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Monroe County Hospice House reopens

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    Lehigh Valley Health Network has reopened the Monroe County Hospice House. LEVI JIORLE/TIMES NEWS

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    Here is a room in the newly reopened Monroe County Hospice House. LEVI JIORLE/TIMES NEWS

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    Lehigh Valley Pocono Hospital President Elizabeth Wise speaks at the reopening of the Monroe County Hospice House. LEVI JIORLE/TIMES NEWS

Published June 20. 2019 01:40PM

What is the difference between a house and a home? The Lehigh Valley Health Network provides that answer with the reopening of the Monroe County Hospice House. Previously, patients would have to stay at the hospital, but they are now provided with a more comforting environment. One reason the hospice was able to reopen was because of the community. They raised funds to support the hospice and are continuing to donate to ensure it stays open.

“Take a look around,” Mark Primrose, chair of the Monroe County Hospice House Advisory Committee said. “This is not a hospital setting. This is a very comfortable place to spend your last days.”

One of the first groups recognized was the team that will be working at the hospice. George McCracken, administrator at Home Health Services, was quick to sing their praises. He mentioned how professional and caring they are in the hospice setting. Abigail Gasper, the director of clinical services, will be a leader for the staff.

“I’ve been doing hospice care for 18 years,” Gasper said. “I’m passionate about hospice care. For us to be able to provide superior end-of-life care for our community is what is most important to us. It’s part of our passion. It’s what we’ve been called to do.”

Elizabeth Wise, president of the Lehigh Valley Pocono Hospital, was glad to see the community work with her and the rest of the staff to launch the reopening.

“To me, it’s about the partnership that came together between the members of our community, as well as the hospital to work together to get this reopened,” Wise said. “Not only by raising funds to help support the house for the reopening, but also to get the word out about what hospice care is. And if it’s needed, choose the Monroe County Hospice House.”

Primrose mentioned the difficulties of families trying to take care of their loved ones before their passing. He said it is an all-day job, which can be difficult with finances and other obligations.

Guest speakers Laura Chamberlain McDaniels and Theresa Yocum had family members who lived in the hospice when it was previously open. They both stressed how it provided comfort in a difficult time. Chamberlain’s stepmother was there two years ago.

“The care that she received here was unbelievably kind and attentive,” Chamberlain said. “Everybody got to say their goodbyes in a peaceful and serene setting. It was magical. She passed quietly, peacefully, with all of us here, in a room that was like her home and not a hospital.”

If you wish to donate to the Monroe County Hospice House online, visit For more information on how to get involved, email Mark Primrose at, or call at 570-421-2350.

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