The Start of Arbor Hospice
"The greatest value Arbor Hospice brings to its patients is strengthening their family bond so they are able to move on after the death. When you become involved with a family you are undertaking a huge, humbling responsibility to help them work through this big scary thing."
- Mary Lindquist, Founder
In 1984, Mary Lindquist, a registered nurse, founded Personalized Nursing Service (PNS), a private, not-for-profit organization designed to provide first-rate care for terminally ill individuals and their families. The agency operated out of Mary's home and consisted of three nurses, a bookkeeper, and a community-based Board of Directors.
In 1988, the Board of Directors determined that the community would be better serviced if PNS received additional certification as a hospice agency. The Board's decision marked the beginning of an intense period of growth. In 1988, after State and Federal licensure requirements were met, PNS became a Medicare-certified hospice and its patient load began to increase. The agency moved to its first office. By 1989, Arbor Hospice became part of Personalized Nursing Service's name to indicate the agency's certification as a hospice organization and to increase awareness of its services in the community.
Arbor Hospice realized that the needs of children who had experienced the death of a loved one were going unmet. The agency entered into collaboration with the University of Michigan Center for Child and Family Department to develop a children's program. The program was part of the Starting Over bereavement program for young adults who had lost a spouse. A grant from the Towsley Foundation was instrumental in starting the program.
In 1990, the agency tripled the size of its nursing staff from 9 to 27. Nearly 100 patients were receiving care from Arbor Hospice/PNS. At this time, the agency identified a need to provide hospice services to those who could not be cared for in their own home. A relationship was begun with Glacier Hills Nursing Home to care for patients in their facilities.
Realizing that an urgent need still existed in the community to provide a place for people to complete their life, Arbor Hospice decided to develop and construct Michigan's first licensed in-patient unit to supplement the home-based care the agency provided.
With 26 private rooms on exquisite landscaped grounds, The Residence of Arbor Hospice opened in 1998. Additionally, The Bridge of Hope Library within The Residence of Arbor Hospice, was constructed thanks to a grant by the Ann Arbor Downtown Kiwanis Club and a memorial donation in memory of Richard Greve.
In 2000, new bylaws were drawn up by an Advisory Committee and approved by the Board of Directors covering all major areas of Arbor Hospice. During this year the Allen Park and Ann Arbor branches of Arbor Hospice continued to expand so a Northville/Novi Branch was opened to help meet the growing needs of the state. Since then, the Northville/Novi branch was moved to Plymouth and Arbor Hospice opened offices in Woodhaven and Monroe to better serve patients throughout the seven-county service area.
To meet the needs of the community, Arbor Hospice launched Arbor Palliative Care in the summer of 2012. Arbor Palliative Care (APC) is an in-home palliative care consultative service for those with uncontrolled pain and symptoms due to serious illness. APC patients may or may not be hospice appropriate and may be receiving curative treatments.
Arbor Hospice programs, services and The Residence of Arbor Hospice are considered models of excellence. Visitors from the United States and other countries visit to learn comprehensive hospice care from its team of dedicated caregivers and administrators. Arbor Hospice is committed to teaching healthcare professionals and lay persons about the role and benefits of hospice care. Arbor Hospice works with a number of hospitals, nursing homes and higher educational institutions in southeastern Michigan.
As Arbor Hospice continues into its third decade as a community based not-for-profit it is still driven by its original mission of giving comfort, assurance and care to families and patients who have life-limiting illnesses and to educate and nurture others in this care. Today, Arbor Hospice cares for more than 9,000 patients and their families annually and we provide on-going grief support services to more than 5,500 adults, teens and children who live in our communities. Arbor Hospice has provided patient-centered family and community care since 1984.