Hope Hospice and Highlands Regional Medical Center have announced plans to introduce the first hospice in-patient care program in Highlands County. “Hope at Highlands Regional” will be located on the second floor of the Sebring hospital in an area specially designed for hospice care. It will include seven patient care suites and a family room and will be attended by hospice staff 24 hours a day.

While Hope currently provides hospice care to many Highlands County residents in their own homes, the in-patient program will enable Hope to better meet special needs while offering the community much greater access to services.

All of the hospital’s amenities will be available to hospice patients’ families, including food services, convenient parking and after-hours security.

The program is scheduled to begin in July.

“Hope Hospice has served the residents of southwest Florida for 30 years and we were privileged to begin providing service in Highlands County in 2006. We immediately saw the need for an in-patient hospice program here,” said Hope President and CEO Samira K. Beckwith. “Among the many fine hospitals in the area, we were fortunate that Highlands Regional was able to make this accommodation, which uses our combined resources very efficiently and at no cost to the community. We are grateful to Robert Mahaffey, the CEO and Administrator, for collaborating with us in this major step forward in local health care.” Beckwith added that a local contractor and other local businesses are involved in the renovation being undertaken for Hope at Highlands Regional.

“We are delighted to welcome Hope Hospice to Highlands Regional,” Mahaffey said. “This partnership will greatly benefit the community, as Highlands Regional Medical Center and Hope Hospice are both dedicated to providing quality, compassionate care, focused on exceptional customer service. This takes health care to a new level in Highlands County and the surrounding area.”