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Rural Health Information Hub

HopeWest

Summary 
  • Need: To provide accessible and affordable services to address the challenges associated with aging, serious illness, and grief across rural western Colorado.
  • Intervention: A nonprofit, community-sustained healthcare model was created to provide the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), hospice care and palliative care, as well as grief support services for individuals of all ages.
  • Results: Since 1993, HopeWest has grown to serve more than 3,000 people annually across five counties in western Colorado.

Description

HopeWest Logo

HopeWest is a vital nonprofit hospice organization in western Colorado, serving Mesa, Delta, Montrose, Ouray, and Rio Blanco counties. They offer hospice and palliative care to individuals in hospitals, nursing homes, personal homes, and at the HopeWest Ferris Hospice Care Center. Grief support programs are available for adults, teens, and children. HopeWest also offers PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly), a comprehensive care program for residents over the age of 55 who meet the necessary level of care criteria in addition to living within a specified service area.

Founded in 1993, HopeWest emphasizes the integration of PACE, hospice, palliative care, and grief services. By working with local physicians, nursing home providers, community partners and families, they tailor programs to meet the individual needs of each rural community they serve. HopeWest is headquartered in Grand Junction but maintains offices in four surrounding rural counties.

HopeWest also operates three Heirlooms for Hospice resale stores, in addition to Spoons bistro & bakery, located at the Ferris Hospice Care Center. All proceeds from these entities support HopeWest.

Headquarters - HopeWest Hospice
The Ferris Hospice Care Center in Grand Junction.

The Ferris Hospice Care Center provides a comfortable environment for patients who can no longer be at home but would rather not be hospitalized. The Center for Living Your Best in Grand Junction is home to the PACE program, a clinic, a salon, a barbershop, and a grief support center.

HopeWest is supported by a robust and dedicated volunteer base. In 2022, 961 volunteers contributed a total of 69,213 hours. Volunteers provide companionship for patients and families, assist with grief support groups, help with music and art projects, greet customers at Heirlooms for Hospice, and much more. The experiences of one HopeWest volunteer are described in The Rural Monitor article, Coming Full Circle.

Services offered

HopeWest provides care through the following key programs:

Home-based Care - HopeWest Hospice
HopeWest offers service options for patients who prefer to remain at home.

Results

HopeWest provides care to more than 3,000 patients and participants across 10,000 square miles throughout the Western Slope of Colorado each year. HopeWest offers access to care for patients in frontier communities and remote areas, who may have no insurance, or who have needs which are not covered by Medicare.

HopeWest is one of only six 4-star hospice providers in the state of Colorado. With no 5-star hospice providers in the entirety of the state, they are the only one of their kind in western Colorado.

In 2021, HopeWest was recognized by Modern Healthcare as one of 75 "Best Places to Work in Healthcare." The Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce named HopeWest the 2023 Business of the Year, stating: "Our community would not only feel the loss of this organization in all corners of the Valley, it would not be the community it is today without it." HopeWest was named "Best Volunteer Group" by the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel in 2022, and "Best Place to Volunteer" by the Montrose-Delta Beacon in 2023.

Spoons bistro & bakery was named "Best Restaurant" in 2022 by the Grand Junction Beacon. Heirlooms was named "Best Thrift Store" and "Best Downtown Store" in 2022 by the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel and "Best Resale/Thrift Store, Delta" and "Best Place to Buy Gifts/Montrose" in 2023 by the Montrose-Delta Beacon.

Challenges

Some barriers HopeWest has encountered include:

  • Financial burdens of CMS data submission, regulatory compliance, and payment reform
  • Competition from large, privately-owned, publicly traded hospice companies with greater net margins
  • Workforce shortage
  • As the realities of inflation take effect, reliance is placed on the generosity of community partners
  • Lacking the financial protections that rural hospitals enjoy– such as designations like Critical Access Hospital, Disproportionate Share Hospital, or Sole Community Provider

Replication

HopeWest staff believe one key to their success is their commitment to connecting on a personal level with the residents of each community they serve. With dedicated volunteers, collaborative clinical partnerships, and the generosity of donors who believe in their work, HopeWest attributes their ability to innovate and adapt to meet the evolving needs of their communities to a foundation of team work.

Contact Information

Cassie Mitchell, President and CEO
HopeWest
970.241.2212
marketing@hopewestco.org

Topics
Community engagement and volunteerism
Fundraising
Hospice and palliative care
Networking and collaboration

States served
Colorado

Date added
March 24, 2015

Date updated or reviewed
July 11, 2023

Suggested citation: Rural Health Information Hub, 2023. HopeWest [online]. Rural Health Information Hub. Available at: https://www.ruralhealthinfo.org/project-examples/789 [Accessed 22 February 2024]


Please contact the models and innovations contact directly for the most complete and current information about this program. Summaries of models and innovations are provided by RHIhub for your convenience. The programs described are not endorsed by RHIhub or by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. Each rural community should consider whether a particular project or approach is a good match for their community’s needs and capacity. While it is sometimes possible to adapt program components to match your resources, keep in mind that changes to the program design may impact results.