February 3, 2020

The Future Of Inpatient Hospice In Northern Colorado

Those of us who work in hospice often say that hospice is not a place, but rather an approach to care that travels to wherever our patients live. Hospice team members can visit as frequently as daily if needed, but sometimes patients experience a symptom crisis that needs more intensive management in an inpatient setting. This level of hospice care is referred to as General Inpatient, or “GIP”.

GIP can be provided in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) or in hospitals that contract with hospices to do so, and some hospices have their own inpatient units. For nearly 19 years, Pathways has leased a 6-bed inpatient unit known as Pathways Hospice Care Center (PHCC) from McKee Medical Center in Loveland. While we are proud of the excellent care we have provided to thousands of patients and families at PHCC and are grateful for the close collaboration with our colleagues at McKee, this 6-bed unit is simply too small to sustainably meet the community’s growing need for inpatient hospice care.  Last year there were many days when every bed at PHCC was full, with additional patients queued up waiting for a bed. We believe the words “hospice” and “waitlist” should never be in the same sentence.

The Colorado State Demographer predicts that the population of Northern Colorado will more than double by 2050. Over the next 20 years, in Larimer County alone, the population of those age 65 and older will grow by 140 percent. We have already seen the impact of this growth as the number of patients we care for each year has been growing consistently by 10 – 15 percent annually.

The need for Northern Colorado to have a freestanding inpatient care center is clear.  The time to build it is now.

Pathways is in the advanced planning stages to build a homelike Inpatient Care Center (ICC) on our 3-acre campus a few miles west of I-25 on Highway 392, centrally located within Larimer and Weld Counties. The Pathways ICC will provide the highest level of care in a tranquil, beautiful space intentionally built for this purpose.  We are grateful for our continued partnership with McKee Medical Center and will continue to operate PHCC throughout the design and construction of the new building.

Every one of the 12 rooms (with room to expand in the future) will be large enough to accommodate groups of visitors and allow loved ones to comfortably stay overnight. There will be access to outdoor garden spaces where even bedbound patients will be able to enjoy the outdoors from the comfort of their own bed.  We will have a spacious lobby; a welcoming chapel; spaces for quiet reflection; a large communal kitchen and dining area; and much more.

For more information on this exciting project and how you can help, please visit: pathways-care.org/CapitalCampaign

Katherine Stahla

Katherine Stahla
Katherine Stahla is a reporter covering business, real estate, agriculture and energy in Northern Colorado. Katherine loves covering stories that matter to communities all across the state. Katherine also likes making videos supplementing the news, and fun short films on the side.

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