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About Hospice of Mercy

Hospice care is designed to ensure that each person's final days are lived with joy and meaning, as free from pain and other symptoms as possible. Hospice focuses on physical, emotional and spiritual comfort, promoting the independence and dignity of patients and families while providing expert medical treatment and support.

The Goal of Hospice

The goal of hospice is to enable patients to die in serenity in their own homes. Hospice also cares for patients in the hospital or in assisted living or nursing facilities.

Through Hospice of Mercy and the Dennis and Donna Oldorf Hospice House of Mercy, Mercy Medical Center strives to fulfill the ongoing mission of the Sisters of Mercy: to ensure that every person - regardless of background or circumstance - will be cared for with kindness and dignity.

Hospice is an affirmation of life ... and a commitment to surround patients and families with care and compassion as they travel their final journey together.

History of the Hospice House

When a local doctor sought support to begin a hospice program in Cedar Rapids - one of the first in the state of Iowa - the Sisters of Mercy and Mercy Medical Center stepped forward to help, founding Hospice of Mercy.

In 2005, Mercy responded once again to the community's need and desire-this time for a house dedicated to the care of patients with life-limiting illnesses. Area hospice volunteers collected 3,500 signatures drawing attention to the need for a local hospice house. Shortly after, the family of former Hospice of Mercy patient Dennis Oldorf stepped forward to make a generous lead gift in support of this project.

Donna Oldorf's gift of $1.1 million in memory of her husband, Dennis, made it possible to take the bold step of launching the Sharing the Journey Campaign.. The Hall-Perrine Foundation awarded a $1.7 million matching grant in support of the project, and more than 2,000 donors from throughout the community stepped forward to help make the dream of a local hospice house a reality.

On May 29, 2007, the Dennis and Donna Oldorf Hospice House of Mercy opened with the arrival of four patients. In the first 30 days of operation, the hospice staff cared for 41 patients and their family and friends.

Learn more about the beginnings of the Hospice House of Mercy.

A Personal Plan

Hospice of Mercy works with each patient and his or her physician to prepare a personal, comprehensive plan of care, involving as many caregivers as are needed or desired.

"So often in health care, patients aren't able to make their own decisions, but in hospice, the patients and families are able to direct everything, allowing them to live their last days in the manner they choose." - Colleen Mohr, Hospice of Mercy nurse practitioner.

Hospice also arranges for and oversees the use of medical equipment or medications required to ensure the patient's comfort and well-being.

Hospice Endowment Fund

Generous contributions from the community helped fund the house and enabled the creation of a $1.5 million endowment fund to cover the cost of those patients without the ability to pay. This fund will ensure that the Hospice House remains fiscally sound as it opens its doors to anyone in our community in need of end-of-life care.

For more information, call the Mercy Foundation office at (319) 398-6206.