The public phase of a capital campaign is underway for a Community Grief Center in Fort Wayne. Visiting Nurse, the organization behind the effort, says it has already raised more than $4 million of the $5.5 million goal. A groundbreaking ceremony for the center is set for Wednesday. The center will provide care to hospice and grieving families.

June 3, 2014

News Release

Fort Wayne, Ind. — Adults in northeast Indiana will have access to free help in coping with the death of a spouse, friend, or loved one through the new Community Grief Center being built on the campus of Visiting Nurse at 5910 Homestead Road in Fort Wayne. The Community Grief Center will be one of only a few in the region.

The public phase of a capital campaign was announced today, giving local donors the opportunity to make this vision a reality.

A $5.5 million Capital Campaign is underway to raise the funds for the Community Grief Center. To date, more than $4 million or approximately 75 percent has been raised from area foundations, corporations and private donors. In addition, Visiting Nurse has recently established a foundation to earmark funds for the on-going operational needs of the Community Grief Center. Now, individuals can support the construction of the Center with their donations by visiting the web site at www.vnfw.org/griefcenter or by sending a check payable to Community Grief Center Capital Campaign, c/o Visiting Nurse, 5910 Homestead Road, Fort Wayne, IN, 46814.

Board Chair Elizabeth Frederick said, “By making a donation to the Capital Campaign for the new Center, you can be at the forefront of bringing a much-needed service to every adult resident of northeast Indiana.”

Community Grief Center Background

Grief that is ignored or suppressed can lead to other emotional and physical health problems, with economic consequences as well. Visiting Nurse provides grief support now to hospice families, as required by Medicare. In addition, the Grief Support Team has also been providing grief support services to grieving adults – unrelated to hospice involvement – free of charge for our community. The new Center will allow Visiting Nurse to expand grief services to area adults, in a space that is conducive to healing and support.

The new Community Grief Center addresses an urgent and growing need for grief support aimed specifically at adults, with the goal of supporting and assisting as they return to a full and productive life.

In addition to the Grief Center, the 19,000-square-foot building will accommodate more office space needed as the result of growth in the Visiting Nurse hospice and palliative care programs. The Center will feature two levels with the lower floor providing needed capacity to house current Visiting Nurse operations such as staff education and orientation, which have outgrown existing space. The top floor will be home to the Community Grief Center and will feature offices for private counseling, larger rooms for group counseling, a water feature and sunroom, all designed to enhance healing and comfort for grieving adults.

“Every donation to this Capital Campaign will help us deliver grief services to meet the community's need, and also support the ongoing operational needs of the Community Grief Center,” Frederick said.

Visiting Nurse is uniquely positioned to provide this much-needed service by creating a center for all adults learning to live after the loss of a loved one. After a death, the Grief Support Team contacts the family to begin thirteen months of support (per Medicare). This support is available to both hospice families and the community at-large and includes one-on-one counseling, a variety of specialized support groups (widows, men, or parents who have lost a child, etc.) and special programs (Surviving the Holidays, My Veteran Died, Suicide, etc.) designed specifically for adults who have experienced a loss due to death.

The Visiting Nurse Grief Support Team provides:

-Individual grief counseling

-Grief support groups – includes groups dealing with specific issues (suicide, men who have lost a spouse, women who have lost a spouse, etc.)

-Grief support to community facilities/agencies – support for organizations who experience a staff death

-Education for nursing facilities – educating staff on how to compassionately serve those who are grieving and to address their own grief issues

-Community grief and loss education programs on specific topics such as “My Veteran has Died,” “Living after the Death of a Child,” “Perinatal Loss,” and others

-Workshops for health professionals and other groups serving the community

-Referrals and advocacy for surviving family members in need of assistance

As a means to give back to our community, all grief services are provided at no cost

About Visiting Nurse

Mission: Visiting Nurse provides compassionate care to alleviate suffering and ensure quality of life for those affected by serious illness.

Visiting Nurse is a locally-based, non-profit agency that provides palliative and hospice care to patients located in their home, nursing facility settings and in Hospice Home, the agency’s 14-bed inpatient facility. Serving an eight-county area in northeast Indiana, Visiting Nurse recently celebrated 125 years of service in our community. Visiting Nurse is a United Way of Allen County partner agency and is committed to providing care regardless of the ability to pay.

Source: Visiting Nurse

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