MISSOULA - What was just a vacant, weed-strewn five-acre lot will soon be home to a brand-new care center providing residential end-of-life care serving six surrounding counties.
It means thousands of people across Western Montana won’t have to die alone.
Partners Hope Foundation is forging ahead in fundraising for the last $2.9 million in the more than $15 million project.
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The site is along Great Northern Way in Missoula near Home Depot and the AMC theaters. When built, there will be 12 private care rooms with space for more.
The area’s last hospice facility closed in 2000. Since 2017, the Partners Hope Foundation has been working to get this facility built.
Once the land was donated by the Terry and Patt Payne Family, the project started gaining momentum to an eventual groundbreaking in a couple of months.
The creation of the center is funded fully by private donors and foundations.
“This center is a community-owned project. It really is grassroots. We continue to be inspired and grateful for the generosity and support we’ve received so far.” said Partners in Hope executive director Amanda Yeoman. “This is going to happen. There currently is not a center for end-of-life care in Western Montana and we’re happy to provide that.
"It’s an oft-talked-about statistic but 40% of folks in Western Montana over the age of 75 live alone. And if they’re facing a critical illness or end-of-life scenario and are alone or if their caregiver is as frail as they are, they need a place for their end-of-life care,” added Embrace Campaign chairman Dr. Stan Seagraves.
Partners in Hope is hoping with the Missoula Gives campaign coming up on Thursday and Friday, people will be inspired to donate to the Embrace Campaign to help wrap up fundraising.
Here is why a center like this is important: There is an average of 930 deaths a year in Missoula County and a majority of them are people over the age of 75. Dr. Seagraves also told us that 40% of them live alone and many don’t have the option to die at home or need specialized care where a hospital isn’t the best option.
Montana is ranked sixth in the nation with nearly 20% percent of its population age 65 or older.
They expect to serve three thousand patients over the first five years this center is open and will serve Granite, Lake, Mineral Missoula, Ravalli and Sanders counties.
Additional information about the project can be found here.