VITAS Healthcare would build a 16-room hospice facility in Tradition | #hospice | #elderly | #seniors
PORT ST. LUCIE— A 16-bed hospice facility could be coming to Tradition by 2022.
VITAS Healthcare — the largest hospice provider in the nation and a subsidiary of ChemMed Corp. — plans to buy roughly four vacant acres from Mattamy Homes, according to Tony Palumbo, vice president of land acquisition and development for the developer.
It would cost roughly $9.6 million to develop the facility, according to the state Agency for Health Care Administration.
In June, ACHA approved a certificate of need to bring the VITAS new hospice facility to Tradition.
Mattamy Homes, the largest privately-owned homebuilder in North America, bought 2,780 acres at Tradition in 2018 with plans for 8,500 single-family homes and and 150 acres of commercial development.
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The sale has not been completed, according to the St. Lucie County Property Appraiser’s Office.
The City Council Monday approved plans for Vitas-Tradition, a 20,816-square-foot hospice facility with a community center at the southwest corner of Tradition Parkway and Community Boulevard.
The proposed 2,910-square-feet community center could double as an emergency shelter, according to city documents.
In addition to care provided by VITAS grief-recovery specialists — physicians, nurses, hospice aides, social workers, chaplains, volunteers and bereavement experts patients would have access to music therapy, massage therapy and Paws and Pals, a program in which pets and their owners visit patients to provide comfort.
VITAS also provides care for veterans through its partnership with We Honor Veterans, a program of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization that works in collaboration with the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs.
As part of We Honor Veterans, VITAS trains caregivers on specific needs of veterans, such as how to treat post traumatic stress disorder and other unresolved medical issues associated with military service, as well as offer support groups.
VITAS has hospice facilities in Boynton Beach, Melbourne and North Miami Beach, according to ACHA.
The hospice provider also has six shared rooms at Tiffany Hall Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, 1800 SE Hillmoor Drive.
The only other in-patient hospice provider in St. Lucie County, according to ACHA, is Hospice of the Treasure Coast, also known as Treasure Coast Hospice, in Fort Pierce.
“Serving this community since 1988, we see a need on a daily basis for more medical assistance for our seniors and their families,” wrote Judith Cruz, president and CEO of Treasure Coast Food Bank, in a letter of support to AHCA. “We fully support VITAS Healthcare’s application to provide a freestanding inpatient unit for those deserving in our area.”
VITAS will use both existing employees and new hires to staff the facility.
For more job information, go to www.VITAS.jobs.
Olivia McKelvey is TCPalm’s watchdog reporter for St. Lucie County. You can reach her at email@example.com, 772-521-4380 and on Twitter @olivia_mckelvey.