Happy 40th Anniversary Hosparus Health!

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Now one of the top 20 nonprofit hospice organizations in the United States, Hosparus Health serves nearly 7,600 patients and their families in 37 counties in Kentucky and Southern Indiana. With 650 employees and the support of more than 600 volunteers, our mission is to improve quality of life for anyone facing serious, chronic and life-limiting illness.

How did Hosparus Health get its start?

In the mid-1970s, a group of thoughtful citizens concerned with the needs of the terminally ill began meeting to discuss how to help ensure the best quality of life for this vulnerable population. A few years later, these dedicated individuals incorporated Hospice of Louisville as a nonprofit. The all-volunteer organization accepted its first patient in June 1978. In 1980, Hospice of Louisville started the first pediatric hospice program in the country, Kourageous Kids.

In the 1990s, Hospice of Louisville merged with hospice organizations in Southern Indiana and Central Kentucky to become the Alliance of Community Hospices & Palliative Care Services. In 2008, the combined organization was renamed Hosparus, a word meaning “we guide our guests,” to reflect how our care teams guide patients on their final journey. We added “Health” to our name in 2017 to reflect the changing healthcare landscape and lead the charge in serving more patients and families, well before the end of life.

What has changed over the years?

Our mission to improve quality of life has never been more relevant, 10,000 baby boomers are turning 65 years old every day, and up to 85 percent of them are living with at least one serious illness. They are taking back control of their care, demanding to live better, longer. As a result, we recognized the need to expand our services beyond traditional hospice care to include advanced illness care and management. To access hospice, a patient must have a life expectancy of six months or less. In today’s ever-changing world of new therapies and treatments, it is not always easy to put a time frame on illness. Unlike hospice, advanced illness care can be provided at any age and any stage of acute or chronic illness, and care can also be provided along with curative treatments. We’ve always been focused on quality of life, and now we want to help patients live better for months or years, rather than days or weeks.

What are your plans for the future?

To help more seriously ill patients and their families than ever before, Hosparus Health has set a two-year strategic goal to serve 10,000 patients and families a year by 2020, and we are well on our way. To achieve that milestone, we’re adding staff and resources across our entire service area. Unlike many for-profit providers who are merging to stay competitive, our growth will be organic, as a result of high demand for our expert care. And thanks to the support of our generous donors, we are poised to be the No. 1 provider of choice in the region for the next 40 years and beyond.


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