Hospice of North Idaho opens campus

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  • LOREN BENOIT/Press Hospice of North Idaho unveiled a 15,000-square-foot, $3.5 million building in March, which was dedicated with a ribbon-cutting earlier this week. The addition to the neighboring Hospice House gives Hospice of North Idaho Idaho’s first and only hospice campus with a mission to help those that seek end of life care.

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    The two-story Hospice of North Idaho building features large conference and board rooms for educational, social and community purposes. (LOREN BENOIT/Press)

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    The new Hospice of North Idaho building also features a number of educational lab rooms to help teach caregivers end of life care. (LOREN BENOIT/Press)

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    Primary registered nurse Donna Markert organizes patient visits on her computer Friday afternoon at Hospice of North Idaho. (LOREN BENOIT/Press)

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    On the second floor in the new Hospice of North Idaho building are two private "phone booth" rooms for important conversations between employees and their patients. (LOREN BENOIT/Press)

  • LOREN BENOIT/Press Hospice of North Idaho unveiled a 15,000-square-foot, $3.5 million building in March, which was dedicated with a ribbon-cutting earlier this week. The addition to the neighboring Hospice House gives Hospice of North Idaho Idaho’s first and only hospice campus with a mission to help those that seek end of life care.

  • 1

    The two-story Hospice of North Idaho building features large conference and board rooms for educational, social and community purposes. (LOREN BENOIT/Press)

  • 2

    The new Hospice of North Idaho building also features a number of educational lab rooms to help teach caregivers end of life care. (LOREN BENOIT/Press)

  • 3

    Primary registered nurse Donna Markert organizes patient visits on her computer Friday afternoon at Hospice of North Idaho. (LOREN BENOIT/Press)

  • 4

    On the second floor in the new Hospice of North Idaho building are two private "phone booth" rooms for important conversations between employees and their patients. (LOREN BENOIT/Press)

By DEVIN WEEKS

Staff Writer

COEUR d’ALENE — Soothing blues and greens, eye-catching photography and a spacious layout to accommodate a multitude of needs are all characteristics of Hospice of North Idaho’s new community building.

"We’re here for the community. We’re owned by the community and this is their building," Hospice of North Idaho executive director Kim Ransier said Friday afternoon during a press tour. "We want them to use it and come and learn about end-of-life issues so they're not making critical decisions the last week of their life."

The 15,000-square-foot, $3.5 million structure opened in March and was dedicated with a ribbon-cutting earlier this week. It is situated adjacent the Hospice of North Idaho Schneidmiller Hospice House at 2290 Prairie Ave., but far enough away to protect the privacy of families and patients while still being accessible.

The two-story building features large conference and board rooms for educational, social and community purposes, about 16 offices for full-time staff, a training room with a learning lab, a full kitchen, modern technology, a bereavement hall with private counseling rooms, private "phone booth" rooms for important conversations, a patio that leads to a rolling lawn and walkway, parking for 110 vehicles and sunny windows that brighten every room.

“It’s just awesome,” Ransier said. "People that are here all day long, they’re the ones who get offices with windows. We told the architect we want windows every place you can put them."

“It’s an uplifting place to work,” said Denna Grangaard, Hospice of North Idaho's director of communication.

Ransier said the nonprofit is paying a mortgage for the community building, but it was also funded with favorable financing and generous donations.

The building's addition to the neighboring Hospice House gives Hospice of North Idaho the distinction of operating Idaho's first and only hospice campus.

"Around Boise, where the majority of the population is, they have for-profit hospices. They have 37, so they’re very competitive. Not one of them has a high enough census of patients to support (a campus)," Ransier said, adding that it's a sad situation for that area because patients usually end up in nursing homes or back in the hospital.

"I was on the board many, many years ago and we just had this vision that we could have our own in-patient facility, everything on one whole campus, and wouldn’t that be cool? So that if a family needed extra support — a chaplain, or somebody — that we were right here available to them instead of some place else in another building where it takes 20 minutes, or now, with traffic, 30 minutes, to get here," she said. "The concept and the vision has always been to have a hospice campus.

"When we were lucky enough to be offered this 6-acre parcel, that’s when we started saying, 'OK, we could start with the hospice house, then move on to this building and etc., etc.'"

Hospice of North Idaho staff, volunteers and officials are all pleased and grateful for the new building, which was designed by Steve Roth of Architects West and built by Young Construction.

"The other building was really dark and you couldn’t really find people," Ransier said, referring to the old admin building on north Government Way in Hayden. "You go back over there and you’re like, ‘How did we ever work in here?'"

The community building has already served as a space for memorial services, retirement parties, work meetings and more. Caregiver classes are lined up for the fall and space is available for businesses and organizations to rent out for meetings, workshops or other functions.

Juanita Morgan of Hayden has volunteered with Hospice of North Idaho for six years. She said this building is palatial compared to the old one.

"It is gorgeous,” she said. “It’s bright and its cheerful.”

Info: www.hospiceofnorthidaho.org

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