Good Samaritan opens first freestanding hospice house in Roanoke Valley

The nonprofit hopes to begin accepting patients in September

ROANOKE, Va. – Good Samaritan Hospice, a community-based nonprofit, hopes its new freestanding hospice house will help address a need for services in the region.

The 16-bed facility, called the Sheila S. Strauss Hospice House, is set to welcome patients this fall on a hilltop over Peters Creek Road in Roanoke.

On Wednesday, CEO of Good Samaritan, Aaron Housh gave 10 News a tour of the new facility.

“I think as you take a look around and as you can see around, we designed this to be as home-like as possible. What do people have in their home? They have a kitchen, they have a dining room, they have living space...there’s a little spot in the back for a children’s area,” Housh said.

Housh began the search for the property in 2019. He wanted the new facility to be located just 15 minutes away from the two major health systems in the area, Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital and LewisGale Medical Center. He also wanted it close to Interstate 81 to make it easy to travel to for people who live outside the city.

It’s estimated that more than 78,000 people over the age of 60 live within the service area of the Local Office on Aging, which includes Roanoke, Craig, Alleghany, Botetourt and Roanoke counties, and the cities of Roanoke, Salem and Covington, according to data from the University of Virginia Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service.

The nearest hospice houses to Roanoke are in Beckley, West Virginia, and in Greensboro, North Carolina.

“It’s not just Southwest Virginia, it’s the entire country...aging at a very fast rate,” Housh said.

The hospice house provides wraparound services for its patients and families including pain management, bereavement counseling and will have the capability to provide ICU support.

Good Samaritan will continue its at-home services but the hospice house will allow for a type of care that may not be available at home.

“I really just think it’s because the needs of patients are changing. Number one with the aging populations, there’s a lot more patients that need hospice care and palliative care at the end of life,” Housh said. “When you think about 250 patients that we’re serving in a day, it’s probably easy to say 5% of those patients are having issues that are hard to manage at home.”

In total, the project will cost $13 million, and as the capital campaign continues, the nonprofit will need to raise another $1.7 million in the next six months to complete the project.

About the Author

Connor Dietrich joined the 10 News team in June 2022. Originally from Castle Rock, Colorado, he's ready to step away from the Rockies and step into the Blue Ridge scenery.

Recommended Videos