Canterbury Tales

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Attendees at The Center for Compassionate Care Canterbury open house included (left to right): Karen Buratti, UPMC Shadyside; Theresa Davenport, UPMC Shadyside; Eric Horwith, Family Hospice; Diane Metzger, UPMC Shadyside; Kathy Little, Family Hospice; and Nancy Keller, UPMC Shadyside.

By Rafael J. Sciullo, MA, LCSW, MS

“Beautiful!” “Very warm and inviting.” “Exactly what is needed.”

These were among the comments we heard during the January 26 open house event for Family Hospice’s new inpatient unit, The Center for Compassionate Care Canterbury, in Lawrenceville.

Family Hospice and Palliative Care is proud to debut our second inpatient unit in Allegheny County. It will open to patients on February 27 and is centrally located in the City of Pittsburgh’s Lawrenceville neighborhood.

More than 100 local health care professionals attended our open house and toured the 14-private room unit that boasts picturesque views of the city. The Center for Compassionate Care Canterbury is located on the campus of Canterbury Place, a UPMC Senior Community at 310 Fisk St.

Modeled after our original Center for Compassionate Care in Mt. Lebanon, which opened in 2007, the new inpatient unit operates under Family Hospice’s license and offers a full-time Family Hospice staff, including a palliative care certified physician, nurses, social work and spiritual care.

With our Center for Compassionate Care in Mt. Lebanon and now at Canterbury, Family Hospice provides the most inpatient hospice rooms in the region.

Patients and families at The Center for Compassionate Care Canterbury will be afforded the full continuum of care which includes interdisciplinary team care, support for family and loved ones, and complementary therapies.

In addition to private patient rooms, The Center for Compassionate Care Canterbury also features a family room, kitchen area, and by this summer, we plan a tranquil roof-top garden just off the family room. Families also have access to Canterbury Place’s chapel and free parking garage. As with The Center for Compassionate Care in Mt. Lebanon, the new inpatient unit features 24/7 visitation and family pets are welcome.

I was proud to conduct the ribbon-cutting ceremony with Deborah Brodine, President of UPMC Senior Communities. Just prior to dedicating the unit, Deborah told those gathered that “Canterbury Place is proud to partner with Family Hospice to offer another level of service to the community. This collaboration will help ensure that Pittsburgh residents and their families have access to care that meets their individual goals and needs.”

Along with the CompassionateCare provided for patients and families, this new venture really speaks to a sense of community.

Canterbury Place residents visited the space and offered their support. Our professional partners from local hospitals expressed their appreciation for having this new resource at their disposal. And many volunteer candidates have already shown interest in donating their time at the unit, including students from nearby colleges.
Our second inpatient unit allows Family Hospice to continue to extend the reach of our CompassionateCare to the community. Since 1980, we have been privileged to touch the hearts and lives of our patients, families and loved ones. Family Hospice recognizes the fact that we come into contact with people and families at a most crucial time – that is why compassion is at the heart of what we do.

The Center for Compassionate Care Canterbury is no different. We thank those who attended our open house – and we look forward to the opportunity it provides to serve the community.
Rafael J. Sciullo, MA, LCSW, MS, is President and CEO of Family Hospice and Palliative Care and Past Chairperson of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. He may be reached at rsciullo@familyhospice.com or (412) 572-8800. Family Hospice and Palliative Care serves nine counties in Western Pennsylvania. More information at www.familyhospice.com and www.facebook.com/familyhospicepa.