Lower Cape Fear Hospice Inc.
Community volunteers interested in the concept of hospice care founded Lower Cape Fear Hospice Inc. in Wilmington, North Carolina in 1980.
Dr. Daniel Gottovi, a local physician, led the group that became our first Board of Directors.
Our first patient, 27-year-old Sandy Morgan, was admitted on July 1, 1980. Sandy and her husband Philip had signed up to be some of our first hospice volunteers. However, when Sandy, a nursing student at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, was diagnosed with cancer, she instead became our first patient. The compassionate care and selfless volunteer spirit that surrounded Sandy and her family as she faced end-of-life remains an important part of the way we care for Lower Cape Fear Hospice patients and families today.
Our Dr. Robert M. Fales Hospice Pavilion in Wilmington opened in 1997. It was originally 12 beds, however, a new six-bed wing was completed in 2014 through generous community support of the Every Moment Matters Capital Campaign. The original 12 rooms were also renovated in 2014.
Our six-bed Angel House Hospice Care Center opened in 2008 in Whiteville; and our seven-bed SECU Hospice House of Brunswick in Bolivia, began serving patients in 2012.
In 2009, we launched Begin the Conversation our advance care planning program that was created to encourage everyone to Begin the Conversation about their healthcare and end-of-life wishes. Through its website, www.begintheconversation.org, we offer free tips and suggestions about how adults of all ages can Begin the Conversation about these choices long before a crisis occurs. We also encourage everyone to complete the appropriate state-recognized advance care directives (like POLST/MOST forms, living wills and healthcare power of attorney forms) to help ensure wishes are honored.
In June 2009, we opened the Katherine and Duncan Phillips LifeCare and Counseling Center, which has become our administrative Home Office in Wilmington. It shares a campus with the Dr. Robert M. Fales Hospice Pavilion, our Wilmington inpatient care center and the Heritage Garden, a garden created through community support to provide respite, solace and time of reflection for patients and families.
In April 2014, we expanded our services into South Carolina when Mercy Care, a 30-year-old nonprofit hospice, became a part of our agency. Today, Lower Cape Fear Hospice cares for patients and families in Bladen, Brunswick, Columbus, New Hanover, Onslow and Pender counties in North Carolina, and Horry, Georgetown and Marion counties in South Carolina.