Hospice House of Monroe County to Reopen

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EAST STROUDSBURG Pa. -- Hospice House of Monroe County will once again offer inpatient care.

Officials with Lehigh Valley Health Network made the announcement Wednesday, less than a year after they closed the facility in East Stroudsburg and moved services to the hospital.

When Hospice House of Monroe County closed last April, there were a lot of very upset community members, especially those who had loved ones who passed on here.

But now, the goal is to have this place back open by the spring.

People who came to the announcement say the hospital made the right choice this time.

Vicky Cobb from East Stroudsburg says happiness isn't something you expect to feel at a hospice house, but it was the emotion many people were feeling at the Monroe County Hospice House after officials with the Lehigh Valley Health Network announced it will once again offer inpatient care later this year.

"I sincerely feel that this is something that is needed in our community. I feel very strongly that we need to respect the people when they are at their end of life and this is such a beautiful, tranquil facility," said Cobb.

Lehigh Valley Health Network officials closed the facility in East Stroudsburg last April. Hospice services were moved to Lehigh Valley Hospital Pocono, just a few miles down the road.

An advisory committee of community members was formed to work with the hospital on ways to reopen and fund the place. Basic costs will be covered by the hospital and the rest will come from donations.

"We feel that this is a community jewel. Our goal was to not only get this house open but to keep it open," said advisory committee member Mark Primrose.

When the Hospice House closed in April, people who bought memory bricks for their loved ones who passed on there were told to come and get them. Now that the place is reopening, the bricks that are still here will stay here and anyone who took a brick home is welcome to bring it back.

Barbara Linuci from East Stroudsburg says her father passed away at the hospice house a few years ago. She headed two walks in support of the Hospice House during the summer.

"We had no idea what we were walking into today. We thought, 'Oh, God, don't say it's closing,' but it was a happy day," Linuci said.

Hospital officials say the Hospice House will reopen once approvals from the state Department of Health go through and it's staffed.

Once back open, evaluations will take place every six months.

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