Our Mission & Value

Our Mission: To Improve the Quality of Living

Center for Hospice Care is a community based, not-for-profit organization, improving the quality of living through hospice, home health, grief counseling, and community education. Put simply, our mission is “to improve the quality of living” for those in our community through our support of Center for Hospice Care, an organization that helps patients and their loved ones experience the best possible quality of living even as they face end of life. We believe Center for Hospice Care improves the quality of living by offering compassionate hospice and palliative care, as well as providing extensive bereavement services for those in our community.

Since 1980, Center for Hospice Care has kept our promise that no one eligible for hospice services will be turned away, regardless of their ability to pay.

Our Vision:

To be the premiere hospice and palliative care organization for all end-of-life issues.

Our Services

Center for Hospice Care is a comprehensive, not-for-profit hospice provider. We offer a number of services to assist those in our community who are experiencing the effects of a life-limiting illness. Whether directly affected by the illness or affected by grief, Center for Hospice Care is here to help.

We are also one of the few hospice providers in the area that operates two inpatient care facilities. We have a seven-bed facility in Elkhart called “Esther’s House“, and another seven-bed facility in South Bend. In early 2020 our new, state-of-the-art 12-bed inpatient care facility, the “Ernestine M. Raclin House” will open on our Mishawaka Campus, along the St. Joseph River.

Hospice Care

Facing a life-limiting illness can be devastating – physically, emotionally, and spiritually. When a patient has made the choice to stop aggressive or life-extending treatment for a progressive or incurable illness, and wants to be comfortable and not in pain, then hospice care will provide a great benefit.

Hospice services are provided on a scheduled basis by the Hospice Team, which includes the patient’s own physician and/or the Hospice Medical Director, nurses, social workers, spiritual care counselors, home health aides, and trained community volunteers. If there’s an emergency, we come to you. Emergency Care is available 24 hours per day, 7 days a week. We are always just a phone call away.

Admission into the hospice program is made without regard to age, gender, race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, diagnosis or ability to pay for services.

Hospice Services Typically Include:

  • Skilled, compassionate care from Hospice Nurses and Hospice Aides making intermittent in-home visits.
  • Management of pain and other physical symptoms through the appropriate use of medications.
  • Training, teaching and skill-building for caregivers.
  • Emotional support and spiritual counseling for the patient and family (if desired).
  • Social work/family support services.
  • Physical, occupational, and speech therapies.
  • Companionship and household assistance visits provided by dedicated, trained volunteers.
  • Bereavement services are available to families for up to 13 months after Hospice services are no longer needed. Additional services are available on an ongoing basis.

Inpatient Care Facilities

Center for Hospice Care’s Inpatient Units are designed to provide comfort and compassion in a peaceful, homelike setting.

Center for Hospice Care’s Inpatient Units are designed to provide comfort and compassion in a peaceful, homelike setting.

  • Supervised, round-the-clock care is necessary
  • Short-term assistance with managing pain or symptoms is required
  • A caregiver needs a brief respite
  • Our Inpatient Units offer:
  • A comfortable, home-like environment
  • 24-hour-a-day visitation
  • Seven private patient rooms
  • Family room
  • Spiritual reflection room
  • Pet visitation

Bereavement Programs

Grief is a natural response to losing someone we hold dear. One has to experience it to overcome it, but you don’t need to do this alone. We have licensed counselors and volunteers who facilitate programs to help you cope with pain and sadness healthily.

Losing a loved one is never easy. That’s why Center for Hospice Care offers a variety of grief and bereavement services to help through this difficult process.

Grief is a natural response to losing someone we hold dear. One has to experience it to overcome it, but your referral doesn’t need to do this alone. We have licensed counselors and volunteers who facilitate programs to help them cope with pain and sadness healthily.

Our grief and bereavement programs are available at no charge to anyone in the agency’s service area.  We have support groups and activities for children, teens, and adults. If you prefer to have a private counseling session, our grief counselors will be happy to accommodate your referral.

For more information about our bereavement services, please visit our Bereavement Programs page..

Palliative Care for Those Facing a Life-Limiting Illness

If a patient has made the choice to pursue aggressive or life-extending treatment for a progressive or incurable illness, and desires pain management or symptom control at home, our palliative care services in Indiana may be a suitable choice.

What is Palliative Care?

Palliative care is pain management and symptom control for patients who may be currently seeking life-extending treatments. It is not an end-of-life care program, as many people think. Patients may benefit from palliative care at any stage of their illness regardless of age.

