Support End-of-Life Care Today

This year, we have set a goal to raise $200,000 by July 31, 2024. Your contribution directly supports vital services for our residents and enables us to welcome anyone who needs us. For many, accessing round-the-clock skilled healthcare at home remains an elusive dream, clouded by financial barriers or the need for family caregivers. Please help Celia’s House bridge that gap and ensure we can help anyone who needs our care.

Mission

The mission of Southern Oregon Friends of Hospice is to sustain Celia’s House, to ensure dying individuals and their families are exceptionally cared for, and to promote broader knowledge on the benefits of end-of-life palliative care throughout our community.

 

Our History

The story of what makes Southern Oregon Friends of Hospice and Celia’s House so special and unique is about a small group of people from our local community. Beginning in 2008 they shared a dream of helping to bring end-of life comfort and peace to those unable to do so in their own homes. By 2018,  they purchased and transformed an iconic old house into a 12-room model of true excellence in end-of-life care, serving our entire region.

2008

Initially formed as a non-profit advisory board to Ashland Community Hospital Hospice, the organization refocused its mission to collaborate with all hospices in Jackson and Josephine Counties. The 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 $2,500 on one very hot July day!

2009

A Board of Directors was elected in January. They applied for and received nonprofit status in March. The 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!” with only $6000 in the bank. They hired a manager for the Hospice Unique Boutique and held a grand opening in June.

2010

The organization celebrated the 1st anniversary of the Hospice Unique Boutique by granting $5000 from the proceeds to the four hospices in the Rogue Valley, as well as to 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.

2011

The organization officially changed its name to Southern Oregon Friends of Hospice (SOFH)

Short-term goals focused on creating a virtual resource center website and educating the community about hospice and palliative care services. The long-term goal continued to be creation of a freestanding hospice residential care facility. We celebrated the 2nd 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 first websites.
sofriendsofhospice.org
hospiceuniqueboutique.org

2012

Susan Hearn was hired as the first Executive Director. Southern Oregon Friends of Hospice celebrated its 3rd anniversary of the Hospice Unique Boutique and awarded a 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

2013

In October, after researching the feasibility and budget to build and run a hospice house, the Board made the decision to move forward with building the first hospice residential care facility in the Rogue Valley. Celebrating Hospice Unique Boutique’s 4th anniversary, grants in the amount of $28,000 were awarded to:

-COHO (Choosing Options/Honoring Options)
-Asante Hospice
-Providence Hospice
-Ashland Hospice
-Lovejoy Hospice
-Winterspring Center for Grief and Bereavement

2014

Planning for a capital campaign began and committees were formed. Architect Ken Odgen designed plans for a 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. Over $9,000 in gifts were awarded to COHO, WinterSpring, and Trinity Respite Center. 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.

2015

Consultant Casey Woodard completed a feasibility study to determine community support for the hospice house project and capital campaign. Southern Oregon Friends of Hospice awarded a $5,000 gift to WinterSpring Center and COHO (Choosing Options/Honoring Options) to receive in-kind training community education services.

2016

Historic Home Designed by Paul R. Williams in 1939-1940 for Harry and Eleanor Holmes 

Through the generosity and dedication of many donors and volunteers, Southern Oregon Friends of Hospice 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 and the Hospice Unique Boutique.

2017

The plans for the Holmes Park House renovations and eight-bed addition were approved by the City of Medford and State of Oregon Health Authority in May. Following this approval, People’s Bank of Commerce approved a construction line of credit to begin in June. Having reached the $2 million mark 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 began in September with over two-thirds of our initial funding goal met. Initial planning for operations, training, and cultural development were underway for a planned spring 2018 opening.

2018

The capital campaign reached its goal—raising over $4 million with a generous naming gift from the Jed & Celia Meese Foundation, to officially be called Celia’s House in Holmes Park in honor of Celia Meese.

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

The construction and licensing of 12- bed Celia’s House in Holmes Park House residential hospice care was completed. On May 14, 2018 doors opened to residents. By the end of 2018 over 70 residents were served and hundreds of families and loved ones were supported. Newly hired staff and committed resident support volunteers provided kind and compassionate care. 

2019 

Celia’s House staff cared for 134 residents and supported over 1,000 of their visitors.

