A Family Affair
Building relationships with the entire family
As a Department of Health (DOH) nurse in the 1970s, Lorraine Berndt saw first-hand that the DOH was unable to meet the home health needs of her community. She decided to fix that in 1977.
Then a supervising nurse within the Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Public Health District’s home health care program, Berndt borrowed $10,000 and worked tirelessly to make the program separate from the district. Before long the program became a non-profit organization and a year later began to receive federal funds for operation.
Berndt’s vision caught momentum. Her next goal was to provide hospice care for terminal patients and she began to work with the Southwest Washington Agency on Aging; more federal grants were awarded; more community members became involved; and in June 1984, the Longview Care Center became the first freestanding hospice inpatient unit in Washington.
More than 40 years later, Berndt’s vision for family support along with patient care is still growing.
One With The Community
Berndt started Community Home Health & Hospice with the community in mind. With the greater Portland/Vancouver metro area to the south, Cowlitz County has retained that small, hometown feel. A place where neighbors say hello, come together to celebrate familial milestones, or catch up during soccer or baseball games. In 1988, we expanded our care into Clark County and brought Berndt’s passion for community with us.
It’s a fact of life: We all grow older with each passing day, working, playing, and enjoying life all along the way. But when the end draws close, it’s important to be surrounded by family, friends, and the community. And that’s what Community Home Health & Hospice provides our clients. We build these personal relationships before the professional relationship ever begins.
Our mission is to bring peace of mind to patients and their families by providing compassionate, dignified, collaborative, and patient-focused home healthcare and hospice.
Time for Change
Lorraine Berndt worked as a nurse at the Health Department in 1977. The DOH was unable to meet the Home Health needs of the community and wasn’t willing to change the program to meet these needs. Lorraine borrows $10,000 to start the Home Health program independent of the Health Department.
Community Home Health Incorporated
Community Home Health is incorporated as a nonprofit corporation for the purpose of providing a more progressive and effective Home Health Agency to meet the needs of the elderly population of Cowlitz County.
Lorraine opens the doors of Community Home Health at 1023 Broadway, Longview. The staff consists of two nurses, one LPN (working as an aide) and one clerical support person.
|First Board of Directors
||First Prof. Advisory Committee
|W.E. “Duane” Wend, President
||Stanley R. Norquist, MD
|Naomi Cummings, Vice President
||Ellen Rosbach, RN
|Donald Clarke, MD
||Richard Kirkpatrick, MD
|Stanley Norquist, MD
||Norma Borgford, RN
|Allan K. Peterson, Secretary/Treasurer
|John McEwen, Asst Secretary
First Grant Received
Community receives first federal grant to expand Home Health program to Wahkiakum County, WA. Offices move to 900 Fir Street in Longview.
Hospice Needed in Community
Berndt runs into a problem. Of the two hospitals in the area, neither will provide a hospital bed for acute care for Community’s patients. She begins exploring Hospice to support families facing terminal issues.
Hospice Program Begins
Community’s Hospice program is initiated. Berndt works with Southwest Washington Agency on Aging, and experiences continued growth and expansion of the Home Health and Hospice programs.
Berndt works with the State of Washington to write regulations and Washington Administrative Codes for a Hospice facility.
Community receives a second federal grant to expand services into Columbia County, Oregon.
Community holds first Hospice Volunteer training class led by Coordinator Ruth Henderson.
Friends of Hospice
Community organizes first Community Home Health Support Guild. The name later changes to Friends of Hospice.
Funds Needed for Facility
Fund drive begins for the Hospice Care Center building project. This will be Washington’s first freestanding hospice inpatient unit. The Cowlitz/Wahkiakum Health District ceases providing home health care around this time as well.
Community holds first annual Volunteer Recognition event at the Longview Women’s Club.
Hospice Facility Proposal
Community presents a proposal for a four bed Hospice Care Center to the Southwest Washington Health Systems Agency.
1035 11th Avenue
Bernard Pepin, DDS, donates property for future site of Community’s Hospice Care Center and breaks ground for the new facility at 1035 11th Avenue, Longview.
Fibre Federal Credit Union approves a building loan and local Labor Unions volunteer labor to construct the inpatient Hospice facility and second floor offices. Community receives donated labor and materials for the project from the community. Jerry Duby, a retired builder, volunteers and spends the next two years overseeing the construction of the new facility.
First Hospice Facility in Washington
Community’s Hospice Care Center becomes the twenty sixth Hospice facility in the nation and the first in Washington state. Rooms are dedicated as follows: all patient rooms separate of 101, 102 and 104 were donated by individuals.; room 111 was donated by the Weyerhauser Foundation and the Family Room was donated by Helen Breke Smith in memory of Reg Smith.
First Hospice Memorial
Community holds organization’s first Hospice Memorial service.
First Pediatric Patient
Community’s first pediatric patient of 9 years old is admitted to the Hospice Care Center.
