The History of Niagara Hospice
Niagara Hospice began its grassroots movement in 1980 when the Reverend Robert Cook of the Town of Tonawanda gathered a group of concerned citizens, including co-founder and current Hospice Board Member Patricia Evans, to discuss the feasibility of developing a hospice program for Niagara County.
As a result of that first meeting the first board of directors was formed in 1984 and the organization became incorporated as an Educational Association. In 1986 a Certificate of Need was presented to the New York State Department of Health by then board President Patricia Evans and in June 1988, Niagara Hospice was licensed to serve its first home care patients. In that year, the agency served 89 patients with an average daily census of five patients.
1980 – On December 11, the first gathering of individuals interested in developing a hospice in Niagara County took place at the Payne Ave. Christian Church at corner of Payne Ave. and Wheatfield St. in N. Tonawanda
1981 – Formation and first meeting of Adhoc Committee to develop a hospice in Niagara County
1982 – Niagara Hospice Educational Association, Inc. was incorporated on October 20
1984 – Niagara Hospice Educational Association established offices at the old air base in Cambria; the first Board of Directors is formed
1986 – A Certificate of Need is presented to the NYSDOH (New York State Department of Health) by then board President, Patricia Evans
1987 – On November 30, a Certificate of Amendment was filed to change the name of the corporation to Niagara Hospice, Inc.; all necessary policies and procedures developed by newly hired first CEO, Martin Jackson
1988 – In June, Niagara Hospice, Inc. was licensed to serve its first home care patients
1990 – Hospice offices moved to what is affectionately called, “The little house on the prairie” – a small ranch house near the air base in Cambria
1991 – Headquarters was moved to the Colonel Payne School building in North Tonawanda
1996 – In February, the newly built Sunset Drive administrative building opened under the leadership of Carol Gettings, CEO
1999 – On June 1, Niagara Hospice received accreditation on June 1 from the Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC)
2000 – Current Niagara Hospice CEO, John Lomeo, is hired in August
2001 – Camp Hope was established as the first bereavement camp for children in Western New York
2002 – Niagara Hospice established a Pet Visit Volunteer program
2004 – In December, the $3 million “Wings of Serenity” campaign was launched to build Niagara Hospice House.
2005 – In September, the Niagara Hospice Pharmacy Practice residence program was accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. It is the first pharmacy practice with emphasis in home care based in a hospice to receive accreditation in the nation.
2006 – In May, construction of Niagara Hospice House began on the Niagara Hospice campus on Sunset Drive in the Town of Lockport.
2007 – On June 5, the first patients were admitted to Niagara Hospice House.
2010 – In February, Niagara Hospice opened two additional residential suites at Hospice House, bringing the total to 10 residential and 10 general in-patient.
2012 – In March, Hospice at Jeanne’s House – a Northgate and Niagara Hospice Collaboration began serving residents in need of both 24-hour skilled nursing and hospice services. Notably the only collaboration of its kind in New York State at the time.
2013 – May 10, Niagara Hospice and the Schoellkopf Health Center announced a new partnership to open a dedicated hospice unit on the Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center campus. David’s Path is named for David Winker, a beloved Memorial Medical Center employee who spent his final days surrounded by family members while being cared for at Niagara Hospice House.
2014 – Niagara Hospice received accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC). Accreditation is a voluntary activity in which health care organizations submit to peer review of their internal policies, processes and patient care delivery against national standards. By attaining accreditation, the organization demonstrated its commitment to maintain the highest level of excellence in its services and customer satisfaction.
2014 – May 28, David’s Path renovation was completed and a dedication took place at Schoellkopf Health Center.
2017 – In April, Niagara Hospice received renewed accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC); June – Niagara Hospice House celebrates 10 years of service; July – Niagara Hospice House residential wing named in honor of Paul Beatty, Sr. “Paul R. Beatty, Sr. Residential Suites.”
2018 – On June 5, Niagara Hospice commemorated its 30th anniversary, having served more than 25,000 Niagara County residents and their families.
2018 – In September, the 10th annual Niagara Hospice Dash 5K fundraiser was held in Youngstown, N.Y. with more than 1,500 runners participating.
2018 – In November, the Niagara County Legislature issued a proclamation for National Hospice Month and the 30th anniversary of Niagara Hospice.
2020 – In May, the Niagara Hospice House converted four of its 10 general inpatient suites into negative pressure suites to accommodate patients with infections.
2020 – Niagara Hospice received its renewed accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC), making it the only hospice in Western New York to attain this distinction. Accreditation is a voluntary activity in which health care organizations submit to peer review of their internal policies, processes and patient care delivery against national standards. By attaining accreditation, the organization continues to demonstrate its commitment to maintaining the highest level of excellence in services and customer satisfaction.
2021 – On June 4, the New York State Department of Health approved the Niagara Hospice expansion project to add six residential patient suites to the Niagara Hospice House at 4675 Sunset Drive in Lockport. The $2 million facility project will bring to total, 16 residential suites. Niagara Hospice House opened in June 2007 as a state-of-the-art facility that has been the model of hospice facilities throughout the country.
2022 – On December 14, the Niagara Hospice House new residential wing with 6 additional suites opened and admitted the first Niagara County patient.
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