Sarah Rochester Shares Hospice Facility Plans

Sarah Rochester describes plans to create a local in-patient hospice center during a talk to Los Alamos Rotarians. Photo by Kirsten laskey/
Los Alamos Daily Post

Los Alamos Visiting Nurse Service, Inc., (LAVNS) is the oldest not-for-profit nursing/hospice in New Mexico.

The not-for-profit organization offers nursing, physical therapy, speech and language pathology, medical social services and home health aides. Former Executive Director Sarah Rochester describes it as “truly a passion.”

LAVNS is striving to do more, as Rochester explained to members of the Rotary Club of Los Alamos during a recent club meeting. A campaign is underway to raise funds to construct Sanctuary at Canyon’s Edge, an in-patient hospice house on Canyon Road in Los Alamos.

Rochester said that the campaign has raised $1.3 million so far. The goal is to raise $3 million. She explained there is a need for this type of service. Los Alamos has an aging community and the closest in-patient facility is in Albuquerque.

 “It has been our privilege to see these people in their homes at the end of their lives,” she said. Most terminally ill patients prefer to end their lives in their homes but that is not always possible. A new hospice facility would provide the next best thing.

Rochester said the new facility will feature six in-patient beds as well as administrative space. The goal, she said, is to break ground in the spring.

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