Interest in Hospice arose after local residents heard a speaker from Iowa City discuss a neighboring organization. In February of 1988, a Stephen Ministry Course was offered at the United Presbyterian Church in Washington; such courses taught how to provide caring ministry to others.

Marge Gloyer, whose nursing background provided her with a natural interest in Hospice, attended the course. She had observed a trend toward home care, due to a change in insurance laws concerning health care reimbursements, and felt there was a need for a hospice program in Washington.

The first hospice organizational meeting was held at the United Presbyterian Church on March 24, 1988. Nineteen people attended. In the fall of 1988, the first training class was offered and the first clients were served.

Medicare certification was accomplished in February of 1996. Growth was slow but steady. Much has been learned about patient care, operating procedures, fund-raising, legal issues, and volunteer training. Hospice of Washington County is a member of the National Hospice Organization and the Iowa Hospice Organization and adheres to their teachings and follows their standards of care.

Currently, Hospice of Washington County cares for an average daily census of 18; however, the number of clients is expected to increase as more people become aware of Hospice’s existence and abilities. Operating funds come from several sources including memorials, donations from the communities we serve, and fund-raisers. Reimbursement for services may come from: Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurance carriers. Hospice patients are accepted into the program based on their health needs not their ability to pay.