Providing Hospice Care to the greater Atlanta area since 1975.
Hospice Atlanta is the oldest hospice in the State of Georgia and had its beginning in 1975. At that time, two women from the Unitarian Universalist Congregation, Frances West and Mona Casino, began the program in order to care for a member of their congregation. Members of the church gathered together to support that patient and their family.
As time went on, the number of volunteers increased, and they began to serve more patients. A board of directors was developed to assist in guiding the volunteer staff. Volunteer support groups met in the homes of various volunteers. Saint Joseph’s Hospital donated office space and an initial grant was obtained in 1981 for hiring professional staff. Patient and family services were still provided by volunteers and consisted primarily of emotional and practical support.
In 1983, Hospice Atlanta became a program of the Visiting Nurse Association of Metropolitan Atlanta, a United Way Agency. This affiliation enabled hospice to comply with newly enacted state and federal standards governing provision of hospice care. In addition, Hospice Atlanta hired professional caregivers (nurses and social workers) to provide direct services to patients and families. Both professional and paraprofessional volunteers served as members of the hospice team to provide care to patients and their families. During 1984 and 1985, Hospice Atlanta’s caseload and staffing increased significantly. This trend has continued, as hospice care has become better known in the community and among health care professionals. We now serve terminal patients and their families in 26 counties in the State of Georgia.