Our Humble Beginning
Hospice Care of the Lowcountry was founded in 1982 by a compassionate group of friends gathered around a kitchen table on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. They knew of friends who were experiencing great pain and who wanted to be at home with loved ones as they neared the end of their lives, but were isolated in unfamiliar surroundings.
This situation was the convention of the time and the hospice movement was still very new in the U.S. The challenge of bringing such a concept to a small island in the South must have seemed particularly daunting, but the group’s passionate desire to help inspired them to persevere.
Eventually, after meeting with local hospital and health care professionals, the “Hospice Volunteers of Hilton Head” organization was formed. The small entity had limited finances, but was rich with a most essential resource – hearts filled with compassion for neighbors in need.
Over the years, as the pioneers were able to educate the community and spread positive information regarding the benefits of hospice care, the organization grew. Funds were raised, vital resources were added and a staff member was hired. Most importantly, dozens of patients and their families were able to receive the compassionate, quality care they deserved – care provided by dedicated volunteers and, eventually, a professional staff.
“Dozens of patients and their families were able to receive the compassionate, quality care they deserved – care provided by dedicated volunteers and, eventually, a professional staff.”
Hospice Volunteers became licensed by the state in 1993, which led to Medicare certification a few months later. When the organization began serving two counties, Beaufort and Jasper, its name was fittingly changed to “Hospice Volunteers of the Lowcountry.”
In 1995, the need to broaden the scope of our care resulted in the addition of our Palliative Home Health Care agency. This dual licensure allowed Hospice Care of the Lowcountry to begin caring for those who are terminally ill, yet still seeking curative treatment.
Soon following this additional certification, the agency decided, in the interest of better reflecting growth and increased professionalism, to remove the word “volunteers” from its name and become known as “Hospice Care of the Lowcountry.”
Today & Tomorrow
Today, Hospice Care of the Lowcountry remains one of only three agencies in the state of South Carolina to be dually licensed and certified in both hospice and Palliative Home Health Care – the only such agency in Beaufort and Jasper counties.
Our comprehensive staff now includes a medical director (board certified in hospice and palliative care), registered nurses (many are nationally certified in hospice and palliative care), certified nursing assistants, social workers, chaplains, bereavement counselor, a volunteer coordinator, physical, occupational, speech and music therapists, and a full administrative support team.
Our volunteer board of directors consists of community leaders and healthcare professionals, and our volunteer roster includes more than 200 individuals who assist with patient and family care, office support and special projects – from events and fundraisers to special patient care programs.
We have been and will always be community-based, non-profit and independent of any for-profit interest.