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June 2012
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New hospice center to open next year

BY KATHLEEN FOX kfox@paducahsun.com

Lourdes has set a tentative timeline for its new hospice care facility and is on the doorstep of beginning construction. 

The 10,000 square foot Ray & Kay Eckstein Hospice Care Center will bring inpatient hospice services into one convenient location at Lourdes to enhance care and provide a home-like atmosphere for patients and their families.

The new complex is named in honor of Ray and Kay Eckstein for a $1.5 million commitment by the Eckstein Charitable Trust, according to Kay Williams, Lourdes director of hospice and home services.

"We saw the need every day, and this will make such a difference to patients," she said.

"It's tailored to the right type of care at the right time."

She said the Lourdes Foundation embarked on a $7 million fundraising campaign last September to fully fund the construction of the facility and to create an endowment fund for future patient care needs.

The hospital surpassed its target amount quickly and has been conducting feasibility studies as well as gathering input from patients, families and hospice staff members about the design and pricing the construction.

"The community embraced it and said, 'Yes, what do you need?' and we are so grateful for that support," she said.

Williams said the hospital expects to break ground this month and have the complex completed and ready to receive patients in eight to 12 months, which would be the first half of next year. Ray Black & Sons Construction of Paducah was selected as the contractor.

The building will have 10 large private patient rooms with outside space to accommodate large families, a family room, children's play area, a serenity garden and chapel, she said.

Williams said the facility will have a different look and feel than the acute care accommodations and will be similar to the obstetrics floor in the hospital.

The center is meant to be a short-term option, but the comfort of patients and fostering their relationships with family members and friends are key elements that were incorporated into the design concept. The new center will provide "an extra layer of care" that will allow for extensive management of symptoms and provide a respite for caregivers, she said.

"It will be tailored to the unique time and needs of our hospice patients," she said. "We designed it to flow together and to give patients and families a lot of space for preparation and reflection."

Gifts to the endowment are still being accepted and any donation over the $5 million mark goes toward future patient care at the facility which would not be covered by patient insurance. To donate or for more information, call the Lourdes Foundation at 270-444-2381.

Contact Kathleen Fox, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8651 or follow @kathleendfox on Twitter.

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