Covenant Care and Sacred Heart Hospital are collaborating on a new program to address the needs of end-of-life patients and their families.
Covenant will open a 10,000 square foot center on the first floor of Sacred Heart’s Pensacola campus. President and CEO Jeff Mislevy says it will be fully staffed, with patients and families receiving round-the-clock hospice and palliative care services.
“The in-patient units offer the additional convenience, and really just practical upsides as it relates to patients,” said Mislevy. “Being able to, in some cases, literally move down the hall to their existing care staff, physicians, and ancillary services like radiology and diagnostics.”
The center will also provide an additional level of convenience for patients, their families, and for caregivers. Each patient room will be equipped with comfortable seating and sleeping accommodations for guests, and unlimited visiting hours.
Sacred Heart Hospital President Henry Stovall credits a “very, very strong relationship” with Covenant, which he calls a “very trusted partner” in sharing patients.
“We also provided a lot of referrals to them and they’ve just done an excellent job caring for our patients, the patients that we share,” said Stovall. “So there was a natural migration over time to say, ‘What could we do together in a different way, a more robust way.’”
When it opens next summer, the Covenant Care center and its 17 patient rooms will occupy the former Bone and Joint Center. Adding a Covenant Care facility, says Stovall, enhances Sacred Heart’s mission to care for its patients from cradle to grave through a partnership that works well, in light of a growing demand for such services at hospitals.
“As a Catholic ministry, we have some very, very strong values and cultural elements,” Stovall said. “And we found that they’re aligned beautifully with Covenant, in the respect for life, the respect for patient dignity, the level of care that we give as patients approach the end of life.”
This will be Covenant Care’s fourth in-hospital center. The other three are at West Florida Hospital; Bay Medical Center in Panama City; and a soon-to-be-opened facility at Providence Hospital in Mobile. CEO eff Mislevy says this is part of the future of end-of-life care.
“I think the one thing that is not so obvious is our ability through the partnerships to also offer solutions with our care team on-site,” Mislevy said. “Our physicians, our nurses, our social workers, in other parts of the hospital, even just for support.”
The project currently is in the architectural, engineering and design phase. The renovation work on the space is expected to begin in 60 to 90 days, after getting the green light from the State of Florida.