If a grassroots movement is successful, the former St. Mary's Residential Hospice in Halls will become Sacred Ground Hospice House and reopen. Photo via Facebook

When Halls Residential Hospice closed last summer, Cindy Bradley embarked on a mission to reopen the facility that is dear to so many.

The effort is still underway, and Sacred Ground Residential Hospice House is still accepting donations and pledges, but a crucial need is still to be met. Bradley said the hospice fund has $4,000 in the bank and $650,000 in pledges, “but what we need is an angel to buy the property and let us have a lease.”

The problem, she said, is in the numbers. For most of the hospice’s history, it operated as a non-profit under St. Mary’s. Fundraising and support from local hospitals kept the doors open. But for a bank to give a loan to buy the property, the business needs to have shown a profit.

Specifically, Bradley thinks a partnership with a medical college or a philanthropic donor connected with a college would be ideal, and she asked for anyone with such connections to reach out.

Cindy Bradley

“If you know any of those people, it would be a win-win for them,” she said. “We are in the process of working to have people help set up those appointments. We are working non-stop to try to make this happen. We’re not going to give up.

If the revived hospice becomes a reality, Bradley already has two volunteers for the board of directors and is seeking more. Tennova VP Becky Dodson and former Summit Medical Group CEO Tim Young are helping as advisors now and will become board members if the need arises.

Dodson has 33 years of service with the organization that started as St. Mary’s, later becoming Mercy and now Tennova. She has many years of volunteer experience serving on nonprofit boards, and she is helping Bradley with this effort on her own time, not on behalf of Tennova.

Becky Dodson (Photo via LinkedIn)

“My own family members have been there, and I’ve known many people who have benefited from the services offered there,” Dodson said. “I feel strongly that there might be a better way to help people pass from this world to the next. In-home hospice is wonderful, but many people don’t have the ability to stay in their own home because they have no caregiver I just hope we can provide an option for people who really want to focus on quality of life for what they have left and make it as comfortable and enriching as possible.”

Tim Young (Photo via LinkedIn)

Young has 21 years of experience as CEO of Summit. He was one of the first people to whom Bradley reached out for help with the project.

“I was very impressed by what she was trying to do, and I was happy to help her in any way that I reasonably could,” he said. “Rarely does anything happen that is not rooted in the origin of a few people who care a lot, and (Bradley) has certainly been led to not let this go away, and she cares deeply and profoundly about the community and people who are served by this organization.”

Young said residential hospice care is of interest to him because it helps people die “with grace and dignity and preserve and protect their family.”

Bradley asked that the community continue to pray for the hospice effort.

“This facility is such a gift to the community, and to lose it would just be tragic,” she said.

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Written by Shannon Carey
Fountain City shannon.b.carey@gmail.com 865-235-5324