South Florida Hospital News
Monday May 25, 2020

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August 2015 - Volume 12 - Issue 2




VITAS Healthcare Announces New Hospice Care Facility in Delray Beach

VITAS Healthcare, the nation's leading provider of end-of-life care, has started construction on a new state-of-the-art hospice care facility, the VITAS Community Life and Inpatient Center at Delray Beach, in Palm Beach County. It is the first hospice inpatient unit the company has built from the ground up and is its fifth freestanding inpatient unit.

“Our new inpatient unit is designed to offer patients and their families a very soothing and home-like environment where VITAS’ interdisciplinary team can attend to their medical, emotional, psychosocial, social and spiritual needs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,” says Mary Zalaznik, senior vice president of operations. “The construction of this new facility has been well supported by a variety of organizations throughout Palm Beach County—the Center for Family Services, the Area Agency on Aging, and the Florida Assisted Living Coalition.”
The new facility is expected to serve approximately 550 patients annually. VITAS currently operates 34 inpatient units nationwide, most of which are located within hospital campuses, such as its existing unit at West Palm Hospital, located in the northern part of Palm Beach County.
Zalaznik says VITAS discovered a quickly growing need for additional hospice services in the southern part of the county. “As baby boomers mature, the likelihood and need for end-of-life services continues to grow. But because Palm Beach County is so large, it has created a hardship for our patients and families from Delray Beach, Boca Raton, and other communities in the southern area of the county to travel up north.”
Since many area hospitals are becoming busier and have less available space to add inpatient hospice units, VITAS decided to turn to an alternative and build its own freestanding unit.
“Healthcare is changing all the time and we are committed to staying in touch with our patients’ needs and adapting as much as we can to meet them,” Zalaznik adds.
The new facility is an eight-bed, 14,000-plus square foot unit located on a landscaped 2.2-acre site and is scheduled to be completed in November. The VITAS Community Life and Inpatient Center at Delray Beach is designed to offer patients and families a soothing, home-like environment where VITAS’ interdisciplinary teams of physicians, nurses, hospice aides, social workers, chaplains, volunteers and bereavement support staff members will attend to the medical, emotional, social and spiritual needs of patients and their families.
“By having our teams located onsite, it enhances their ability to communicate with patients and their families to address specific needs and issues,” says Zalaznik.
The energy-efficient facility includes a spacious family room, kitchen and lanai, and a quiet room for contemplation – all designed to feel like “home” and include wireless Internet access and cable televisions. All patient rooms will have private lanais and offer overnight accommodations for family members.
In-house spa features including an immersion bath and massage facilities will be available to enhance patient care. The facility will also include a community outreach center for end-of-life care education and a small administrative office. The grounds will be fully landscaped with more than 1,700 native Florida plants, creating a park-like environment that overlooks a small pond. The facility will accept 24-hour direct admissions of high-acuity patients.
Zalaznik notes that the Delray Beach IPU will be home to a special art work by Delray Beach artist Jerry Gotkin, whose art is catalogued in the Smithsonian American Art Museum and Portrait Gallery Library as "The Marjorie and Jerry Gotkin Collection 1965-2007. As someone who has personally experienced hospice services when caring for his wife Marjorie, his work will convey the emotion and love felt by VITAS’ patients and their families.
“Jerry is a really phenomenal nationally-known artist and we are honored to have him involved and have his work on display,” says Zalaznik.

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