After 11 years of research on the hospice concept of care for the terminally ill, Sister Mary Giovanni founded Angela Hospice Home Care, Inc., in 1985 under the operation of the Felician Sisters.
Angela Hospice began in a one-room office at Madonna University. Sister Giovanni, a registered nurse, began caring for terminally-ill people in their homes.
Angela Hospice soon outgrew its one room office and two subsequent locations, and by 1990, Sister Giovanni was ready to announce the hospice’s newest endeavor – an inpatient hospice care center.
The hospice concept is built around the idea that the family will provide the basic care for the patient in their home. That means the patient must have a primary caregiver willing to be responsible for the patient's care. For many families, this just isn’t possible. Sister Giovanni recognized this fact and acted upon it. While Angela Hospice cared for patients in area nursing homes and hospitals, Sister Giovanni had something different in mind.
In January 1994, Angela Hospice opened the first freestanding inpatient hospice facility in Michigan, solely for the purpose of taking care of terminally-ill people. The facility was designed for patients who did not have a primary caregiver or were unable to remain at home.
As the demand for inpatient hospice in the community grew, it became clear that the Care Center needed to be expanded in order to better service hospice patients and their families. In April 2010, Angela Hospice opened a beautiful new addition to the Care Center, increasing our capacity from 16 to 32 private patient rooms. When people tour the Care Center, they usually begin by saying, "This is not like a hospital," and it’s not – it’s a home away from home.
The Care Center allows the same choices a person would have if they were at home: control over meal times, bath times, and morning wake-up times. The center includes many family gathering areas, a large family kitchen, a charming outdoor atrium, and a Chapel where services are held weekly.
Hospice Home Care continues to be at the heart of our program. Patients who are able to remain at home can enjoy the benefit of being near family and friends in familiar surroundings, while still receiving professional care.
Angela Hospice also expanded its program to pediatric patients with the My Nest is Best program for seriously ill children and their families. As the name of the program suggests, Angela Hospice believes that the best place for a sick child to be is in their own home where they feel safe and comfortable.
An extension of My Nest is Best, the Prenatal Hospice Program was designed in 2001 for parents facing the knowledge that their unborn child may not survive or may be born with a life-limiting illness. The Prenatal Hospice team works with the family and the mother’s physicians to create a birthing plan that addresses the family’s goals during pregnancy and delivery, and the time following the baby’s birth.
Today Angela Hospice serves over 1,900 patients each year, and continues to expand its community outreach with grief support groups, educational programs, and onsite speaking engagements, all offered free-of-charge. Sister Giovanni’s vision has grown into an innovative health care organization with over 200 employees and 400 volunteers who continue to excel as leaders in the local hospice movement.
Angela Hospice is HIPAA compliant.
For more information about Angela Hospice and its programs, call us toll free (866) 464-7810.