Medina County’s only dedicated, freestanding inpatient center for end-of-life care has opened in Granger Township.


The HMC Hospice of Medina County admitted its first patient last week, following completion of the required state licensing and Joint Commission accreditation, Executive Director Pat Stropko-O’Leary said.


“We’re just so delighted to be here,” Stropko-O’Leary said.


The Hospice of Medina County previously had been offering inpatient hospice services for terminally ill patients who want or need that level of care in leased space at the Inn at Medina.


The new 16-bed inpatient facility is adjacent to a park, giving patients a peaceful setting for their final days. Each room features soft colors and floor-to-ceiling windows for natural light.


Medical equipment is hidden in cabinets, creating a more homelike feeling.


The patient wings offer two family rooms and several “comfort coves,” or quiet spots where family members can escape from intense situations and have a private moment.


A special “We Honor Veterans” alcove recognizes the contributions of patients who served in the Armed Forces, she said.


In addition, the new facility offers a children’s therapy room, as well as a bereavement center.


“We want them to come in and feel the support that they need,” Stropko-O’Leary said. “That’s our intent — that patients and families don’t need to think about a thing. It’s all provided for them.”


The original opening date of August was pushed back by construction delays.


The nonprofit group has raised nearly $1.2 million of its $2.2 million goal to help finance the $9.6 million project.


Along with donations, the project is being financed with low-interest loans secured through Western Reserve Bank and the federal government.


The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development program is lending $5.5 million at 4 percent for 30 years to support the project. The loan program is designed to promote development of “community facilities” such as nursing homes and fire stations. Eligible projects must be located in a township or incorporated community with 20,000 or fewer residents.


For more information or to schedule a tour, call 330-722-4771 or visit www.hospiceof medina.org.


Region gets honor


Northeast Ohio ranks among the best regions in the nation for hospital care, according to a report released this month by HealthGrades.


The Cleveland area ranked 12th overall for hospital care in the study.


Hospitals included in the Cleveland region and ranked as “Distinguished Hospitals for Clinical Excellence” include Akron General Medical Center, Aultman Hospital in Canton, EMH Regional Medical Center in Elyria, Hillcrest Hospital in Mayfield Heights, Marymount Hospital in Garfield Heights, Mercy Medical Center in Canton, Mercy Regional Medical Center in Lorain, Parma Community General Hospital and South Pointe Hospital in Warrensville Heights.


The study looked at complication and death rates for 26 common procedures, ranging from bowel obstruction and hip fracture treatment to heart failure and stroke.


The nation’s top-ranked city in the study for hospital care was Baltimore.


Free Parkinson’s class


Altercare of Cuyahoga Falls Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing Care is offering a free one-hour exercise and support group developed with the Akron Summit County Parkinson’s Support Group.


The Parkinson’s Exercise Group Smiles, or PEGS for short, promotes movement to increase range of motion and strengthen the trunk and limbs. Each session also includes “funny face expression” exercises to help delay speech and swallowing problems, deep breathing and relaxation exercises and social time.


The group sessions are held the second, third, fourth and fifth Monday of every month at 4 p.m. in the therapy gym of Altercare, 2728 Bailey Road, Cuyahoga Falls.


For more information, call 330-929-4231 or email cf@ altercareonline.net.


Cheryl Powell can be reached at 330-929-3902 or chpowell@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow Powell on Twitter at twitter.com/abjcherylpowell.