New San Leandro Children’s Hospice To Be First of Kind in the Nation
George Mark Children's House, believed to be the first free-standing hospice for children in the United States, is scheduled to open in San Leandro in January 2004, the San Jose Mercury News reports. The facility will offer an alternative to families with terminally ill children because it is not located in a hospital, according to the Mercury News. Kathy Hull, co-founder and clinical psychologist, said, "Our facility is very homelike. It's not a hospital ward." The George Mark Children's House, under construction since 1999, will be able to accommodate up to eight children and two families and will offer features such as a meditation sanctuary, spa, computer room and school room with art and music classes. According to the Mercury News, the children's hospice plans to operate on a sliding fee scale and will accept children through a referral system based on their medical conditions. Officials expect the hospice to serve up to 200 children per year. The project is being funded through private and public grants and will have an estimated $3 million annual budget (Reang, San Jose Mercury News, 10/23).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.