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Evelyn’s House prepares to open its doors in June

April 2017

Both adult and pediatric hospice patients in St. Louis will soon have much-needed options for end-of-life care with the opening of Evelyn’s House, a 16-bed hospice house located on the campus of Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital.

With the hospice house scheduled to open in June, construction workers have been busy putting up drywall, taping, painting, and doing concrete and stone work on the ranch-style, 18,000-square-foot building.

While hospice care is routinely provided in a home setting, the new hospice house is designed to offer patients and families an alternative in special circumstances, such as the short-term management of pain and symptoms or respite for caregivers.

“Evelyn’s House will offer our patients exceptional quality medical care in a peaceful, home-like setting designed specifically to relieve symptoms, improve quality of life, enhance dignity, and support patients and families,” says Patrick White, MD, BJC Hospice chief medical officer. “We are proud to be able to offer patients with serious medical illness personalized medical care delivered from a highly trained and compassionate team.”

Features of Evelyn’s House will include: 

  • 16 private guest suites for adults, teens and children
  • walkout patio off every suite
  • family gathering spaces with overnight accommodations
  • family kitchen and café
  • dedicated music and expressive therapy rooms
  • ability playhouse for children with special needs
  • specialized hospice care team
  • meditation room and garden
  • visiting hours 24 hours a day, seven days a week
  • leading-edge communication and safety
  • kids and teen activity room
  • natural and comfortable surroundings

The hospice house is named after Evelyn Newman, a prominent St. Louis community leader and philanthropist who died in 2015 at age 95. The Eric P. and Evelyn E. Newman Foundation made a gift through The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital to help build the hospice house.

Patrick and Aja Stokes made the first donation at the end of 2015 through The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital to launch the project with BJC. The Stokeses have been instrumental in leading fund-raising efforts throughout the community.

“Dreams can become reality with the support of the community, donors and incredible staff,” says Barbara Westland, BJC Hospice director. “Evelyn’s House will embody our core purpose of providing exceptional care to patients and families in our community. The home-like environment, skilled staff, extraordinary hospice physicians led by our chief medical officer, our expressive therapy and music therapy rooms, the volunteers, and the support that is built into the house for families is inviting to those who are in a crisis,” says Westland.

Evelyn’s House, she says, is about caring for guests and their families in an environment that provides respectful, comforting and compassionate care.

Creating a compassionate interdisciplinary team

Evelyn’s House career openings are currently posted on bjc.org and interviews can be scheduled with nurses, aides, social workers, chaplains and counselors to fill the open positions. The goal at Evelyn’s House is to live by BJC Hospice’s ICARE values with a true focus on creating an excellent and compassionate interdisciplinary team. For more information, visit bjc.org/jobs.

Helping hospice patients and their loved ones embrace every moment

BJC Hospice is in need of volunteers for Evelyn’s House.

BJC Hospice team members feel it’s their calling to help patients and their loved ones embrace every moment. Volunteers can feel that way, too. The goal of hospice care is to enable patients to live every day to the fullest by managing their symptoms so that their last days may be lived with dignity. Volunteers are key to making this all work.

“Evelyn’s House will need many volunteers,” says Mary Lindsley, BJC Hospice volunteer coordinator. “Volunteers offer valuable support to our patients and their loved ones, as well as to our staff. Through training and guidance, you will be prepared every step of the way.”

Volunteers for the hospice house work in shifts, typically two to four hours long. Volunteer opportunities at Evelyn’s House include:

  • receptionists  
  • hospitality volunteers
  • on-call volunteers
  • companionship/caregiver relief
  • veteran volunteers
  • Lumina life review volunteers
  • Passage, final hours volunteers
  • spiritual support
  • music therapy
  • complementary therapy
  • hairstyling services
  • flower arranging
  • holiday decorating
  • crafting
  • piano playing
  • event and fund-raising support

For more information, call 314-872-5050, visit bjchospice.org or email mary.lindsley@bjc.org.

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