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History

The history of Concordia Hospice of Washington ultimately goes back to the dedication and compassion of the people of Greene and Washington counties. The roots of our organization can be traced back to the 1970s in Greene County, where one man was driven to help families dealing with end-of-life illnesses by changing the medical landscape in the area.

Rev. Dr. J. E. Victor Carlson, a Presbyterian minister who worked at Waynesburg University, lived with his wife, Ruby, and their three young sons in the late 70s when the unthinkable happened – Ruby was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor. Rev. Carlson relied on friends and family to help him care for her and their children, but after Ruby’s death, he searched for programs that helped families in similar situations. He eventually discovered what he was looking for – hospice care, which provides comfort and dignity to the patient and support for the family, when a cure is no longer probable.

After finding a hospice program in Connecticut, he traveled to the facility and learned all he could. Upon returning to Greene County, he formed a task force that later became Hospice Care, Inc., one of the first such programs to be chartered in the state.

Hospice Care, Inc. grew over the years and eventually expanded into Washington County. Sadly, a year before the company was set to merge with Washington Hospital, Rev. Carlson was diagnosed with cancer and lived out his final days in peace as a patient of the company he formed.

Even after Rev. Carlson passed away, his vision to bring quality hospice care to Greene and Washington counties continued to thrive. Hospice Care, Inc. merged with Washington Hospital in 1996, opening opportunities for inpatient care and other new services. Opened in 2002, the Donnell House, located at 10 Leet Street, Washington, PA 15301, is the only inpatient hospice of its kind in Washington County. The expansion was possible thanks to a generous lead gift from Richard and Shana Donnell and financial support from many other community members. The Donnell House offers eight patient rooms that open onto private patios. It also includes a chapel, kitchen, great room, a playroom for visiting children and a family dining room.

The Washington Hospital, which can trace its own roots as far back as 1897, was later rebranded as Washington Health System in 2013. When Southwest Regional Medical Center in Greene County (formerly Waynesburg Hospital) was added to Washington Health System in 2015, the system covered both Greene and Washington counties.

The newest chapter of hospice in the area started on July 1, 2016 when Washington Health System partnered with Concordia Community Support Services, which oversees the operations of Concordia Visiting Nurses, Concordia Private Care, Good Samaritan Hospice and VNA Alliance. The partnership resulted in the creation of Concordia Hospice of Washington. We assimilated Washington Health System’s Hospice Care to enable residents to receive quality end-of-life care in their homes as well as inpatient and respite care at the Donnell House in Washington, PA.

Concordia Hospice of Washington is made up of hospice volunteers, registered nurses, social workers, home health aides, spiritual care team members, bereavement counselors and medical directors. When a patient is admitted, a specialized care plan is prepared based on each individual’s physical, emotional and spiritual needs.

For more information about Concordia Hospice of Washington, call Concordia Hospice of Washington at 724-250-4500 or message us through our Contact form.

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