The Denver Hospice

For over three decades, more than 60,000 patients and their family members have turned to us for care and comfort during difficult times.
As Colorado’s leader in hospice and palliative care we are committed to caring for everyone who comes through our door wherever they call home.
The Denver Hospice cares for the elderly at the end of their long, rich lives, those struck far too young by advanced illness, offers comfort to those who choose to battle their life-limiting illness, offers comfort and grief counseling to families and friends.

Key Milestones

 

2015

Denver Post columnist, Krista Kafer writes an opinion piece on The Denver Hospice and end-of-life care.

The Denver Hospice finishes fourth among 7 not-for-profit organizations in Citywide Bank's Charity Hand-Up Contest.

Comfort Bridge changes its name to Care Synergy to convey the strength of the three-member organization of not-for-profit, mission-driven hospice providers that have united to create a care delivery model that is better and more efficient than any single provider could build.

Online voters have chosen The Denver Hospice as ColoradoBiz Magazine's Best of Colorado runner up in the Non Profit Category.

The Denver Hospice receive the Golden Ethics in Business Award sponsored by the Rotary Club of Golden.

The Denver Hospice is named a Top Workplace Achiever by The Denver Post.

Tim Bowen is appointed President and CEO of Comfort Bridge and CEO of The Denver Hospice.

2014

Janelle McCallum is appointed President of The Denver Hospice.

Bev Sloan announces her retirement for 2015.

A new partnership begins with the affiliation of Halycon Hospice and Palliative Care and The Denver Hospice. Comfort Bridge, a non-profit healthcare organization is formed November 2014.

The Denver Hospice and Optio Health Services have been named a 2014 HHCAHPS Honors recipient, a prestigious award recognizing home health agencies that continuously provide quality care as measured from the patient's point of view.

The Mask Project, The Denver Hospice's biennial fundraiser, was celebrated this year with special guest speaker, Marcus Luttrell, a Navy SEAL Veteran, who shared his story of lone survival. A record 589 masks were on display at Cherry Creek Shopping Center. The auctioned masks raised enough funding to care for 200 patients for one week.

The Denver Hospice and Optio Health Services are featured in the February publication of Profiles in Innovation by the American Academy for Hospice and Palliative Medicine for our innovative programs.

January 12, 2014 marked the third anniversary of the opening at our Inpatient Care Center at Lowry. In our first three years of operation we have cared for 2,811 patients.

2013

Level 4 status in the "We Honor Veterans" Campaign, a joint program of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and the Veterans Administration, is achieved

The Denver Hospice receives the Circle of Life award as a national leader in hospice and palliative care presented by the American Hospital Association.

Daniel Johnson, M.D., Director of the Life Quality Institute and National Physician Lead for Palliative Care at Kaiser Permanente’s Care Management Institute, wins The Hastings Center Cunniff-Dixon Physician Award given to physicians who have distinguished themselves in caring for patients at end of life.

Leslie Abbott, RN, wins the first Hospice Caregiver Award presented by Horan & McConaty.
 
Denver commercial real estate developer Skip Miller receives the 2013 Heart of Hospice Award presented by The Denver Hospice.  Skip co-chaired the Caring for the Future Campaign to raise funds for The Denver Hospice Inpatient Care Center at Lowry.
 
The Denver Hospice marks 35 Years of Caring since its founding in 1978 by former ICU nurse Carolyn Jaffe.

2012

Optio Health Services – a chronic care support program is founded. Optio coordinates care and services for people coping with chronic illness through a deeply integrated, personalized care plan and 24-7 support.
 
The Denver Hospice video, “Circles of Care,” wins Honorable Mention in the 2012 National Hospice and Palliative Care Creative Arts Contest.  The theme of the contest was “Diversity” and the judges said, “The winning video shared many lessons about hospice, while keeping with the theme of diversity, in a very moving and positive way.”
 
Dr. David Koets, Chief Medical Officer, wins the prestigious Vesta Bowden Distinguished Service Award presented by the Colorado Health Care Association and Center for Assisted Living.  The award honors Dr. Koets for dedicating his career to geriatrics, long-term care and hospice care and for shepherding the MOST (Medical Orders for Scope of Treatment) legislation through the Colorado General Assembly.
 
