Sunday, June 02, 2002

Hospice to open in Butler County

        HAMILTON — Fort Hamilton Hospital plans to open its 14-bed hospice unit on Monday to serve terminally ill people in Butler County. A grand opening for the unit was held Wednesday.

        In general, people with cancer, heart failure, end-stage kidney disease, AIDS and other fatal illnesses become eligible for hospice care once doctors believe they have less than six months to live.

        Hospice services provide pain relief, counseling and other support once the patient decides not to seek aggressive medical care. Most hospice care is provided at a patient's home, but inpatient units are used when a person's condition becomes unmanageable at home.

        The Fort Hamilton hospice unit will be managed by VITAS Healthcare Corp. The $375,000 project, which started construction in February, will become the only hospital-based hospice in Butler County.


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