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Supporters celebrate Murray hospice construction

BY BECCA SCHIMMEL rschimmel@paducahsun.com

MURRAY — Recent rain didn’t dampen the spirit of staff members and supporters Thursday as they held a groundbreaking ceremony for the Anna Mae Owen Residential Hospice House at Westside Baptist Church.

The event was moved inside the church, down the road from the site of the future acute care facility, due to the wet weather.

The hospice house will be a home-like setting for family and friends to visit while loved ones facing end-of-life scenarios receive quality care.

“Today we stand on the brink of the largest philanthropic project ever undertaken by the hospital,” said Keith Travis, vice president of development for Murray-Calloway County Hospital.

Over the course of the past six years, they raised $3.5 million through donations, grants and fundraisers. No hospital funds were used.

“Although today is but a snapshot in time, this is a remarkable moment,” said Jerry Penner, hospital CEO. “It denotes our promise to continue to move this project forward.”

The house is an extension of the existing hospice program at the hospital. The facility will allow for a maximum of six patients but will be built for future expansion.

The Anna Mae Owen Residential Hospice House will include private rooms with private baths, a memory garden, private patios for each patient room, kitchen, family room, laundry facilities and a family conference room.

“This hospice house means that we will be able to care for people who are on that very difficult journey at the end of their lives in a home-like place,” said Sherri Boyd, hospice coordinator. “The fact that this community has given so very much to make this a reality is a huge responsibility, and the hospice staff takes that very seriously. We will do our very best to honor the patients and their families that are cared for here.”

The building is expected to be complete in approximately 15 months, weather permitting.

Contact Becca Schimmel, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8652.

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