Overview and History
What is now known as Home & Hospice Care of Rhode Island was established in 1976 thanks to a volunteer planning committee of health care professionals and community members who cared deeply about providing stronger end-of-life care in Rhode Island.
Since then, HHCRI has grown into an organization with over 300 employees and a $34-million annual operating budget that is supported by $1.8 million in donations. HHCRI cares for 3,500 patients a year, thanks to a dedicated staff of physicians, nurses, hospice aides, social workers, chaplains, grief counselors and the help of over 300 volunteers. HHCRI is now the major teaching affiliate for hospice and palliative medicine for the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.
Some of our milestones
The concept of hospice was brought to Rhode Island by the Rev. Kenneth Wentzel of Kingston, after he visited St. Christopher's Hospice in London, which was established 1967 by England’s Dr. Cicely Saunders.
March 1976 - Hospice Care of Rhode Island (HCRI) incorporates as a nonprofit corporation.
March 1978 - Summit Medical Center, a skilled nursing facility on North Main Street in Providence, offers HCRI 2 to 4 beds on its third floor.
July 1978 - Robert J. Canny is hired as the first Executive Director. His office is located at the Summit Medical Center. He brings to Rhode Island his experience as a trustee of the country's first hospice in New Haven, Connecticut. The volunteer program is in place under the direction of Esther D'Orsi.
March 1979 - HCRI's first home care patient/family is admitted.
September 1, 1980 - HCRI moves to 1400 Pawtucket Ave., the basement of the First Baptist Church in Rumford.
1981 - Average daily number of patients is 10; there are 9 HCRI staff members.
1982 - Island Hospice in Newport and Hospice of Washington County in Narragansett, two independent hospice programs, are established by community volunteers.
September 1982 - Federal legislation mandates Medicare reimbursement for hospice services.
1983 - Average daily number of patients grows to 21 and staff increases to 19.
June 1983 - HCRI initiates and promotes successful passage of legislation by the Rhode Island General Assembly for licensing agencies and programs wishing to provide hospice services.
August 1983 - HCRI moves to 1240 Pawtucket Ave., East Providence.
December 1983 - Congress enacts national Medicare legislation to reimburse hospice services.
March 1984 - HCRI is notified it is the first agency certified by Medicare in New England as a hospice provider.
November 1989 - Hospice of Washington County and Island Hospice merge with HCRI to form a statewide agency.
June 1992 - Open house and dedication ceremonies of the new main offices of Hospice Care of Rhode Island, 169 George Street, Pawtucket, RI.
July 1993 - Hospice Care of Rhode Island establishes the first and only inpatient hospice unit in Rhode Island, a 10-bed facility, the Philip Hulitar Inpatient Center, in Providence.
September 1993 - First Annual Hospice Regatta is held on Narragansett Bay. Raises more than $34,000 for the agency.
December 1994 - The South Office of HCRI is dedicated in Wakefield, RI.
November 1999 - Hospice Care of Rhode Island receives accreditation from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations/JCAHO
November 1999 - Analee Wulfkuhle is named President & CEO of Hospice Care of Rhode Island
January 2001 - Hospice Care of Rhode Island develops a palliative care consultation service utilizing the expertise of registered nurse practitioners for nursing home patients.
Spring 2001 - Hospice Care of Rhode Island develops a specialized Long Term Care Team to care for nursing home residents.
September 2002 - Home & Hospice Care of Rhode Island experiences nearly 20 percent growth in services over the previous year, with average daily number of patients rising to 181.
March 2004 - HHCRI average daily number of patients reaches 291.
December 2004 - Home & Hospice Care of Rhode Island receives accreditation from CHAP (Community Health Accreditation Program), a respected leader in improving the quality of care in the home care and hospice industries.
August 2005 - The Alfred M. Roberts, Jr. Charitable Foundation Hospice Suites at The Westerly Hospital open.
February 2006 - Home & Hospice Care of Rhode Island celebrates 30 years of Leading the Way in hospice and palliative care with a kick-off celebration at the RI State House.
June 2006 - HHCRI is awarded a United Way grant totaling over $119,000 for diversity outreach.
August 2006 - Home & Hospice Care of Rhode Island purchases a new building at 1085 North Main Street, Providence.
August 2006 - The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) selects HHCRI as a "best practices" example of palliative care initiatives nationwide.
November 2006 - Home & Hospice Care of Rhode Island concludes its 30th Anniversary year-long celebration with The Stanley M. Aronson Educational Symposium featuring keynote speaker Dr. Nicholas Christakis, author of Death Foretold. The title of the symposium was "How Long Do I Have to Live" Why Prognostic Questions Trouble Doctors."
June 2007 - The Rhode Island Department of Health Services Council approves HHCRI's Certificate of Need for 24 inpatient beds.
August 2007 - Home & Hospice Care of Rhode Island holds first Bereavement Camp for grieving children, called Camp BraveHeart.
February 2008 - The Champlin Foundations awards HHCRI a $230,000 grant to purchase new computers for point of service admissions.
November 2008 - Diana Franchitto is named President & CEO of Home & Hospice Care of Rhode Island.
November 2008 - Premier of Soldier's Stories at Life's End.
May 2009 - Home & Hospice Care of Rhode Island holds its Grand Opening Celebrations at its new faciltiy at 1085 North Main Street, Providence, RI.
June 2009 - Patients and staff move into 1085 North Main Street, Providence, RI.
June 2009 - Home & Hospice Care of Rhode Island holds 2nd Annual Family Night at McCoy Stadium
August 2009 - Home & Hospice Care of Rhode Island sponsors 3rd Annual Camp BraveHeart for grieving children and teens at YMCA Camp Fuller in Wakefield. One hundred nine children and teens attended
December 2010 - HHCRI Hosts First Annual Family Day Featuring Bruins Hockey
June 2011 - HHCRI To Hold A Midsummer Night of Remembrance for Grieving Hearts
August 2011 - Home & Hospice Care of Rhode Island and Visiting Nurse Service of Greater Rhode Island Announce Affiliation
October 2011 - Program Honors Former Trustee - Human Dignity Award Presented to Martin Temkin
January 2012 - HHCRI Earns Jewish Hospice Certification
February 22, 2012 - Home & Hospice Care of Rhode Island, Visiting Nurse Home Care Affiliation Receives Official Approval
June 21, 2012 - Home & Hospice Care of Rhode Island and The Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University Affiliate
June 2012 - HHCRI Receives $10,000 Grant from Liberty Mutual Foundation
February 2013 - Coastal Medical signs an agreement making Home & Hospice Care of Rhode Island and Visiting Nurse Home Care their preferred provider for hospice, palliative, and home care.