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Janet Sevier Gilbreath Award 1991

Osborne County Hospice, Inc.

1991 Winner
Janet Sevier Gilbreath Special Project Recognition Award

A group of Osborne County residents first met in June 1989 to discuss organizing a hospice to serve their county. Organizational efforts followed, including a public meeting and questionnaires to 250 county residents. By November, the group was incorporated. A Health Ministry Fund grant of $66, 989 was approved in September 1990 and the first patients were accepted in October 1990.

Within six months, the program had 12 nurses and 32 lay volunteers trained and willing to serve patients throughout the county. From the first, the program made community presentations and developed fundraising activities and educational resources. Although barely underway, the Board of Directors determined that Medicare certification would permit greater services to be delivered and sought to collaborate with surrounding counties to have a population base sufficient to support a Medicare-certified program.

In late 1991, the Solomon Valley Hospice in Beloit, serving Mitchell and Jewell Counties, and Osborne County Hospice agreed to merge to create a three-county hospice which is seeking Medicare certification. During its short life, Osborne County Hospice served 20 patients and their families. A fully-furnished hospice room in the Osborne County Hospital was developed. The program attracted more than $30,000 in financial support beyond the Health Ministry Fund grant and ended its separate corporate existence with more than $40,000 in assets.

The program has met and surpassed the goals and objectives established in the Health Ministry Fund grant documents. With more than 1,000 hours of volunteer service during its 15 months of operation, development of on-going community financial support, and consistent concern for financial and program management, Osborne County Hospice provided services to the dying and the bereaved who otherwise would have lacked services. The project also developed and maintained a vision of broader and longer term needs for rural hospice service. Its officers and staff actively participated in Association of Kansas Hospices training events, including the Kentucky trip in early 1991. With the strength of the former Solomon Valley Hospice and an expanded region, Hospice of the Heartland can utilize the volunteers and staff of the former Osborne County Hospice to continue to make a real difference in that area. Osborne County Hospice has indeed been a model ministry of health, healing, and wholeness.


Osborne County Hospice representatives: Pat Grabast, Carol VanPelt, June Thibault, Frances Leadabrand, Vicki Daise, and Ralph Holland.

Awarded March 11, 1992

Learn more about the Janet Sevier Gilbreath award