OSF Richard L. Owens Hospice Home blessed; open house set

Photo Caption: Donna Medina, Felicia Schafer, and Erin Neff were among those taking part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new hospice home on Dec. 4.

Asking God to bless the new OSF Richard L. Owens Hospice Home and all who would come through its doors, Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, showered the new facility with a hail of holy water and smiles on Dec. 4.

Showing their joy with applause were The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis, administrators of the hospice home, health care professionals, donors and friends of the project, who have been working toward the day for many years.

Ground was broken for the OSF Richard L. Owens Hospice Home on Sept. 21, 2011. Located on Route 91 in Peoria, the 23,000-square-foot facility has 16 patient rooms and amenities for family and visitors, as well as a chapel.

In his prayer of blessing, Bishop Jenky made it clear how important this residence — the only hospice home in central Illinois — was to the region.
“Grant that in this hospice home the physicians and staff will receive with kindness all the residents who will be in their care and tend to them with skill and compassion, so those who are preparing for eternity will be lifted up in spirit,” he said.
For Sister Judith Ann Duvall, OSF, chairperson of OSF Healthcare System and major superior of The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis, the completion of the hospice home is “yet another wonderful milestone for our Sisters’ journey to care for all of those that God has entrusted to us.”
“OSF today has made a strong commitment to serve people who are facing terminal and life-threatening illness and care for them with the greatest dignity and love,” she said, reminding those gathered that hospice is about living.
She pledged that at the OSF Richard L. Owens Hospice Home every life would be respected, celebrated and blessed.
“We want every person who enters here and their families to know they are surrounded by love, kindness, hope, peace and forgiveness so that their journey . . . is one of wonderful care and love,” according to Donna Medina, Vice President of Hospice and Foundation for OSF Home Care Services. “Everyone we hire, everyone who will be part of this facility will offer that kind of love and caring.”
She said they hope to start doing that in January, pending final approval from the Illinois Department of Public Health.
While some may come to live out their final days, it is expected that 60 to 80 percent of patients will be discharged alive to return to their homes after brief stays to help manage their medications and symptoms or to provide a break for their caregivers.
Medina said much of the $8 million needed for the building has been donated, but fundraising continues. They are seeking an additional $3 million to assist patients who may not have insurance or other means of support.
“The Sisters’ mission is always to welcome and care for those who come through our doors, so we want to be able to provide this without any hardship for anyone,” she said.
An open house for the public is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 19. Details are still being finalized.

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