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

Volunteer with a resident in the sunroom

Over 200 volunteers provided 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.  

2020

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 COVID Response Team began meeting weekly to address safety issues and new regulations. Out of precaution, 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 lockdown orders for The HUB (SOFH fundraising resale boutique) impacted revenue along with some precautionary reductions in the number of residents accepted for admission. 


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 low–income 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.  
Our first full-time development director was hired, and after eight years, our beloved executive director Susan Hearn moved on to new challenges. 


Fall also saw the completion of a 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.

2021 


Even with Covid operation, financial impacts, and key personnel changes, Southern Oregon Friends of Hospice, Celia’s House and The HUB accomplished great things during a complex time. In October, we were excited to announce our new executive director, Dwight Wilson, RN, MN. 

To keep everyone safe, visitor restrictions impeded our volunteers’ ability to be with residents at the bedside. Masks, gowns and face shields in place, everyone still found unique ways to support our residents, families, caregiving staff, and volunteers by keeping hearts focused on quality end-of-life care and experiences.

We are so grateful to the many community donors that helped us meet rising costs during our Volunteers & Friends fundraising appeal. The subsequent generosity of Jed & Celia Meese allowed us to pay off Celia’s House mortgage – a monumental gift that saved $6,330 in monthly payments! A second government “Payroll Protection Plan” loan helped us retain and pay all our employees during the darkest pandemic days.                                                                                                                    

With the organization’s emphasis on inclusion, residents who qualify are now financially benefitting from assistance agreements with Asante, Providence, and Medicaid. Six of our 12 beds are now dedicated for financial assistance through our hospital partners, Medicaid, and the Celia’s House Care Fund. In partnership with the Oregon Community Foundation and through the contributions of visionary donors, we were able to establish an Endowment fund to build long-term sustainability. The HUB resale store continued to shine brightly, providing 18% of our revenue; and with the aid of vaccinations, volunteers began returning to Celia’s House, bringing joy to residents and staff alike.

2022

We can never say thank you enough for all the ways our community provides support. This year was good to us, even in the face of headwinds: COVID-19, a community-wide shortage of caregivers, and an ambitious aspiration to serve residents from all backgrounds and financial needs. Celia’s House continued to lead as a unique nonprofit model for end-of-life care throughout Oregon; we had our best fundraising year; and 2022 accomplishments focused on solidifying our future.

2022 Accomplishments

  • We proudly issued our first comprehensive annual report, providing a snap shot of the year including a financial report. You can view the 2022 Annual Report at: 2022 Annual Report
  • Provided care for everyone who needed us, regardless of their financial situation.
  • Recruited and retained compassionate staff.
  • Simplified admission processes for Celia’s House.
  • Volunteers returned to support residents, loved ones, and staff.
  • Expanded our No One Dies Alone program.
  • Held our first annual Remembrance event to honor all residents that died at Celia’s House the previous year. Family and friends were invited to view engraved memorial paver bricks—one with each former resident’s name— and enjoy food and drink in the beautiful outdoor garden.
  • Strengthened relationships with our hospice partners and Medcaid certified all 12 of our beds.
  • Educational outreach increased through community presentations and well-attended OLLI classes.
  • We updated and improved our Website for ease of use.
  • The HUB (Hospice Unique Boutique) continued to be a trusted source of funds, providing 16% of our revenue.
  • Our Board of Directors transitioned from involvement in day-to-day operations to a financial and strategic governing role, focusing on priorities for our organization’s long-term success. The Board expanded to help us better reflect the diverse community we serve and set community outreach as an important priority.

2023 Annual Report

Throughout the day at Celia’s House, there are profound moments between caregivers, staff and residents. The power in these interactions allow a resident to feel seen and cared for, and a caregiver to experience the gratification of providing comfort, kindness and connection.

Read our 2023 Annual Report Here

Fulfilling the Mission

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utdzeuxdNdQ

Celia’s House opened in April of 2018 and as of August 2023, has served 520 people from diverse backgrounds and income levels.  All of our beds are subsidized so the entire community has access to dignified, quality end-of-life care.

Vision

Create a community which understands and transforms the dying process into a time of opportunity for meaningful closure, supporting each dying person, their loved ones, and the dedicated caregivers who serve them.