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.
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.
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|
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.
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.
Community holds organization’s first Hospice Memorial service.
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.
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.
Community’s Children Bereavement program changes the name of their kid’s camp to Camp Cedars – A Children’s Grief Camp.
Community initiates its Palliative Care Program under the already established Hospice program.
Community purchases two Fir Street complex properties for parking, storage & possible bereavement center.
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 partners with Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center to hold first Tree of Remembrance & Healing event.
Community Day Care opens at 1000 12th Avenue.
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.
An anonymous donor gives an estate gift of $95,000
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.
Board of Directors approves building/design contractor JH Kelley to begin construction on the Vancouver facility.
Community initiates Community Legacy Society to recognize donors who make a planned gift to the agency.
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.
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.
Community opens James Avery Center for Grief Support and Recovery at 1000 12th Avenue in Longview.
The estate of E. Kenneth Henderson gifts $217,318.56 in cash along with art valued at $1,305.
Dr. Richard C. Nau gives Community 3,230 shares of Microsoft valued at $106,232.63.
Grateful Hearts program is initiated to raise funds in honor of outstanding agency employees and volunteers.
Community breaks ground on the new Hospice Care Center in Vancouver.
Community dedicates the newly constructed memorial garden in Longview the E. Kenneth Henderson Memorial Garden.
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.
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.
Community Home Health & Hospice receives a Home Care Elite award. Community has won this award every year since 2008.
A $250,000 grant from the Murdock Charitable trust is awarded to Community Home Health & Hospice for the Vancouver grief support center project.
The Wollenberg Foundation awards Community a $100,000 grant for the Vancouver grief center project.
Flooding in the basement at Community’s Longview location results in urgent repairs to the facility, and subsequent improvements in work spaces and meeting technology.
Community begins construction on the Seasons of Hope Grief Support Center and Memorial Garden in Vancouver.
Community retires the Home At Last Annual Gala after having raised over $700,000 in 8 years for charity care.
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