Community Hospice Foundation Established
|First Foundation Trustees
|Dr. John Berwind
|Dr. William De’ak
Community Home Health & Hospice
Community Home Health is reincorporated as Community Home Health/Hospice following consolidation of Community Home Health and Hospice of Clark County. A branch office is staffed and maintained in Vancouver.
Community Development Block Grant
Community is awarded a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant from Washington State. A part-time Fund Development position and volunteer Building Fundraising Committee is established for community fundraising.
Expansion Plans Begin
Community selects an architect to design plans to: expand the Hospice Care Center from four to 12 patient rooms; build additional office space to consolidate all Longview staff under one roof; and remodel/modernize the existing Hospice Care Center and second floor office space.
Ground is broken and expansion project begins. A new wing of the Hospice Care Center and additional office space are on the horizon.
A New Wing for the Care Center
New wing of Hospice Care Center is opened and staff is moved into new offices. Remodel of old wing and second floor office space begins.
Remodel and Expansion Celebrated
Community celebrates the completion of the Hospice Care Center Expansion Project from the month previous with an Open House and tours of the new facility. The new building is dedicated on Sunday, March 16, 1997.
Youth Bereavement Initiated
Community initiates teen and children grief groups. First children’s camp is held.
Community’s Children Bereavement program changes the name of their kid’s camp to Camp Cedars – A Children’s Grief Camp.
Palliative Care Program Initiated
Community initiates its Palliative Care Program under the already established Hospice program.
Another Expansion on the Horizon
Community purchases two Fir Street complex properties for parking, storage & possible bereavement center.
Hospice Thrift Shop
Community opens Hospice Thrift Shop at 1246 Commerce in Longview.
Greg Pang, MHA, CHCE
Communty Board appoints Greg Pang, MHA, CHCE, as Chief Operating Officer. Lorraine Berndt will retire in April of 2006 and Pang will then be appointed as Executive Director.
Demo for Expansion Begins
Community begins demolition of their two Fir Street complexes purchased in November of 2004. Meanwhile, Vancouver office moves to new location at 14508 NE 20th Avenue.
Longview office hires first Chaplain for Hospice program.
CHAP (Community Health Accreditation Program) awards Community accreditation for Home Health, Hospice and Home Care. This replaces JCAHO accreditation.
A $25,000 grant is received from the Healthcare Foundation for new Telemonitoring program in Home Health.
Community Day Care
Community Day Care opens at 1000 12th Avenue.
Telemonitoring Program Raises More Money
Department of Health & Human Services awards Community with $237,000 grant towards Telemonitoring program and receives a separate private donation of $24,000 for four monitors. Meanwhile, Dr. Tanya Steward is appointed by the Board of Directors as a Medical Staff Director to support the Vancouver office.
Community Home health is named in the top 25% home health agencies in the US.
3102 NE 134th St.
Community purchases property at 3100, 3107, and 3113 NE 136th Circle, Vancouver, Washington. Ron Wilson and Jan Quann also donates land parcel 186389000 for the purpose of expanding Vancouver operations.
The agency also launches chhh.org within the same month.
New Business Development program is established to increase hospice, home health and home care admissions. Professional sales staff replace clinical nurse liaisons.
Vancouver Care Center on the horizon
Board of Directors approves building/design contractor JH Kelley to begin construction on the Vancouver facility.
Hospice for Clark County
Department of Health approves Certificate of Need Application to build a 10 bed hospice center in Clark County.
First Home at Last charity care gala is held, raising almost $100,000. The gala honors the agency’s 35th anniversary.
Pet Peace of Mind
Community becomes the first Washington hospice agency to establish the Pet Peace of Mind program in partnership with Banfield Charitable Trust to keep pets and patients together during hospice care.
James Avery Grief Center
Community opens James Avery Center for Grief Support and Recovery at 1000 12th Avenue in Longview.
E. Kenneth Henderson
The estate of E. Kenneth Henderson gifts $217,318.56 in cash along with art valued at $1,305.
Grateful Hearts program is initiated to raise funds in honor of outstanding agency employees and volunteers.
Construction begins in Vancouver
Community breaks ground on the new Hospice Care Center in Vancouver.
E. Kenneth Henderson Memorial Garden
Community dedicates the newly constructed memorial garden in Longview the E. Kenneth Henderson Memorial Garden.
Elaine & Don Heimbigner Hospice Care Center
Community opens the Elaine & Don Heimbigner Hospice Care Center at 3102 NE 134th Street in Vancouver. This is the agency’s second hospice care center, and of the 11 inpatient units statewide, Community operates two.
Vancouver grief center a possibility
A $1 million grant is awarded for the Vancouver grief support center project by the State of Washington Department of Commerce’s Building Communities Fund.
Home Care Elite
Community Home Health & Hospice receives a Home Care Elite award. Community has won this award every year since 2008.
Seasons of Hope
Community begins construction on the Seasons of Hope Grief Support Center and Memorial Garden in Vancouver.
Grief Center in Vancouver Opens
Community opens the Seasons of Hope Grief Support Center and Memorial Garden in Vancouver. A grand opening celebration is held at a later date in March of the same year.