Hospice couple shares secret to 67 years of marriage.
INTEGRIS Hospice provides care for more than 800 terminally ill patients and their families a year. In its first year of operation, 30 patients seemed an impossible task for a new agency with little funding and a goal of servicing only its namesake county.
Today, with much corporate, individual and organizational support, INTEGRIS Hospice serves a nine-county area and provides end-of-life care for hundreds of persons from all walks of life.
INTEGRIS Hospice History
On February 6, 1990, at an Oklahoma County Medical Society Board meeting, James W Hampton, M.D. stressed the importance of re-establishing a local hospice and recommended that plans go forth to carry out that mission. A few short months later, members of the OCMS combined efforts to re-establish a community-wide, non-profit hospice. Thus, Hospice of Oklahoma County came to be. The Society's physicians were among the first in the Oklahoma medical community to recognize the need for care of the dying. They are considered by some as "pioneers" in hospice care.
Under the leadership of William Coleman, M.D., Robert McCaffree, M.D., Richard Trautman, M.D., and Dr. Hampton, and an impressive fifty-member advisory board they promised their expertise and guidance to make Hospice of Oklahoma County a success. They kept their promise.
With the board in place, OCMS physicians' pledged $120,000 for the new venture with an old philosophy. Local hospitals made additional significant contributions for the startup as well. Hospice of Oklahoma County opened its doors with a small staff and limited funding. Dr. Khader Hussein became a volunteer medical director. He and the hospice team would be integral in securing the agency's future through his leadership as medical director for its first five years. During that time they expanded the service area to serve portions of nine counties. In 1992, the United Way of Metro Oklahoma City accepted Hospice of Oklahoma County as one of their partner agencies providing hospice care and grief support to those without financial assistance.
In 1995, Hospice of Oklahoma County, Inc. became an affiliate of INTEGRIS Health continuing the mission of enhancing the quality and dignity of life and death for the terminally ill and their families. In 2009 the INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center Volunteer Auxiliary fulfilled a dream by donating money to purchase Odyssey Healthcare of Oklahoma, which included the inpatient hospice unit now known as the INTEGRIS Hospice House.
The future of the INTEGRIS Hospice program is secure and they enjoy the position of being able to look back fondly over the past years of service and also envisioning many more years to come.