Building the Dream Capital Campaign

Building the Dream News

The dream is a reality!

The Hospice of the Panhandle Inpatient Facility accepted its first patient on March 31, 2014.

Early that morning, five years of planning and building and many more years of dreaming came to fruition. "Building the Dream" became "Now a Reality."

For inpatient facility director James McDaniel and hospice staff, those last five minutes before the first patient was to arrive were spent checking and double-checking to make sure everything was in place. A softly lit lamp on the end table would welcome the patient into the room. Muted blue and green patterned pillows and a throw sat on the couch that could pull out into a bed for family members. A patchwork quilt runner handcrafted by a local quilters' group sat at the foot of the bed. A gregarious chef had planned a week's worth of home-style meals for him and other patients. A slightly nervous but very well trained staff was at the ready to check on the patient hourly and meet the patient's every need.

And then the patient arrived. In less than half an hour, he was admitted to the comfort of the inpatient facility for two days so that his wife could rest; she had been providing constant care to him for several years. By the end of the day, two more patients would be admitted to the inpatient facility-one for respite care and the other for help with uncontrolled pain.

This was the first day of what will be many years of inpatient hospice care in the Eastern Panhandle.

Hospice of the Panhandle's Inpatient Facility, located on the old W.Va. 9 in Kearneysville, is the only hospice inpatient facility in the Eastern Panhandle. It is designed to help hospice patients in three ways.

First, some hospice patients experience pain and symptoms that cannot be controlled at home. The inpatient unit provides more advanced pain and symptom management. The goal for these patients is to return home with less pain and fewer symptoms.

Recently, Hospice served a patient who was very close to the end of life and struggling with symptoms that the family was unable to manage at home. Now that the Hospice of the Panhandle Inpatient Facility is open, patients with similar symptoms can be transferred to the facility where they can receive more complex hospice care in a homelike setting with their families by their side.

Second, sometimes families and caregivers need a break. They could have been care-giving for a long time and are exhausted. Others are experiencing health issues themselves or need to go out of town for a wedding or other event. In these situations, hospice patients may be admitted to the inpatient unit for three to five days.

For example, a hospice patient had been cared for by her husband for many years. Her husband was devoted to taking care of his wife but suddenly had a health problem requiring emergency care. The hospice social worker had to act fast trying to find placement for the patient. Finding a room in a nursing home was difficult on such short notice, especially since she would only need it for a few days, but there was no other option. Their family lived out of the area, and there was no time to hire additional caregivers. Now that the facility is open, the wife can have respite care for five days, while the husband recovers.

Finally, often a person enters hospice care while in the hospital. Many times this person needs more care than they did prior to going to the hospital. For example, if someone has a severe stroke, they may need more help with bathing, eating, toileting and dressing, etc. than they did prior to the stroke. However, the family needs a little more time to arrange for a caregiver or to make arrangements for the patient to go to a nursing facility. The person may go to the hospice inpatient facility for a few days between the hospital and home or nursing facility.

The inpatient setting offers many homelike qualities, including private patient rooms with a pullout sofa so a patient's family member can room-in, family living rooms, sitting rooms, a child's playroom, a family kitchen, spa and chapel. Outside, gracing the pastoral setting are several gardens, a small pond and even a labyrinth where family members - and the community at large - can take short meditative walks.

This new level of care also has brought growth to Hospice. Twenty-five new staff positions at Hospice of the Panhandle were created as a result of the opening. These positions include registered nurses, hospice aides, social worker, nurse practitioner, housekeeping, dietary and maintenance. Volunteers will be used at the facility to assist with the reception desk, friendly visits, pet therapy, veteran recognition and cookie-baking.

These are exciting times for Hospice of the Panhandle. It's a milestone in providing a new level of care - one we feel very privileged to offer. Many thanks to all of our supporters in the community for helping us realize the dream.

If you or someone you know, might benefit from hospice care-either at home or in the facility, please call Hospice of the Panhandle at 304-264-0406. All people cared for in the inpatient facility must meet Medicare guidelines for Hospice eligibility.

Tours of the New Facilities

Caption for photo at right:
Staff from Heartland of Martinsburg toured Hospice of the Panhandle's new inpatient facility on Wednesday, April 2. 

If you or a group would be interested in arranging a tour of the new inpatient facility and/or office building, please contact Maria Lorensen, development director, at (304) 264-0406, ext. 1225 or

You can help "Build the Dream" for your friends and neighbors!


How to donate:

Download the pledge form or contact Maria Lorensen at (304) 264-0406, ext. 1225 or We also have naming opportunities available.

Building the Dream Pledge Form
Building the Dream Naming Opportunities

The Hospice Inpatient Facility

Inpatient Floor Plan
Inpatient Front View

  • Includes 14 patient rooms, family gathering and dining areas, a family suite, and chapel.
  • Offers short-term pain or symptom management.
  • Provides respite for caregivers overwhelmed with the demands of caring for their loved one.

Consolidated Main Office

Consolidated Main Office Floor Plan

  • Consolidated the four Hospice offices in Berkeley and Jefferson County.
  • Hampshire and Morgan County staff will remain in the office centrally located to their patients.
  • Results in significant cost savings for the organization.