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Auxiliary donation boosts efforts to build St. Francis hospice facility

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St. Francis Healthcare Foundation is one step closer to realizing a long-held desire to build Hospice House, thanks to a donation from the St. Francis Auxiliary.

That group recently presented the foundation with $100,000. The proceeds were generated from the auxiliary sale of uniforms, shoes, books, craft fairs and other items at Franciscan St. Francis Health hospitals in south-central Indiana.

“This generous gift will enable us to move closer to our goal to build Hospice House at our Indianapolis campus,” said Greg Williamson, foundation president. “The free-standing facility will provide a home-like environment with the most compassionate medical care for patients and respite for their loved ones.”

The St. Francis Auxiliary is made up of more than 150 volunteers who support Franciscan St. Francis Health through their generous contributions of time and service. The mission of the auxiliary is to support the hospital by providing fundraising activities, serving within the hospital departments, and encouraging the spirit of volunteerism.

“We have had a long relationship with hospice,” said Paula Curseaden, St. Francis Auxiliary president. “There is a definite need for a free-standing Hospice House. We chose to pledge our funds to promote this project. The auxiliary raises funds through vendor sales and Franciscan St. Francis employees support these efforts and, without them, we could not have met our pledge.”

The donation was made at a recent luncheon of the auxiliary and foundation, and leadership and staff of the St. Francis Hospice program.

To date, the Hospice House project has raised $2 million, nearly a quarter of the total needed to begin work. It would be the only facility of its kind in south-central Indiana and will serve many surrounding counties.

Hospice House features include:

• 6-suite facility with room for expansion to 32 suites.

• Bright gathering areas, kitchen and dining areas.

• Garden-like landscaping and a chapel for meditation and worship.

• Unlimited visitation from loved ones and family members, including the family pet.

• State-of-the-art pain and symptom management 24 hours a day, seven days a week, plus emotional and spiritual support.

• Various levels of care, including general inpatient care for intense medical intervention, symptom management and acute care; and respite and assistance to family members and caregivers.

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