Sparrow Hospice Services celebrates 30 years

Published: Nov. 4, 2013

Sparrow Hospice Services is celebrating 30 years of compassionate hospice care during National Home Care and Hospice Month. In the past 30 years, we have cared for more than 22,000 patients and their families.

Here's our timeline of milestones in Sparrow Hospice Services' history:

1983: Hospice for Clinton County was born. A core of volunteers was trained to complement Home Health Staff. A volunteer Medical Director led the team and four hospice patients were cared for in the first year of the program

• The first Home Health Aide was hired to provide personal care for Hospice patients

1985: Hospice for Clinton County became the second Hospice program in the State of Michigan to become Joint Commission Accredited

• The first Social Worker was hired for the hospice program.

• A Bereavement program for grieving families was developed.

1987: Hospice for Clinton County met Medicare Conditions of Participation and became a Certified Hospice provider, the second in the mid-Michigan area. Hospice for Clinton County was now Clinton Memorial Home Health and Hospice Services.

1988: The first memorial service was held to remember 87 patients cared for since 1983.

1991: A nursing home environment was defined as a patient's home by Medicare which allowed Clinton Memorial Home Health and Hospice services to contract to provide Hospice care in the nursing home. The first contracts were established with Hazel Findlay Country Manor and Ovid Convalescent Manor.

1994: A second home hospice team was developed by coordinating services with Sparrow Home Care. The group underwent a third name change: Hospice of Clinton Memorial and Sparrow.

• Hospice of Clinton Memorial and Sparrow employed their first Medical Director.

1998: A 15 bed inpatient hospice, Hospice House of Mid-Michigan was built on the St. Lawrence Campus. It was a collaborative effort: St. Lawrence Hospital provided the space, Clinton Memorial Hospital provided the hospice license and Sparrow Hospital provided the financial leadership.

• Hospice House of Mid-Michigan became a licensed nursing home, which enabled them to bill room and board for Medicaid patients.

Nov. 4, 1998: The first Patient was admitted to Hospice House of Mid- Michigan.

1999: Sparrow Health System purchased Hospice of Clinton Memorial and Sparrow and renamed it: Sparrow Hospice Services.

• Sparrow Hospice Service administrative offices, Hospice House of Mid-Michigan and Sparrow Home Hospice were relocated together on the second floor of the St. Lawrence building.

• A third home hospice team was developed by coordinating services with Carson Home Care Network. Home Hospice services were offered to the service area of Carson City Hospital.

• Sparrow Hospice Services was the first hospice program in Mid-Michigan to incorporate "essential oils" into their symptom control protocols.

2000: The first Hike for Hospice was held to raise awareness and funds to support Sparrow Hospice Services.

• Sparrow Hospice Services became recognized by Medicare as a Multi-Site Hospice.

• Sparrow Hospice developed an inpatient Palliative Care consultation service to complement the Hospice program.

• Six additional rooms were added to Hospice House for a total of 21 patient rooms.

• Michigan Hospice and Palliative Care selected the Clinical Manager of Home Hospice, a Home Hospice Social Worker and the Medical Director of Hospice to be honorary members of the Michigan Hospice Dream Team.

• Hospice staff transitioned to McKesson Electronic Medical record

• In a period of nine years, three Hospice and Palliative Care RNs were recognized by Sparrow Hospital for nursing excellence and given the Jean Granger award.

• Co-sponsored Camp Forget Me Not, a grief camp for children with Hospice of Lansing and McLaren Visiting Nurse Hospice.

• Sparrow Hospice Services received Magnet designation as a department of Sparrow Hospital.

• Multiple Sparrow Hospice RNs become certified in Hospice and Palliative Care.

• Sparrow Hospice Medical Director and Sparrow Hospice Physicians became Board Certified in Hospice and Palliative Care

• Multiple Patient Care technicians became Board-certified in Hospice and Palliative care.

2013: Sparrow Hospice Services cared for more than 700 patients in eight counties in mid-Michigan. They have contracts with eight mid-Michigan nursing homes and care for Patients in multiple assisted living environments. For more information on Sparrow Hospice Services, visit