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West Orange Times & Observer Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017 5 years ago

Cornerstone Hospice breaks ground near Health Central

The facility, scheduled to open in 2019, will include 10 private rooms and a family lounge.
by: Amy Quesinberry Community Editor

West Orange County will get a much-needed hospice unit by 2019 after a need was identified for critical patients facing life-limiting illness to receive loving care in a comfortable, home-like environment 

Cornerstone Hospice broke ground on a 10-bed unit, which will be part of the new Orlando Health Center for Rehabilitation. With their shovels are Wendy Terry, Rob Adrid, Tracy Swanson, Norma Sutton, Nick Buchholz, Chuck Lee and Mark Marsh.

Cornerstone Hospice and Palliative Care will have its own space in the Orlando Health Center for Rehabilitation, which broke ground earlier this month on the campus of Health Central Hospital, in Ocoee.

The first floor of the five-story facility will house Cornerstone Hospice Care Unit, with its 10 private rooms and family lounge. Each room will have a pullout bed, refrigerator and showers so family members can spend as much time as possible with loved ones.

The 95,000-square-foot Orlando Health Center for Rehabilitation and Cornerstone Hospice Care Center are scheduled for completion in 2019.

Providing seed money for this new health care project are the West Orange Healthcare District ($1.25 million) and West Orange Health Alliance ($440,000).

“The Cornerstone Hospice Care Center at Orlando Health-Health Central will help fill a gap in health care services available in West Orange County,” said Chuck Lee, president and CEO of Cornerstone Hospice. Patients and their families will receive inpatient care in a homelike place, not an intensive care unit, when symptoms become too difficult to manage at home.

A rendering of a patient room.

“We are grateful for the partnership of Orlando Health, which designated space for the unit, and for the generosity of the West Orange Healthcare District and West Orange Health Alliance to kickstart the capital campaign,” Lee said.

In November 2015, the 22-bed Cornerstone Hospice Unit opened at Orlando Health’s Orlando Regional Medical Center. More than 2,200 patients and their families have received care and end-of-life support at the downtown Orlando unit.

“The West Orange Healthcare District is dedicated to ensuring that the residents have access to medical care and wellness services right in our community,” said Norma Sutton, chair of the West Orange Healthcare District. “The district is pleased to make an investment in the Cornerstone Hospice Care Center, which will help fill a gap for families who want to provide comfort and dignity for their loved ones facing end of life.”

“Aside from meeting a critical need, having this resource in our community will help raise awareness about hospice care and the peace of mind it provides to patients and families facing life-limiting illness,” said Lynn Walker Wright, who is a member of the West Orange Health Alliance and chairs the project’s $3.6 million campaign.

Currently, the only hospice facility in West Orange is the VITAS Inpatient Hospice Unit at Quality Health Care, 12751 W. Colonial Drive, Winter Garden. The unit serves 12 patients in semi-private rooms. There is also the Mike Conley House in Clermont or the Cornerstone Hospice House at Orlando Health Downtown Orlando.

Cornerstone Hospice and Palliative Care Inc., a not-for-profit, community organization since 1984, provides comfort and care to Central Florida families experiencing life-limiting illnesses.

Cornerstone is Joint Commission-accredited for hospice care. More than 7,000 people in seven counties, including Orange and Lake, benefit from Cornerstone programs each year. For more information, to donate, or to volunteer, call (866) 742-6655 or visit


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