Overview and History

What is now known as Hope Hospice & Palliative Care Rhode Island (Hope Hospice RI), formerly known as Home & Hospice Care of Rhode Island, was established in 1976 thanks to a volunteer planning committee of health care professionals and community members who cared deeply about providing stronger end-of-life care in Rhode Island.

Since then, Hope Hospice RI has grown into an organization with more than 300 employees and a $34-million annual operating budget that is supported by $2 million in donations. Hope Hospice RI cares for 5,215 patients a year, thanks to a dedicated staff of physicians, nurses, hospice aides, social workers, chaplains, grief counselors and the help of over 300 volunteers. Hope Hospice RI is now the major teaching affiliate for hospice and palliative medicine for the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

Some of our milestones:

The concept of hospice was brought to Rhode Island by the Rev. Kenneth Wentzel of Kingston, after he visited St. Christopher's Hospice in London, which was established 1967 by England’s Dr. Cicely Saunders.

March 1976 - Hope Hospice & Palliative Care Rhode Island incorporates as a nonprofit corporation.

March 1978 - Summit Medical Center, a skilled nursing facility on North Main Street in Providence, offers Hope Hospice & Palliative Care Rhode Island two to four beds on its third floor.

July 1978 - Robert J. Canny is hired as the first Executive Director. His office is located at the Summit Medical Center. He brings to Rhode Island his experience as a trustee of the country's first hospice in New Haven, Connecticut. The volunteer program is in place under the direction of Esther D'Orsi.

March 1979 - Hope Hospice & Palliative Care Rhode Island's first home care patient/family is admitted.

September 1, 1980 - Hope Hospice & Palliative Care Rhode Island moves to 1400 Pawtucket Ave., the basement of the First Baptist Church in Rumford.

1981 - Average daily number of patients is 10; there are nine Hope Hospice & Palliative Care Rhode Island staff members.

1982 - Island Hospice in Newport and Hospice of Washington County in Narragansett, two independent hospice programs, are established by community volunteers.

September 1982 - Federal legislation mandates Medicare reimbursement for hospice services.

1983 - Average daily number of patients grows to 21 and staff increases to 19.

June 1983 - Hope Hospice RI initiates and promotes successful passage of legislation by the Rhode Island General Assembly for licensing agencies and programs wishing to provide hospice services.

August 1983 - Hope Hospice RI moves to 1240 Pawtucket Ave., East Providence.

December 1983 - Congress enacts national Medicare legislation to reimburse hospice services.

March 1984 - Hope Hospice RI is notified it is the first agency certified by Medicare in New England as a hospice provider.

November 1989 - Hospice of Washington County and Island Hospice merge with Hope Hospice RI to form a statewide agency.

June 1992 - Open house and dedication ceremonies of the new main offices of Hospice Care of Rhode Island, 169 George Street, Pawtucket, RI.

July 1993 - Hope Hospice RI establishes the first and only inpatient hospice unit in Rhode Island, a 10-bed facility, the Philip Hulitar Inpatient Center, in Providence.

September 1993 - First Annual Hospice Regatta is held on Narragansett Bay. Raises more than $34,000 for the agency.

December 1994 - The South Office of Hope Hospice RI is dedicated in Wakefield, RI.

November 1999 - Hope Hospice RI receives accreditation from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations/JCAHO.

November 1999 - Analee Wulfkuhle is named President & CEO of Hope Hospice RI.

January 2001 - Hope Hospice RI develops a palliative care  consultation service utilizing the expertise of registered nurse practitioners for nursing home patients.

Spring 2001 - Hope Hospice RI develops a specialized long term care team to care for nursing home residents.

September 2002 - Hope Hospice RI experiences nearly 20 percent growth in services over the previous year, with average daily number of patients rising to 181.

March 2004 - Hope Hospice RI average daily number of patients reaches 291.

December 2004 - Hope Hospice RI receives accreditation from CHAP (Community Health Accreditation Program), a respected leader in improving the quality of care in the home care and hospice industries.

August 2005 - The Alfred M. Roberts, Jr. Charitable Foundation Hospice Suites at The Westerly Hospital open.

February 2006 - Hope Hospice RI celebrates 30 years of Leading the Way in hospice and palliative care with a kick-off celebration at the RI State House.

June 2006 - Hope Hospice RI is awarded a United Way grant totaling over $119,000 for diversity outreach.

August 2006 - Hope Hospice RI purchases a new building at 1085 North Main Street, Providence.

August 2006 - The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) selects Hope Hospice & Palliative Care Rhode Island as a "best practices" example of palliative care initiatives nationwide.

November 2006 - Hope Hospice RI concludes its 30th Anniversary year-long celebration with The Stanley M. Aronson Educational Symposium featuring keynote speaker Dr. Nicholas Christakis, author of Death Foretold.  The title of the symposium was "How Long Do I Have to Live" Why Prognostic Questions Trouble Doctors." 

June 2007 - The Rhode Island Department of Health Services Council approves Hope Hospice & Palliative Care Rhode Island's Certificate of Need for 24 inpatient beds.

August 2007 -  Hope Hospice RI holds first bereavement camp for grieving children, called Camp BraveHeart.

February 2008 - The Champlin Foundations awards Hope Hospice RI a $230,000 grant to purchase new computers for point of service admissions.

November 2008 - Diana Franchitto is named President & CEO of Hope Hospice & Palliative Care Rhode Island.

November 2008 - Premier of Soldier's Stories at Life's End.

May 2009 - Hope Hospice RI holds its Grand Opening Celebrations at its new faciltiy at 1085 North Main Street, Providence, RI.

June 2009 - Patients and staff move into 1085 North Main Street, Providence, RI.

June 2009 - Hope Hospice RI holds 2nd Annual Family Night at McCoy Stadium.

August 2009 - Hope Hospice RI sponsors 3rd Annual Camp BraveHeart for grieving children and teens at YMCA Camp Fuller in Wakefield. One hundred nine children and teens attended.

December 2010 - Hope Hospice RI Hosts first annual family day featuring Bruins hockey.

June 2011 - Hope Hospice RI  holds A Midsummer Night of Remembrance for Grieving Hearts.

August 2011 - Hope Hospice RI and Visiting Nurse of HopeHeath announce affiliation.

October 2011 - Program honors former trustee - Human Dignity Award presented to Martin Temkin.

January 2012 - Hope Hospice RI earns Jewish Hospice Certification.

February 22, 2012 - Hope Hospice & Palliative Care Rhode Island, Visiting Nurse of HopeHealth affiliation receives official approval.

June 21, 2012 - Hope Hospice & Palliative Care Rhode Island and The Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University Affiliate.

June 2012 - Hope Hospice & Palliative Care Rhode Island Receives $10,000 Grant from Liberty Mutual Foundation.

February 2013 - Coastal Medical signs an agreement making Hope Hospice & Palliative Care Rhode Island and Visiting Nurse of HopeHealth their preferred provider for hospice, palliative, and home care.

March 14, 2016 - Hope Hospice & Palliative Care Rhode Island formally changes its name to Hope Hospice & Palliative Care Rhode Island.

July 12, 2016 - Hope Hospice & Palliative Care Rhode Island, Brown Medical School extend affiliation.

October 2016 - Hope Hospice RI celebrates 40th anniversary.