KSB Hospice to Close; Ogle County Hospice to Expand Service Area

I invited Dr. Appenheimer to share some news with you, the KSB employee community, before it becomes available to the public. Good communication is important throughout the organization, and that means we’ll make every effort that when we have news, you hear it first.
– Dave 

Ogle County Hospice, 421 West Pines Road, Oregon

Dr. Tim Appenheimer, VP/Chief Medical Officer
Ensuring the long-term vigor of our local health care resources…
Giving today’s patients access to the best possible facilities and services…
Supporting and collaborating with other regional not-for-profit healthcare providers…

   These are principles that guide some of the difficult decisions facing KSB’s administration.
KSB Hospice began in 1994, in a vastly different healthcare environment. Hundreds of patients and their families have been touched and supported by hospice staff in the typical KSB manner: full-speed-ahead, generous, open-hearted caring. I was there at the beginning, and have been with KSB Hospice during it’s entire existence. Twice, my own extended family has called on the support of KSB Hospice.

   There are now at least nine hospice organizations competing for patients in our service area. Most of these are profit-driven organizations. Many originate outside of our local primary service area. Some are large suburban-based corporations with little emotional investment in the special needs of our communities.

   While the front-line staffers in these profit-driven organizations are probably caring professionals, it remains likely that our local population will be best served over time by healthcare organizations that are mission driven, not-for-profit, and locally-rooted. Ogle County Hospice (OCH) is such an organization.

   Among all of these competing hospice organizations, only one has a dedicated inpatient hospice facility. Ogle County Hospice opened the Serenity Hospice Home few years ago. You have probably driven past it on Route 2, south of Oregon.

   By hospice standards, KSB Hospice has been a small organization. Ogle County Hospice is a larger, locally-operated, not-for-profit organization that shares KSB’s philosophy and commitment to patient care.

   In this competitive environment, the needs of our patients can best be served now, and in the future, by KSB joining with OCH to perpetuate a strong, stable, charitably-operated hospice in our region…with a hospice inpatient facility.

   Before the end of the year, you will see public announcements about the closure of KSB Hospice and the expansion of Ogle County Hospice to serve all of Lee County.  The expanded organization will have a new name and be independent, but will remain in a cooperative relationship with KSB Hospital.

   This is a transition tinged with a bit of sadness for those of us who have loved the KSB Hospice organization. But I wholeheartedly embrace this change as a positive, patient-centered decision, that will benefit our population for decades to come.

Questions? My email is tappenheimer@ksbhospital.com.
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