Hospice of the Golden Isles has been a staple of the Southeast Coastal Georgia community for forty years and remains the only community-based, not-for-profit hospice in Southeast Coastal Georgia.
In 1980, Hospice of the Golden Isles was conceived as a grassroots hospice provider with one nurse, one chaplain, and the mission to provide comfort and dignity at the end of life. Over the years, we have grown and expanded our services across five counties providing expert, nationally award-winning hospice care in patients’ homes, nursing facilities, and our Hospice Houses. We care for patients wherever they call home and regardless of ability to pay. We are your hometown hospice.
In 2007, Hospice of the Golden Isles opened Georgia’s very first residential hospice facility to help provide a critically important safety net for some of the most vulnerable residents in our community. In 2015, as a result of community donations, we built an additional four residential hospice rooms to meet a growing need.
During the current health crisis, we are in a unique position to care for hospice patients, who can no longer be safely cared for in a home setting, in our Hospice House. Many patients being discharged from the hospital under hospice care, who would normally go home or to a nursing home, are opting for the Hospice of the Golden Isles residential program as their best care option. We welcome all hospice eligible patients regardless of their ability to pay. This gives patients’ caregivers confidence that their loved ones are safe, comfortable, and receiving the best possible care. Many families tell us that they do not know what they would do, or where their loved one would go, if not for our Hospice House.
In late August, Hospice of the Golden Isles became the first affiliate and one of the founding members of Alivia Care of Georgia, a like-minded nonprofit organization committed to supporting and sustaining community-based mission-driven hospices throughout Georgia.
The Hospice of the Golden Isles board of directors and executive leadership began exploring a possible affiliation with Alivia Care, Inc. in late 2018. The Rev. Tom Purdy, president of the board of directors, said that although Hospice of the Golden Isles is a strong, well-run hospice organization with excellent care and strong community support, the board recognized changes were coming that would pose significant challenges for community-based hospices. To continue to serve the local community and maintain its commitment to providing care to all who needed it, collaborating with a larger organization to share resources and access more support was essential. The affiliation is a result of two years of work and discussions between two organizations committed to nonprofit hospice care.
Rev. Purdy reiterated, “Under the Alivia Care of Georgia umbrella, high-quality community-based not-for-profit hospice agencies throughout the state will be ‘stronger together, stronger than ever.’” Hospice of the Golden Isles will continue to operate and offer services to its local community as before, including operating its hospice houses, but will also have the additional support of Alivia Care of Georgia and its resources.
Alivia Care of Georgia is led by Susan Ponder-Stansel, who is also President and CEO of Alivia Care, Inc. and has been a leader and advocate for nonprofit hospice care for over thirty-five years. Alivia Care was born out of a “stronger together” approach as for-profits continue to set up shop in Georgia.
“Locally-focused community-based hospices make a substantial contribution to the quality of life for the communities they serve,” says Ponder-Stansel. “Preserving and strengthening organizations driven by a common mission and commitment is the most important work we can do now. We look forward to developing our network of like-minded providers with the support of our first affiliate, Hospice of the Golden Isles.”
Stronger together means supporting, not changing, the mission of a successful quality-driven community treasure. Hospice of the Golden Isles’ mission remains to provide the best care when it matters most, regardless of a patient’s ability to pay.
Hospice of the Golden Isles will always be your hometown hospice — stronger together, stronger than ever.