The First Hospice in Houston
Houston Hospice was founded in 1980 to establish a source of humane, caring responses for patients and their families. Its first medical director was Dr. Richard Lamerton, a revered authority on care of the terminally ill who had been the first intern trained by the famous Dame Cicely Saunders at St. Christopher’s Hospice in London. In 1983, Houston Hospice became a member organization of the Texas Medical Center. At that time, it was the only hospice in the country so affiliated.
In 1989, The Texas Medical Center acknowledged the importance of Houston Hospice in the health care spectrum, and the unique aspects of its care by donating to the hospice the former estate of Mayor Oscar Fitzallen Holcombe; a picturesque English Tudor-style home built in 1925 and its gardens, covering a 2.5 acre site just east of M.D. Anderson Hospital. Plans began for an adjoining patient care center, and in 1996, thanks to overwhelming community support, Houston Hospice opened the Margaret Cullen Marshall Patient Care Center adjacent to the Holcombe House. The style of the three-story structure precisely matches the 1925 English Tudor architecture of the former mayor’s home resulting in a beautiful, homey atmosphere. The Houston Garden Club continues to maintain the lush historical gardens for patients and families to enjoy. Also in 1996, Houston Hospice developed the Butterfly Program to provide for the distinct hospice needs of infants and youth aged 18 and younger. It is Houston’s first pediatric hospice program.
Houston Hospice is Different Because it is a Nonprofit Organization
Houston Hospice remains a nonprofit 501 (c) 3 organization that is community-based and community-supported. Our mission is not to make a profit. Rather, our only mission is to provide uncompromising, compassionate and respectful physical, social and spiritual support to individuals facing life-limiting illness, as well as their loved ones and caregivers, irrespective of their ethnicity, beliefs or ability to pay.
We believe no one should live in pain or in fear of being alone. We believe everyone deserves to be treated as a unique individual, not just a patient. We are advocates for children's rights to grieve and to have their lives celebrated as full and complete. Patients and their families may be specific about their wishes. Our unique brand of hospice care is provided in-home and in residential facilities. Inpatient and respite care is provided through the Margaret Cullen Marshall Hospice Care Center located in the Texas Medical Center. Houston Hospice utilizes a team-oriented approach to medical care, pain management, and emotional and spiritual support tailored to each patient’s unique situation. We offer educated counsel and compassionate support and bereavement counseling to loved ones and family members.
We're There for You - Wherever You Need Us to Be
Over the years, Houston Hospice's coverage area has grown to ten counties served by four strategically located offices. Interdisciplinary care teams (made up of doctors, nurses, hospice aides, social workers, chaplains, bereavement counselors, and trained volunteers) travel to wherever patients need them — be it an apartment, a home, an assisted living facility, or a skilled nursing home. The team supports the loving care of families so that family members and friends have more energy and quality time to give to their loved one. The care team helps manage pain and symptoms, monitor the patient's condition, maintain hygiene, anticipate needs, assist with medical/insurance forms or processes, listen with compassion and openness, and give caregivers rest.
Houston Hospice is an in-network provider for most insurance companies and is licensed by Medicare and Medicaid. Houston Hospice is a member of the Texas Medical Center, Texas Nonprofit Hospice Alliance and the Texas New Mexico Hospice Organization. Houston Hospice is accredited with the National Institute for Jewish Hospice and by Community Health Accreditation Program, Inc (CHAP). CHAP is an independent, non-profit accrediting body that was established in 1965. CHAP accreditation publicly certifies that an organization has voluntarily met the highest standards of excellence for home and/or community-based health care.
Community Outreach and the Houston Hospice Speakers Bureau
As part of its nonprofit community outreach, Houston Hospice offers free educational talks through its Speakers Bureau. Speakers are available to present a wide variety of topics. Popular topics include preserving memories, tips on how to talk to your doctor, hospice 101, improving listening skills, and hospice and advance directive myths.