Director leaves as Hospice plans new headquarters

Board members and employees of Hospice of the Gorge held a ceremonial ground-breaking last week for a new Hood River headquarters in Elliott Woods Business Park in the Heights. The new facility will be the organization’s first permanent home in Hood River since its founding in 1986.

The 4,920-square-foot facility will be built on a half-acre lot that Hospice of the Gorge purchased last summer.

The new Hood River home for Hospice (the organization maintains another office in The Dalles) will provide a welcome permanence to Hospice of the Gorge, whose 42 employees provide end-of-life care for patients and families in seven counties in Oregon and Washington.

“We’ve moved eight times in 17 years,” said Sharon Mulford, outgoing executive director of Hospice of the Gorge.

“We’ve been kind of nomads,” she added. The organization is currently housed in leased space at 13th and May streets.

Mulford worked hard during her three-year tenure to get the organization to a position of financial viability where it could purchase or build a permanent home.

“It’s high time we have a place,” said Mulford, who is retiring. Deborah Jaques will take her place at the helm of the organization.

In addition to providing expanded office space and much-needed storage room for patient records and equipment, the new facility will allow for greater privacy for Hospice care providers working with patients and their families.

In addition, there will be conference space available for community groups, as well as meeting rooms for Hospice-related and other support groups.

Hospice of the Gorge has expanded exponentially since its founding in the 1980s as Hospice of Hood River.

“More and more people are choosing the kind of end-of-life care they want,” said Marianne Durkan, president of the Hospice board. Hospice provides care for patients with terminal illnesses as well as support for their families.

The new Hospice facility will be built over the summer and fall. Executive Director Jaques hopes the organization will be up and running in its new home by the holidays.

For information about Hospice, call 387-6449.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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