Executive-director hiring expected within days, to pave the way for reopening Naples home that provides end-of-life care

NAPLES — Plans to reopen Hospeace House as a two-bed comfort care home are moving quickly. Thanks to fundraising, donations and volunteer help, the hospice that closed last August should be ready to reopen this fall — and with an executive director to be hired within days, that goal will be even more solid, according to the president of the Hospeace volunteer board.

“There is continued interest and desire within the community. They want to see us reopen,” said Board President John French. “Getting an executive director on board will be a huge step forward.”

Hospeace had a number of strong candidates for the position of executive director, who will be announced soon. The new hire will set policies and procedures and head up volunteer training, among other duties. The biggest challenges will be meeting the demand for volunteers and funding the home year-to-year, said French. Because Hospeace previously relied on volunteers, the organization has a database that will help in recruiting volunteers this time around, he added.

Estimated annual operating expenses, which include payroll for the executive director and two or more employees, will be about $250,000. The home will need to have somewhere between 100 and 150 trained volunteers.

Hospeace House first opened in 2003 and operated until last August, when it closed due to escalating costs of maintaining a state-certified, four-bed hospice residence. When it reopens as a two-bed comfort care home, Hospeace will be able to provide the same, round-the-clock end-of-life care but under fewer constraints. The referral process for those seeking care at Hospeace will be the same as before. Care provided for residences will be covered by insurance or other means, and no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Kathleen Dever, a registered nurse and Hospeace board member helping with the transition, has said the comfort care model is the most prevalent in New York state. Examples of comfort care homes in Ontario County include House of John in Clifton Springs, Light Hill in Canandaigua and Serenity House in Victor.

People driving by Hospeace on West Hollow Road in Naples may have noticed some new features that include a brightly painted deer figure in the yard that has a gazebo, flower beds and walking path. Naples High School art teacher Paul Frazer and students designed and painted the deer in honor of the upcoming reopening. French mentioned a number of people who have donated time and labor to get the house and grounds ready.

“They have volunteered countless hours,” said French.

The house has undergone renovations and upgrades inside and out. The organization was also fortunate to have someone who just moved back to Naples rent the house during these months after it closed, which provided rental income and added security at the home, he said.

In the works is the next big fundraiser for Hospeace, a Naples Rotary event called Walk of Life.

A $30,000 goal is set for the Aug. 12 Renaissance-themed relay event to be held at Naples Community Park. Participants can lead or join a team or make a financial donation. Funds raised will benefit Hospeace along with the Margery Coughlin Pawluk Cancer foundation. The foundation is in memory of Margery Pawluk, a local woman who died of cancer and whose foundation helps those battling cancer.

More information is at https://www.facebook.com/NaplesWalkofLife/


If you go

WHAT Naples Rotary Club’s Walk of Life

WHEN Saturday, August 12, 1-9 p.m.

WHERE Naples Community Park, Route 245, Naples

DETAILS A Renaissance-themed relay event will raise money for Naples Hospeace House and the Margery Coughlin Pawluk Cancer foundation. Join or form a team or find other ways to donate or fundraise for the causes. Visit https://www.facebook.com/NaplesWalkofLife/