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New 'green' hospice facility to open in July
By Daniel Hamilton | Daily Herald Staff

Eileen Grace, right, chief nursing officer, and Frank Cascella, account specialist, Pepper Family Hospice and Palliative Care of Northeastern Illinois, explain how the beds in the rooms roll directly outside to the courtyard of the facility in Barrington.

 

George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

Victoria Shaw, senior development officer, left, Frank Cascella, account specialist, and Charlotte Grahovac, account specialist, all with Pepper Family Hospice and Palliative Care of Northeastern Illinois, demonstrate how the beds in the rooms roll directly outside to the courtyard of the facility.

 

George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

This is the living room at Pepper Family Hospice and Palliative Care of Northeastern Illinois in Barrington.

 

George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

Frank Cascella, account specialist with Pepper Family Hospice and Palliative Care of Northeastern Illinois, shows off the courtyard of the facility in Barrington during an open house on Tuesday.

 

George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

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Published: 6/16/2010 12:00 AM

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The Pepper Hospice Home and Center for Care showed off the amenities Tuesday at its brand-new facility in Barrington, which opens July 1.

The facility, located at 405 Lake Zurich Road, houses 16 rooms for patients, has been under construction for over a year ago and cost more than $19 million. It was paid for completely by grants and donations.

The building is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified and boasts itself as one of the few "green" free-standing hospice facilities in the country and the only in Illinois.

Eileen Grace, the chief nursing officer, said that they wanted to make the facility "as comfortable and as healing as possible."

The previous facility, which operated under the name Hospice and Palliative Care of Northeastern Illinois, was located just down the street. The hospice is a nonprofit organization that has been around since 1982. The new facility was named Pepper Hospice Home after the Pepper family of Barrington, owner of Pepper Construction, donated $3 million to the project. Roxy Pepper has been a donor and board member of the hospice since shortly after its founding and her children and grandchildren also have been involved. The building was built by Pepper Construction, with offices in Barrington and Chicago, which was the low bidder on the project.

The building includes "healing gardens," family areas, paved pathways to other establishments and other features. It also includes a pediatric room with trained specialists who are skilled in dealing with end-of-life treatment management for children.

Lynn Miller, an account specialist at Pepper Hospice, said that the average stay for patients is around five days. She said that 95 percent of hospice services are done at the patient's home.

Hospice typically provides end-of-life care for those near death, but the Pepper facility also offers palliative care to patients.

"You don't have to be terminal to get comfort," said Paola Molina, associate medical director.

The care includes treatments that provide comfort both mental and physical. Molina said that this is usually in addition to the treatment a patient receives from a doctor.

Like the stay itself, palliative treatment typically is covered by Medicare and by many insurance companies. If a patient has a tough financial situation, Pepper works with the patient to give them service. A patient has never been turned away, according to the staff.

The 16 rooms come with a foldout couch, reclining chair and a bed that is large enough for multiple people. Grace said that they really worked to get larger beds so that a patient's spouse or child can lay with them in bed.

The LEED certification added 3.9 percent to the construction costs, but officials estimate that the long-range savings will pay for the building itself within 10 years.

For more information, visit hospiceanswers.org or call (847) 381-5599.