Also, a poor prognosis is not a requirement to receive palliative care. Center for Hospice Care extends this service to people who’ve experienced a health crisis, like stroke or heart attack. Patients and families can count on our help and guidance when making complex healthcare decisions.

Our Palliative Care Program is offered through our licensed home health care program, and many aspects of palliative care are applicable early in the course of an illness. We give our patients access  to our team of nurses, home health aides, social workers, and spiritual care counselors. They receive personalized and comprehensive assistance, which includes pain and symptom management, nutrition planning, and family counseling.

The goal of palliative care is the achievement of the highest quality of life for patients. As we focus on ensuring their comfort and well-being, we also hope to bring peace of mind to their families.

How does Palliative Care differ from Hospice Care?

Our hospice and palliative care in Indiana go hand-in-hand, but there are differences patients and families should know about.

Hospice care requires a physician to certify that a patient’s illness carries a life expectancy of six months or less if the disease runs its normal course. Hospice patients have chosen not to pursue curative, aggressive treatments and instead wish to spend their remaining time with families and closest friends.

Palliative care, on the other hand, can begin without a terminal diagnosis and may be administered alongside medical treatment. Its goals are similar to hospice care, but with a greater focus on helping patients through the course of their medications.

  • Medical pain relief
  • Symptom management
  • Post-hospitalization care
  • Emotional, psychological, and spiritual support
  • Care planning

Center for Hospice Care offers comfort care for patients who may be seeking life-prolonging therapies for their progressive or incurable illnesses. Our palliative care services in Indiana are appropriate for patients with a life expectancy of more than six months. We also offer emotional and spiritual support to their families, helping them understand the nature of their loved ones’s illness and how best to manage the symptoms.

We have an interdisciplinary team that will determine on a case-by-case basis whether a patient is appropriate for this program. Palliative care includes pain and symptom management, as well as emotional and spiritual support, if requested.

Contact us via call or email to refer a patient to our care.

Does insurance pay for the Palliative Care?

Coverage for palliative care services in Mishawaka, Indiana may be available under the home health benefits of Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurance. If these insurance options do not apply, a self-pay program is available and is administered on a sliding fee scale. No one is ever turned away due to an inability to pay.

Admission into Palliative Care program is made without regard to age, gender, race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, diagnosis or ability to pay for services. No one is ever turned away due to the inability to pay.

Pediatric Hospice and Palliative Care

Pediatric hospice and palliative care seeks to improve quality of life for infants, children, adolescents and young adults and reduce various forms of distress for patients and their families who face a serious life-threatening illness. Coverage for services may be available under Medicaid, or private insurance.  If these insurance options do not apply, a self-pay program is available and is administered on a sliding fee scale.  No one is ever turned away due to an inability to pay.

Pediatrics can be admitted on hospice and continue to seek aggressive treatment.  Care can be provided in a hospital, extended care facility or at home.

CHC is one of the only hospices in Northwest Indiana that accepts pediatrics.  We have certified Hospice and Pediatric Palliative Care nurses on staff.  Other Team Members may include: Doctors, Nurses, Chaplains, Case Managers, Counselors, Home Health Aides and Social Workers.

For more information please contact our admissions department at 574-243-3125.

For a child with a serious illness and their family, palliative care can help at any stage.  It is available when your child’s health care provider prescribes other treatments and can begin as soon as your child needs it.  Pediatric palliative care can provide pain and symptom management and family counseling.

For more information please contact our Center for Palliative Care.

Office hours are by referral and appointment only.

211 N. Cedar Street, Mishawaka IN 46545

574-367-2476

Perinatal Palliative Care

Perinatal palliative care is compassionate support for parents and families who find out during pregnancy that their baby has a potentially life-limiting condition.  Care focuses around the needs of the family in a holistic nature.  This support is provided from the time of diagnosis throughout the baby’s life.  Perinatal palliative care helps parents embrace whatever time they have with their child and make it meaningful, memorable and family-focused.

During Your Pregnancy

From the time of your baby’s diagnosis you may be faced with many questions and a mixture of emotions.  Your perinatal palliative care team consists of you, a nurse and a counselor.  Here’s what you can expect:

  • Our nurse and counselor will learn what is important to you and discuss with you the best way to support and guide you through your pregnancy.
  • We will explore ways to express love and care for your baby.
  • You can be assured we will listen to your family’s concerns, questions and needs.
  • We will discuss ways to design your birth plan and share those needs with your health care provider.

After Your Baby’s Birth

The perinatal support team provides the best care for newborns that have a potentially life-limiting condition.  A nurse will meet with you at the hospital and together will identify your goals and wishes for you and your baby.  We want to support you and provide you with the confidence and tools you need to care for your little one.

