Southern Oregon Friends of Hospice & Hospice Unique Boutique


We started the 2021 new year with two new administrative leaders. Ms. Pamela Norr joined the organization as executive director after her recent tenure as Executive Officer of ACCESS – the Community Action Agency of Jackson County. Ms. Michele Murray is our Celia’s House Administrator with over 25 years serving in residential care management.  

As COVID concerns are now being replaced with second vaccinations, we are happy to return to full resident admission capacity. We are also increasing our ability to host more family, visitors and the return of our strong crew of volunteers. 


The opening months of 2020 saw Celia’s House operating with a mature staff at full capacity – with 12 residents admitted and a wait list for entry. As March faded into April, the Covid-19 pandemic affected our community. Our 12-member strong COVID Response Team began meeting weekly to address safety issues. Out of safety concerns, our incredible volunteer team was put on hiatus until conditions improved. Yet, Celia’s House resident care stayed focused on what mattered most at the end of life. Two months of closure orders for The HUB (our fundraising resale boutique) impacted our revenue along with some precautionary reductions in the number of residents accepted for admissions. 

Celia’s House was granted a Specific Needs Contract from Medicaid – the first in Oregon for a dedicated residential hospice facility, allowing us to expand care to more lowincome individuals. 

In the fall, the Almeda Fire came dangerously close to Celia’s House. Staff chose to help evacuate our hospice residents even while some staff were losing their own homes or were asked to evacuate them.  

Julie Raefield joined us as our first full time Development Director, and after eight years, our beloved Executive Director Susan Hearn moved on to new challenges. 

Fall also saw the completion of parking lot circle garden, funded by new donors and installed by our dedicated volunteer garden team. The Carrico Foundation sponsored Angel Reflection Garden was also completed, including a donor and volunteer recognition wall and memorial bricks honoring our residents. 


At Celia’s House during first full year of service, we cared for 134 residents who received thousands of visitors to support them and say goodbye. 

We continued to learn how critical our culture of caring is, not just for our residents, but their families as well. Having a comfortable space for family members to visit and even stay the night is important and unique.  

Over 200 volunteers gave us 13,000+ hours of their time sitting at the bedside, working in the garden, greeting at the door, serving the meals, leading and participating in committees, and working in the Hospice Unique Boutique.  

Residents came from all over Jackson and Josephine counties, as well as Klamath Falls and Brookings.  

Through grants and the generosity of over 500 donors, 42 percent of residents received financial assistance. Three local Medicare Certified hospice providers, specifically Asante Hospice, Providence Hospice and Signature Hospice, collaborated with the Celia’s House care team to support their hospice patients 24 hours a day, every day.  


The construction and licensing of Holmes Park House was completed, and on May 14, 2018 we opened the doors to our first resident. By the end of 2018 we had served over 70 residents and supported hundreds of visitors. The amazing care was provided by our newly hired staff and our many volunteers. The capital campign reached its goal of raising over four million dollar with a generous naming gift to officially call the House Celia’s House in Holmes Park.

Groundbreaking guest gather in front of Holmes Park House for groundbreaking event, June 1, 2017


The plans for the Holmes Park House renovations and eight bed addition were completed and approved by the City of Medford, and State of Oregon health authority in May. Following this approval the People’s Bank of Commerce approved a construction line of credit to begin in June. Having reached the two million dollar mark on in our capital funding campaign, a ground breaking was held June 1st to honor the donors, leaders, and creators who have made this project a reality. The public phase of the capital campaign begins in September with over two-thirds of our initial funding goal met. Initial planning for operations, training, and cultural development are underway for a planned spring 2018 opening.

Through the generosity and dedication of many donors and volunteers, we purchased the iconic Medford home originally built in 1939 for Harry Holmes of Harry & David. Dana Crawford of Ogden, Roemer, Wilkerson created plans to renovate the house into a 12-bed hospice residential care facility. Ausland Group was selected to be the builders and KenCairn Landscape Architecture for landscape design. Davis Wilkins, MD accepted the role of Capital Campaign Chair to lead the serious work of raising the 4 million necessary to fund the project.  Susan Hearn, Executive Director, and Sue Carroll, Development Coordinator, moved their office into the Holmes Park House on November 1, 2016. With the incredible help of our volunteer interiors team, the house was completely furnished and decorated with items from our generous donors.

Consultant Casey Woodard completed a feasibility study to determine community support for the hospice house project and capital campaign. A $5,000 gift is awarded to WinterSpring Center and COHO receives In-kind training community education services.

The planning for capital campaign began. Committees were formed. Architect Ken Odgen designed plans for Southern Oregon Hospice residential care facility based on compassionate hospice principals. Sue Carroll was hired to assist with Development. The Department of Human Services approved proceeding with plans to build a hospice house. $9,100 in gifts was awarded to COHO, WinterSpring, and Alzheimer’s Association. We celebrated the Hospice Unique Boutique’s 5th anniversary and the 18 volunteers who served all 5 years with a lovely event at Grizzly Peak Winery. We welcomed a talented and diverse group of community leaders to the Honorary Board.

In October, after researching the feasibility, and budget to build and run a hospice house, the board made the decision to build the first hospice residential care facility in the Rogue Valley. Gifts in the amount of $28,000 were awarded to the same six organizations as 2012.

We hired Susan Hearn, our first Executive Director. We also celebrated our third anniversary of the Hospice Unique Boutique and awarded our third round of granting funds, $30, 000 to:
-COHO (Choosing Options/Honoring Options)
-Asante Hospice
-Providence Hospice
-Ashland Hospice
-Lovejoy Hospice
-Winterspring Center for Grief and Bereavement

The organization officially changed its name to Southern Oregon Friends of Hospice with the tag line: supporting end-of-life care programs and also created a logo.

Southern Oregon Friends of Hospice short-term goals focused on creating a virtual resource center website and educating the community about hospice services. The long-term goal continued to be creation of a freestanding hospice residential care facility. We celebrated our second anniversary of Hospice Unique Boutique in June and awarded the second round of granting funds, $10,000 to:
-COHO (Choosing Options/Honoring Options)
-Asante Hospice
-Providence Hospice
-Ashland Hospice
-Lovejoy Hospice
-Winterspring Center for Grief and Bereavement

We also created our websites.

The organization celebrated the one-year anniversary of the Hospice Unique Boutique and gave away $5000 to the four hospices in the Rogue Valley, Threshold Choir and WinterSpring Center for Bereavement and Loss. In December, nursing students from the OHSU nursing program at SOU conducted a Feasibility Study for a freestanding Hospice house.

A Board of Directors was elected in January. They applied for and received nonprofit status in March. Their first project was to create a funding source for the organization by opening a resale shop. In April, a big moment came when the Board held a “Go” or “No Go” vote to open the resale shop. It was a unanimous “Go!” Even though we only had $6000 in the bank. They hired a manager for the Hospice Unique Boutique and held a grand opening in June.

Initially formed as a non-profit advisory board to Ashland Hospice, the organization refocused its mission to collaborate with all hospices in Jackson and Josephine Counties. Our dream was to create a freestanding hospice house. The first fundraiser, “parking lot sale,” was held at the Ashland Elks Lodge in July. Word of mouth to friends and relatives provided the goods for a successful sale, netting about $2500 on one very hot July day!