ROCKINGHAM —Reaching out and helping others is a staple of the hospice community, and starting this week, Richmond County Hospice will be doing just that as it prepares to add onto its medical campus.
Referred to as a “homegrown organization,” RCH broke ground Thursday morning for its new Hospice Haven facility at 1119 North US Highway 1 in Rockingham.
In attendance to celebrate the momentous occasion were RCH employees, community members, County Commissioner Don Bryant and Board President Neal Watkins, among others.
The new addition comes as the result of years of planning by CEO Kristina Leyden and her staff.
In June 2012, when Leyden began working at RCH, the residential hospice facility was shut down due to the need for more hospital-level care for patients. Leyden was tasked with opening the doors back up as a general inpatient facility. In order to fulfill the project, more patient and storage space were needed.
The project received partial funding in 2016, but obtained the rest earlier this year. Richmond Community Foundation and The Cole Foundation awarded a $300,000 grant to fund the building of Hospice Haven.
“We are so grateful for them for giving us this chance to be able to add on and provide more space for our families,” Leyden said.
Stogner Architecture was hired to create the plans for the new facility, which will be carried out by Hawks Builders, both of which are located in Rockingham.
In going from a six-bed center to a more accommodating building, RCH will be able to offer its patients many new state-of-the-art amenities to make their stay more comfortable. One of the new features is an ambulance-accessible drop off with an awning overhang, which will provide better care and offer more privacy.
The addition will also have an in-house laundry room, janitorial storage, a large food pantry, and most importantly, the necessary storage space for a medical supply closet. Being able to store large quantities of supplies and durable medical equipment (wheelchairs, walkers, IV poles) will allow RCH to give its patients better care and make the campus an overall better place.
Leyden hopes that this new wing will provide quality hospice care to local families who need it, while also positively impacting the community.
“We have a large campus,” Leyden said. “Eventually, we want to provide more services here to help the community, and help people to age and place in Richmond County. This is just the beginning, and we want to take care of our patients.”