Your Comfort Care Team

We want to be your care team and provide comfort to you, your child and your family by listening to and addressing all your needs, whether they are physical, emotional or spiritual.  You are the most important part of this team.

We encourage you to share your thoughts and feelings with us, because good communication will mean the best care for everyone.

Other members of the team can include:

  • Counselors
  • Nurses
  • Volunteers
  • Social Workers
  • Chaplains
  • Home Health Aides
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Physicians

For more information please contact Center for Palliative Care.

Office Hours by referral and appointment only

211 North Cedar Street, Mishawaka, IN 46545, 574-367-2476

Specialty Programs for Chronic Conditions

Center for Hospice Care has developed three innovative programs to help meet the needs of our patients. HeartWize for advanced heart disease, BreatheEazy for COPD, and our DementiaCare Program each address the unique needs of patients affected by these diseases.  End stage heart disease, lung disease, and dementia now comprise over half the diagnoses of all CHC patients. Each of these programs includes the use of emotional, spiritual, and complementary approaches to care as appropriate in addition to family support.

The BreatheEazy program is designed to offer patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) an option for optimal management of their care. When patients with maximally treated COPD would like to avoid further re-hospitalizations and are not candidates for further surgical procedures, the BreatheEazy program can assist the physician, patient and family to manage the symptoms of COPD at home.

The goals of the BreatheEazy program are to:

  • Improve quality of life and help the patient accomplish important goals
  • Increase the ability of the patient to cope with the illness
  • Increase family caregiver confidence and coping
  • Closely monitor and manage symptoms to reduce episodes of crisis
  • Reduce hospital admissions and Emergency Room visits
  • Reduce emergency overnight phone calls to physician The BreatheEazy program helps patients meet these goals through:
  • Regularly scheduled visits by staff with specialized training in COPD evaluation and symptom management
  • A COPD medication kit placed in the home
  • Specialized protocols and treatment pathways designed for end-stage COPD
  • Patient education materials specifically designed for end-stage COPD patients
  • Use of emotional, spiritual, and complementary approaches to care as appropriate

For more information about the BreatheEazy program call Center for Hospice Care,(574) 243-3100 or (800) 467-7423 or (800) 413-9083 out of our service area

In May 2007, Ken Baumgartner ‘s physician told him to get his affairs together as he only had three months to live. A former Chicago fire fighter diagnosed with congestive heart failure, Baumgartner was quickly tiring of physicians. He then became a patient with Center for Hospice Care (CHC) where he remained a patient until his March 8, 2011 death. For almost three years after hearing his life would soon end, he met weekly with his nurse, Jean Shaw, RN, who was with him every step of the way.

One of the first patients to enroll in CHC’s specialty HeartWize program, Ken was amazed at his turnaround. “One of the first things we did was inventory his kitchen,” explained Shaw. “We lowered his sodium and got his medications under control.”

“Jean went through my cabinets and cupboards and really worked to teach me about nutrition,” Baumgartner explained. “My health was really declining. This HeartWize program added quality to my life. When Jean explained it to me, I thought, hey, I’m going to be around for awhile!”

Shaw explained that Baumgartner’s health was truly deteriorating when he became a CHC patient. “It was difficult at the beginning,” she remembered, “but we worked to get him to his optimal health for his disease. At first he was homebound, but all that changed.”

Up until March, Ken met daily with friends for breakfast, and enjoyed baking for his family and friends. He would even take his boat across the lake to visit a fellow firefighter who recently moved here from Chicago. And after enrolling in HeartWize, not once did he call the Emergency Room for any heart trouble nor did he call his physician in the middle of the night. The HeartWize program made such an improvement in his quality of life, that Ken wanted to share his story with others.

Ken and his nurse discuss his nutrition for the day. The HeartWize program is designed to offer patients with advanced heart disease an option for optimal management of their care. When patients with maximally treated heart disease would like to avoid further re-hospitalizations and are not candidates for further surgical procedures, the HeartWize program can assist the physician, patient and family to manage the symptoms of heart disease at home. For information, please call 800-467-7423 or (800) 413-9083 outside of our service area.

Providing specialized care and treatment for patients with late-stage dementia, their families, and caregivers.

Call *1-800-HOSPICE from within our nine-county service area.

(Elkhart, Fulton, Kosciusko, LaGrange, LaPorte, Marshall, Porter, St. Joseph, Starke)

Outside of our service area, please call 1-800-413-9083