ALAMEDA COUNTY: May Build Nation’s First Children’s Hospice
The Alameda County Board of Supervisors is considering a plan to build the nation's first inpatient pediatric hospice, the Alameda Times-Star reports. Under the proposal, the county would lease a vacant lot behind Fairmont Hospital to the George Mark Children's House for $1 per year so the foundation could construct and operate a facility of between 8 and 10 beds for terminally ill children. Modeled after centers in the UK and Canada, the George Mark Children's House would provide a "serene, wooded setting with sensory room, hot tub and pets" for dying children to spend their final days. The center would allow overnight visits by parents or siblings, and a therapist would be available to work with the siblings of dying children. The newly formed George Mark Children's Foundation has raised about $2.5 million from private donors for construction costs and "anticipates" paying the $825,000 in annual operating expenses through private contributions, investment income and insurance reimbursements. No county funds will go toward the construction or operation of the facility (Horowitz, 5/5).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.