Mercy Regional Medical Center will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for its new hospice at 12:30 p.m. Thursday.
The ceremony will take place on an undeveloped plot on the southwest side of the hospital at 1010 Three Springs Blvd. in Durango.
The 11,000-square-foot facility will include eight beds on 1.3-acres and cost about $5.6 million to develop. The residence – unofficially called Hospice of Mercy Experience (HOME) – is funded through donations to Mercy Health Foundation.
Health officials said Tuesday donations are at $4.7 million. Joy Hess, development officer for Mercy Health Foundation, said facility is expected to open in the spring of 2017. The project is largely funded by private donations.
In December, The Durango Herald reported that Mercy health officials said the hospice would fill a gap in the region’s health care continuum.
Throughout Durango and La Plata County, options for end-of-life care include nursing homes, in-home hospice and, in extreme cases, a bed in a hospital room. But an in-residency hospice has never been available, health officials said.
Officials at Mercy have said the timing is right for such a facility to serve Southwest Colorado.
With recent projections estimating the number of households made up of people 65 or older more than doubling – from 5,500 to 11,000 – by 2040 in La Plata County, the increase of seniors will create a higher demand for care.