Niagara Hospice opens another off-campus facility

December 3, 2013 Updated Dec 3, 2013 at 9:36 AM EDT

By Tracey Drury, Buffalo Business First Reporter

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Niagara Hospice opens another off-campus facility

December 3, 2013 Updated Dec 3, 2013 at 9:36 AM EDT

Niagara Hospice has opened its third off-campus unit with an independent nursing home.

The organization, the only provider of hospice services in Niagara County, is working with Odd Fellow and Rebekah Rehabilitation & Health Care Center Inc. to open a nine-bed hospice unit within Odd Fellow's 126-bed Lockport facility.

Odd Fellow, a nonprofit longterm care and rehabilitation center, is sponsored by the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Eugene Urban, CEO and administrator, said the unit capitalizes on the strong relationship the two organizations have had for many years.

The Rebekah's Pathway unit represents the third nursing-home-based hospice unit for Niagara Hospice, which also operates a 14-bed hospice unit at Schoellkopf Health Center on the Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center campus and a 22-bed unit at Northgate Health Care Facility, a McGuire Group site in North Tonawanda.

The unit will include one private room and four double rooms, plus a lounge area for residents and family members, a hospitality room for visiting family and an outdoor courtyard.

Odd Fellow residents are already taking advantage of the expanded hospice services at the site while renovations are completed. A grand opening is planned for early February.

Niagara Hospice has had a busy year. Last month, the agency's Palliative Home Care of Niagara affiliate purchased the former Shipman Printing building on Niagara Falls Boulevard to house its growing home-care business.

John Lomeo, president and CEO. said the organization is working toward expanding access for Niagara County residents in all of its service areas. Adding a unit in the eastern portion of the county at Odd Fellow helps meet that goal.

"By concentrating hospice services in one location we are able to ensure the gold standard of care for every patient, every family, every time," said Lomeo.

"Niagara Hospice has made the strategic decision to move to the left of the continuum of care, so the step before hospice is palliative care," he said.