Hospice of Hope has served the community for 30 years and on Wednesday it took time to mark the occasion with a celebration.
At 11 a.m., Mason County Commissioner Phil Day fired up a grill and began cooking hamburgers, hot dogs and tenderloins.
Inside the building, tables decorated with balloons and candy offered guests a spot to eat their food in the air conditioning. Several decorated cupcakes and a large “30th anniversary” sheet cake sat on a table at the end of the room.
Everyone was invited to eat, mingle and take a look around the building, according to Hospice of Hope Director of Public Relations and Development Michael Parker.
“We’re celebrating our 30th anniversary,” he said. “We started in 1988 and today is a celebration of that. We wanted to invited the community and thank them for being a part of that.”
Hospice of Hope is an end-of-life care facility that serves people with terminal illness, according to Parker.
“When care becomes non-curative, we take care of patients during their last months of life,” he said.
According to Parker, Hospice of Hope operates in 12 counties, six in Kentucky and six in Ohio with more than 140 employees and 75 volunteers.
Patients can be self referred or referred by a hospital.
“If you have a loved one or friend who you think might need our help, you can call us,” he said. “If a patient is in a hospital or nursing home, the facility can contact us. We go out and evaluate and decide whether or not hospice care is needed.”
According to Parker, since 1990, Hospice of Hope has helped care for more than 13,000 patients.
“It doesn’t just stop at the patients,” he said. “It’s also about the families.”
Several Hospice of Hope employees and volunteers were also present during the celebration.
Sandra Linback has been a volunteer with Hospice for about 16 years. She assists with planting flowers in a garden behind that building that are given to patients.
“In the summer time, I take care of the garden,” she said. “Once a week, we pick flowers, make arrangements and our nurses put the flowers in the patient’s rooms. In the winter time, I work inside, do paperwork, visit patients and do whatever they need me to do.”
Linback said she believes she has a very rewarding job.
“The most rewarding part is when the nurses come back in and tell us how the patients react to getting the flowers,” she said. “Just knowing I’ve put a smile on someone’s face.”
Linback said she was also excited for the 30th anniversary of Hospice of Hope.
“It’s really exciting,” she said. “It’s an awesome program and it was much needed when they moved into town.”
Hospice of Hope Executive Director Kavin Cartmell said it was a blessing to have Hospice in Maysville.
“We’re blessed to have the support of our community and our patients,” she said.
Cartmell said she has been with Hospice for more than 26 years.
“I started in 1992,” she said. “At that time, we had 13 patients and today we are serving over 200 patients a day.”
According to Cartmell, the most rewarding part about being with Hospice of Hope is being able to help families.
“It is being able to help individuals and their families in a very difficult time of their life,” she said. “It’s never easy to talk about death, but it’s nice to know we have a staff who can help make a difference.”
Maysville Mayor David Cartmell was also present to celebrate the anniversary.
“It’s just so gratifying to have something like this in our community,” he said. “They do a lot of work and they’ve won numerous awards. The director came on just when I was elected, so we’ve been through a lot. I volunteer here.”
David Cartmell said people will remember the ones who help them during such a difficult time.
“I once took a nurse through a snowstorm to Fleming County to help a woman with her dialysis,” he said. “A man came up to me and said, ‘you’re the one who brought the nurse to help with my wife’s dialysis.’ That was 15 years ago that I did that and he remembered me. It means a lot to you when people actually recognize you. It’s a rewarding experience.”