The Denver Hospice is recipient of the 2012 Global Partner Award presented by the Foundation for Hospices in Sub-Saharan Africa for its work with Selian Lutheran Hospice Arusha, Tanzania.
 
Janelle McCallum, Chief Operating & Quality Officer, wins the Colorado Center for Hospice and Palliative Care President’s Award which is given to any person, program or organization working inside or outside hospice and palliative care who advances quality and access to hospice and palliative care services for Coloradans.

2011

On Jan. 12, The Denver Hospice Inpatient Care Center at Lowry opens.  The 24-suite care center features the Bill Daniels Veterans Wing, family gathering places, a chapel and Education Center -- all in a homelike setting.

Janet Mordecai, a former board member and community philanthropist, receives The Denver Hospice's Heart of Hospice Award during a tribute dinner at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House.

Bev Sloan, former CEO, is named Outstanding Business Woman by the Denver Business Journal.

W.G. Nielsen Company and Wayne Nielsen, treasurer of the board of directors of The Denver Hospice, receive the Partners in Philanthropy Award, presented by the Denver Business Journal.

Susan Lasker Hertz, vice president of hospice services, receives the Spirit of Hospice Award presented by the Colorado Center for Hospice and Palliative Care.

The Life Quality Institute receives the Colorado Center for Hospice and Palliative Care's 2011 Outstanding Achievement Award for its role as the statewide coordinator for education on the Medical Orders for Scope of Treatment (MOST).

2010

The Denver Hospice receives the 2010 Martin Luther King Jr. Business Social Responsibility Award honoring the legacy of the slain Civil Rights leader.

The Mask Project raises more than $400,000 from the sale of 500 masks, generous sponsorships and its 12th Mask Project Gala in Cherry Creek Shopping Center.

Rocky Mountain PBS airs hour-long documentary, Living with Dying, featuring patient stories and expertise of The Denver Hospice.

Janelle McCallum, Chief Operating & Quality Officer, wins the Spirit of Hospice Award presented by the Colorado Center for Hospice and Palliative Care.​

2009

Donna “Cookie Lady” Portman, a volunteer at the Care Center receives the 9 Who Care Award from 9News.

Erin Beauprez, volunteer services director, earns Denver Business Journal honor as “Forty Under 40.”

The Denver Hospice realizes a long-held dream by breaking ground on an Inpatient Care Center at Lowry – the first inpatient hospice care center in the City of Denver.

Louann Miller, The Denver Hospice’s longest-serving volunteer, receives the inaugural “Heart of Hospice Award.”

The Denver Hospice spends $1.6 million on indigent care and supporting services to help those who need it most in time of crisis.

2008

The Denver Hospice buys land in the heart of Denver’s Lowry neighborhood for a new 24-suite inpatient care center.

Footprints Children’s Grief Center and Judi’s House form a partnership to provide a full range of grief support services for children and their parents.

2007

Hospice of Metro Denver (HMD) changes its name to The Denver Hospice to establish itself as The place where metro-area residents turn for end-of-life care. Along with the new brand and brochures, The Denver Hospice refined its mission -- to encircle those facing advanced illness with unprecedented levels of comfort, compassion and expertise.

The Denver Hospice Values Ladder – respect, safety, choice, compassion and efficiency – is implemented.

Susan Langley, patient benefit adviser for The Denver Hospice, receives the Spirit of Hospice Award from the Colorado Hospice Organization.

Colorado ranks second in the nation in the percentage of people who turn to hospice for end-of-life care, according to a study sponsored by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.

The Daniels Fund and The Colorado Health Foundation awarded grants totaling $500,000 to pave the way for Pathways Palliative Care to grow.

The Life Quality Institute receives the 2007 Denver Medical Society Community Education Award for its ongoing efforts to promote access to and awareness of palliative care.

2006

HMD adds a West Nursing Home Team to cover patient care in the metro-area’s expanding suburbs.

The Foundation for Hospices in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2006 cites The Denver Hospice’s partnership with Selian Lutheran Hospice in Tanzania as a model in “Best Practices Partnering.”

