Former in-home hospice RN Holly Klein routinely witnessed patients falling through the gaps of the healthcare system – and even larger gaps created for the underprivileged and under-insured while working in hospice management. Motivated by the belief that all individuals deserve a death with dignity, Klein and Co-Founders Cindy and Nicholas Browning founded Grace House Akron, Inc. as a new not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization in 2017.
The Grace House team spent the next couple of years developing the organization and its innovative service model, to provide an accepting, caring environment for individuals with terminal illnesses who would otherwise spend their days alone or in undesirable conditions.
To support this work, Grace House joined the Omega Home Network (omeganetwork.org), a national consortium that promotes the development/expansion of homes for dying individuals that reflect the spirit of the communities that create and sustain them. The Network’s governing philosophy states that such homes are:
- designed for and totally focused on care at the end of life
- staffed by paid caregivers and supported by community volunteers
- not medical facilities
In 2019 a parcel of land in downtown Akron was donated by Summa Health, providing the future site for our “comfort care home”. Early 2021 finds a capital campaign for the construction of Grace House Akron well underway. We eagerly anticipate a groundbreaking in late 2021, and look forward to serving our first residents in 2022.
MISSION & VISION
The mission of Grace House Akron is to provide a loving home for indigent, homeless and abandoned individuals at the end of life. The home provides safe shelter, care with dignity and compassion, and a nurturing environment for individuals with terminal illnesses.
Our vision is to offer access to compassionate care and comfort at end of life for all individuals in the greater Akron area.
PROGRAMS & SERVICES
Grace House serves terminally ill individuals, many of whom are indigent, homeless or housing insecure, and who are:
- enrolled in a hospice program
- alone or without a supportive caregiver
- uninsured or under-insured
Residents will be ushered through the end of life with dignity and peace, receiving 24/7 comfort care and support and all basic needs from staff and specially trained volunteers. Hospice partners will provide residents with medical management and quality end-of-life-care services.
All Grace House services are free-of-charge, allowing individuals to pass peacefully without financial barriers to care. We offer:
- pet therapy
- music and art therapy
- therapeutic massage
- spiritual care
- vigil companions
- self-care for families and staff
Experiential Learning Program:
Grace House is partnering with educational, healthcare and hospice experts and agencies to serve area students with important hands-on learning opportunities in hospice and palliative care fields.
This hands-on program will help future healthcare professionals understand how to meet the needs of underserved, terminally ill individuals, in an environment that values and promotes listening, respect and human dignity. Medical, nursing and health science students will gain a deeper understanding of the importance of dialogue and “being present” during end-of-life care.
- Dignity of individual
- Celebration of life
The Grace House leadership team comprises community leaders and experts in many fields, including hospice and healthcare. We are grateful for their collective knowledge and passion.