Hospice kicks off building campaign | TheUnion.com

Hospice kicks off building campaign

Rendering courtesy of Tin Cat MediaThe new hospice would have an outdoor patiio and a greenbelt with walking paths for recreation.
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The proposed Hospice of the Foothills facility is now $1 million into the dream, and the public fund-raising campaign is underway.

Hospice officials want to raise an additional $3 million to $3.5 million to complete a campus with 12 patient suites, outpatient services and offices on five acres near Ridge Road and Main Street. The facility just outside of Grass Valley would have a greenbelt walking area and compliment the group’s care currently administered in area homes.

“It’s the most exciting thing we’ve ever done,” said Dennis Fournier, executive director of Hospice of the Foothills. “We’re trying to strike the balance of what will fit into the community and what hospice and patients really need.

“It’s an alternative to what’s currently here,” Fournier said, pointing to overcrowded Hospice conditions on the back end of Meeks Lumber in Grass Valley. “We want caregivers to stay with the patients in a home-like atmosphere. Sometimes there is no caregiver, or the caregiver is exhausted or there isn’t enough room,” to handle a hospice patient and the new suites would provide that.

“It feels like a home and not like a hospital room,” Fournier said of the suites with sitting rooms, a bathroom, bed, sink and storage. “Of course, we would never give up our in-home care.”

Fournier said the facility will be designed by Tom Mullinax of Asheboro, N.C., who has been in involved in building almost 20 hospice and day-care buildings, 30 medical or retirement buildings and 15 others.

Mullinax’s firm is unique in its experience with hospices and its preliminary design directs care onto the patient while leaving room for caregivers to sit.

“We’ll build with local contractors,” Fournier said. “About a year ago we visited hospice homes up and down California to come up with the best designs.”

The second part of the dream starts Oct. with a gala kickoff for the campaign to raise $1.8 million from the community at large. There will also be a special auction for a private wine tasting and tour at Opus 1 Winery in Napa, the Mondavi-Rothschild collaboration, and one week’s stay in a private villa in the central Italian province of Umbria.

Opera singers and a pianist will perform at the gala at the Alta Sierra Country Club. There will be champagne on the deck starting at 5:30 p.m. followed by a five-course dinner with wines. Call 272-5739 for reservations.

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