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An artist's rendering of the new St. Mary's Hospice House, located near St. Mary's River State Park in Callaway, and the current state of the construction. (Submitted photo, art)
LEONARDTOWN, Md. (Feb. 5, 2009) -- The new St. Mary's Hospice House is now under roof and awaiting the internal touches, such as walls dividing rooms and finishes to make the house into a warm, comfortable home for terminally ill patients in the last weeks of their lives. The hospice is located on 23 acres of land situated in close proximity to the St. Mary's River State Park in Callaway. The St. Mary's County Commissioners donated the land on Dec. 13, 2005.
Although the six-bedroom house is slated for completion in early summer, Hospice officials say community support is still needed through both monetary donations and in-kind donations of construction materials such as shingles, carpet, tile, appliances and furnishings. Naming opportunities are also available for the building, patient rooms, dining room, kitchen, children's playroom and the bereavement counseling room. Legacy donor opportunities are available for $10,000 to honor a loved one on the Wall of Remembrance.
"It's really going to be a beautiful interior - it will look like a home," said Kathy Franzen, director of Hospice of St. Mary's. "Each room will have a different identity, much like a home, and a big family-style kitchen."
The facility will serve patients typically in the last two to four weeks of life who may no longer be able to receive care in their own homes due to complicated treatment or family constraints. The house will be staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week to meet the needs of patients.
"The house will fill a great need in our community," Franzen said. "People want to come home to die, but family can't always fulfill the demanding role of a 24-hour caregiver."
Hospice of St. Mary's provides care regardless of a patient's ability to pay and the organization relies heavily on fundraising money, noted Franzen.
The Board of Directors of Hospice of St. Mary's, Inc. is planning the creation of an endowment to sustain Hospice House operations. To learn how you can help Hospice of St. Mary's, call 301-475-2023 or visit http://smhwecare.com/hospice/ .