The Mask Project broke a record when Steve Chotin’s mask titled, Helpful = A Joyful Heart, sold during a festive round of bidding for $141,000.

The Denver Hospice adds a West Nursing Home Team to serve a growing population.​

2005

Team Green, an environmental stewardship program, is formed to ensure the safe and environmentally-safe disposal of medications.

Renowned Colorado photographer John Fielder donates photographs for The Denver Hospice’s new branding campaign.

2003

HMD marks its 25th anniversary and becomes the state’s 12th largest non-profit organization.

HMD receives a $500,000 federal grant to establish The Life Quality Institute to  provide education in palliative and end-of-life care to health-care and medical students, medical professionals, and communities throughout Colorado.

2002

HMD’s 250 volunteers give more than 20,500 hours of service to patients as HMD’s daily census reaches an all-time high of 300.

Colorado Department of Health awards both care centers its Resquip Award for the development of our sensory garden program.

2001

The Carolyn Jaffe Society, named in honor of our founder, is established to honor donors.  Carolyn dies.

2000

City Park Care Center becomes certified as a skilled nursing facility and is moved to Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Hospital with the closure of Precedent Hospital.

A bilingual interdisciplinary team is formed to better serve Denver’s Hispanic community.

1999

The Colorado Association of Homes and Services for the Aging awards HMD its CNA Employer of the Year Award.

Footprints Children’s Grief Center opens in HMD’s administrative offices.

Bev Sloan joins HMD as CEO.

1998

Precedent Health Partners donates space for a second inpatient care center – the Wayne and Jane Nielsen City Park Care Center – a 25-bed facility in the heart of Denver.

The biennial Mask Project, founded by Mickey Ackerman, debuts in the Cherry Creek Shopping Center as a premier fundraising event.

Richard Baer, RN, receives the prestigious national Florence Nightingale Award for Excellence in Human Caring.

1997

The Inpatient Care Center in Aurora is certified as a skilled nursing facility, opening the doors to Medicaid admissions.

1996

HMD and six other hospices form the Hospice Alliance of Colorado.

1995

HMD cares for 1,476 patients – a 19 percent increase over 1994 and bringing the total number of patients served since its founding to 10,000.   HMD employs 175 full- and part-time staff and has 200 volunteers. 

The National Hospice Organization awards HMD its President’s Award for its Columbia/HealthONE.

1993

HMD opens its Inpatient Care Center in Aurora, becoming the first hospice in Colorado to provide care in a variety of settings.

1992

Angels Befriending Children (ABC) is established as HMD’s auxiliary to raise funds for the Footprints children’s grief program and pediatric hospice care.

1991

HMD admits its 5,000th patient and establishes a Special Services Program providing care in homes.

1990

HMD and Kaiser-Permanente form a partnership to reach more patients and families in need of specialized end-of-life care.

Founder Carolyn Jaffe receives the prestigious Florence Nightingale Award for Excellence in Human Caring.

1989

The National Hospice Organization presents HMD with its President’s Award of Excellence for outstanding achievement in education programs.

1985

HMD receives designation as a Medicare-certified hospice, allowing HMD to provide a wider range of services to those with Medicare.

1983

HMD admits its first AIDS patient and becomes the leading hospice agency caring for AIDS patients throughout the Rocky Mountain region.

1982

HMD begins offering pediatric hospice care and establishes Footprints grief support for children.

1980

Friends of Hospice is formed to provide grief support for family members and support the hospice mission.​

1979

As the need for hospice care increases, Hospice of Metro Denver admits its first non-cancer patient.

1978

Carolyn Jaffe, Alice Demi, Barbara Milburn and Dr. Peter Van Arsdale – each with a passion for providing quality end-of-life care – create Hospice of Metro Denver.  The non-profit caring for Denver’s terminally-ill patients and their families began with a $37,000 grant from the American Cancer Society and was housed in vacant nursing offices at Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Hospital.

Louann Miller, who continues to volunteer today, becomes Hospice of Metro Denver’s first volunteer.  Our first patient was admitted in March.​​​​