OCEAN PINES – A ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of the region’s first residential hospice house drew a crowd of community members to Ocean Pines this week.
On Wednesday, officials with Coastal Hospice, community members and representatives from various boards, businesses and government agencies gathered to celebrate the opening of the Macky & Pam Stansell House of Coastal Hospice by the Ocean.
Located on 11 acres at 1500 Ocean Parkway, the facility will offer care to patients with life-limiting illnesses who are no longer safe at home or who need more care than a family can safely provide.
Previously intended as a clubhouse for the surrounding residential community, the facility has been repurposed to include residential hospice, palliative care and staff facilities. The three-story building features 12 patient rooms, a family room, kitchen, spa and views of the Isle of Wight Bay.
Coastal Hospice President and CEO Alane Capen told the crowd on Wednesday the new facility was the culmination of years of hard work, dedication and generosity.
“This is a project that really has taken a village,” she said.
In 2016, the nonprofit acquired The Point Clubhouse in Ocean Pines, and 16 months ago construction began to transform the 20,000-square-foot building into a state-of-the-art hospice residence.
“This is literally a new product …,” Mike Dunn, immediate past chair, said. “The resident hospice product does not exist anywhere around here, and Coastal Hospice is bringing this to the community of Delmarva. That is really exciting.”
The new facility is named in honor of Ocean City restaurateurs Macky and Pam Stansell, who have continued to support the project at each phase of development.
In 2008, the Stansells made their first contribution to a new facility by funding a professional “bed needs” assessment, which identified northern Worcester County as the optimum location for a hospice residence. And throughout the years, they have contributed more than $1 million to help establish Stansell House.
Officials this week also acknowledge the support of the community for making Stansell House a reality. To date, Coastal Hospice has raised more than $6.5 million for its new facility, including two $500,000 bond bills spearheaded by then-Sen. Jim Mathias.
“So many people have given so much to this project,” Capen said, “and I’m so very thankful for it.”
State Sen. Mary Beth Carozza applauded Coastal Hospice for its efforts to recognize and fulfill a need in the community.
“Our head tells us that we know the demographics of this area and the makeup of the shore, and we have a disproportionately higher elderly population in this area …,” she said. “But it is our hearts that tell us the true story of the comfort and security and compassion that Coastal Hospice and the team here will provide to thousands of patients and their families. And it’s always the personal experiences that bring deep meaning and value to what we are doing here today with the opening of the Stansell House of Coastal Hospice here at the ocean.”
Carozza also shared her own personal experiences with Coastal Hospice and commended its staff for providing much-needed care to patients and family members.
“Those that have personally experienced the care at Coastal Hospice can truly attest to the values they bring to the services they provide,” she said. “You are proving, day in and day out, that the end of life can be a peaceful time for both the patient and the family. What you do is so important.”