About Us

Home health nurse preparing her medical supplies in the back of her SUV

 

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 1981, 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.

Mission

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.

Our Journey

1977
January

Time for Change

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.

April

Community Home Health Incorporated

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.

June

1023 Broadway

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
1978
April

First Grant Received

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.

May

Hospice Needed in Community

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.

October

Hospice Program Begins

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.

1980
January

Building Foundations

Building Foundations

Berndt works with the State of Washington to write regulations and Washington Administrative Codes for a Hospice facility.

August

Community Expands

Community Expands

Community receives a second federal grant to expand services into Columbia County, Oregon.

1981
January

Volunteer Education

Volunteer Education

Community holds first Hospice Volunteer training class led by Coordinator Ruth Henderson.

March

Friends of Hospice

Friends of Hospice

Community organizes first Community Home Health Support Guild. The name later changes to Friends of Hospice.

June

Funds Needed for Facility

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.

1982
April

Volunteer Recognition

Volunteer Recognition

Community holds first annual Volunteer Recognition event at the Longview Women’s Club.

December

Hospice Facility Proposal

Hospice Facility Proposal

Community presents a proposal for a four bed Hospice Care Center to the Southwest Washington Health Systems Agency.

1983
March

1035 11th Avenue

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.

June

Building Begins

Building Begins

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.

1984
March

First Hospice Facility in Washington

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.

1985
January

First Hospice Memorial

Community holds organization’s first Hospice Memorial service.

June

First Pediatric Patient

First Pediatric Patient

Community’s first pediatric patient of 9 years old is admitted to the Hospice Care Center.

1987
February

Community Hospice Foundation Established

Community Hospice Foundation Established
First Foundation Trustees
Dr. John Berwind Bob Grambo
Veta Boyd Ruth Henderson
Robert Chace Grace Mack
Ken Dahl Ron Marshall
Dr. William De’ak Gladys Petters
Elfredia Franzen Harry Renick
1988
February

Community Home Health & Hospice

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.

1994
September

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.

1995
February

Expansion Plans Begin

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.

1996
January

Construction Begins

Construction Begins

Ground is broken and expansion project begins. A new wing of the Hospice Care Center and additional office space are on the horizon.

October

A New Wing for the Care Center

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.

1997
March

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.

1999
June

Youth Bereavement Initiated

Youth Bereavement Initiated

Community initiates teen and children grief groups. First children’s camp is held.

2004
April

Camp Cedars

Community’s Children Bereavement program changes the name of their kid’s camp to Camp Cedars – A Children’s Grief Camp.

June

Palliative Care Program Initiated

Community initiates its Palliative Care Program under the already established Hospice program.

November

Another Expansion on the Horizon

Community purchases two Fir Street complex properties for parking, storage & possible bereavement center.

2005
June

Hospice Thrift Shop

Hospice Thrift Shop

Community opens Hospice Thrift Shop at 1246 Commerce in Longview.

September

Greg Pang, MHA, CHCE

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.

2006
January

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.

August

First Chaplain

Longview office hires first Chaplain for Hospice program.

2007
July

CHAP

CHAP (Community Health Accreditation Program) awards Community accreditation for Home Health, Hospice and Home Care. This replaces JCAHO accreditation.

November

Telemonitoring Introduced

A $25,000 grant is received from the Healthcare Foundation for new Telemonitoring program in Home Health.

December

Tree of Remembrance

Community partners with Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center to hold first Tree of Remembrance & Healing event.

2008
February

Community Day Care

Community Day Care opens at 1000 12th Avenue.

October

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.

2009
December

Top 25%

Community Home health is named in the top 25% home health agencies in the US.

2010
August

Estate gift

An anonymous donor gives an estate gift of $95,000

September

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.

December

Business Development

New Business Development program is established to increase hospice, home health and home care admissions. Professional sales staff replace clinical nurse liaisons.

2011
January

Vancouver Care Center on the horizon

Vancouver Care Center on the horizon

Board of Directors approves building/design contractor JH Kelley to begin construction on the Vancouver facility.

March

Community Legacy Society

Community Legacy Society

Community initiates Community Legacy Society to recognize donors who make a planned gift to the agency.

2012
April

Hospice for Clark County

Hospice for Clark County

Department of Health approves Certificate of Need Application to build a 10 bed hospice center in Clark County.

May

Pet Peace of Mind

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.

May

35 years

35 years

First Home at Last charity care gala is held, raising almost $100,000. The gala honors the agency’s 35th anniversary.

November

James Avery Grief Center

James Avery Grief Center

Community opens James Avery Center for Grief Support and Recovery at 1000 12th Avenue in Longview.

December

E. Kenneth Henderson

The estate of E. Kenneth Henderson gifts $217,318.56 in cash along with art valued at $1,305.

2013
May

A gift from Dr. Nau

A gift from Dr. Nau

Dr. Richard C. Nau gives Community 3,230 shares of Microsoft valued at $106,232.63.

August

Grateful Hearts

Grateful Hearts

Grateful Hearts program is initiated to raise funds in honor of outstanding agency employees and volunteers.

2014
March

Construction begins in Vancouver

Construction begins in Vancouver

Community breaks ground on the new Hospice Care Center in Vancouver.

April

E. Kenneth Henderson Memorial Garden

E. Kenneth Henderson Memorial Garden

Community dedicates the newly constructed memorial garden in Longview the E. Kenneth Henderson Memorial Garden.

2015
June

Elaine & Don Heimbigner Hospice Care Center

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.

July

Vancouver grief center a possibility

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.

November

More support for Vancouver grief center

A $250,000 grant from the Murdock Charitable trust is awarded to Community Home Health & Hospice for the Vancouver grief support center project.

2016
April

Wollenberg also shows support

The Wollenberg Foundation awards Community a $100,000 grant for the Vancouver grief center project.

October

Home Care Elite

Home Care Elite

Community Home Health & Hospice receives a Home Care Elite award. Community has won this award every year since 2008.

2018
April

Seasons of Hope

Seasons of Hope

Community begins construction on the Seasons of Hope Grief Support Center and Memorial Garden in Vancouver.

2019
January

Grief Center in Vancouver Opens

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.

February

Home At Last Gala Retires

Community retires the Home At Last Annual Gala after having raised over $700,000 in 8 years for charity care.

How to Get Started

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Home Care

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Home Health

Our home health care can help your loved ones heal…

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Hospice

Our hospice professionals bring expert care to your loved one…

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Grief Support

We offer a safe place to find hope and healing…

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