• 57°

Community Hospice comes to Ironton

Community Hospice has had a presence in Lawrence County for nearly two decades - but soon the agency will have a home here, too.

An independent, non-profit organization serving the needs of the terminally ill, Community Hospice recently announced plans to open its new Ironton office at 2122 Ninth St.

Requiring little remodeling, the office is expected to be up and running by early July.

"It is always exciting for us to be able to serve patients," said Susan Hunt, executive director. "We have been serving patients in Lawrence County since 1986. So, this is not a new service but just an opportunity to have a facility in Lawrence County and a place for people to come into and learn about our services."

Approximately 20 percent of Hospice's patients are from the Lawrence County area, totaling approximately 130 patients last year.

In addition to maintaining the core services of nursing and social work, Community Hospice plans to expand its other services that include bereavement support groups and volunteer training once the Ironton office opens.

The

Ironton office will be managed by registered nurse Angie Norris and initially employ six people, mostly current employees that are already serving the county.

However, that number is projected to grow as the number of patients increase, Hunt said.

As Ironton officials continue to wrestle with a tight budget, councilman Richard Price said he was excited to hear the positive news.

"I am just tickled to death to hear about this. Any kind of business coming to Ironton is great news," Price said. "It sure beats hearing about businesses leaving.

"… I have been encouraged by some of the things happening - with the port authority attracting Aluminastic and working on other leads. Plus, there is still the possible hotel development. … It does appear to me that things are on the upturn."

Community Hospice plans an open house reception later this summer.

The organization was incorporated in 1979, became Medicare certified in 1983.

In addition to Lawrence County, the organization serves five counties in Kentucky.