History of Caring
Hospice of Northwest Ohio is the area’s only independent, non-profit agency solely dedicated to providing end-of-life care. It was among the first hospices licensed in the state of Ohio.
Formed by a small group of visionary volunteers in 1979, Hospice served its first patients in 1981. It had a staff of five and cared for 90 patients that year. Comparatively, in 2020, it served more than 2,600 patients with a staff of 390 and a volunteer corps of 165.
While almost all patients in the early years had cancer, 60% now have other end-stage diseases, signifying the acceptance of hospice care as a positive end-of-life care option for all.
Services are delivered to patients in their own homes, nursing homes and assisted living facilities as well as in our two freestanding hospice centers. Both centers were completely funded by gifts from the community. The Edward and Marion Knight Hospice Center opened in Perrysburg in 1995 and the Virginia Clifford Hospice Center opened in Toledo in 2004.
Numerous hospice agencies now serve this area, but Hospice of Northwest Ohio continues to be the community leader. Setting the bar for excellent care, its percentage of specially certified clinical staff is among the highest nationwide. It also provides the region’s most robust bereavement program, free to anyone in the community, as well as education for professionals, students, family caregivers and the community.
In 2000, Hospice of Northwest Ohio was one of the first hospices in the U.S. to establish a formal teaching agreement with a medical school – Medical College of Ohio (now the University of Toledo Medical Center) – and continues to provide end-of-life education to University of Toledo medical students as well as others pursuing various medical professions.
Sincera™ Supportive Care and Symptom Relief, a signature service of Hospice of Northwest Ohio, was formed in 2008. Sincera partners with area physicians, hospitals and clinics to provide palliative care services for seriously ill patients who are not on a hospice program, but seek relief for debilitating pain or other symptoms caused by their illness or the side effects of treatment.
In 2019, we expanded our service area to include Fulton and Henry Counties. This move came at the urging of community physicians and at the request of the Henry County Health Department following the closure of their hospice in late 2019.
In late 2019, we opened the Special Care Unit inside the Toledo Center. The five-bed, secure unit and specially trained staff provides a safe place to care for patients with dementia.
2021 marks our 40th anniversary. While how we deliver care has changed over the years, our vision remains the same: To provide care and education that positively transform the way people view and experience serious illness and the end of life.
Still true to its non-profit roots, Hospice of Northwest Ohio is indebted to the thousands of individuals, foundations and corporations who have provided support for its work over the past 40 years. It is because of their gifts that Hospice is able to provide enhanced levels of care, education and outreach and – most important of all – turn no one away due to inability to pay.
Read our Mission, Vision and Values to learn more.
Watch WGTE's Toledo Stories - The Unexpected Gift of Hospice, which explores the history of Hospice of Northwest Ohio.