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Hospice of Palm Beach County Milestones

Milestones in our History
February 27, 1978
  • Founded by Stella Monchick-West
  • Incorporated as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit agency
  • First office donated in the Mental Health Building, 909 Fern Street, West Palm Beach
  • Moved into a three-room office suite in Commerce Building on Datura Street, West Palm Beach
  • Hospice Bill passed by Florida Legislature and signed by Governor Graham, one of the first states to do so, assuring that all hospices in the State of Florida would be licensed under same rules and regulations
  • Average Daily Census grew to 20 patients and first 2 inpatient beds located at Noreen McKeen Residence for Geriatric Care, S. Flagler, West Palm Beach
  • Moved into the Gallo Building on Dixie Hwy., Lake Worth
  • Certificate of Need (CON) filed and Hospice License issued from HRS, State of Florida
  • Hospice Medicare Benefit legislation enacted
  • Helen Messic formed the Palm Beach Guild to raise funds for the Gerstenberg inpatient facility – project called "Stairway to the Stars"
  • Moved to Bunker Road, West Palm Beach
  • Certified as Medicare Provider
  • Accredited by JCAHO, first program in State of Florida
  • Certified as Medicaid provider
  • Built the Charles W. Gerstenberg Hospice Center; administrative offices and 24-bed inpatient unit – the first freestanding hospice inpatient unit east of the Mississippi; one of three in country
  • Included SHARE, counseling for pregnancy and infant loss
  • Began Camp Horizons for bereaved children
  • Music Therapy Program accredited by American Music Therapy Association as site for Music Therapy Internships
  • Christmas Box Angel Statue dedicated in Kelsey Park, Lake Park with HPBC being the first host site in the State of Florida
  • Started Triage/On Call for after hours calls and concerns, manned by RNs and LPNs
  • Critical Incident Stress Management Team was formed and certified, first hospice program in the country to have all counselors certified
  • Charles W. Gerstenberg Hospice Center expanded to include administrative and training space, new kitchen and dining area, parking garage and two more 6-bed inpatient units; original building totally renovated as well
  • Bethesda Hospice and Palliative Care Unit opened at Bethesda Memorial Hospital; 14-bed unit
  • Received accreditation as a Jewish Hospice Program by the National Institute of Jewish Hospices
  • Selected as one of 8 sites to pilot the Partners In Care - Together for Kids (PIC) program to allow seriously ill children to remain and home and receive needed services


  • Expanded unit at Bethesda Memorial Hospital to 18 beds
  • Relocated Bereavement Center to an offsite location on 45th and Congress to better serve clients who found it difficult to come to Gerstenberg Unit
  • Created LATIS, web-based information system
  • Formed the Gardenia Team, a fully staffed bilingual team to better serve the Hispanic Community and our multi cultural outreach program to meet needs of Hispanic, African American and Haitian communities
  • Celebrated 30 Years of Caring
  • Launched Hospice Partners On Call, an after-hours triage program for hospice providers nationwide
  • Awarded Non-Profit of the Year by the North Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce
  • Launched the Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship Program to further education for this emerging sub-specialty
  • Opened office in Juno Beach
  • Established a Board of Directors for Hospice of Palm Beach County Foundation
  • Reorganization of supportive care division to optimize patient care. Combining volunteers with bereavement and general counseling enabling our teams to operate more efficiently and effectively
  • Expanded volunteer program by adding a professional volunteer program we are able to utilize the services of experienced professionals such as chaplains, accountants, and integrative therapists.
  • Established the Caring & Sharing employee giving campaign with the staff pledging more than $80,000 to the organization.
  • Complete renovation of Jay Robert Lauer Hospice Unit and JFK Medical Center
  • Six (6) HPBC physicians were certified by The American Osteopathic Conjoint Specialty Boards
  • Two (2) HPBC physicians were named Fellow’s by the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine
  • One (1) HPBC ARNP was certified by the National Board for Certification of Hospice and Palliative Care Nurses
  • Hospice Fellowship Program was accredited
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