With a $2 million federal loan secured, the TJ Community Mission Foundation will soon be ready to begin construction of a hospice care center in Glasgow.
The foundation recently received the Rural Economic Development Loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture that will allow work to begin on the facility, according to TJ Regional Health CEO Neil Thornbury, who is also a member of the foundation.
Thornbury said the foundation wants to provide a local option for people who need hospice care.
“It’s just having this option for them in this community that they don’t already have,” he said.
The center will be named Shanti Niketan Hospice Home, a name suggested by Bharat Mody, a retired surgeon who has been involved in raising funds for the project.
Mody said Shanti Niketan is a phrase that means “the place for inner peace.”
While Mody was working as a surgeon and his wife as an obstetrician-gynecologist, the couple came to the conclusion that greater access to hospice care in the Glasgow area was needed, he said.
“During our practice, we took care of a lot of terminally ill people and their families and we saw the need for this,” Mody said, adding that they frequently visited patients and their families, many of them living outside Barren County, to check on them.
“We would come to comfort our patients,” he said. “We went to their homes, actually.”
During some of these visits, Mody saw that some families needed additional help taking care of sick loved ones. “Sometimes (they need) more support or ... a little break, because taking care of their relatives is hard on them,” he said.
Mody said two hospice care providers – Hosparus Health and Hospice of Southern Kentucky – operate in Glasgow, but neither has a hospice facility in Barren County.
Barren County residents with terminally ill family members in need of hospice care must either send them to a facility outside the county or have a hospice worker come to their home, an option Mody said many families consider limiting.
“They provide care at home,” he said. “If someone needs more care, then there’s no place in Glasgow.”
Donors have pledged about $2 million to the project, but only about $1 million of that is currently available for the foundation’s use, Thornbury said.
The foundation needed about $3 million to begin the project, he said.
With the USDA loan, the foundation has the funding it needs. Thornbury said he expects construction to begin within the next two to three months.
The hospice center will be built on Glenview Drive, across the street from the hospital on land owned by the hospital, Thornbury said. He expects construction to be finished within 12 months of breaking ground.
While the hospice facility will initially have eight beds, Thornbury said it will be built to allow future expansion, if needed.
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