Proposed hospice building could get license exemption

SEQUIM – Volunteer Hospice of Clallam County could get the go-ahead later this year to build its proposed six-bedroom Hospice House on a one-acre lot on Hendrickson Road.

The nonprofit Volunteer Hospice of Clallam County, which added “Volunteer” to its name last fall, serves about 300 patients a year at no charge.

A bill in the state Legislature co-sponsored by Reps. Kevin Van De Wege, D-Sequim, and Lynn Kessler, D-Hoquiam, would exempt the volunteer operation from the Department of Social and Health Services licensing process.

Van De Wege and Kessler, along with Sen. Jim Hargrove, D-Hoquiam, represent the 24th District, which includes Clallam and Jefferson counties and a third of Grays Harbor County.

House Bill 1489 is scheduled for a public hearing Wednesday before the House Health Care and Wellness Committee.

The state licensing process is long and costly, said Rose Crumb, founder and director of Volunteer Hospice of Clallam County.

“This looks encouraging,” she said of the legislation.

“It is nice because we’ve really been put through the mill past year.”

The Hospice House the group wants to build is intended to be a place where people live during the final stages of illness, and where hospice nurses and volunteers care for their physical and spiritual needs.

The one-acre lot on which the project is to be built was donated by Volunteer Hospice of Clallam County volunteer Ruth McCord of Sequim in 2002.

Volunteer Hospice operates on donations, memorial gifts, grants and the efforts of more than 100 volunteers, Crumb said.

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