In response to the community’s need for hospice care—allowing terminally ill patients to die with dignity in the comfort of their own homes—a group of volunteers founded Mount Evans Hospice in Evergreen, Colorado, in 1980. Mount Evans was one of the first hospice organizations in Colorado and served 15 patients in its first year.
Our first offices were in Carol Linke’s (our agency’s first executive director) basement. Because Medicare and Medicaid did not offer a hospice benefit at that time, Mount Evans became home health certified by Medicare in 1981.
As community needs evolved, home health care for non-terminal patients was added. Over the years, we have gained many other Medicare and Medicaid certifications, as well, including occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, brain injury, and hospice care for both Medicare and Medicaid. And, in 1995, Mt. Evans Hospice became the first hospice in the state of Colorado to be certified by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO).
All of our fundraising projects and activities help Mt. Evans care for underinsured or uninsured patients as well as support numerous services provided by Mount Evans, including grief counseling, transportation for patients to medical appointments, respite care for family caregivers, and Camp Comfort, our bereavement camp for children. And that’s really what we are all about—the patients and their families. Our motto when Mount Evans founded was “Mountain people helping mountain people.” It’s who we were then and it’s who we are now.