need hospital care, while mimicking a home environment. Each room, for example, opens onto a small patio with a pathway to a large central garden.
Dr. William Anderson of Bon Secours Hospice said that many hospice patients prefer to stay at home, but circumstances sometimes force them into hospital care.
“The hospice house is a place where someone can get hospital-level care without being in a hospital setting,” Anderson said. “You can go to a place with a higher ability to address physical problems, and yet you can still be in a calm, peaceful, home-like setting.”
Construction is winding down at the facility, but Bon Secours has not finalized its specific June opening date. Loughridge Construction is the general contractor.
The facility sits on a 6-acre plot donated to Bon Secours by John Cullather and Anthony Markel.
Work began on the facility in late 2013, and the health system has been fundraising since 2010. Wendy Pestrue, Bon Secours senior development officer, said the group now has enough money to finish construction, but it is a little short of the $8 million goal. Bon Secours is still taking donations for the hospice house.
Pestrue said standard operational costs should be covered through insurance reimbursements, but she hopes to continue to raise about $1.5 million annually for the facility.
“Yes, we have the house finished, but there will never be a day when there won’t be someone who needs hospice care,” Pestrue said. “We want to have funds to take care of those cases in which they have no place to go and they have no money.”
Pestrue said the extra fundraising dollars will also go toward ongoing programs that help with patient wellbeing, such as a program that will ensure a patient’s pet is taken care of while he or she is in the hospice house.
Major donors on the project included Kyle Woolfolk, Richmond Memorial Health Foundation, Cabell Foundation, Mary Morton Parsons Foundation, Sheltering Arms, E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, Dominion, the estate of William B. and Barbara Thalhimer, the Congregation of Bon Secours, and the Amy and Charles Millhiser Endowment.